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Importing complex schedules into designbuilder

asked 2020-05-07 07:58:09 -0500

mmatic17's avatar

updated 2020-05-09 11:11:02 -0500

Hello, I am working on calibrating a building model in DesignBuilder trough measured temperature data. I was wondering if I could import detailed sub-hourly occupant schedules, that I have been collecting for two months now, into DesingBuilder to increase calibration accuracy. Example of an occupancy schedule for one of the building zones:

Date; Time; Fractions

  • 1/4/2020; 12:00; 0.75
  • 1/4/2020; 12:15; 0.25
  • 1/4/2020; 12:30; 1.0
  • ...

These schedules vary drastically from day to day, and I cannot use Compact Schedules.

Thanks to your replies,



@Aaron Boranian. Thank you for your response, I've attempted to import these schedules, following your instructions, but I seem to be missing something. When I run the simulation, DB returns the following error report:image description This is EMS code that I'm trying to run:

Office_Occ1,                                                          !- Name
Any Number,                                                           !- ScheduleType
C:\Program Files (x86)\DesignBuilder\EnergyPlus\loads_example.csv,    !- Name of File
2,                                                                    !- Column Number
1,                                                          !- Rows to Skip at Top
8760,                                                       !- Number of Hours of Data
Comma;                                                      !- Column Separator

myOffice_Occ1_Override,                             ! Name
Office_Occ1,                                        !- Actuated Component Unique Name
Schedule:File,                                      ! Actuated Component Type
Schedule Value;                                     ! Actuated Component Control Type

Output:Variable,Office_Occ1,Schedule Value,Timestep;

and the schedule, that I am trying to overwrite: image description

Do you have any idea as to why this doesn't work? Thanks for your help.

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@mmatic17 why is it that you cannot use Compact Schedules?

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2020-05-07 08:36:01 -0500 )edit

Well, it is because in Compact schedules I can only define a schedule for typical days (Weekdays, Weekends, and so on), but what I am trying to do is have DesignBuilder read a two-month schedule with individual days, similar to creating and importing a custom epw. file.

mmatic17's avatar mmatic17  ( 2020-05-07 09:12:54 -0500 )edit

Ah, so you could do it, but it would just be really tedious. Got it. Does this post about including a partial IDF with a Schedule:File object referencing an external file of your schedule data in combination with EMS scripting answer your question?

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2020-05-07 10:09:02 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2020-05-11 03:44:22 -0500

Nishesh's avatar


Please try the following EMS Code in DB EMS, I have tried to configure it to your schedule name. You need to correct the file path. The intention is to use the external schedule file as sensor and then use the internal schedule as the actuator.

   Schedule Value;

   Schedule Value;

  ExtOfficeOcc1,!- Name
  Any Number,!- ScheduleType
  C:\...\...\loads_example.csv,!- Name of File
  2,!- Column Number
  1,!- Rows to Skip at Top
  8760,!- Number of Hours of Data
  Comma;!- Column Separator

   Schedule change,

   ! add program code
  Set t = Office_Occ1_Ext,
  Set Schedule_Value_Office_Occ1 = t,

In this case you can also Simplify your schedule in DB, instead of the detailed one.

    Any Number,
    Through: 12/31,
    For: AllDays,
    Until: 24:00,  0;
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Thank you so much @Nishesh, for your detailed answer! Your code worked perfectly.

mmatic17's avatar mmatic17  ( 2020-05-18 13:52:49 -0500 )edit

answered 2022-04-20 04:38:17 -0500

Mauro Contreras's avatar

updated 2022-04-20 04:40:56 -0500

Hello everyone,

I created a worksheet that can be used to convert hourly csv data into compact schedules ready to copy and paste into the Designbuilder editing box.

Please feel free to use it, modify it or improve it.

Edit: I'm having trouble uploading my macro-enabled workbook, could an administrator please tell my how can I share my file ?

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@Mauro Contreras thank you for being willing to share this workbook with the Unmet Hours community!

Unfortunately, only image files (.jpg, etc.) can be attached to answers. However, you can save your workbook on Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. and then provide a link here for others to download it.

@Dave@Nishesh@Filipe Sousa may be interested in this as well (they all work at DesignBuilder).

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2022-04-20 09:14:18 -0500 )edit

Hi, @Mauro Contreras this is indeed interesting. Please share the link to the macro file for me to look into. Alternatively share it with me over email n.jain[at];

Nishesh's avatar Nishesh  ( 2022-04-20 21:12:57 -0500 )edit

Hi, I am currently looking for this exact solution. @Mauro Contreras or anyone still active in this post thread, can you please share a link for this workbook or email it to me

Thanks in advance. Debayan

Debayan93's avatar Debayan93  ( 2022-05-17 08:58:02 -0500 )edit

Hi @Mauro Contreras, I would be interested to try the workbook you created as I am having a similar dilemma with one of my models. Do you mind sharing it with me? My email is

Eleriche's avatar Eleriche  ( 2023-02-16 17:03:43 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2020-05-07 07:58:09 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 20 '22