The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released OpenStudio, a free energy design plugin that works seamlessly within the Google SketchUp 3D drawing environment.
The plugin simplifies use of DOE's EnergyPlus simulation software, which identifies potential energy savings by modeling lighting, heating, cooling, ventilating, water, and other building energy flows.
EnergyPlus has been downloaded by users in all 50 states, as well as 150 countries and is available for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems. Version 3.0 includes several new features such as new datasets, input syntax changes, updated zone and ventilation controls and models, enhanced cost calculations and economic reporting, and extended documentation and guides.
OpenStudio was created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy and is compatible with both the free and the Pro versions of Google SketchUp 6 or Google SketchUp 7.