Our History

IES was founded on three fundamental observations:

  1. Buildings are major consumers of energy and must be made more efficient to cut CO2 emissions, conserve fossil fuels and preserve the environment for future generations;
  2. Historically buildings were generally designed on experience and simplistic performance calculations, even though performance-based building simulation had been proven to create buildings that consume significantly less energy;
  3. Such building performance tools were too complex and remained in the hands of academics, making little impact on mainstream commercial design.


Just an idea

  • The roots of IES go all the way back to 1979 when our founder Don Mclean started his PhD work in detailed computer simulation of renewable energy devices.

10 June 1994

Our Birthday

  • IES was founded on 10th June 1994 IES by Dr Don Mclean our current Managing Director.
  • His PhD work, along with subsequent research and commercial activity consolidated the three fundamental observations that IES was built on.


Cutting our teeth

  • Our first office in Glasgow was opened in 1995 and by the end of the year had 10 members of staff.
  • IES won numerous awards, including Glasgow Start-Up of the Year, and the Regional John Logie Baird Award for Innovation. 


Pioneering consulting

  • IES undertook daylighting assessment for the iconic Gherkin or Swiss Re building in London.
  • We also completed a large energy-efficient store prototype project in the US for Wal-Mart.
  • We started work on Heathrow T5 as the environmental modelling consultant, a project that would go on to last 8 years.


First commercial version of the Virtual Environment

  • Version 3.4.1 was the first commercial version of the IESVE.
  • Version 3.4.1 was purchased company-wide by both ARUP and Atkins.


New look as we go Stateside

  • IES invested in a new logo, website, marketing, PR and advertising.
  • We moved to larger premises in the Helix Building on the West of Scotland Science Park in Glasgow.
  • We launched our software in the US where almost overnight 50+ companies started trialling it.


UK market leader

  • IES cemented its position as the UK market leader.
  • IES released the first software able to model all UK Regulations (IESVE Version 5.5).


Going global

  • IES opens new offices in Dublin, Melbourne, San Francisco and Pune.
  • We were also ranked as one of the Top 100 Cleantech companies in Europe.


A focus on research and education

  • We celebrated reaching 100 members of staff.
  • Opened a dedicated Research and Development division, winning over 30 TSB and European grants.
  • We also established a free programme of educational events in the UK, the IES Faculty programme, which is still running strong.


Acquisitions and partnerships

  • In 2012, BVM Engineering became a division of IES and the Atlanta office opened.
  • IES TaP project management software launched in partnership with Encon Associates.
  • ESOS Auditor launched in partnership with the EMA.
  • Started working in partnership with building product manufactures to make detailed product info available in the IESVE and create bespoke specification tools.


We got a new look! 

  • After 10 years of green and red, we rebranded!


Major milestones in North America

  • IES software became the first commercial software approved for California Building Regulations Title 24
  • IES was also named a LEED® Proven Provider™ by the Green Building Certification Institute.
  • Team IES was crowned winner for Best Energy Use Results at the inaugural ASHRAE LowDown Showdown.


First Energy App

  • Working with Glasgow City Council, IES produced its first Energy App, making the power of its IESVE software accessible to Glasgow’s citizens as part of the Innovate UK Future Cities project.


The digital revolution

  • IES launched its BIM4Analysis campaign, which won the H&V News BIM Initiative of the Year in 2016.
  • Since then we’ve continued to drive education, interoperability and technology in BIM and digital construction.
  • Focusing on the role of building performance simulation in a digital construction toolkit to drive the energy reductions we need to see in our built environment to address climate change.


Shift of focus

  • IES expanded its consulting services into the building operation space as the ability to import operational data from an existing building into our virtual models became possible.
  • Working with Lateral Tech we helped John Lewis create its most sustainable store.
  • We won the CIBSE Building Performance Collaborative Partnership Award for our work with Lateral Tech.



Rise of the climate emergency

  • We launched a Power Station Challenge campaign to (through the use of our IESVE technology) prevent 100 power stations from having to be built.
  • So far, we have saved over 30 power stations from having to be built.
  • We launched our Manifesto to share our vision on how we can save energy for future generations now.


Introducing the ICL 

  • IES launched the Intelligent Communities Lifecycle (ICL), a range of digital twin technologies to help create sustainable, intelligent communities.
  • The ICL technology was featured on the BBC and in a documentary by the B1M. 
  • We were delighted to receive awards for the ICL at both the Scottish VIBES and Energy Awards.

10 June 2019

Our 25th Anniversary 

  • We celebrated 25 years of IES with an event in Glasgow, with other celebrations taking place at our offices throughout the world.
  • IES reached another milestone in 2019...200+ employees!