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 http://www.energyplus.gov 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.