3 - Import Export and Inheritance hierarchy in OpenStudio

Access the full videos and Learn OpenStudio Today

New-User Professional This-Video

3 hour step-by-step course

Beginner to Pro Course (12 hours)

Rent This Video Only

Script Preview

Hi everyone. This is Hashul Singhal again. Let's talk more on this OpenStudio plugin for SketchUp. I’m going to explain to you what kind of information that you can import and export out of your OpenStudio plug-in. I'll go back to the SketchUp interface. You can actually import a lot of things in this software. You can actually import a new OpenStudio Model, you can import Constructions set. You can actually import EnergyPlus file as well, or GB XML file. For example, if you are, if you are a Revit user, you can actually export GB XML file geometry from Revit, and import it here. Or, you can import a S3D file, which is a title 24 compliance file.  

I will show you an example of how to import an EnergyPlus file. Let's just click on this, and it will ask you to save this file. Let's click No, for now. And let me just look for an EnergyPlus file on my system. Maybe an EnergyPlus folder, and a library, or actually example files. And click on, let's say this file, which, or, maybe this one, yes let's do that. What will happen, it won't be able to import everything. The major function for this import can be just to bring the geometry. It can bring some information on internal loads, or space related information. But, it won’t bring any HVAC information, any thermostats. You just need to manually recreate all that information in your project, okay. 

Just to let you know, if you have any IDF file from your client, let's say they already have worked on this project, two or three years back, on EnergyPlus. Now you want to start it on OpenStudio. You just need to import that IDF file in this OpenStudio plugin, and you can work on this, all right. Good information to provide here. You can also create some measures to import eQuest file, I don't know if you are familiar with OpenStudio measure, but let me just explain it to you here. I will also explain it in detail later. But, what happens when you run an OpenStudio measure is, it basically does something for you on your energy model. It's a kind of shot rate. For example, if you want to provide window world ratio for each and every space in your project, you just need to take one measure, and it will do this much work for you within 5 seconds, or 10 seconds, all right. You can manually either, create the building geometry, or you can run those measures to reduce your workload. You can always run your open stream measures too if you have some experience with Ruby or C+ first. These OpenStudio measures can be a piece of cake for you, all right. 

You can also export some information from this tool. Go to extensions again in OpenStudio and export. You can see that you can actually export out the IDF or EnergyPlus file. Basically, it brings out all the information for your project. In case you need to work more on energy interface, you can export this file from here, you can work on it there. There won't be any loss information, okay. You basically lost information when you import a file, and EnergyPlus file, in OpenStudio, but you don't lose any information when you export out an IDF, all right. Very important concept here. Again, you can export GB XML file, which you can bring in different software. For example, you can export, or actually import this GB XML file, as well, in ROFI, or a lot of different software, okay. 

Let me explain to you a couple more things here. In OpenStudio we use one term a lot of times, we call it OpenStudio resources. What is an OpenStudio resource? It is something like a reusable container. You can assign this resource to multiple objects. Even eQuest has those resources. For example, if you are an eQuest user, do you remember that you create one OpenStudio, I'm sorry, an eQuest construction set, let's say for a wall, and you apply two different objects, or different walls. Basically, that's an eQuest resource. You create it once, and you apply it to multiple objects. 

What happens when you add this OpenStudio resource? The changes will happen to each and every wall where you have provided this resource, or object where you have provided this resource, okay. It reduces your work time, your workload, and these resources are very helpful. You can actually create similar kind of resources for internal gains, for construction set and for schedules, and lot of other things. You create them once, and you apply it, you can apply it to, you can apply them to multiple objects, okay. Let me show you what kind of resources you have in this tool. If I click on this inspector tool, it lives in this OpenStudio toolbar. Basically, this inspector tool is to display and edit the selected objects. You can look at the properties of your objects, or your software, I'm sorry, of your project. 

These are the OpenStudio resources that you see in the SketchUp plug-in. You might see more resources later in OpenStudio main interface, all right. You can see, like, you can create the construction set once and you can apply to different spaces. You can create a schedule, and you can apply to multiple entities, like, for example, different kinds of internal scales, all right.

Another very important concept here. Let me explain to you one more thing here. If you are working on an energy model, let's say on eQuest, or even on OpenStudio, we need to understand the difference between a space and a thermal zone, all right. For example, if I create a space now, don't worry about this, we will do this exercise from scratch again, I'm just going to show you some information here. If I create one space here by using SketchUp tools, you can see it has six walls, it can have some windows, and it can have some internal gains. Something like the space gain from installation, or from envelope. Some occupancy density, some internal loads, like lighting, or plug load. All these entities that I mentioned just now, they live in a space. 

