Climate-based software helps predict building energy use

Integrated Environmental Solutions has created an climate energy index system for its Virtual Environment software. This index provides designers with a simple and intuitive tool to assess the character of any climate and the potential it has to affect the use of a building. It enables designers and architects to easily analyse climate data for any location during concept design stages in a building-independent manner — helping to identify the theoretical energy needed to maintain occupant comfort and inform strategy direction.

The IES climate energy index recognises that building energy use is very climate dependent. Building-simulation results can also be compared with this index to give a simple measure of design performance against potential, given the climate.

The index is a simple measure of the potential energy required (kWh/y) for the airflow (m3/h) needed to maintain comfortable air quality. It is split into heating, cooling, humidification and dehumidification requirements. It is based on climate alone, excluding any consideration of building design or occupancy.

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