IBC Engineering Services, Inc. Case Study – St. Anthony’s Apartments

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

IBC Engineering Services Inc. used the IESVE to carry out energy modelling for this project which achieved LEED Gold certification.

Key Facts

  • IBC utilised IESVE to offer in-depth energy modelling analysis options across all aspects of sustainable design.
  • St. Anthony’s Apartments cover 67,000 square feet in a fully renovated, mixed use, historic building.
  • IESVE modelling tools helped assess every aspect of energy performance, from carbon emissions to thermal comfort and daylight penetration.
  • Projected total energy savings >43%, including 73% reduction in fossil fuel use on site.
  • Largest reductions came from space heating, fan energy and lighting.

IBC Engineering Services, Inc. (IBC) is a full-service MEP engineering firm specialising in high-performance buildings that require sophisticated engineering solutions.

In 2018 IBC used the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to provide energy modelling in pursuit of LEED certification for its client, Heartland Housing Inc., a non-profit corporation that has been serving the homeless and special needs populations in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 25 years.

Heartland Housing engaged in the St. Anthony’s Apartments project, which called for the complete renovation of a historic five-storey building. It had originally served as a hospital in the 1920’s and was formerly home to the Milwaukee County Correction Centre.

St. Anthony Apartments includes 54 one-bedroom and five studio apartments. The apartments deliver affordable permanent supportive housing, targeting individuals who are chronically homeless and those at risk of homelessness. They offer additional resources, such as classrooms, computer labs, a laundry and shower facilities. The building also has 15,000 square feet of commercial space used by various community service programmes.

Building Design

IBC chose a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system for St. Anthony Apartments, and used IESVE to provide full energy modelling services for the project to satisfy the LEED submission requirements.

LEED Gold was a prerequisite for public funding eligibility. With IES being experts in conducting modelling for certified energy models globally for a wide variety of buildings and climates, they were able to offer the IBC team invaluable advice and support in their pursuit of the required LEED credits.

The model projected total energy savings of more than 43%, including a 73% reduction in fossil fuel use on site. With the biggest reductions coming from space heating, fan energy and lighting.

We faced many challenges when scoping a sustainable HVAC design in a historic building. We were using four separate VRF systems so IESVE’s technical support team helped us integrate the system and make the necessary modifications to customise energy requirements for this unique building.

The VE Navigator for ASHRAE 90.1, with it’s ‘workflow concept’ was a great help in guiding us through the Performance Rating Method (PRM) process.  It not only helped us implement and manage the PRM process, it also navigated how we accessed the different VE modules required to complete the different analyses, in a streamlined manner. It provided real-time feedback and a virtual roadmap to compare how the design stacked up.

Tom King, Lead Project Manager, IBC Engineering Services, Inc.


Further IES Energy Modelling Benefits

The VE-Navigator energy modelling software presented comprehensive 3D graphics which were invaluable when presenting to the client on the project status; the model viewer also made it easy to pinpoint exactly where there were any potential issues.

An animated view of where the sun shades the building and where shadows fall was also beneficial, highlighting the lighting requirements needed when the adjacent nine-storey building blocked the sun.

IESVE modelling helped us design a smarter building for Heartland Housing that maximises performance and efficiency. One huge advantage was being able to have the load calculations and energy modelling in one centralised programme. Another feature that made things easier was the open-source mapping, enabling us to bring in surrounding buildings easily.

The IES tech support team was phenomenal, always happy to answer any queries.

Tom King, Lead Project Manager, IBC Engineering Services, Inc.