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Modeling university buildings in OpenStudio

asked 2021-01-18 03:14:38 -0600

Ahmad's avatar

updated 2021-01-19 08:44:59 -0600


I hope you are doing well.

I am new to OpenStudio and I have a university project that I will start to do from today. I will be modeling about 10 university buildings in order to see the measures that can be taken to reduce energy consumption.

I will be given data on current consumption and installed equipment.

The questions that I would like to ask are the following:

I will be given 2D AutoCAD drawings for each floor of each building. Of course, being a university building, each floor has lots of rooms (class rooms), windows, offices, .. I have read about the drawing software in which one can import these 2D drawings and do the 3D building (Such as Sketchup for example). I also saw that OpenStudio has a Geometry tab that one can edit in. So based on this:

1) What is the the best and most efficient way I can go from these 2D drawings in order to make the building model in OpenStudio ?

2) I have chosen OpenStudio based on some research I did. Based on my project goals stated, do you recommend any simpler way to go with ?

3) What are the best steps that you recommend to follow to reach the goal ?

Thanks a lot and have a nice day.

With my best regards,

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answered 2021-01-19 09:00:36 -0600

If you are new to OpenStudio, I would highly recommend starting with the introductory tutorial and model creation guide. For creating and editing the geometry of the model, you are correct that you can use either the SketchUp extension (better for more complex geometry) or the FloorspaceJS tool within the OpenStudio Application. Note that if you are using the OpenStudio Application version 1.0 or higher, you will need to pay for SketchUp Pro 2019 or later.

If you have current data on energy consumption and installed equipment, then you are likely going to create a calibrated energy model -- one where the model's predicted energy consumption matches the actual building's energy consumption within an acceptable range.

It is very hard to answer your three questions without knowing more details about the buildings and the efficiency measures you want to analyze. OpenStudio should have all of the features you need to:

After working on your project some more and developing specific questions, I would recommend searching Unmet Hours to see if others have already posted the same questions you have (or at least something very similar to it). The chances are very high, as over 3,000 questions to date include the openstudio tag.

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Hi Aaron,

I hope you are doing well.

I have been able to draw the 3D building in Sketchup. I have drawn it from the floor plans and it is all pushed/pulled and visible in white.

I have also added now the Openstudio plugin and would like to put this 3D building in Openstudio spaces in Sketchup. Let us say for example I want it each floor of the building to be a space and this floor has several rooms inside in which I will add windows and doors.

What is the best way I can start doing this ?


Ahmad's avatar Ahmad  ( 2021-02-20 07:18:44 -0600 )edit

If you have used SketchUp and all the boxes are white, then that information can only be saved in a SketchUp file ending in .skp. This has NO energy model information that OpenStudio uses. OpenStudio files end in .osm and will actually contain the energy model information, so you need to convert your SketchUp geometry into OpenStudio geometry. You can copy/paste white boxes into new OpenStudio spaces, but it might be easier to draw the 2D floor plan and create all spaces on that floor simultaneously with the Create Spaces from Diagram tool.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2021-02-21 11:16:42 -0600 )edit

You should read the Modeling Tools section of the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in Interface Guide from the OpenStudio Coalition to learn about how to create and edit the geometry of OpenStudio models in SketchUp. Note that an OpenStudio space is one room, and you can group spaces together into thermal zones depending upon your HVAC system arrangement and other factors.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2021-02-21 11:19:55 -0600 )edit

My building architecture has concrete beams on the outside of each floor. These beams come in different shapes (Vertical and horizontal and they also have openings in them). They act as shading in which light can pass in the openings and reach the outside windows whereas light cannot pass where the concrete.

I drew them using the "New shading surface group" where I draw the surface and then do the lines of the openings and delete the surfaces (To act as the openings). When I close and open the model again, all these openings are gone and it is only the big surface left.

How do I solve this ?

Ahmad's avatar Ahmad  ( 2021-03-07 05:02:54 -0600 )edit

@Ahmad after you use the New Shading Surface Group tool, are you entering the shading group before you draw the shade surfaces? From the link, there are 3 ways to enter a shading group after you select it. When you are drawing shade surfaces, the rest of the model geometry should be lighter than normal (similar to when you are editing the geometry of one space) and the shade surfaces should turn purple once you close the shade surface edges.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2021-03-08 14:01:14 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2021-01-18 03:14:38 -0600

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Last updated: Jan 19 '21