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OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp

OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. This free plug-in also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving the Google SketchUp 3D drawing program

About the OpenStudio Plug-in

OpenStudio Plug-in allows you to use the standard SketchUp tools to create and edit EnergyPlus zones and surfaces. You can explore your EnergyPlus input files by using all of the native SketchUp 3D capabilities to view the geometry from any vantage point, apply different rendering styles, and perform shadowing studies. The plug-in allows you to mix EnergyPlus simulation content with decorative content such as background images, landscaping, people, and architectural finish details—all within the same SketchUp model.
The plug-in adds the building energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus to the SketchUp environment. You can launch an EnergyPlus simulation of the model you are working on and view the results without leaving SketchUp.
Screenshot from EnergyPlus with OpenStudio.  In the center of the screen is a large graphical display of the building being designed in EnergyPlus.  The 3-story building is designed like an H, and color-coded.
Highlights of OpenStudio Plug-in include the ability to:
  • Create and edit EnergyPlus zones and surfaces
  • Launch EnergyPlus and view the results without leaving SketchUp
  • Match interzone surface boundary conditions
  • Search for surfaces and subsurfaces by object name
  • Add internal gains and simple outdoor air for load calculations
  • Add ideal HVAC system for load calculations
  • Set and change default constructions
  • Add daylighting controls and illuminance map
  • Get help from tutorials and documentation
This plug-in makes it easier to work with EnergyPlus. However, expertise in using EnergyPlus at the text level is highly recommended for performing successful and accurate simulations. OpenStudio Plug-in does not yet handle all critical input objects. Some editing of the input file will usually be required outside of SketchUp. You can use a text editor, a third-party interface/tool, or other program (for example, the IDF Editor) to edit EnergyPlus input files.
OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp was created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Version 1.0.6 Release Notes

This newest release is updated to work with EnergyPlus 6.0 and Google SketchUp 8.0. In addition, the following problems were addressed in this version:
  • Flickering dialogs
  • Push/pull of face in SketchUp 8
  • Push/pull of divided face.

Software Requirements

  • Windows XP/2000/Vista/System 7 or Mac OS X 10.4+
  • Google SketchUp 7.0 or later (Free or Pro)
  • EnergyPlus Version 6.0.0
This plug-in is compatible with both the Free and the Pro versions of Google SketchUp. EnergyPlus must be installed on your computer for full access to all of OpenStudio Plug-in functionality. However, EnergyPlus can be installed after OpenStudio Plug-in.

Installation Instructions

  • Make sure that Google SketchUp 7.0 or higher is installed on your computer.
  • Make sure that you are logged in as an admin user.
  • Install EnergyPlus 6.0.
  • Install OpenStudio Plug-in 1.0.6. The installation will be placed in your local Google SketchUp plug-in directory. Please see the note below.
  • Launch Google SketchUp. You are now ready to start modeling. You should see the OpenStudio Plug-in toolbars. If you don't see them, you can open them via the View > Toolbars submenu.
  • For documentation, tutorials, and release notes, see OpenStudio Plug-in Help within SketchUp. Click the green "?" icon or choose Help > OpenStudio Plug-in User Guide from the menu. The help files will be displayed in your web browser. The help files can also be found in your local Google SketchUp plug-in directory under OpenStudio/doc/help.
Note: OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp version 1.0.6 supports both Google SketchUp 7 and 8. However, the default installation location is for Google SketchUp 8. If you want to use the plug-in for Google SketchUp 7, please do the following:
  • Windows — Make sure to change the installation directory to 'C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 7\Plugins' instead of 'C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins'.
  • Mac — Copy the OpenStudio.rb file and OpenStudio directory in '/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/plugins/' to '/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 7/SketchUp/plugins/'.


Technical support is available by e-mailing

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