The latest release of the EnergyPlus building energy simulation program, Version 3.1, is now available in versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. A few key new features include simplified rectangular geometry for walls, roofs, ceilings, floors, windows, and shading; thermochromic windows; upgraded UFAD model; Standard 62.1 demand control ventilation; cool beam HVAC model; new tabular reports to support LEED EA Credit 1 forms; and new post-processing utility to combine Standard 90.1 Appendix rotation results. We have updated and extended capabilities throughout the existing building envelope, daylighting, and HVAC equipment and systems portions of the program.

EnergyPlus V 3.1 is available at no cost from the EnergyPlus web site:

OpenStudio plugin for Google SketchUp: The OpenStudio is a free plugin for the GoogleSketchUp 3D drawing program. The plugin makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. The plugin also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp.

Update: Version 1.0.3 marks the first public release of OpenStudio for Mac OS X!
Installers for both Mac and Windows can be downloaded for free from the EnergyPlus website here:

EnergyPlus Example File Generator: A Web-based service is available that creates and runs EnergyPlus input files for simple models of commercial buildings. The input files (and annual results summary files) are sent to your e-mail address as attachments. This is a pilot project and is currently made available only as a BETA service. You can access the service and customize the characteristics of the building you want to model on the EnergyPlus Example File Generator Application (pop-ups must be enabled).

The set of example input files now includes full-blown models of typical new construction (drawn from the DOE Commercial Benchmarks project).

[Via BLDG-SIM mailing list]