You can use autocad, SketchUp, etc. to create the building section of the design and or use a third party software such DesignBuilder, as well. Most of these can run and export IDF. OpenStudio can do both inport and export of completed IDF file.
If you have never used or learned to use EPlus before, you can never create an IDF file.
I have been using EPlus for five years, and have never created one IDF completely by myself. I let my students to do the hard work.
I use copy, cut and paste most of the time, from different example files. I modify the part of the IDF which is different from my requirement, such as an building envelope, from a example IDF.
I can generate a complete building section using the IDFeditor, and then
insert it into the example IDF. At this point, the IDF can also be edited with any text editor, Wordpad, Excel, OpenOffice, etc.
After the first simulation, I can then modify the IDF systematically to reach my system, plant and building design objective.
As you know, computer software debugging skill is an art and not a science. The more mistake you make, the better you are at it. That is why I am on this forum looking for other people's error messages to solve as a hobby.
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 08:49:20 -0700
Subject: [EnergyPlus_Support] importing/exporting I/O files
Can the input files for EnergyPlus be created using some other GUI and sent over to EnergyPlus for simulation and the output files generated by EnergyPlus be sent over to other software tool for analyzing the results.