Green Buildings: Optimization and Adaptation

CIS-800 Spring 2011

Software lists

HVAC & building simulation software


  • Homepage

  • Free software by the Department of Energy.

  • EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program. It can model heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, other energy flows, and water use.

  • EnergyPlus includes many innovative simulation capabilities: time-steps less than an hour, modular systems and plant integrated with heat balance-based zone simulation, multizone air flow, thermal comfort, water use, natural ventilation, and photovoltaic systems.

  • Help Site

  • Benchmarks

  • User Support Group (this is an Yahoo group, you must sign-in and join the group before you can read any post).

  • To get started:

    • Watch a video introduction to EnergyPlus and OpenStudio. Remember to open the PDF slides from the site.

    • Beginner's tutorial

    • Another guide (from the same author of the above)

    • Read the “Getting Started” guide (PDF) in the Documentation directory of the installation.

    • Try out the examples (there are over 200 examples).

  • MLE+ is a free Matlab toolbox for co-simulation with EnergyPlus from within Matlab and Simulink.


  • Homepage of TRNSYS (TRaNsient SYstems Simulation)

  • Commercial software.

  • TRNSYS is an energy simulation program with a modular system approach, which makes it one of the most flexible tools available. It includes a graphical interface, a simulation engine, and a library of components that range from various building models to standard HVAC equipment to renewable energy and emerging technologies.

  • It can interface with various other simulation packages such as COMIS, CONTAM, EES, Excel, FLUENT, GenOpt and MATLAB.


  • Homepage

  • Open source software.

  • ESP-r is an integrated energy modelling tool for the simulation of the thermal, visual and acoustic performance of buildings and the energy use and gaseous emissions associated with associated environmental control systems. The system is equipped to model heat, air, moisture and electrical power flows at user determined resolution.

  • ESP-r attempts to simulate the real world as rigorously as possible and to a level which is consistent with current best practice in the international simulation community.


Matlab and Simulink-based software



  • Homepage

  • MLE+ is a free Matlab toolbox for co-simulation with EnergyPlus from within Matlab and Simulink.

  • Co-simulation with EnergyPlus from Simulink is easy.


  • Homepage.

  • Free research & education Matlab toolboxes for modeling and simulation of heat, air and moisture processes in buildings.

  • ISE (Indoor temperature Simulink Engineering tool) is a easy-to-use Simulink blockset library for simulating a simplified indoor temperature model of one zone of a building.


  • Homepage

  • A suite of simulation tools for analyzing the behavior of air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. The toolbox contains dynamic models of the basic components used in subcritical and transcritical vapor compression cycles, with nonlinear, linearized, and reduced order models.

Other software


  • Homepage

  • The Building Controls Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB) is a software environment that allows expert users to couple different simulation programs for distributed simulation.

  • BCVTB is based on the Ptolemy II software environment, with graphical modeling and simulation environment.

  • Programs that can be linked to BCVTB are

    • EnergyPlus whole building energy simulation program,

    • MATLAB and Simulink tools for scientific computing,

    • Modelica modeling and simulation environment Dymola,

    • Radiance ray-tracing software for lighting analysis,

    • BACnet stack, which allows exchanging data with BACnet compliant Building Automation System (BAS).