Zero Carbon Design makes use of the Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) software to allow the user to produce accurate simulations of thermal, daylighting and energy properties of a building. The software allows the user to create and adjust a model of a building to achieve better efficiency.
In order to produce accurate simulations, we first have to learn the software. The sessions so far have involved learning the basics of the software, such as how to begin producing a model.
1st session – The MA Zero Carbon students took in turns to teach us the basic 3D modelling tools of the software. By the end of the session, we produced basic models. Though 3D, the models had no thickness and we were told that this will be added at a later stage. Our initial thoughts were that the software seemed to be a very simplified version of other CAD software.
2nd session – To begin with, we had to familiarise ourselves with the software. The aim for this session was to be taught how to assign and edit materials in our models. By assigning materials to the model, you can define how a wall is constructed. Through this, you can edit the certain aspects, such as the thickness of insulation or the cavity within an external wall. By editing theses, the software accurately calculates U-values for the assigned materials. This led to the introduction to Apache, which is a simulation mode. We were shown how to change dates and times to produce shadow cast images.
3rd session – Continuing from the previous session, we produced shadow cast images from our models. We were shown how we can measure the angle of the sun on the facade of a building at specific times and dates, using a sun path diagram integrated within the software. Through Apache (simulation), we could input data to control the amount lux within our models.
As a summary, we are beginning to develop our skills at using IES. Though I was confused about the simplicity of the program during the 1st session, I believe we are only just beginning to understand the complexity of the software.