[BLDG-SIM] Interfaces for Energyplus

Drury.Crawley at EE.DOE.GOV Drury.Crawley at EE.DOE.GOV
Tue Feb 10 13:24:44 PST 2004

This information should be up on the EnergyPlus
web site soon (where we'll keep it up to date as
new tools are released):

EnergyPlus Interfaces and Utilities

A number of utilities and tools for creating, editing, and running input
files come with EnergyPlus, including IDF Editor, EP-Launch, and IFCtoIDF.
Third party tools for creating, editing, and displaying EnergyPlus input
files are also available, including DrawBDL, EzDrawPlus, TSe+, EzPlus-Parm,
A number of graphic user interfaces are also under development including
DesignBuilder and EcoTect.

EnergyPlus Utilities

EnergyPlus comes with a number of utilities to help create input files and
run simulations, including IDF Editor, EP-Launch, and IFCtoIDF.

EP-Launch provides a simpler alternative for running EnergyPlus than batch
files.  EP-Launch allows the user to select the input file directly or from
a list of recent or sample files.  It also allows easy selection for
weather data files.  After the EnergyPlus run completes, EP-Launch reports
if any errors or warnings occurred.  In addition, EP-Launch acts as a file
manager for each run and can help open a text editor for any of the input
and output files, opens spreadsheet for several results files, and starts
up a viewer for the building drawing file.

IDF Editor
For users who want a simple way of creating or editing EnergyPlus input
data files (IDF), IDF Editor provides this service.  Any EnergyPlus object
may be viewed and edited using a spreadsheet-like grid.  For inputs with
several options, a list is provided.  When a numeric input has a range of
valid values, those values are displayed.  It also automatically provides a
list of object names when an object needs to be linked to another.  By
displaying all objects of the same kind next to each other in a grid, it is
easy to see how inputs are different across the building.  The IDF Editor
outputs an EnergyPlus input file with proper syntax and comments to help
the user understand the input values.  In addition, the IDF Editor converts
standard inch-pound units into SI units compatible with EnergyPlus.

Getting Building Geometry from CAD: IFCtoIDF
A utility for importing building geometry from commercial CAD tools into
EnergyPlus is bundled with the EnergyPlus package.  This utility is based
on the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model standard from the
International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI).  More information on
this utility can be found at (link here to existing IFCtoIDF page).  For
more information on the status and availability of IFC-compliant software
tools visit the IAI Implementation Support Group website and look under
International Overview of IFC-Implementation Activities.

Third-party EnergyPlus Tools

These tools are developed and provided through third-party vendors.
Contact the vendors for pricing and availability.

DrawBDL (www.drawbdl.com)
DrawBDL allows users to visually review the building geometry in EnergyPlus
and DOE-2 input files.  DrawBDL can export the DOE-2 surface data in
EnergyPlus IDF format?useful for those users who wish to convert their
DOE-2 input files into EnergyPlus input files.

DrawEzPlus and EzPlus-Parm (www.deringergroup.com/Software/EPlusTools.htm)
DrawEzPlus is a 3-D geometry rendering tool that displays the geometry
imbedded in an EnergyPlus file. Users can toggle between line and surface
(fill) presentation modes, and can select to draw any mix of key building
objects -- floor, walls, roof, windows, and attached and detached shading.
EzPlus-Parm simplifies running multiple parametric EnergyPlus simulations.
EzPlus-Parm helps a user to organize and edit all needed files.  Their
EcoAdvisor product also uses EnergyPlus to perform web-based building
energy simulations.

TSe+ (www.tse-inc.net/tseplus)
The first of a suite of tools to manage data for EnergyPlus is now
available free of charge from Taylor Systems Engineering.  TSe+Mat provides
an interface to the materials datasets that come bundled with EnergyPlus
and allows the user to add them to a personal database to maintain and
modify for later use.  Future tools under development include TSe+MatGlz
(for materials and glazings) and TSe+Con (for constructions).

EnergyPlus Interfaces

The first EnergyPlus user interfaces are under development.  One is
currently available in beta version while the second one produces an
EnergyPlus IDF file.

DesignBuilder ( www.designbuilder.co.uk )
Provides a range of environmental performance data such as: annual energy
consumption, maximum summertime temperatures and heating and cooling loads
as well as detailed feedback on temperatures and heat flows in the
building.  Featuring easy-to-use sketch screen, hierarchical defaults,
facades, customisable templates and data detail, DesignBuilder can be used
effectively at any stage of the design or evaluation process.
DesignBuilder provides an interface to the latest EnergyPlus version for
envelope, solar, ventilation and daylighting capabilities as well as
heating and cooling load modelling.  Users can export models created in
DesignBuilder as EnergyPlus input files. The software comes with summer and
winter design data for 1439 locations around the world and access to more
than 500 hourly simulation weather files. A fully functional beta version
has been available since April 2003.

Ecotect (www.squ1.com)
Ecotect from Square One couples an intuitive 3D design interface with a
comprehensive set of performance analysis functions (visualization, solar
and daylighting analysis, shadows and shading, lighting design, thermal
performance, UK building regulations, ventilation, and acoustic analysis)
with interactive information displays.  It also can export an EnergyPlus
IDF file.

Several other tools are under development?we will provide information as it
becomes available.

                      "Joseph Heineck"                                                                     
                      <joeheineck at msn.c        To:       BLDG-SIM at GARD.COM                                 
                      om>                      cc:                                                         
                      Sent by:                 Subject:  [BLDG-SIM] Interfaces for Energyplus              
                      postman at gard.com                                                                     
                      02/03/2004 01:47                                                                     
                      Please respond to                                                                    

----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Heineck
To: bldg-sim at gard.com
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 2:32 PM
Subject: Interfaces for Energyplus

Hello, all,

New here.  Who are currently offering user-friendly interfaces for
Energyplus v1.1.1?

Joe Heineck
Heineck Associates, Everett, WA

Joeheineck at msn.com

You received this e-mail because you are subscribed 
to the BLDG-SIM at GARD.COM mailing list.  To unsubscribe 
from this mailing list send a blank message to 

More information about the Bldg-sim mailing list