Question-and-Answer Resource for the Building Energy Modeling Community
Get started with the Help page
Ask Your Question

openstudio user input for residential

asked 2018-12-11 12:06:42 -0500

patrick1751 gravatar image

I am incredibly new at using OpenStudio and EnergyPlus. I am currently using OpenStudio to design a residential container house, which means BeOpt isn't an option for me. In the user inputs for the Space Type and Construction Set Wizard, the available building types and templates are those for commercial buildings. Is there a way to change that or is using the available options acceptable for residential types?

Sorry, I'm not from the US so I'm unfamiliar with the ASHRAE standards.

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete



You could use BEopt, just use a custom wall and specify the U-value and capacitance of each wall layer.

Eric Wilson gravatar imageEric Wilson ( 2018-12-11 13:58:30 -0500 )edit

Could you also create a custom roof as well

patrick1751 gravatar imagepatrick1751 ( 2018-12-11 14:15:45 -0500 )edit

You can create custom roof/ceiling options, though BEopt ships with lots of spray foam, cellulose, etc. options that probably work for a house made from a shipping container. You wouldn't need to make a generic construction like you might with the walls.

Eric Wilson gravatar imageEric Wilson ( 2018-12-11 17:04:01 -0500 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2018-12-11 15:20:30 -0500

jmbattis gravatar image

updated 2018-12-12 09:30:11 -0500

Are you familiar, yet, with the Building Components Library (BCL) associated with OpenStudio? You can find info on setting up a BCL account here:

Once you've got the BCL up and running, you can hit "Find Components" under "Components and Measures." If you search "residential," in the appropriate field, you will see that there are default residential construction components (which loosely follow ASHRAE) that you can download into your model.

Alternatively, you can construct a known residential wall layer-by-layer using the materials and constructions tabs.

image description

image description

edit flag offensive delete link more


How about templates? I noticed that the ASHRAE-related templates are not applicable (or so it says) on low-rise residential buildings, and that the only ASHRAE standard concerning residential projects is ASHRAE 90.2. Is there a way to change the templates or am I looking at this too deeply and the templates can still be used?

patrick1751 gravatar imagepatrick1751 ( 2018-12-11 15:43:24 -0500 )edit

Personally, without explicit knowledge of the construction of a building I am trying to model, I am quite comfortable using these BLC templates (that's a decision to be made on a case-by-case basis though). In your shoes I would do the following:

  1. Search for 90.1 Constructions in the BLC
  2. Find the item that seems most appropriate (your climate zone, and probably wood-framed since it's res.)
  3. Look in the table on the far right that most closely approximates the R-values prescribed in 90.2

If you want even more control, once you download these, you can manually edit material layers

jmbattis gravatar imagejmbattis ( 2018-12-12 09:28:43 -0500 )edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account.

Add Answer


Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2018-12-11 12:06:42 -0500

Seen: 151 times

Last updated: Dec 12 '18