2020 BPACS: Very different, but still very good

2020 BPACS : Very different, but still very good

Earlier this month we participated in this year’s online version of the IBPSA/ ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference/ Simbuild, or BPACS for short.  Sincere thanks to the organizers and volunteers, and to ASHRAE and IBPSA for being able to make a quick pivot from an in-person event to an online one.  

This year, the majority of the presentations were not held live, but were prerecorded.  There were live Q&A portions scheduled at the end of each section which provided a degree of interactivity between the presenters and attendees.  While this arrangement took some adjustment, the prerecorded sessions allowed for more comprehensive review and timeshifting – something welcomed for those having to juggle responsibilities while working.  Content-wise, the conference upheld its reputation for insightful research and a vibrant, engaged community of industry leaders.  It will be interesting to see how future in-person conferences are structured, and how the in-person and virtual approaches may be hybridized.
EDSL were honored to present our research on multiobjective optimization with our friends at ESTECO.  Our proof-of-concept demonstrated a workflow between Tas and ModeFrontier to optimize thermal efficiency and occupant comfort by adjusting building orientation and natural ventilation options.  We will be expanding our studies and sharing the results soon – keep an eye on our website for updates.
Finally, congratulations to this year’s award recipients – Alstan Jakubiec, Nathaniel Jones, Timothy McDowell, Lisa Ng, Tarek Rakha, and Michael Wetter, and Baumann Consulting.  And thanks to the LowDown Showdown participants for developing thought-provoking projects.

ASHRAE BPAC & SimBuild 2020 – Looking Ahead

ASHRAE BPAC & Simbuild 2020: Virtual Conference

EDSL and ESTECO to present at ASHRAE BPAC & SimBuild 2020

Be sure to watch our presentation on Thursday, Oct 1.  We will be the third presenter in Seminar 6, which begins at 11:30am ET.  If you haven’t registered for the conference, you can do so here
We are running a promotion during the conference, please get in touch to find out more, arrange a trial, or request a demonstration. 
As part of the upcoming Building Performnce Analysis Simbuild conference, we will be presenting some of our ongoing research on multiobjective optimization, conducted in collaboration with ESTECO.
ESTECO is a software company focused on tools for engineering disciplines.  We teamed them to leverage the power of their modeFrontier software, known for its multiobjective optimization capabilities.  While typically used in structural and other engineering disciplines, we wanted to demonstrate its usefulness in energy modeling.
Why consider multiobjective optimization?   For starters, design itself is about understanding tradeoffs and benefits of an array of solutions, and making decisions that are best suited to the particular combination of considerations at hand.  It is the balancing act of those benefits and tradeoffs that defines a successful project.
Our proof of concept research studied balancing thermal efficiency and occupant comfort of a classroom.  We defined the problem as follows:
thermal efficiency = minimizing the heating and cooling loads by maximizing natural ventilation
Rear of classroom: 1 row of windows with 3 possible states of openness
  • Open max (20% of window area due to safety restrictors)
  • Open mid (10% of window area due to safety restrictors)
  • Closed
Front of classroom:  3 rows of windows
  • Front top
  • Front mid
  • Front bottom 
Each row has the same 3 possible states of openness as described above.
Room orientation: 0-364 degrees rotation, in increments of 1 degree
While performing this type of study in Excel is possible, it is often prohibitively complex, time intensive, or both.  With 72 orientations and three choices of openness, there are nearly 6,000 combinations to evaluate.  If we included two different roof insulation options, the number of combinations would have increased to nearly 12,000.  Adding three glass options would have included about 50,000 combinations.  Clearly these considersations would be valuable to incoroprate, but would require a method other than spreadsheets to analyse the data and manage the results.
For thermal comfort, we limited the solution set to contain options whose PMV was between -1 and 1.  We also limited the total percentage of occupied hours that fell above the high temperature threshold of 25C/ 77F – a simplified version of overheating analysis.  
For the results of this research, please be sure to watch our presentation on Thursday, Oct 1.  Registration details are at the top of the page.
Our goal for this presentation was twofold.  First, to demonstrate the benefits of using multiobjective optimization to solve sustainability-related design problems quickly and efficiently.  Our second goal was to uncover potential, nonintuitive solutions that may have otherwise remained uninvestigated.  
Please reach out to us if you you would like to learn more about Tas, or if we can help you with a specific design challenge.

Responding to COVID-19 together

Responding to COVID-19 together

During these are unprecedented times we wanted to let you know what we are doing to respond to the outbreak.

To protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families, all EDSL staff are working remotely. However our support and consultancy services remain fully operational and contactable via email and phone.

As countries all over the world put restrictions in place and encourage people to use social distancing, many of our customers will also be working remotely. We have implemented the following policies to help you during these difficult times.


Remote Working and License Access

During these times of social distancing and remote working users may need additional flexibility. Should you need an alternative method for sharing a license or if you no longer have the same access to your license, please contact support@edsltas.com and we will be able to provide you with free temporary licenses.


