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How can I get the maximum of an existing Rhino 3D model to build my E+ simulation?

asked 2015-03-05 12:23:54 -0600

updated 2015-03-05 12:24:21 -0600

I'm working on a building for which the architect has shared with me his Rhino 3D model, and I want to simulate its energy usage using EnergyPlus.

I've immediately thought about using Ladybug and Honeybug initially (which is in the Rhino/Grashopper environment) and exporting to E+ or OpenStudio later.

Obviously, it's an architectural model, so there are massing and such things that are needed to represent how the building would look but it's not what we need for energy modeling.

Has anyone encountered this situation before?

Is such a model "cleanable" or would you start from scratch?

Is ladybug/honeybee the best way to go about it?

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answered 2015-03-06 06:50:10 -0600

Chienman gravatar image

updated 2015-03-06 07:00:09 -0600

I do think that Honeybee is the best way to get more from your Rhino model. It is quite easy to collect your Rhino geometry inside of grasshopper, and use Honeybee components to then prepare the model for analysis. I am biased, I do work on the Honeybee project and contribute to it quite regularly, but there is only one other alternative (Diva).

A few features that are nice about Honeybee. You can have an un-zoned shape (no perimeter/core) and there is a component that, if the shape is not too complicated, will create a perimeter core zoned model for you, as well as break it up into separate floors. Many rhino models come as a single extruded mass. This is actually quite huge. The second thing, is that Honeybee also can automatically determine the difference between interior and exterior walls. This is something that, I believe, Diva cannot do.

Secondly, it is loaded with other features. You can assign space types, constructions, internal loads, schedules...all inside of the Grasshopper environment. You don't have to, you can do this elsewhere if you have a way that you like to do it. But you can make all of these changes.

Finally, there are two ways to define systems. One way is to use the E+ component, which creates an IdealAirSystem, with or without economizer. I have also worked quite hard on a series of OpenStudio components that automatically create AirLoops and PlantLoops for basic HVAC systems. (packaged units, and vav with chiller and cooling tower). You can also define fan powers and coil efficiencies inside of Grasshopper too, so all of this you can do inside of Rhino/Grasshopper without ever leaving the environment, and run the simulations.

Anyhow, there are a number of videos on this, all on YouTube. I personally think it is worth the investment to learn these tools. it does impress clients a great deal. Let us know (me, Mostapha, or Chris) if you need any help. There is a forum on Grasshopper. If you Google Grasshopper Ladybug Honeybee or something like that, you should see a pretty active user group that is monitored and answered frequently. Just sign up and ask questions. People want to help, and are nice.


Also, it is free and completely open source, so if you feel inclined, you can start adding to the source code.

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Asked: 2015-03-05 12:23:54 -0600

Seen: 515 times

Last updated: Mar 06 '15