The Energy Design Plugin, created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy has been put online as a beta release.

This free EnergyPlus plug-in will integrate building simulation functionality into the Google’s SketchUp drawing environment. The plug-in stores EnergyPlus input data on SketchUp surfaces as they are drawn by the user. An EnergyPlus toolbar provides a way to create zones and surfaces with only a few mouse clicks. Construction assignments are ‘painted’ onto surfaces using a palette of EnergyPlus wall, roof, and window constructions. Users will be able to execute an annual simulation from within SketchUp. Watch the EnergyPlus web site for more information.

This plugin is compatible with both the Free and the Pro versions of Google SketchUp 6. A version for Mac OS X is not currently available, but is under development.