Product overview

OpenStudio includes a Sketchup Plug-in and other associated applications:

  • The Sketchup Plug-in allows users to create 3D geometry needed for EnergyPlus using the existing drawing tools.
  • RunManager manages simulations and workflows and gives users access to the output files through a graphical interface.
  • ResultsViewer enables browsing, plotting, and comparing EnergyPlus output data, especially time series.
  • The OpenStudio Sketchup Plug-in allows users to use the standard SketchUp tools to create and edit EnergyPlus zones and surfaces. It allows SketchUp to view EnergyPlus input files in 3D. The plug-in allows users to mix EnergyPlus simulation content with decorative content.
  • The plug-in adds the building energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus to the SketchUp environment. Users can launch an EnergyPlus simulation of the model and view the results without leaving SketchUp.

The Plug-in allows engineers to:

  • Create and edit EnergyPlus zones and surfaces
  • Launch EnergyPlus and view the results without leaving SketchUp
  • Match interzone surface boundary conditions
  • Search for surfaces and subsurfaces by object name
  • Add internal gains and simple outdoor air for load calculations
  • Add the ideal HVAC system for load calculations
  • Set and change default constructions
  • Add daylighting controls and illuminance map

OpenStudio was first released in April 2008 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy. NREL reports an average of 700 OpenStudio downloads per month. Google’s strategist for SketchUp, remarked that “OpenStudio is lauded around our office as one of the most complicated plug-ins ever written for SketchUp”.

OpenStudio® is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance. OpenStudio is an open source (LGPL) project to facilitate community development, extension, and private sector adoption. OpenStudio includes graphical interfaces along with a Software Development Kit (SDK).

The graphical applications include the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in, OpenStudio Application, ResultsViewer and the Parametric Analysis Tool. The OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in is an extension to Trimble’s popular SketchUp 3D modeling tool that allows users to quickly create geometry needed for EnergyPlus. Additionally, OpenStudio supports import of gbXML and IFC for geometry creation. The OpenStudio Application is a fully featured graphical interface to OpenStudio models including envelope, loads, schedules, and HVAC. ResultsViewer enables browsing, plotting, and comparing simulation output data, especially time series. The Parametric Analysis Tool enables studying the impact of applying multiple combinations of OpenStudio Measures to a base model as well as export of the analysis results for EDAPT submission.

In addition to the graphical interface, OpenStudio allows building researchers and software developers to quickly get started through its multiple entry levels, including access through C++, Ruby, and C#. Users can leverage the Ruby interface to create OpenStudio Measures that can be easily shared and applied to OpenStudio Models.