2 - OpenStudio Set up

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Hi everyone. This is Harshul Singhal here, and we are going to start a fresh series on OpenStudio. For this first video of this series, we are going to talk about the OpenStudio plugin for SketchUp. If you are familiar with OpenStudio, or its interface, you must know that OpenStudio can also create a nice, very user friendly geometry for you. And for that, NREL, National Renewable Energy Lab, has created this plugin for you, which is pretty good. 

For this class we are going to learn everything from scratch. Let me just go to the next slide and give a brief, brief introduction about myself. I'm Harshul Singhal. I work as a Senior Sustainability Specialist for a Skidmore Owings and Merrill in San Francisco, California. And my e-mail ID i**********. 

Again, this web series is not affiliated with my present company. If you need to contact me please just email me here, all right. Before I jump to examples, I would love to give you a brief introduction of this tool, or this plugin. On this plugin you can do lot of things. Basically, the most important thing is, you can manage the form and fabric of your project, or your building. Basically, when you save an OpenStudio file, it is saved as *.OSM file, that's the extension of your file. You can always open this OSM file in SketchUp. You can change the form and fabric of your building. There are a lot of things to do in this SketchUp plugin. 

First of all, you need to run the script, that's the number one step here. What you do in this number one step is, you bring some default libraries in your project based on, ASHRAE 90.1 2010, or 7 or 2009, 13, for different climate zones and different building use types.  Again, guys don't get confused here, I'm going to explain to you all these steps in detail, it's a just brief introduction, all right. After running this script, we create the geometry using SketchUp tools, then you assign properties to your spaces, then you assign some additional controls like, the lighting controls or shading devices. You’ll make some more changes, assign thermal zones, they find individual properties, and then move to the main OpenStudio interface. 

But, before we move to the interface let's just talk about some initial process. If you are a new user, how to start on this. Well right now I'm using the SketchUp Pro version. If you are familiar with SketchUp it comes in two different versions one is a SketchUp Make, which is like, the free version for students, but not for commercial purpose. And, this is this second version, which is Pro, for which you need to pay something like a thousand dollars or 599 dollars, something. Just to let you know, if you are going to use SketchUp for your commercial work you should buy the Pro version, rather than using Make version, all right. 

Just go through this video. It will give you more information on why you want to use the Pro version. For example, in Pro version you can actually export CAD files and PDF files to create your geometry. You can do a lot of others things too.  For example, in case you want to email the technical support, you can totally do that, they'll always help you out. While in Make version, it is not free. That's the number one thing. The second thing is, for the SketchUp interface, you need to do some setting changes that I'll explain for you. Again, that's all my SketchUp interface looks like.  

If you are an architect, or you have ever worked on this tool, you must know, like, you know, this is the interface, this is where you save the file. There are lot of other tools, so get familiar with this tool. There are a lot of tutorials for SketchUp on YouTube. You can go through them and just get familiar with the tool. Again, for this OpenStudio plug-in, or OpenStudio class, you need not to be a champion or black belt in SketchUp. You just need to know the basic of, basics of SketchUp, all right. Let me just explain to you a couple more things, some housecleaning stuff. We are going to make some changes in the settings for SketchUp as well as for OpenStudio. Again, as I mentioned, this is the SketchUp interface, where we are going to use the OpenStudio plugin, all right. 

There are two things here guys, very important. We are working in a SketchUp environment through OpenStudio plugin, all right. First we want to change some settings in SketchUp, or at least make sure the settings are right. Go to Windows here, and can you see the preferences here, click on it, and just make sure that in general settings, you have this auto saved after, let's say, like 10-15 minutes or something. I mean, you don't want to save after every 5 minutes, so let's say 15 minutes. And, that's it for now. Create backup, it’s OK, hit OK here. And for OpenStudio settings, you need to go to extensions, and then OpenStudio, and then preferences here, all right. 

If you are in the US, you want to use an IP system. If you are in some other country where they use SI system, you can change to SI, all right. And then, hit apply and OK. If you are still confused why we have this OpenStudio extension here. Well, first of all, you need to install it, right. If you haven't installed it yet, let me just explain to you one more time. You just go to openstudio.net, log in there, and then go to downloads. You can download the software. When you install this software, it will automatically install the SketchUp plug-in for you. For that you need to have SketchUp already installed on your computer. 

