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DesignBuilder v3 HVAC Simulation

For the first time, the advanced HVAC features in EnergyPlus are accessible to the building simulation community in a user-friendly graphical environment.

DesignBuilder v3 now provides a powerful and flexible interface to most EnergyPlus HVAC system types. It is possible to model both air and water sides together in full detail with a good range of components including all ASHRAE 90.1 baseline HVAC systems.
Watch a demo of the DesignBuilder v3 HVAC functionality.


  HVAC features include:
  • Graphical definition of plant, condenser and air loops through placement of components, mixers and splitters.
  • Load fully connected HVAC systems from templates (v3.1 and later).
  • Definition of connecting nodes using 'universal' connection tool with drawing guide and snap tools.
  • Extensible library of E+ components including boilers, chillers, heating coils, heat pumps, cooling coils, pumps, fans, humidifiers, set-point managers, etc.
  • Templates for component data, e.g. boilers, chillers and performance curves etc.
  • All ASHRAE 90.1 baseline HVAC system types are included in outline form - some modifications may be required in the interface,
  • Graphical representation of zones featuring drag and drop facilities for ADUs (air distribution units), radiant heating/cooling devices, fan coil units, etc.
  • Zone groups allow multiple zones having similar system types to be grouped together simplifying the HVAC diagram layout and speeding data entry.
  • Comprehensive set of ADUs including cooled beams, direct air, dual duct CAV, dual duct VAV, single duct CAV reheat, single duct VAV. with/without reheat, single duct VAV reheat with variable speed fan, series PIU (VAV terminal type), parallel PIU, four pipe induction.
  • Chilled ceilings and heated floors can be combined with other system types. They are modelled in detail using water pipes buried in surface layers.
  • Multiple air handling units with drag and drop facilities for including fans, heating and cooling coils, humidifiers, etc.
  • Multiple boilers and chillers in plant loops with plant operation scheme management options based on load and schedules.
  • Zone forced air units including fan coil units, packaged heat pumps and packaged air conditioner. These can be used in zones together with air from AHUs.
  • Automatic network integrity and connection compatibility checks.
  • Fully automatic generation of EnergyPlus IDF data.
  • The HVAC edit screen is integrated with the building modeller.


The new HVAC interface is now available . You can find out full details on how to use the Detailed EnergyPlus HVAC from the relevent section in the program help.

Watch a demo of the DesignBuilder v3 HVAC functionality.