New Roaming Network Licenses

We also have new roaming network licenses in Tas 9.5 which are ideal for remote working and sharing licenses between different locations.


Training and Education

As per current advice, all in person training is cancelled. To help with training new users in the mean time, we have made access to all of our e-training courses free. Please note that you will need to sign up to enrol on a course.



Our support staff are here to help as normal. Please get in touch via email for the quickest response at support@edsltas.com. Also visit our support page and FAQ sections for alternative assistance.


Student Access

As always, access to Tas is free for Acadmic and Research purposes. Get in touch with info to register for an academic license.


New Users/Trials

For new trial requests and additional licenses please visit Buy Online for options or contact support@edsltas.com.


By Phone

(212) 957-5415
9am - 5:30pm, Eastern Time

Our Address

1350 Avenue of the Americas, Fl 27
New York, NY 10019

New Release: Tas 9.5

EDSL Announce New Tas 9.5 Release!

64-bit Tas is finally here along with many productivity and automated task improvements.

Please find below a list of some of the new features:

64-bit application:

All Tas applications have been updated from 32-bit to 64-bit. Improvements to memory limitations allow for much bigger, more complex models.  Tas can now handle even more detailed daylight, thermal, and HVAC systems analysis.

Repetitive task automation:

  • Automated workflows to complete ASHRAE design day load sizing
  • Improved automation of ASHRAE 90.1 appendix G baselines (2007-2016)
  • Automation for LEED v2009 and v4 Minimum Energy Performance Calculator spreadsheet
  • Automated LEED daylight credit calculation v2009, v4, 4.1

Workflow/ interoperability

  • Create editable Tas 3D Modeller geometry from imported EnergyPlus and eQuest files. 
  • Run shading calculations from EnergyPlus data in Tas, utilizing our multi-core and peer-to-peer calculation options
  • Improvements to BIM-to-BEM and BEM-to-BEM interoperability for transdiciplinary teams/ workflows

User experience:

  • UI updates to modernise the look and feel, improve clarity/ legibility. 
  • Improve productivity further with fast simulation engine, 30 times faster than other industry tools
  • Improved navigation across tabular, graphical, and 3D data representations for easier exploration, troubleshooting, and QA/ QC

Expanded licensing:

New Network license option:
  • Easily share licenses between computers and offices
  • Lease licenses for guaranteed offline access or during travel
  • Flexible, short-term commitment monthly and cost effective annual subscriptions
  • Multi-seat:  Discounted license bundle for increased processing power 

To request a demo please contact us

Try Tas 9.5 today, new offers and licensing options available

2019 ASHRAE BPAC – Preconference Workshops

2019 ASHRAE BPAC - Preconference workshops

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference - Preconference Workshops

Effective simulation throughout the building life cycle with Tas (presented by EDSL)

On Tuesday morning, we held a pre-conference workshop with attendees from high performance building design teams, firm leaders, energy analysts, and other related backgrounds.  Michael Sawford and Robert Yori reviewed how Tas can be used throughout the ASHRAE 209 cycles.  This included a general introduction to Tas, BIM and BEM interoperability workflows, and whole building simulation using Tas Systems – our component based tool for simulating innovative and advanced plant room and air-side systems. 
The workshop included live simulations of projects, systems inspection using Tas Systems, and a case study of a post occupancy performance analysis. To wrap up, attendees stayed for lunch and were joined by our afternoon workshop participants for some networking and knowledge sharing.  

Crafting your story with building performance simulation data (sponsored by EDSL)

The afternoon workshop was well attended with some last minute sign-ups taking the total to 23. 4 attendees from our morning workshop also joined us for the afternoon which turned out to be a great workshop led by Alejandra Menchaca (Thornton Tomasetti), Kjell Anderson (LMN Architects) and Aman Singhvi (AECOM).

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference

EDSL were once again pleased to sponsor 2019’s ASHRAE BPAC event, which was held in Denver last month.   Many thanks to everyone who attended our workshops, stopped by our table, and took a few minutes to chat with us about Tas.  In comparison with last year’s ASHRAE/ IBPSA joint meeting, our conversations trended more toward Tas’ functionality and its capabilities, while last year we spent a lot of time introducing Tas to people.  It’s rewarding to see that Tas is increasingly recognized and being used in North America.

In addition to our outreach about Tas, EDSL was involved in a number of the program sessions throughout the week.  We proudly contributed to Amir Rezaei’s “Geometry Translation – the Good, the Bad, and The Ugly” session, offering our thoughts and experiences with BIM to BEM, what’s working, and what would be improved upon.  We were also given the opportunity to opine on the state of software and energy modeling in the Vendor Town Hall, where we touched on Tas’ robustness, speed, and accessibility.  
EDSL also continued our active participation through Project StaSIO’s third year and 2nd annual competition, helping to organize this year’s competition, manage the jury selection, and improve the website.  And we’re not finished yet – as a result of this year’s outstanding entries, we have some new ideas in store for next year’s competition.  So stay tuned!