When it's, whether you install SketchUp interface or OpenStudio, complete OpenStudio package. Later you will find this extension, new menu bar in your SketchUp interface, as well, all right. This is the number two here. Number three here is, like, let me just explain to you a very important tool here. In SketchUp, you can also bring the geolocation of your project. How you do that? Well, go to Window, go to Model Info, and click on this. In geolocation, there are two ways to bring up the coordinates of your project. 

Either you just use the easiest way, which is like, click on add location. It will open a new window for you, it's a Google Earth interface. Just look for your address, you have site address or something. For example, I'm just going to look for, let's say, my house address here 123 N El Camion Real all Camino, San Mateo. And then, search for it. You can see, this is my house here. What I can do, I can just select the region, like so, just, let's say, if my site is this much and I still want to bring some address in sight, to understand the shading of impact. Just do this, and click on this graph, all right. 

What happens, it brings that area that you selected in the plane, in the XY plane. On top of this, I can create my building geometry using a SketchUp plug-in like this. I like bringing, let's say, bring pencil tool to create geometry, and then start working on them. I can create 3D out of it, and you can see, all right. Again, when you bring this, the snapshot of your, of your site, it brings everything on 1:1 ratio. For example, if I measure the, this side of my building, it’s somewhere around 141 feet, which makes sense, right, it's on scale. Again, it's a very good way to start a project in case you don't know the exact dimensions of your site, or your project, okay. There’s another way to bring the geolocation of your project. If you notice, you can also provide the manual location. Just provide the latitude and longitude of your building and it will bring the exact location of your project. 

Well why, I mean there is a simple question here now. Why do you want to bring the latitude and longitude of your building? Well, in case you want to do some shading analysis of your project in SketchUp, you can totally do that, it's a great tool here. How you do that is, go to Window, let me just see, in Default Tray, and click on this, Shadows. Can you see here? Window, Default Tray, Shadows. 

There is a new shadow tool here, where you can actually change the time, change the month, or day. And, as for that, it will bring, it will show you the shadow of, the shadow pattern of your building. For example, if I have a couple of buildings around my project looked like this, let's create some more project buildings here. And, if I had turned on my shadows first, this is the shadow tool, and I need to turn on the shadow in view. Go to view menu bar, and click on Shadows. Now you can see that my buildings have shadowed my project, or in my interface.

Now you can actually change the time here, in the Shadows window. You can see the impact of your project on the site. You can change the months, you can do a lot of different things. Again, you can actually record the video, in case you are in initial phase of your project, and you want to show the impact of the site, or the adjacent buildings, on your building, on your project. You can totally do that, it is very helpful too, all right. 

Next thing is you want to make some changes in your interface. Can you see in my, on my interface, on my screen there different kind of toolbars here. As a, as an OpenStudio user, I want to keep my things handy. I want to keep my real estate here clean. But, still I want to bring all the important tools on my screen. Well, I'll show you what exactly I like to bring for my interface. Again, go to View, click on this toolbar, and then select Large ToolSet, then Measurements, then OpenStudio Rendering ToolBars, OpenStudio Tools, Section, and the Views, and, it grows. 

You can see all of these toolbars that I've told you, what I mentioned just now, they are already on my screen. You can just adjust them by using your mouse. Just move them. If you want to you move them here, on top, you can totally do that. There are different ways to do it. Here is my measure tool, here. You can see here, this is my SketchUp toolbar. This is my OpenStudio Toolbar, here. On top, this one, this is, sorry, this one here, this is my View Toolbar. Which, for example, if I want to see the perspective view, or top view, or side view. There are different kind of views here. This is OpenStudio Lending toolbar, and this is the Section Toolbar. We are going to use all these toolbars during our exercise, so don't worry if you are confused right now, all right. 

There's one more question here, like, you know, whenever I teach, I always get this question, which is also very important. A lot of people ask me, like, “Hey, like, you know, do you save the SketchUp file, or how do you save files here?” Well, in case you want to save the SketchUp file, you go to File, and hit Save or Save As. When you do that, let me just save a file for you. I'm going to create a new folder on my desktop, let's say June 13th - Day 1 Class, go inside this. And, just rename it to, let's say, Day1_SketchupPlugin. And, can you see the, Save As type is SketchUp, we are saving this SketchUp file. When I clicked on that Save button, it actually saved the SketchUp geometry for me, it did not save the OpenStudio file for me, all right. It saved all those surfaces, those edges, if I have dimensions, this snapshot. But, it did not save any energy model related property for me. 

