Previous versions

Below is a list of the most important news in previous versions of IDA ICE.

Highlights in 4.7

leaf Daylight1

Advanced daylight calculation by interfacing the Radiance™ lighting simulation tool. Easy calculation setup, execution and results visualization, all inside IDA ICE.  Calculation of daylight factor and illuminance on selected zones or user defined measuring planes placed inside or outside of the building. Selection of sky models including CIE standard sky models and Perez climate based sky model. Results presentation with average, minimum, maximum and uniformity ratio and color coded field visualization including possibility to show percentage of area above or below a threshold value.

daylight 1200

leaf Parallelization2

IDA ICE now takes advantage of the fact that almost all new computers are equipped with multiple processor cores and are able to run several processes in parallel:

  • The simulation can be split into several shorter time segments which are simulated in parallel.

  • All cases that are presently open in the session can be simulated in parallel on several processes. This is a simple and efficient way to run a batch of cases.

  • Different versions are simulated in parallel on several processes (using the version handling system).

  • The RadianceTM daylight calculation of different zones, measuring planes and time points are distributed on several processes and run in parallel.

  • Start additional IDA ICE sessions from the file menu. In this way you can work on several sessions in parallel, both during modeling and during simulation.

leaf Windows and shading devices

New features for windows and shading devices:

  • Six different types of typical shading devices can easily be selected for the detailed window model. Access to manufacturer data for different shading materials has been enabled. The shading devices are visualized in the 3D view and their movement can be animated.

  • For both simplified and detailed windows, drop arm and markisolette external shading devices can easily be defined without drawing. These shading devices are visualized in the 3D view and their movement can be animated.

  • It is now possible to create custom control macros for external shading devices², and the default location of the light sensor is now on the outer side of a window.

4.7 windows and shadings 800

leaf Climate data

New features for climate data:

  • New design-day data from the ASHRAE Fundamentals 2013 database for 6443 locations across the world is now available. This data contains hot (and cold) extreme days for every month of the year, allowing you to compute cooling loads also for ‘unusual’ months.

  • New hourly weather data from the IWEC2 data set for 3012 worldwide locations (many of them matching the design-day data).

  • The climate data is automatically adjusted to compensate any longitudinal difference between the building and the weather station.

  • Easy download of missing climate data.

leaf New cooling load calculation

A new cooling load calculation algorithm with automatic detection of “the worst day of the year” has been implemented, using monthly extreme weather data from the ASHRAE Fundamentals 2013 database. For modern buildings with low transmission losses, room cooling loads may peak in February or March, not during the summer as could be expected. The new method will detect this automatically. It will also automatically save peak design days for each zone and air handling unit as well as for the primary cooling system. 

leaf Results

Results of multiple simulations are now saved with the project file, and the Results tab has been replaced with two new tabs; Summary and Details. The Summary tab includes summary tables for the zones, air handling units and the building. For cooling load calculations, a summary of individual peak cases is presented. The Details tab features new ways of presenting multiple diagrams together, and it uses snapping crosshairs for easy reading.

4.7 results summary 1

4.7 results details1

leaf Simulate selected zones

Selected zones can automatically be cloned to a new model. This makes it quick and easy to study the behavior of these zones, without having to run the whole original building.

leaf IDA ICE Portal

A portal is now shown at startup, featuring IDA ICE related news, information about upcoming events, links to video tutorials and the latest forum posts. It also includes contact information and a license summary.

4.7 portal

leaf Improved IFC import3

It is now possible to map IFC space types to zone templates, and to convert all IFC spaces to zones in one click.

Import of IFC files, validated with the IDA ICE add-on for simplebim, has been improved:

  • For curtain walls, transparent panels are imported as windows and non-transparent panels are imported as walls.
  • The building body can now be defined by a separate space object in the IFC file.

leaf Merge zones (beta)

Zones can now easily be merged together into larger zones. This feature enables you to change the zoning of the building without having to redraw the zones. It is also a simple way to create complicated zone geometries.

leaf New ESBO version

A redesigned version of ESBO (Early Stage Building Optimization) is released, including:

  • Manufacturer data for room units and solar protection devices are now available directly in ESBO as well as in IDA ICE.

