Eindhoven University of Technology

Eindhoven, Netherlands

Eindhoven University of Technology

Key Facts

IESVE introduced to

  • 100 students annually

IESVE chosen for

  • flexibility, ease of use and modelling capabilities

IESVE used to

  • investigate advanced building simulation topics

Students taught to use IESVE

  • to design for Net-Zero

Eindhoven University of Technology, have been using the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) for many years in education and research projects. At present, the software is annually introduced to a group of around 100 students in the Master of Science programs: Building Physics and Services, and Sustainable Energy Technology, and the Post-master program Smart Energy Buildings and Cities.

During the course Building performance and energy systems simulation, IESVE is used as a primary teaching element, in the form of a series of weekly simulation assignments. Students immediately start with getting hands-on experience by reproducing one of the cases of the well-known building simulation validation test: BESTEST. Then, the course continues with a simple case where students are taught the importance of transient conduction modelling, by comparing simulation results to the analytical solution of dynamic heat transfer inside a wall.

Because IES allows users to gradually, but quickly, step up the level of complexity, the university also uses the tool to investigate a number of advanced building simulation topics, such as: double-skin façades, the impact of uncertainty in occupant behaviour modelling, solar shading design and control, and the new electrochromic window functionality. Additionally, students are taught how to design for cost-effective (future) net-zero energy buildings by coupling the output of IESVE to the renewable energy system simulation program SAM.

Follow this link to find out more about the Building performance and energy systems simulation course.

“Among the number of simulation tools that are out on the market, we chose to use IESVE because it strikes a nice balance between the flexibility, ease of use and modelling capabilities we require in the classroom. In addition, due to its modular structure, students can learn step-by-step, and extend the scope of their analysis in later research projects, as required.

It is our belief that the choice for a specific simulation software should be driven by the problem/objective of the task at hand, not led by the capabilities of the tool. Nevertheless, we think that adequately learning how to work with IESVE not only helps students to better understand the basic concepts in building physics, but also equips them with a skill that they can usefully employ in their role as engineers who will create the sustainable built environment of the future.


Roel Loonen, Eindhoven University of Technology