Below you will find a list of different free and paid software that allows you to generate information on energy use or thermal performance during the building design phase. If you have any recommendations on tools that should be added, please contact us.

Energy Modelling Tools

The following tools allow architects and engineers to estimate whole building energy use during the design phases.

EnergyPlus

EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program that allows users to model energy consumption and water use. It is a simple data-in, data-out program, but there are a number of graphical user interfaces that make it easier to use. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

https://energyplus.net/
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Integration: GUI, CAD/Revit
Free, but interfaces may charge a fee.


eQuest

eQuest is one of the most popular energy simulation tools used in the early phases of design. It's nickname comes from its full name: QUick Energy Simulation Tool, and it is just that – a very quick way to run energy simulations. The software was developed by James J. Hirsch & Associates with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

http://doe2.com/equest/
Platform: Windows
Integration: None
Free


Green Building Studio by Autodesk

Green Building Studio is a cloud based energy modelling software that allows energy simulations. It can run as a standalone web service, but it is also integrated into Revit through an Autodesk subscription.

https://gbs.autodesk.com/GBS/
Platform: Web Based
Integration: Revit
Paid


OpenStudio

Open studio is an open-source "collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance." The project is developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

https://www.openstudio.net/
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Integration: SketchUp
Free


Thermal Comfort Tools

The following tools allow architects to evaluate how certain design moves will affect the thermal comfort of building occupants.

Cardinal Glass Comfort Calculator

Cardinal Gllass Industries hosts a free web-based tool that allows designers to evaluate how different window designs and coatings affect human comfort. In addition, the tool will determine if your window design meets IECC and EnergyStar compliance.

http://www.cardinalcorp.com/technology/applications/comfort-calculator/
Platform: Web Based
Integration: None
Free


CBE Thermal Comfort Toll for ASHRAE 55

The Berkeley Center for the Built Environment provides this free tool for checking compliance with ASHRAE 55, the standard to determining human comfort.

http://comfort.cbe.berkeley.edu/
Platform: Web Based
Integration: None
Free


Payette Glazing and Winter Comfort Tool

Payette has created a free web-based tool that allows designers to evaluate how different exterior wall layouts will affect the comfort of users during the winter months.

https://www.payette.com/building-science/glazing-and-winter-comfort-tool/
Platform: Web Based
Integration: None
Free

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