  • Possibility to remove the hot and cold tanks. The default model is now size-free and without tanks.

leaf VELUX EIC Visualizer Professional

The professional version of VELUX Energy and Indoor Climate (EIC) Visualizer is now included. The VELUX EIC Visualizer focuses on windows and solar shading and is used to evaluate the performance of single-family houses with respect to energy, ventilation and indoor climate. Read more >

leaf More features in the Standard edition

Features previously only found in the Expert edition, or in the extensions Enhanced Windows Models4, and Slab Cooling and Heatings, are now included directly in the Standard edition:

  • Openable windows and exterior doors.

  • Natural ventilation controlled by schedules (arbitrary control function block diagrams with the Expert edition).

  • Simulate ventilated double skin facades and other complex glass facades.

  • Detailed pane-by-pane window model according to ISO 15099 is included, allowing for more realistic and detailed simulation of windows. Properties for each layer (panes, cavities and shades) can be defined, making it possible to construct arbitrary window configurations. An extensive database is included.

  • Handle embedded heating and cooling systems (TABS) – both water based and electrical. 

  • Combined heating and cooling panels. 

leaf Debugging of advanced level systems2

When the advanced level is visible during simulation the slowest converging component is shown in red each time step. With this feature, problematic component models are more easily detected.

4.7 debugging advanced level

leaf Fan-coil model

A new dedicated fan-coil model is available that has more appropriate parameters and that is numerically more efficient. By setting the fan-power to zero, this model can also be used as an “ideal unit” that connects to the hydronic system.

leaf Compressed binary file format

The default option is now to save the entire IDA ICE project in one single binary file. This makes it easier to copy IDA ICE projects and to incorporate them in file handling systems.

leaf Autosave

Your IDA ICE project is now automatically saved every 10 minutes, and before and after each simulation.

leaf Control macros2

New features for control macros:

  • Ideal coolers and heaters can now be controlled by custom control macros.

  • In custom control macros, the access to parameters of a controlled device is made easier. No script is required.

leaf Exhaust air heat pump

Exhaust air heat pump is now available at the standard level of IDA ICE. It is quick and easy to set up a heat pump with liquid-coupled exhaust air heat recovery and storage tank. Sizing of flow rate and heat pump is supported.

leaf Split5 and merge zones (beta)

Zones can now easily be split into smaller zones or merged together into larger zones. These features enables you to change the zoning of the building without having to redraw the zones. It is also a simple way to create complicated zone geometries.

leaf New liquid circuit between AHU and Plant

A new custom liquid circuit between the air handling unit and the plant simplifies the generation of arbitrarily system models.

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 Highlights in 4.6


leaf New help center

The help system has been improved. Apart from an updated user guide, context sensitive help and process guides with tutorial movies, a completely new knowledge database/user forum has been added, which gives a new level of support to all types of users. A new Download & Info Center has been created with change logs, known bugs, validation reports, certificates and additional documentation.


4.6 help center



leaf New climate file download center and file formats

A new download center makes it easy to select the weather files that you need. More than 3000 worldwide ASHRAE IWEC2 weather files are now available.


4.6 climate download



leaf Diagram functions

New features in the visualization kit:

  • Carpet plots (color-coded variables) support pattern recognition.

  • Show a diagram with the same variables from all or selected zones.

  • More options for the duration diagram; display time over or under a certain limit.


4.6 diagram functions 1200



leaf Glazing and shading from detailed window

Design glazing and shading properties in the detailed window model, calculate and save the key parameters, and they are available in the simple window model.


4.6 glazing and shading from detailed window



leaf More options at the standard level

  • A new option allows the replacement of a schedule with the output signal of a control system. For example, an occupancy schedule could be given in terms of a measured signal from an occupancy sensor.

  • It is now possible to create a schema view of the ESBO plant at the standard level. The ESBO plant can then be edited in detail.

  • Select which circuit you want the local AHU to be supplied from.

  • Air flows may be given for leaks. 


4.6 more options standard level



leaf Geometry

  • Additional shading objects, such as fixed shade and fixed fins, can be inserted onto facades in the 3D view.

  • It is now easier to add multiple features, such as windows and openings, on the floor plan by repeated clicking.

  • View and edit the sill height of windows in the overview table.

  • Change the position of IFC models, for instance to another height coordinate.