Now, how I can save the OpenStudio model? Well, there are two different ways. Either go to extensions, go to OpenStudio, and then save OpenStudio model here in the file option. Easiest way is to just use these OpenStudio toolbars. I find that very handy. For example, in this OpenStudio toolbar, find this, say, OpenStudio Model S. Click on it, and just save it. When you click save through OpenStudio Toolbar, it's going to save your OSM file, even if you don't see any extension. Just like, you know, look like what the final name is. it should be exactly what you have provided for a SketchUp file. Well, hit save. 

There's one more question, but, what people ask me always. Do we need to save both SketchUp file and OSM file? Well, it depends. If you are a new user I would ask you to save both your files, just in case you want to refer to your previous models. But if you get like, advanced user, you need not to worry about saving the SketchUp file. We are just using the SketchUp interface to create our energy model geometry, all right. 

Now let me show you one more thing here. I save my files in desktop, on desktop. You can see this is the OpenStudio file and this is the SketchUp file. And, it automatically creates an adjacent folder for you with same name. In the energy model, there are so many inputs, so many things, you can just, like, save everything in one file. When you run the simulation, it creates a lot of things for you, a lot of outputs, a lot of graphs, a lot of reports. That's why it creates a new folder automatically for you, with the same name. Well, now, when you save this OpenStudio model, it did not save any SketchUp related objects for you. That OpenStudio model won't have these SketchUp geometries. We did not create these geometries in OpenStudio, or using OpenStudio plugins. 

Again, if you are very confused, don't get confused. We are going to sort out everything later. But, for now I just want to explain to you one more thing. If you open this SketchUp file in, let's say, Notepad ++, I hope you have Notepad ++ installed on your computer. If not, please do that. I opened this SketchUp file in Notepad ++, it looks like an alien language to me. I cannot read it, you can, cannot edit it easily, it's like you don't want to play around with this thing, okay. 

But, if I, let me just go back, if I open this OpenStudio file, or OSM file, in Notepad ++, you can actually read it, and edit it, see. Like, it's like the eQuest INP file, you can edit it. If you are an experienced user, I would prefer you to make changes in an OSM file. But, if you are a new user, I won't suggest you to play around with this file. But, just to let you know that if you are an expert user, you can totally make changes directly in this OSM file, by opening it in Notepad ++, or any text editor. It is human readable, it's a text file, all right. That’s a, like, a major difference between a SketchUp file and an OpenStudio file. 

Now, some more housecleaning stuff that I am going to explain to you here. Well, in SketchUp, if you are a SketchUp user, you know that you can always go back. Just either hit Ctrl Z, or just go to edit and click on this, Undo Properties. It brings you back to the previous steps. Well, in OpenStudio, or in and energy model, you have limited undo capabilities. A lot of times when you perform any step or any function in an energy model, it does a lot of changes for you. It does a lot of calculations for you, it runs algorithms for you. And, when you try to go back, by clicking Ctrl Z, a lot of things don't go back as far as, let's say five minutes back. It comes with very limited undo capabilities. 

I would always suggest you to name your files properly. Like, I like to rename with something like, date stamp. I did not do that here, but like, how I like to do it, rename it to something like Day1_SketchupPlugin, underscore, let's say today's date is the 13th of June, 13062018. Or, maybe like version 1 version 0. That's how I like to rename my files, so that, in case I need to go back, or check the previous version of my save files, I can totally edit them, or I at least know what I have done so far, okay. Renaming your files, or providing a tight date/time stamp, is very helpful, okay. 

A lot of times in SketchUp, or I'm sorry, in the OpenStudio plug-in, or any energy model, things can get crashed. For example, there's a lot of functions that you perform here in OpenStudio. It can crash on you, right. It happens in any other software, even in eQuest. What you really want to do, you want to save your versions, different versions of your file, let's say, after every one or two hours. Your, if your file, or, your project is bigger, then make sure that you have different versions saved on your computer with date/time stamp.