BuildingEnergy NYC 2019

EDSL USA at BuildingEnergy NYC 2019

EDSL at NESEA’s BuildingEnergy NYC Conference + Trade Show in September, held in downtown Manhattan.
This was our second opportunity to be involved with NESEA, and we were glad to be involved once again in the community by sponsoring BuildingEnergy NYC.  Being in EDSL USA’s home city, it was the perfect opportunity to announce our Tas Workshops.  Throughout the week of October 21 we will be hosting a series of workshops that introduce Tas, including both general and deeper-dive sessions.

We hope that many of the BuildingEnergy NYC attendees will be able to join us along with other building performance analysts and educators in building science from in and around the New York area.  There are still some seats available, so register now if you’d like to join us.

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference & Project StaSIO

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference and Project StaSIO

After a tremendously successful first year of IBPSA-USA’s Project StaSIO, EDSL USA VP Michael Sawford is looking forward to expanding its reach and offering.  “Last September’s Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild was the perfect opportunity to introduce Project StaSIO to the world, and the competition provided a great way to kick start the resource for the BEM community.

This year promises some exciting advancements – new leaders have joined, enabling the committee to expand its range and potential impact. Thanks in large part to the DOE, who funded the initiative, we are redeveloping our online presence, and refreshing the website to create an engaging, valuable, easy-to-use resource for inspiration and research. 

2019 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference - Pre-conference Workshops

In addition to our involvement on the StaSIO committee, EDSL is supporting the initiative and its goals in several other ways. At ASHRAE BPAC 2019, we are sponsoring the pre-conference course Crafting your story with building performance simulation data, led by experts from Thornton Tomasetti and LMN Architects.  We will also be running a pre-conference course entitled Effective simulation throughout the building life cycle with Tas”.  Both worships will take place on Tuesday, September 24.  

You can learn more and register here, spaces are limited so please register early:


DOE BTO Peer Review 2019

US Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office BEM Peer Review 2019

Along with other industry leaders and stakeholders, EDSL’s Michael Sawford was invited as a reviewer for the DOE’s BTO BEM Peer Review. The review took place April 16th last month, where participants were asked to review and advise the current range of BTO projects with the goal of furthering research and the advancement of building simulation in the design, operations, and maintenance of buildings.

BTO's Request for Information

The Building Technologies Office has produced a request for information and provided all the necessary information on the EERE exchange website for the wider BEM community to get involved and participate. IBPSA-USA has also provided a useful survey for the community to get involved and respond to the RFI.
Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to BTO_BEM_RDO@ee.doe.gov no later than 5:00pm (ET) on June 3, 2019.
To participate follow the links below:
  • DOE Resources:
  • IBPSA-USA resources for participating:

Tas two-way link to EnergyPlus

See the About Tas page to learn more about how we are working on improved flexibility and interoperability with Tas and EnergyPlus/eQuest to support the BEM community:

SimAUD 2019

EDSL USA at SimAUD 2019

EDSL was at SimAUD 2019, the symposium on simulation for architecture and urban design.
This was EDSL’s first SimAUD event.
Working with professionals, researchers, and students in the fields of architecture, engineering, and sustainability sends a strong message about the power and effectiveness of transdisciplinary collaboration, analysis, and simulation.” said Michael Sawford, Vice President of EDSL USA.
Here are a few items we found of particular interest:
  • Interoperability remains a sticking point in transdisciplinary collaboration workflows.  One of EDSL’s objectives is to minimize barriers across tools and support informational continuity.  Each discipline can work with their best-suited applications while also being able to communicate upstream and downstream with their peers.  To this end, Tas software supports two-way interoperability with EnergyPlus -based tools, and the ability to import eQuest model data.  
  • Parametric optimization is always a popular topic at research conferences, and Tas currently supports LBNL’s GenOpt tool for multiobjective optimizations.   Thanks to the conference presentations and feedback, we are now researching additional optimization algorithms for enhanced flexibility.  
  • A number of presentations focused on reducing simulation times through model abstraction and reducing the number of simulations required.  Tas software can deliver results more quickly thanks to its own fast and robust simulation engine, allowing users to explore the same size design space more quickly, or a larger design space in the same amount of time.  Coupled with the strategies presented could lead to even quicker results.
EDSL Tas table 1
TasGenOpt – Parametric Multi-objective Optimisation analysis in Tas (below: 23 simulations in 7 minutes):

EDSL's Tas software at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech was an ideal venue for SimAUD, thanks in particular to their innovative school of architecture led by Scott Marble.  Dr Dennis Shelden, head of the Digital Building Lab, gave a thoughtful overview of simulation and technology’s trajectory through the past thirty years, and Dr Fried Augenbroe wowed us with an inspirational collection of his reflections about building simulation and its effectiveness.  
We are especially proud that EDSL’s Tas software is being taught in Dr Augenbroe’s High Performance Building Lab, and are working with the Lab on the Living Building Challenge certification for the new Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.