Resource efficient design, technically informed staff and innovation are key company values for Broadway Malyan. Established in 1958, Broadway Malyan is a leading international practice of architects, urbanists and designers with offices throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Kevin Leahy, main board Director of Broadway Malyan UAE stated, "Broadway Malyan is passionate about making sustainability fundamental throughout the design process and believes that the IES/SketchUp interface demonstrates an innovative way to adopt and embed new approaches and methods of working as part of a joined up, integrated team effort.”
Since its launch in August 2008, Broadway Malyan has been piloting the use of the IES VE SketchUp plug-in on key projects from the London and UAE offices, including single dwellings, large masterplanning, streetscaping and mixed use developments. “In many ways the interface was what we had been waiting and looking for,” commented Stephen Choi, head of the Sustainability unit at Broadway Malyan. “We had tried many of the currently available interfaces between CAD design and energy/performance analysis tools, but none had offered the tightness and truly iterative capabilities we were looking for.”
“The best part of SketchUp is the iterative, very tactile and malleable modelling capabilities; the best part of IES is the variety and depth of analysis capabilities. Combined, you get the best of both worlds – the capability to undertake faster more effective energy and performance analysis in an integrated and iterative manner that works truly as part of the design process,” continued Ian Walker, head of Environmental Engineering, Broadway Malyan.
Throughout the pilot both Choi and Walker found it relatively easy to adjust to the drawing conventions required within SketchUp to ensure the smooth transition of the model into IES analysis. “Critically, you do not need to fundamentally change the way you design in SketchUp, you just need to add a few conventions on top,” commented Walker. “Consequently, we are confident that the combined use of SketchUp and IES will become so useful within Broadway Malyan that it will be indispensable.”
Broadway Malyan found that the IES SketchUp integration has greatly sped up the process of undertaking quantitative environmental analysis at the very initial masterplanning and massing stages. Factors such as how mass, orientation, shape, streetscapes and shading devices affect key environmental targets can be assessed. “For example, on a recent masterplanning project I was able to sit with the client and go back and forth on iterations with environmental feedback at each stage within 1 ½ hours. In the past it would have taken us 2 to 3 days to re-model the building before we could give any performance analysis feedback. The opportunity would have been missed,” said Choi. “The level of collaboration we achieved was only possible because of the speed analysis could be undertaken at.” “On another refurbishment project we needed to create an energy model of the existing building to use as a base case, but we only had PDF plans of the building. As it is so quick and easy to model in SketchUp we were able to create a 3D model of the building within 10 minutes and import it to IES using the plug-in in order to run the energy analysis,” continued Choi.
“As simple as it sounds this ability to quickly undertake environmental analysis helps us ensure that any sustainable solution ideas are not dropped as the design progresses and that the design is kept on track energy and performance wise. It enables us to look at how energy use, carbon emission, solar and daylight are affected at key design iterations right from the very initial stages and then at increasing levels of detail as the architectural design progresses.” stated Walker. “The only successful way to approach sustainable design is through integration across the entire design process.”
“The integration has proven to be not only a useful tool for carrying out the necessary assessments and making designs better, but it has also promoted the key value that good design is sustainable design, and nothing more complicated than that simple sentence,” said Stephen Choi.
This case study was created in collaboration with Integrated Environmental Solutions, the creators of the IES VE SketchUp plugin.