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SOFTWARE | VERIFICATION TAKING THE RISK OUT OF CALCULATION CIBSE has launched a Software Verification Assessment service that verifies design software is carrying out design calculations accurately. CIBSEs Carl Collins explains how it works with the first software to be verified M&E services in a Stabicad model including standard CIBSE Symbols 1 its guides and other knowledge products it can test a series of calculations in any given software package against these principles and processes. Any software that has passed one of its tests can display the SVA logo (see left), which tells users it has been tested rigorously and can be trusted. The aim is that organisations will use the SVA to save time and money by not having to test the software themselves. Deciding what to test first turned out to be an easy decision. The CIBSE SVA team focused on what members do most frequently ductwork and pipework were the obvious candidates, with domestic water close behind. To test a software calculation, the SVA team first has to run the CIBSE-recommended calculation long hand. To do this, a simple spreadsheet is used to replicate the contents of Guide C for ductwork and pipework such as pressure loss in a straight duct. Having established the baseline calculation, a CIBSE engineer and technician skilled in the use of the software replicates the calculations in the test set. After successful completion of the tests, the software vendor is issued a CIBSE SVA certificate, the SVA logo and the test results. First results O ver the course of their careers, building services engineers will have to get to grips with new software packages that will enable them to perform everyday tasks more quickly and efficiently. But how do they know the software is actually doing the sums as we would expect? Most organisations run tests on the software and compare them with other calculations that they know to be trustworthy. This may be a familiar spreadsheet that has been used for years, an old piece of software or even a handheld calculator. Every organisation will have an equivalent validation system and this will be on top of the checks carried out by software providers as part of the software development process they need to be sure that their product is the best it can be, as mistakes can ruin reputations. To avoid wasting time and resources, CIBSE has launched an independent Software Verification Assessment (SVA) that will save companies having to carry out their own series of test calculations. What CIBSE is not doing is providing testing for the whole software platform; that would take too long and be overly complex it would be difficult to demonstrate what works and what does not. So, instead, CIBSE is setting out a series of tests on specific calculation sets, such as ductwork and pipework calculations. As CIBSE is the provider of accepted calculation practices through The first software vendor to request testing for SVA verification was Trimble, for its Stabicad platform for Revit. Exyte Hargreaves was selected to perform the analysis. Trimble wanted to prove the accuracy of Stabicad calculations in mechanical, electrical and public health services design. With CIBSE, it developed computer-aided calculation tests to reflect the processes that are important to an engineer. Trimble worked with rival design software providers as part of CIBSEs Digital Engineering Steering Group. They were aware that SVA verification would carry more weight if all parties were assessed in the same, rigorous way. As a result of SVA, Stabicads ventilation and heating and cooling water systems calculations are As CIBSE is the provider of accepted calculation practices, it can test calculations in any given software package 26 May 2021 www.cibsejournal.com CIBSE May 21 pp26-27 SVA.indd 26 23/04/2021 15:58