Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) has partnered with Google SketchUp, the 3D modelling tool, around sustainable low-energy building design.
The two companies have been partners for some time, but by solidifying the existing relationship they hope to encourage wide-spread, low-energy sustainable building design and provide the tools needed.
IES already has a plug-in that links its VE building performance analysis and simulation software to the SketchUp platform, a widely used 3D tool for early stage building design. As part of the partnership, a discount on SketchUp Pro licences is being offered to all IES VE users, including users of the free IES VE-Ware energy and carbon calculation tool.
The integration between SketchUp and IES is seen as addressing the need for performance analysis across a range of areas such as energy, carbon, water, climate impact, solar and daylight at very early design stages in order to achieve low-energy sustainable building design.
Ian Walker head of Environmental Engineering at Architects’ Broadway Malyan is quoted as saying: “Potentially, I think that this development could be as significant for the building design industry as the introduction of AutoCAD in the late 80’s – it might just be the catalyst to joining up environmental thinking between the architect and engineer. The only successful way to approach sustainable design is through integration across the entire design process.”
I’m not an expert on building design software, but if this collaboration did produce something as influential as AutoCAD then it has the potential to change the face of the industry.
What appeals to me, though, is the coming together of the two companies. Both have a lot to offer but can be much more effective if they join forces. One of my long-standing appeals to the green ICT sector is for companies not to try and do things on their own. Environmental issues are broad and complex and no company can (or should) try and be all things to all people. In any case, in such a fast moving sector partnerships are the only real way to keep up with the market dynamics.