A space doesn't have a thermal system or an HVAC system. To bring out some thermodynamics in your project, you need to create a thermal zone. Which means you will reflect properties like HVAC system, or thermostat in a separate entity, or a component. And that's where all the simulation will happen in relation to thermodynamics. The space has only space gains envelope, while thermal zones have HVAC systems and thermostat settings, all right. Very important thing. You can combine multiple spaces to create lesser thermal zones. For example, if I create two spaces here, like this. I'm sorry, I should have let you know, create OpenStudio space, okay, so that you don't get confused. 

If I create another OpenStudio space here, there are two spaces, right. If they have exactly the same space type and same orientation, you can combine them to create one thermal zone, as for ASHRAE guideline, okay. As for ASHRAE guideline, you can also combine multiple spaces. But for now, let's just talk about HVAC system related stuff. You can combine these two spaces, if they are the same properties, to create one thermal zone, okay. It reduces your workload, but, you cannot combine multiple thermal zones to create one space, again it's very confusing. We will do one exercise to explain all these things, but for now just remember that the spaces, they have only internal gain related properties. While thermal zones have thermodynamics related properties for HVAC systems, and thermostat settings, all right. 

In space object, you can provide multiple properties. Let me just show you here, in OpenStudio inspector tool. I don't know what happened to this, let me just work on this again, all right. Let's say, if I have, my project has, let's say, eight spaces. I actually imported one EnergyPlus file, and it created multiple spaces for me. You can see, this one space needs to have different kinds of properties that you need to assign. Something like space type, construction set, schedule, the direction X Origin and all, the location on your SketchUp interface, and thermal zone name, is it a part of total flow area, outdoor air object name, and lot for the information. 

What is a space type? If you are familiar with the energy modeling process, a space type is something where you are sitting right now. An office building can have different space types, like, open office, closed office, conference room, restrooms, and corridors. These different space types have different kinds of properties, like, schedules. A conference room can have a separate schedule or totally different schedule from a restroom, right, makes sense. These space types define properties, like, internal load, schedules, and other properties, like, infiltration, or outdoor air object; what is the outdoor air that you need to provide in your space as for ASHRAE 62.1, all right. 

Let's say, one more example here. If you have one open office in your project, and then there is a corridor in your space. As per Asha 90.1 the lighting load for an open office should be somewhere around one watt per square foot. If I'm not wrong, it is 0.98 watt per square foot. But, for corridor, it's totally different. It's, I think, 0.5 watt per square foot, I can be wrong as well, so don't quote me on this. But, you got the idea, that those space types have different properties. A corridor probably won't have any plug load. While a room like a printer room has very high plug load density, something like, let's say 2 or 3 watt per square foot, very high, all right. Instead of going through each and every space and providing those schedules and loads separately, what you can do, you can actually create a space type, which is an OpenStudio resource, and you can apply it to multiple spaces. Just create one open office space type, and apply to, let's say, space 1.1, 2.1, 3.1. Then these three spaces will be considered as open offices, okay. It definitely reduces your workload significantly. 

One more thing that I want to explain to you here, is the inheritance hierarchy method. Guys, this method is very important, so please play, sorry, please pay attention here, okay. In OpenStudio, you have to provide multiple inputs. You need to fill up information related to thermal zone, story, space type, schedules, and boundary conditions. Something like, whether you have sun exposure or wind exposure. Generally all external walls have some kind of sun and wind exposure. While internal walls, they don't have this kind of exposure. And then, construction set, thermostat settings, and internal loads. Let's take an example of schedules here. Can you see these multiple rings? Like, yellow rings and the blue ring. In OpenStudio, you can provide the schedules. Either at building level, or in story level, or a space type level, or a space level, or at the end, you can provide the schedule at internal loads directly, all right. 

Basically, you need to provide the occupancy schedule for the people that are coming in and out of your building, okay. If you provide directly at internal loads, well and good. If you have 100 spaces, they can have 100 different occupancy densities. You don't want to provide 100 schedules, right. What if you make some changes later, do you really want to go through each and every space again and change the schedules? Maybe no.  You can either provide that space, okay, which is something similar to what you have here, in internal loads. The main a workload reduction can be seen when you provide such kind of information at the space types level. 