  • It is now possible to import .skp files also from SketchUp 2013.


4.6 geometry



leaf IDA ICE Viewer

A free viewer makes it possible to open simulated project files, look at results and run 3D animations. Project files can be exported from IDA ICE to a protected format which is only possible to open in IDA ICE Viewer.



leaf Shading calculation

External window shades, shading buildings and imported shading objects now include a transparency parameter so that semi-transparent shades can be defined.



leaf New 3D animation

It is now possible to log and animate window integrated shading.



leaf Improved 3D navigation

The navigation in the 3D view is now easier than ever with mouse wheel zooming and a function to zoom in on selected objects.

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Hightlights in 4.5


 leafEarly Stage Building Optimization (ESBO)

ESBO is a new IDA ICE wizard that simplifies early stage building optimization. It allows you to experiment with variations in both building and systems with an absolute minimum of user input.


4.5 esbo



leaf Renewable energy systems

New models for heat pumps, solar collectors, stratified storage tanks, boreholes, CHP, wind turbines, PV and other free energy sources make it easy to simulate innovative systems.


4.5 new hvac system



leaf Complex zones and buildings

It is now possible to use arbitrary geometries for both zones and building bodies, including models with holes. The geometries are imported from SketchUp or other geometry tools. Objects may be moved in the 3D view.


4.5 complex zones



leaf New 3D look

A completely new 3D look, similar to SketchUp. Other improvements include shadows falling on the ground and the possibility to toggle zone wall thickness, x-ray view of external shades, imported objects and IFC models.


4.5 new 3d look



leaf New 3D animations

A new type of arrow animations in 3D has been added, visualizing ventilation air flows, window energy balance and wind velocity vector. Selected variables can be displayed in a table in the 3D view during animations.


4.5 new 3d animations



leaf Façade windows and shading objects

Windows, openings and shading objects can now, directly from the 3D view, be inserted into a building body, which speeds up the workflow significantly. A new grid object enables efficient management of large groups of repeated objects such as windows.


4.5 facade objects 1200



leaf Improved zone form

A new improved zone form with 3D view and summary tables has been developed. The new summary tables make it easy to view and edit all important zone level input data.


4.5 improved zone form



leaf New custom controls

It is now possible at the standard level to customize your own controllers for all devices such as room units, blinds and lights. Supervisory controllers may also be defined at both the zone and building levels.



leaf Multiple area definitions

Support for different types of floor area metrics. It's also possible to set the zone or building floor area explicitly to match exotic area calculation standards.



leaf Improved zone loads

More flexible handling of zone loads. Support for multiple light objects. Domestic hot water may be specified as a function of time and on the zone level. Equipment can now emit water mist and an equipment utilization factor has been added.  



leaf Thermal bridges

New thermal bridge elements have been added. The new elements support inner corners and inner walls meeting external slabs.



leaf Lots more…

Discrete-time (sampled) controllers; new input data report; externally updated resources – to manage group, project or company libraries, etc., etc. 

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Highlights in 4.2


leaf Process Guide

The Process Guide helps to get started in new projects. Here the basic steps for constructing a model are listed, with direct links to the place in the user interface, to instructive movies and to help texts.



leaf Expandable forms

Forms now expand automatically when resizing the application window. This will radically improve the use of screen real estate for users with big screens, especially regarding the appreciated input data tables.



leaf Added tables

New input data tables added for setpoints, room units, energy meters and HVAC systems in the General tab. A new system for adding even more tables in the future has been developed.



leaf 3D visualization of surface data

For the Surfaces input data table, the columns Type, Construction and U-value are now shown in the 3D view, also separately for every subsurface. This makes it much easier to visually verify that constructions have been defined as intended.



leaf Energy meters button added

A button to show usage of energy meters has been added, making it much quicker than before to find how meters have been used.



leaf New zone sensor

A new zone sensor object for reading a zone's variables in AHU and Plant simplifies cycling of AHUs.



leaf Hierarchical structure

The windows in the Window menu are shown in hierarchical structure. This makes it much easier to locate windows that have been covered on the screen, especially when several models are open.



leaf Drag-and-drop of variables

Support for dragging (drag-and-drop) additional variables into cross-dependency (scatter) plots. This makes it easy to generate for example a plot of hourly energy use as a function of outdoor temperature.



leaf Batch mode enhancements

It is now possible to run heating/cooling design and energy calculations in batch mode, as well to run scrips (without popup dialogs).



leaf User defined lighting control

It is now possible to define your own control strategy for lighting.

