Review of Energy Modeling Programs for LEED credit EA1 Option 1

It is important that when attempting any energy analysis, and from that energy analysis you want to take energy efficient meausres, one should always remember it is far more effective to first reduce load, then implement any active energy generation systems.  Thus it is better to insulate and eliminate leaks–BEFORE-adding a solar PV system or any other energy harvesting system. Providing  solar shading and correct building orientation and fenestration percentage, Reducing the building footprint,   Reducing Electrical Loads,  and Providing sensors and monitoring equipment do far more than offsetting a leaky, poorly designed building that has an active energy harvesting system on it.

Energy Modeling Review10-7-09

Review of Energy Modeling Programs for LEED credit EA1 Option 1
Program Name License Cost Link Description
OpenStudio for Google Sketchup None FREE NREL website OpenStudio is a free plug-in for the Google SketchUp 3D drawing program created by NREL.. Requires to ‘double up’ on materials in the SketchUp environment, can become confusing and loads automatically at beginning of each session. Prints .pdf reports.

The plug-in makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files.

The plug-in also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp.

E-QUEST None FREE The best support is a quick guide .pdf published on the DOE website, here free!

Print .pdf for results/report

Uses Climate Engine from U.S. Department of Energy A mailing list can be found at

Easy application once you build a model, can import .dxf file. Basically good for easy shapes.

Use Design Development (DD) wizard to fill out building attributes and run a simulation.

Can be used for complicated HVAC modeling in commercial settings, but is usually used for Quick Energy Simulation

Autodesk Ecotect Analysis 2010 Required Not Free Not Well Supported

30-day trial Bought by sketchup

Third Party software snatched up by Autodesk/AutoCAD giant.

works well with BIM or REVIT models

Dawn Darby Running this section of AutoDesk.and the creator of Ecotect now works for AutoDesk

Import files such as DXF, OBJ, or 3DS Ecotect overlays a regular 3D grid, subdividing the modeled space you wish to analyze.

Search on for tutorials

REM/RATE 30-day trial Used for Residential Energy Audits

$100/yr eCADD Austin Meshes well with RES/NET and BPI energy auditors needs, and complies with National Home Energy Rating Standards (HERS).

Used by Green Home Zone for Energy Audits.
mailing list for support or questions to be answered by a community of experts can be found here:
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment