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Free software for energy-efficient building design

The US Department of Energy updates its energy-efficiency programs

EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program used to model energy and water use in buildings
EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program used to model energy and water use in buildings

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released updated versions of its EnergyPlus simulation software and OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp.

EnergyPlus models heating, cooling, lighting, and other building energy flows. OpenStudio Plug-in makes it possible to perform EnergyPlus simulations using Google’s user-friendly 3D drawing interface, modelling design elements and their impact on energy use. EnergyPlus and OpenStudio Plug-in work together to help in designing more energy-efficient buildings.

EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program used to model energy and water use in buildings.

Enhancements offered in the new version include:

  •  A25% to 40% percent reduction in execution time for most simulations;
  • Modelling of carbon dioxide concentrations in zone air;
  • Improved HVAC capabilities;
  • Enhanced modelling for refrigeration condensers and
  • New lifecycle cost calculations.

OpenStudio Plug-in automatically generates the input for an EnergyPlus object when the user draws a surface in SketchUp.

OpenStudio Plug-in then enables users to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp. Additionally, OpenStudio Plug-in will generate a design in SketchUp based on EnergyPlus input files.

There is no charge to download and use the EnergyPlus or OpenStudio Plug-in software. For more information visit http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings.

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Construction Week - Issue 728
Feb 07, 2019