Trace custom libraries

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Sorry to post this here, but figured this was the best place to ask this
question. We're starting to use Trace more and more for energy
modeling, now that it does things like ASHRAE 62 calcs and Fan Power
calcs automatically. However, the biggest stumbling block right now is
that we all have individual licenses for Trace, and so we have to
remember to continuously export / import custom libraries. This is a
pain, but I don't think we can make a network version of Trace run on
our system at the speed we need.

Is there a way to "bind" libraries to a project file?

Ideally we want a company-wide library with utility rate structures,
glass types, etc that we continuously add to, and that gets bound to all
new project files so that we don't have to mess with exporting and
importing libraries.

Is this possible?

Thanks in advance,

James Hansen, PE, LEED AP

James Hansen's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 200


Depending on what version of Trace you have, you should be able to "archive" your project files. The archive option presents itself on the start-up screen. If you don't see this option on your startup screen then you have an older version of Trace.

When you archive a project file it binds your individual library to the project file. Then, when someone opens up your archived Trace file the libraries are merged onto that computer.

Be careful though, when you merge libraries, and if you have duplicate file names, it will erase your original file name and replace it with what was on the archive file. For instance, if your Trace file has a construction type called "4" Face Brick" and the archive file has an identical construction type it will erase your "4" Face Brick" and replace it with what is on the archive file.

Hope this helps.

Mark Prince LEED(r) AP

Mark Prince's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
Reputation: 0

In the last year or so our company upgraded to the network version of Trace. That way all our libraries are shared. BUT you still should archive your file so that if you come back to the file at a later date, and someone changed something in the library (which they shouldn't do, we typically create a new library member instead of changing an existing one), then you still have the library files from the archived file to make your file run properly.

Another problem with Trace is that, even with the network version, you can't run the file on the network. You have to run it on your own computer and then remember to archive and upload the .taf and .trc files to the network so the latest version is available in case others need to access it. If you have multiple people working on the project it may get difficult to keep track of the newest and most updated version since there will be multiple copies.


jwendel's picture
Joined: 2010-10-05
Reputation: 0

Hi James,
Archiving is the way to go! Another emailer mentioned that depending on your version of Trace you may not have archiving ability. Archiving has been around for eons. So, it shouldn't be a problem doing it even if you have an older version. I think the later versions just moved an archiving button to the start up screen. If for some reason the archiving option does not show up on your start up screen, you can always access this ability on the pull down file menu.

A tip for creating library members: never edit the basic library members. If you need to create a custom library member, start with a basic one and create a copy of it (or create one from scratch) . Then rename it using the job name or number in the title of that library member. That makes it easy to identify which library members are associated with each job and also prevents/minimizes the chances of inadvertently copying over a custom library with a subsequent version that may be used on other projects.

Also, if you haven't already done so, you may also want to consider creating global templates (as opposed to library members) that you can use on multiple projects. Global templates are very handy and can save a lot of time if you do a lot of similar types of projects. (Although, this is more true for doing load calcs as opposed to energy modeling). The Trace help menu can walk you through it. If you do not create a template as a global template it will only be associated with your project file (but it will come along with the file when you archive it).


Julia Beabout's picture
Joined: 2011-10-01
Reputation: 3

Questions on any building energy simulation program are
welcome on BLDG-SIM but I just wanted to remind everyone
that we have a TRACE-users mailing list also hosted by



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