April 5th 2022

Dave's Top Tip: What tools are you using for early design stage analysis?

Dave's Top Tip: What tools are you using for early design stage analysis?

Dave’s "Top Tip" 11

The benefits of using IESVE at the detailed design stage are well documented, but the biggest impact on any project is at the earliest stages.

Yes, there’s pressure at this early design stage to translate the client vision and brief, but building performance must not become a side issue to be addressed later if we are to realise the full potential of the building.

At early design stages, if a modelling specialist is not yet engaged, it is often down to the Architect to undertake assessments which may include (all of which can be undertaken within VE-Gaia):

VE-Gaia is the new ‘Go-To’ building performance platform for architects and designers for use during the early stage of the building's design.

It enables the designer to quickly test their project and get feedback on key metrics such as Energy and potable water through the reports generated within the software. Exporting the VE-Gaia results into One Click LCA will enable the designer to analyse Whole Life Carbon; all of these will help inform the impacts of early design decisions and ensure the building is on the right initial trajectory to meet its aspirations.

In a recent IES webinar held in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) IES discussed the RIBA 2030 challenge and the benefit of using early stage analysis tools. You can view the webinar here.


At the webinar, IES showcased the RIBA 2030 challenge export link enabling direct data transfer from VE-Gaia which pre-populates the RIBA 2030 challenge Entry Form.

Each VE-Gaia report is stored within a single location, so a comparison of each design iteration can be quickly undertaken to understand the consequences of design decisions.

Later through the design life, the VE-Gaia model can be expanded to incorporate the detailed design, updating the model into tools like Apache to run operational energy / carbon calculations, overheating, steady state loads, or detailed visual comfort such as daylighting or glare.

As part of the IESVE platform you can run VE-Gaia on its own, or with additional IESVE applications to provide extra functionality. VE-Gaia enables you to produce reports which breakdown each variable and result specific to the architectural and operational building design.

If you are interested in running early stage analysis on your building design, IES ran a further webinar that reviews VE-Gaia in more detail and covered some of the report outputs such as the climate, loads, natural resources and renewable technologies. You can watch the on-demand webinar HERE.

If you want to find out further information on VE-Gaia, or any other applications, please contact sales@iesve.com for more details.

My previous Top Tips can be found here.

If you have any ideas or requests for Top Tips to help engineers get the most of VE please let Dave know: david.pierce@iesve.com