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Export DesignBuilder idf file to OpenStudio for CBECC California Compliance Model

asked 2017-07-07 11:03:07 -0500

Ladan's avatar

updated 2017-07-09 13:01:35 -0500

Hello Has anyone tried using a DesignBuilder-generated idf file for CBECC-COM, California compliance modeling tool before? My purpose is to export an idf from DesignBuilder to OpenStuido and from OpenStuidio, export a SDD file to be used in CBECC-com. While trying this process a received a long error message, which basically meant that my spaces were not translated, people load were not translated and so on.


Error: Object of type 'OS:Surface' and named 'Block1:L00UNCO50Space_Wall_2_0_0' was not translated. Warning: Model contains spaces which are not assigned to a building story, these have not been translated: 'Block1:L00UNCO50Space', 'Block1:L00UNCO51Space', 'B*lock2:L01COMM40Space',


Does anyone know a solution to get these errors solved and make this transition process work? Thanks for your help in advance. Ladan

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answered 2017-07-12 18:13:42 -0500

Once you import the IDF into OS, you need to assign each Space to an OS BuildingStory. Stories do not exist in the IDF data model, but they do in OS and SDD, so they need to be defined after import. There is a OS user script that helps do this, or you can select spaces and assign in the Inspector.C:\fakepath\OS Stories.PNG

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Thank you very much. I'll try it to check how it works.

Ladan's avatar Ladan  ( 2017-07-13 14:05:52 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-07-07 12:04:06 -0500

updated 2017-07-07 14:56:10 -0500

This would not work because OpenStudio's "reverse translator" (importing an IDF) does not work for HVAC objects so the resulting OSM would be incomplete. See the documentation.

Import and Export Options

  • IDF import (geometry, constructions, loads, thermal zones, and schedules only)
  • IDF export (full model including HVAC)
  • gbXML import (geometry, constructions, thermal zones, and schedules only)
  • gbXML export (geometry, constructions, and thermal zones only)
  • SDD import (simulation format - full model including HVAC)
  • SDD export (input format - geometry, constructions, and thermal zones only)
  • IFC import (geometry only)
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Thanks for your response. I was expecting that my thermal zones, construction, and schedules would at least be translated to SDD format. It seems that even my thermal zones were not translated. Do you think that it will not be possible with the workflow I suggested: 1. Create model in DesignBuilder 2. Export IDF file 3. Import IDF into OpenStudio 4. Export SDD file 5. Import SDD into CBECC-Com

Ladan's avatar Ladan  ( 2017-07-10 11:46:52 -0500 )edit

I haven't tried it, but the documentation implies that it should work. If not, you may want to ask a separate question for troubleshooting it.

MatthewSteen's avatar MatthewSteen  ( 2017-07-10 12:21:46 -0500 )edit

I haven't tried it, but I believe this work flow should work. Though IDF -> OS does not include HVAC objects, the OS -> SDD translation also does not include HVAC objects. Therefore, this workflow would only be useful for bringing over geometry, spaces, constructions, and thermal zones.

DavidReddy's avatar DavidReddy  ( 2017-07-12 18:06:14 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-07-13 15:49:25 -0500

Ladan's avatar

Hi again! so, I am getting closer! I could import all my zones successfully to CBECC-com after assigning stories to my spaces in OSM. It was a great suggestion! However, my materials, LPDs, occupant densities, equipment load did not transfer to CBECC. As the first step, I will create a new post and ask about construction specifically.

Thanks again!

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Asked: 2017-07-07 11:03:07 -0500

Seen: 651 times

Last updated: Jul 13 '17