Let's say if I create one space type, like office, office space type, and provide a schedule here. I can assign this space type to, let's say, 100 different offices. That schedule that I assigned here, at space types level, it was assigned to 100 different spaces, okay. If I make any changes here at a space-time level, all these changes will be reflected at spaced level as well. It reduces my time significantly, the time load. Let's say, if I have a couple of different kind of stories, or different broad project blocks in my side property. What I can do, I can assign the schedule at story level. But, what will happen, this story level schedule will be assigned to all the space types, as well. Imagine this this G column as a waterfall. If I assigned property at building level, the properties will flow through the next levels. You can see this arrow, it signifies that the information is flowing to the downward levels. 

If I assign a schedule at building level, that schedule will be assigned to all the stories, all the space types, all spaces. If I assign a new schedule at story level, it will override, for example, let's say, if you have two stories, and I assign one new schedule to story number two. All these space types and spaces related to that building will have this new schedule now. While this story number one will still have the schedule that you have assigned at building level. Now let's say if story two has three different kind of space types; one office, one corridor, and one conference room. Now, you want to assign a new schedule for a conference space type. That conference space type schedule will override all the information that you have provided at story, and at building level. Conference two will have a new schedule. All the other two space types will have the schedule that you have assigned at story level, okay. And, this story number one will still have the building schedule that you have provided here at this highest level. 

Again, let's say, you had three conference rooms. For one of the conference room, this schedule is totally different. What you did, you assigned a new schedule at that particular conference, let's say conference number X. Now this conference number X will have a new schedule. The conference number Y and Z will still have this schedule that you have provided at conference space type. And the rest of the information will be that same, like, you know, I explained earlier, all right. This is like, you know, I call it inheritance hierarchy method, all the information falls from the highest to lower most level. Same thing with construction, because this conservative is very confusing, let me explain it one more time, yeah. Even for construction, you can assign it at a different levels. Either you can assign directly at building level, which generally, that's what we do. If you have a single story or single block in your project. 

Let's say, in my project, I have two stories. One building story was constructed in 1950, and another one was constructed in 1980. At building level, I have provided the construction set based on the 1950 construction. And at story level, for story number two, which was constructed in 1980. I have provided a whole new set, a whole new construction set, okay. Now, in this story number two, I have two offices. Each and every office has a different kind of construction set. Maybe the owner decided to go with a higher installation property, four walls here. What we can do, we can actually create a new construction set, and assign it at a space type level, to the office space type. That construction set, that you have provided at this space type level, will override all the other information. 

Same here, if you had two or three offices. One office has a special kind of windows, you can just assign that special window property here, at space level. All the information will be overridden. What if a particular window in one of the space, office space has a different kind of window? Just go directly to that window, look for that window in your OpenStudio interface, assign the window property here, and that window will have totally different information from rest of these things here, okay. Again, very confusing, but I'll explain to you more when we jump on one exercise. 

Let me just go back to the SketchUp interface again, and in OpenStudio inspector. You can see, at building level, I can either assign the space type. If I assign a space type here, let's say, office space type. Each and every space in my project will be considered as office. If this space type has a lighting power density of 0.9 watt per square foot, each and every space will follow the same trend. Same thing with a construction set and schedule set. If I go to, let's say, a space type level, which is, let me just find it here, right now we don't have it. If I create one, let's say, this office space type, this is office space type. If I override, if I actually provide a new construction set here, it will overwrite the information that you have provided at building level. Basically, you got the idea. Again, make sure that you go through this chart one more time, it is very important. It explains to you where you need to provide the properties. This is one of the most beautiful parts of OpenStudio, all right. 

Let me explain to you one more thing here. Actually, I should have provided you this excel sheet, a snapshot. But it's fine, let's do it one more time here. Here's an example that I have created. The building name is ABC Tech Company, in San Francisco. It has three stories. Our number one story was constructed in 1950, second one was in 1980, and story three was 2000. I can provide three construction sets here,  those construction sets will follow, will be provided automatically to all the remaining spaces. Same here, and same here. Let's say, if I don't provide anything, any information related to construction at story level, and I have provided one construction set based on the 1950 conception at this building level. All these stories, no matter what, they will follow the construction set properties, what you have provided at building level. The information will flow like a waterfall. 

Story one has three space types, story two, again, has three space types, and same with story three. There are three offices in story one. One conference and two restrooms. Space type comes with properties, like internal loads and schedules. If I provided this office space type with these three spaces, they will follow the same properties. They will follow the same lighting load, plug load, people, and all these schedules, okay. Please go through this excel sheet snapshot one more time, and if you have any questions, please you can please reach back to us. I know it's pretty difficult but you should go through this one more time, it's very important.