EnergyPlus for SketchUp

If you liked Demeter, then you’ll like this one. The Department of Energy has just released a plugin for SketchUp (works with both the free and full version) that allows for an EnergyPlus analysis to be run on a SketchUp building model from within the familiar SketchUp interface. The geometry of a building can be modeled (and modified) easily this way and several parameters can be set for the run.

While this appears to be a very promising tool, some of the limitations are mentioned upfront by the developers:

The plugin is not a full-featured interface for EnergyPlus. It will not help you create non-geometry EnergyPlus objects, such as materials, constructions, schedules, internal heat gains, HVAC equipment and systems, etc.In order to effectively use EnergyPlus with the plugin you will still have to be something of an expert in building simulation and must be willing to get your hands dirty working with the low-level EnergyPlus syntax of the text input file.Or, alternatively, you could use the plugin in conjunction with another third-party interface to make the job easier.

Some of those third party tools are mentioned on the DOE website. Also, remember that if you created a building model in SketchUp and exported it to Green Building Studio using Demeter, then you can download it as an input file for EnergyPlus.


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