Installation and Introductory Tutorial

This page walks you through installing OpenStudio, the basics of the applications, and the basic workflow.

Installation Instructions

OpenStudio is supported on 64-bit versions of Windows 7 – Windows 10, OS X 10.9 – 10.10, and Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04. OpenStudio supports the latest EnergyPlus release which is bundled with the OpenStudio installer. The version compatibility matrix lists specific versions of EnergyPlus and other dependencies for each version of OpenStudio.

Installation Steps

Download and install SketchUp

  1. The OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in requires SketchUp (not available for Linux). Check the version compatibility matrix for the particular version of SketchUp required.

Download and install OpenStudio

  1. Login to the OpenStudio website. Create an account if you don't have one. EnergyPlus and OpenStudio now share a password.
  2. Click "Downloads" at the top of the page.
  3. Choose the installer that matches your operating system. The OpenStudio package contains the following components:
    • OpenStudio Application
    • EnergyPlus
    • SketchUp Plug-in
    • DView
    • Parametric Analysis Tool (PAT)
    • Ruby API
    • C# API
    • Command Line Interface
    • Radiance

Optional - Command Line Installation

The OpenStudio installer is built using the Qt Installer Framework. Installation of OpenStudio packages can be automated by passing the path to a customizable script to the installer using the --script argument:

OpenStudio-2.3.0.cf58ee1e38-Windows.exe --script install.qs

An example installation script can be modified to support custom installation.

Optional - Setup a Building Component Library (BCL) Account BCL content can now be accessed from within the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in and from the standalone OpenStudio application. To take advantage of this integration, you will need to follow the steps outlined here to request a BCL key.

  1. Login to Building Component Library (BCL). Create an account if you don't have one. Follow the instructions from the email sent to you upon registration and then login.
  2. Click on the My Dashboard near the top right of the website.
  3. Copy the text after API v1.1 key: then paste the key into the SketchUp Plug-in, the OpenStudio application, or the Parametric Analysis Tool (PAT). You only need to configure the key in one place and it will be used globally throughout the OpenStudio tools. Additionally, this key will be maintained when you install updates to OpenStudio.

Enter the key through the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in under the menu Plugins->OpenStudio User Scripts->Building Component Library->Setup BCL Key and click OK. Or register the key through the OpenStudio Application under the menu Components & Measures->Find Components. If a key is not already registered, it will prompt you for one.

Key request dialog

Optional - Install Ruby If you plan to use the OpenStudio Ruby bindings via command prompt, you must install Ruby. Check the version compatibility matrix to see which version of Ruby is compatible.

  1. Download the Ruby installer. If you have the Windows (x64) version of OpenStudio (Help>About>Compiler shows Visual Studio 12 2013 Win64), you'll need the x64 Ruby installer.
  2. Add C:\ruby-2.2.4-x64-mingw32\bin (or wherever you installed Ruby) to the PATH environment variable. Detailed instructions.
  3. Create a text file with the following text inside (modify C:\openstudio-2.3.0 based on where your version of OpenStudio is installed):

    require 'C:\openstudio-2.3.0\Ruby\openstudio.rb'

  4. Save the file as openstudio.rb to C:\ruby-2.2.4-x64-mingw32\lib\ruby\site_ruby\openstudio.rb (or wherever you installed Ruby).

  5. Test your installation by opening a command prompt and typing: irb ENTER. Then, type RUBY_VERSION ENTER. Ensure that the Ruby correct version is shown. Then, type require 'openstudio' ENTER. If you see => true, it's working.

Workflow Overview

After installing OpenStudio you will have the SketchUp Plug-in, OpenStudio Application, Parametric Analysis Tool (PAT) and ResultsViewer. The typical OpenStudio workflow is shown in the diagram below.

Workflow Diagram

About: Click on the diagram above to view a larger version.

ResultsViewer is used to view simulation results. The section on Running Simulation & Viewing Results has information on using ResultsViewer.

Quick Start Guide to OpenStudio Modeling Tools

The OpenStudio Quick Start Guide (PDF) provides an introduction to the interface for the Plug-in and the OpenStudio application. It also provides guidance on the basic workflow. Read the Introductory Tutorial below to get started.

Quick Start Guide to the Parametric Analysis Tool (PAT)

The Parametric Analysis Tool Quick Start Guide (PDF) and the Parametric Analysis Tool Interface Guide provide an introduction to the interface and workflow for creating multiple design alternatives from a seed model.

Introductory Tutorial

The tutorial below was created before the grid view was added to the Space Types and Thermal Zones tabs. Grid view allows you to view and edit more than one space type or thermal zone at a time. Go to the OpenStudio Application Interface Guide to learn more about grid view.

Selecting a Template for Constructions in SketchUp using the OpenStudio Plug-in

Templates contain data for constructions, loads, and schedules for 6 vintages across all U.S. climate zones. Templates do not contain any geometry. Load templates by using the menu under Extentions/OpenStudio User Scripts/On-Demand Template Generators/Space Type and Construction Set Wizard. Then select your type of building, vintage, and climate zone from the dialog. You can also get standard space types for that template by choosing "true" on the dialog. Space types can define internal loads, schedule sets, and construction sets. It can take a few minutes to load.

New OpenStudio Model From Template Dialog

Above: Load a new template using the menu.

New OpenStudio Model From Template Dialog


  • DOE Ref Pre-1980
  • DOE Ref 1980-2004
  • DOE Ref 2004
  • 90.1-2010
  • 189.1-2009
  • 90.1-2007

Climate Zones: 1 - 8

Climate Zone Map

SketchUp Plug-in - Building Envelope

For additional information on the SketchUp Plug-in interface, go to the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in Interface Guide section.

Above: This video shows you how to create your building envelope. It uses the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in.

SketchUp Plug-in - Space Types and Thermal Zones

Above: This video shows you how to assign space types, thermal zones, and thermostats to the spaces in your model. It uses the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in.

Site, Facility, and Basic Run

Above: This video goes into the OpenStudio application, adds weather data, shows the outline view in the facility tab, and runs a simulation with ideal air loads.

Above: Version 1.9.0: This video demonstrates the new Spaces tab and the redesigned Facilities and Site tab.

Space Types, Internal Loads, and Schedules

Above: This video demonstrates how you can inspect, alter, and apply resource objects in OpenStudio.

Constructions, Materials, and the Building Component Library (BCL)

Above: This video shows you how to obtain construction and material objects from the Building Component Library and load them into your current model.

HVAC - Zone Equipment, Air Loops, and Plant Loops

Above: This video shows you how to add HVAC systems. It introduces the variable and scripts tabs and runs a simulation with the resulting model.

Service Hot Water

Above: This video shows you how create models using service hot water. This includes water heaters, water use connections, water use equipment, and other associated objects.