The National Renewable Energy Laboratory launched an updated version of their plug-in for SketchUp, Google’s open-source 3D building modeling tool. It has several new features, which will facilitate architects to develop more detailed simulations of their design’s energy efficiency. NREL aims to provide advanced green building design tools that are readily available at low or no cost.
The OpenStudio update is designed to work with version 4.0 of Energy Plus and compatible with Windows 7, Linux and Snow Leopard. It is integrated with Energy Plus, an energy modeling program that simulates building heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation and other energy flows. The OpenStudio plug-in will help architects in designing building with maximum energy performance.
Initially SketchUp’s integration with Google Earth helped users to visualize buildings in their real world setting by simply giving in the actual latitude and longitude information of their project site. The new updated version will enhance its capability to another level altogether.
OpenStudio has also been linked up with standards for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.