EnergyPlus is the Building Technology Office’s (BTO) free, open-source whole-building energy simulation engine. OpenStudio is BTO’s free, open-source software development kit for energy simulation using EnergyPlus. Developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), OpenStudio provides common input model creation, run management, and result manipulation functions that reduce the effort to develop applications that use energy simulation. Applications developed using OpenStudio include Concept3’s Simuwatt energy auditing tool and BTO’s Commercial Building Energy Asset Score. NREL has also developed a suite of easy to use demonstration applications for constructing and analyzing a single energy model and for performing parametric analysis on that model.

BTO and the NREL have released an updated version of OpenStudio with new features and enhancements, including:

  • Support for additional HVAC system types
  • Support for manual calibration of simulation results using monthly utility bill data
  • A new type of “measure” (modeling script) that has access to both simulation inputs and outputs and can be used to create custom reports and quality control checks
  • The capability to run large parametric analyses on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). This feature is under active development and requires users to set up an EC2 account ahead of time.

OpenStudio 1.1.0 works with EnergyPlus V8.0. Pre-built installation packages are available for the Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. Source code is available as well.

Learn more about OpenStudio