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Highlights in 4.1 


leaf Undo and Redo

Unlimited undo/redo has been added.



leaf Support for SketchUp format

It is now possible to import shading objects using SketchUp models (.skp).



leaf Enhanced IFC import

Improvements to the IFC import has been done, especially when positioning doors and windows in walls, improved external corners and support for multilevel spaces.



leaf Enhanced diagrams

It is now possible to sort variables, to have multiple stacks and to draw values in stack bar diagrams. Tooltips and context menu works now with area diagrams and with bar chart diagrams. More options have been added for the axes.



leaf Visualization of twist and tilt

It is now poissible to visualize the horizontal twisting and vertical tilting of window surfaces.



leaf Listing of shading layers

The shading layer of detailed windows are shown in the list of windows.



leaf Infiltration units

New alternative for infiltration units has been added: m3/(h.m3 ext. surf.)



leaf Colorized code

NMF and Modelica source code is now colorize, which makes it easier to read.



leaf Reset zones

Zones can be resetted to the current template.



leaf Refresh 3D view

It is now possible to rebuild the building in the 3D view.



leaf Memory limit added

It is now possible to manually set the memory limit utilized by IDA ICE.

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Highlights in 4.0


leaf 3D environment

The new real-time 3D environment makes it possible to illustrate input and output parameters and to get animated results, including solar and shading graphics. It also adds an overview during all steps of a project and provides impressive presentation graphics. You can quickly edit properties by simply clicking, e.g. a wall or a window in the 3D-model.



leaf Overview tables

New overview tables allow the user to get a complete overview of individual parameters of complex models. You can view and edit all important input data in tables and see, e.g., useful totals for floor areas, u-values, external wall areas, etc. These tables can also be transferred to and from Excel. Most parameters can be visualized in the 3D environment.



leaf 3D BIM import2

Support for import of 3D models in IFC (Industry Foundation Classes).



leaf Cooling, heating and energy

A simple procedure for calculating and reporting cooling, heating, air demand and energy has been added.



leaf Version Handling System2

The Version Handling System allows you to keep track of changes between model versions and also to automatically rerun all cases that depend on a change. It can be used to retain manual advanced level operations when a change has been made at the standard level.



leaf Improved support for Air Handling Units and Local Units

A range of new pre-defined AHUs have been added, e.g. for night cooling and simultaneous feedback control of zone temperature and humidity. Zones may be served by multiple AHUs and custom built local units, e.g. fan-coils, local ACs and heat pumps.



leaf Complex geometry

Support for more complex building and roof geometries. A separate Roof Editor makes it easy to define and modify roof constructions.



leaf Demand-controlled ventilation

Improved demand-controlled ventilation strategy where a combination of carbon dioxide concentration and temperature can be used.



 leaf Custom control systems2

For VAV-systems, window shading and openable windows it is now easy to make custom-made control systems at the standard level. An extensive library of control function blocks is included.



leaf Solar beams

An advanced algorithm for how solar beams are hitting and penetrating the building has been added. It also takes into account whether the beams passes several layers of internal windows.



leaf New window model2

A new pane-by-pane window model according to ISO 15099 has been added. Available in the Enhanced Window Models extension.



leaf Model searching and differencing2

Easy to search models and to list differences between models. Differences can also be captured as editable scripts, the application of which will convert one model to the other.



leaf Diagrams and reports

Improved diagrams and reports. Supports larger plot-files. Signals can be dragged between diagrams for comparison. Reports are based on HTML with tables that will remain tables when moved to Excel.



leaf Modelica language

Support for models written in the Modelica equation-based language.



leaf Climate files

Easy to download and install climate files to the database. EPW files can be directly downloaded and installed from any public site.


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Included in the Expert edition and available as extension (Daylight ) to the Standard edition.

Included in the Expert edition.

Included in the Expert edition and available as extension (BIM Import ) to the Standard edition.

4 It will not be possible to create internal openings and large horizontal openings in Standard edition. For this the Expert edition is required. 

5 Available from IDA ICE 4.7.1

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