Twenty years of building simulation trends: Text mining and topic modeling of the BLDG-SIM email list archive

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Hey BLDG-SIM friends!

To celebrate 20 years of bldg-sim email list, Jason Glazer, Matias Quintana and I thought it would be fun to do some text mining of the BLDG-SIM public email archive! We?ve submitted a full paper to the BS2019 IBPSA conference in Rome ? email me if you?re interested in getting a sneak preview of the paper :). And check out more building data science stuff at:

Thanks again to Jason for his unwavering maintenance of the list over the years!

Here are some highlights (3 out of 12 trend graphics) - simulation engine occurrences have morphed over time:

Questions about making baselines had its heyday, but have tapered off over the years:

Mentions of IBPSA have become dominant in recent years:

And of course, the rock star posters of the list:

Dr. Clayton Miller :: Assistant Professor :: Department of Building :: School of Design and Environment :: National University of Singapore :: +65 8160 2452

miller.clayton's picture
Joined: 2010-10-05
Reputation: 0

I find it interesting that people separate eQuest from DOE2 given that eQuest is DOE2. I rarely complete a model without resorting to using DOE2.2 at the command line. In particular, I don?t like the way eQuest strips out my macro statements when it reads in the .inp file.

Christopher R Jones, P.Eng.
T+ 1 416-644-0252

[cid:image006.png at 01D4D58C.7C6860A0]

Jones, Christopher2's picture
Joined: 2017-10-12
Reputation: 0

I had no idea I was so high on the user list (no. 4), but who is this
guy Nick Caton ?? joke, joke :-)

On a more sobering note, though, the number of occurrences for all
simulation programs has gone way down, so that Open Studio and
EnergyPlus are dominating over a shrinking pie.


Joe Huang's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 406

Similarly openstudio and design builder use energyplus as a simulation engine...

Both, along with equest, are Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) to their respective simulation engines, but they are much more than this. They have their own logic in terms of pre processing (and user experience (UX)) and post processing / reporting. But both doe2 and energyplus can be used directly via text files (and IDF editor which I wouldn't call a GUI per se but technically is one)

It's always confusing when you speak about software and want to gauge user base for eg, you'll always run into these fine lines... Food for thoughts!

Happy 20th anniversary to bldg-sim!

I'm grateful for its existence as I have learned a ton in the past years and keep learning every day.
I moved most of my contributions to another platform that works very well for e+/openstudio but I still keep reading the list day to day.
I even still read the equest one for eg while I haven't used equest in the past 4 years as I often find very interesting software-agnostic contributions there!


Sent from a mobile device, please excuse the brevity.

Julien Marrec, EBCP, BPI MFBA

Direct:?+33 6 95 14 42 13
LinkedIn (en) | (fr)?

jmarrec's picture
Joined: 2013-01-09
Reputation: 0

What were the dates of eQUEST and IES having their own lists? That would drive traffic down on bldg-sim specifically for those programs.

There is plenty of eQUEST traffic today.


David S. Eldridge, Jr., P.E., LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, BEAP, HBDP

Direct: (847) 316-9224 | Mobile: (773) 490-5038

Grumman/Butkus Associates | 820 Davis Street, Suite 300 | Evanston, IL 60201
Energy Efficiency Consultants and Sustainable Design Engineers | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

David Eldridge's picture
Joined: 2012-05-08
Reputation: 1


eQUEST-users started in April 2008. It often has more
traffic than BLDG-SIM anymore. I believe the final paper
mentions that.


Jason Glazer's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

That's a good point that I forgot about!? Of course eQUEST and IES would be less mentioned
on BLDG-SIM because they got their own lists.


Joe Huang
White Box Technologies, Inc.
346 Rheem Blvd., Suite 205A
Moraga CA 94556
yjhuang at for simulation-ready weather data
(o) (925)388-0265
(c) (510)928-2683
"building energy simulations at your fingertips"

Joe Huang's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 406