Building materials data import to Energy plus

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Dear colleagues,

I am writing my Master thesis about the interoperability between ArchiCAD,
Revit and Allplan on one side and Energy plus on the other side.

My research is particularly focused on importing the correct materials data
into IDF. (Materials should contain roughness, thickness, thermal
conductivity, density, specific heat; be composed into constructions and
attached to the correct surfaces in the geometry.)

I am collecting data on the following aspects:

1. *Is there a tool that imports IFC to Energy plus?*

Simergy has announced that they are removing the import features because of
many bugs and Ecotect is not fully supported by Autodesk anymore. On the
official EP website it is stated that such tool does not exist.

2. *Any experiences in the seamless import of the materials?*

*Do you generally use the import/export, or do you normally redraw the
simplified geometry in Sketchup for your projects?*
My findings at the present moment are the following:

*- *gbxML preserves the most of material parameters for Energy plus but
only Revit supports the advanced export to the gbXML. ArchiCAD works via
the Cadimage plugin (available only for the 17th version at the moment).
This plug-in does not preserve the material properties. And Allplan does
not export gbXML, only IFCs. All of the architectural software producers
seem to work more in the area of integrated energy analysis rather than on
improving their export.

- two plug-ins for exporting gbXML to Energy plus were tested: Green
Building studio and Open studio for Sketchup. GBS assigns its own
constructions instead of mine (I am working on it) and OS imports
everything but does not assign the constructions to the surfaces.

Please share your experiences, comments and opinions on this topic. Any
suggestions are welcomed.

Thank you in advance,

Anna Shadrina

MSc student Building Science
Vienna University of Technology
Vienna, Austria

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Joined: 2014-10-27
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Shearing my experience with GBXML and IFC:

I have not used the latest open studio or Simergy GBXML imports, as they in
general just do not seem to work as well for me as Design Builder
or legacy open studio. However my usage of a UI is really to author an
energy plus IDF, and most of the models I do is to demonstrate the use of
our PCM and are done as quickly as possible.

My experience with GBXML has been with Design Builder, I note that in v4
Design Builder can also import materials. For IFC there is the space
boundary tool that I have attempted to use

The main problem I have had with GBXML is that 3d cad models are not
normally setup so that the user can just export their GBXML file. The cad
designer typically are only drawing for export into 2d sheets, and as such
have really messy 3d cad models that do not connect the walls to the
ceilings or other problems.

For the space boundary tool it does not seem to work on files that do not
seem to have any real problems. I tried it out on a couple projects and got
nice a looking 3d IFC model, but then the import to SBT failed. The error
messages are unclear and the tutorial seems to assume that the user
also has the
Solbri model checker. There is an IDF that maps ArchiCAD and
Revit materials to Energy Plus objects that comes with the
space boundary tool that you may find useful.

may be asking them to do a lot of work only to provide a file that may not
import, or may import but not run or it has lots of unnecessary surfaces.

The best way I have found to make GBXML useful has been to have the cad
user provide only the shell of the building with no internal walls. (The
materials import is not something I have tried, as Design Builder just
recently added this feature.) The reason is that the model may
have different zoning and other simplifications that are used to make a
clean E+ model that is close enough to the project geometry and because I
tend use my own materials database.

I keep thinking of developing a python script that generates IDF objects
from IFC, GBXML or 3D Cad file for only the external walls and roofs and
floors, only internal floors and ceilings and only the external windows.
Material properties could be useful, but the time needed to setup
some materials and construction layers is null compared to the time it
takes to get the windows drawn on for each elevation or for the geometry in

Please keep in mind that this is my experience and may not represent
the experiences of other users. Hope this is helpful, and best of luck
with your project.

*??Jeremiah D. Crossett ** | Senior Analyst **| **LEED Green Associate *
*??7411 SW Capitol Highway | Portland, OR 97219 ?? |
Mobile *

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