Building Energy Software Tools
Formerly hosted by US Dept. of Energy    


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On July 18, 2014 DesignBuilder Software released version 4 of its popular whole building energy simulation program ‘DesignBuilder’. Version 4 adds a substantial set of new features and improvements oriented to the different but overlapping needs of architects and engineers.

DesignBuilder Packages for Architects ensure that designs meet performance targets at the early design stages by providing accurate and reliable energy and daylighting performance data. The Architectural simulation packages allow architects to link with BIM (Building Information Modeling) solutions, analyze solar shading, maximize the use of renewable technologies and test façade options in one comprehensive software program.

DesignBuilder Packages for Engineers consists of an integrated set of high-productivity tools to assist with the integration of mechanical systems within sustainable buildings design. Various design scenarios for HVAC systems and controls, facades, lighting, and renewable technologies can be evaluated with relative ease. Using drag and drop air and water components, HVAC systems can be constructed within DesignBuilder from scratch. Additionally, pre-defined HVAC templates, autosizing and zone grouping features save significant input time compared to competing products. The most commonly used EnergyPlus HVAC system types are readily available including all ten ASHRAE 90.1 baseline HVAC systems.

All DesignBuilder packages provide sensitivity analyses at the click of a button. High quality technical and rendered outputs help communicate findings to clients in a way they can easily understand. Key performance indicators such as energy consumption, carbon emissions, thermal comfort, daylight availability and cost can be provided throughout the design process in both naturally ventilated and air-conditioned buildings.

Expertise Required: 

Beginning to advanced capabilities. DesignBuilder is the easiest to use/learn advanced building energy performance tool available for teaching students building simulation. Conversely, building models created in DesignBuilder can be exported out as native EnergyPlus .IDF files for further manipulation and advanced analysis.


Architects, engineers, building designers.

Major Capabilities: 
Whole-building Energy Simulation
Load Calculations
HVAC System Selection and Sizing
Last Software Update: 
09 February 2015
Last Entry Update: 
17 November 2017
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