Paper Conference

Proceedings of SimBuild Conference 2008: 3rd conference of IBPSA-USA


Energy Design Plugin: An EnergyPlus Plugin for Sketchup

Peter G. Ellis, Paul A. Torcellini, Drury B. Crawley
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
United States Department of Energy, Washington, DC

Abstract: This paper describes the Energy Design Plugin, a new software plugin that aims to integrate simulation as a tool during the earliest phases of the design process. The plugin couples the EnergyPlus whole-building simulation engine to the Google SketchUp drawing program. Leveraging the powerful SketchUp application programming interface, we developed a plugin that extends the capabilities of SketchUp to allow EnergyPlus building models to be developed in 3-D while taking advantage of all of the native SketchUp capabilities, including intuitive tools, different rendering modes, and realistic shading. The model geometry can be saved to create an EnergyPlus input file. Existing input files can be opened, edited in the SketchUp environment, and saved again. Already well-established as a popular tool among architects and designers, SketchUp offers a familiar, easy-to-use interface that, when coupled with the plugin, could make building energy simulation more accessible for architects, designers, and students during the design process.
Pages: 238 - 245