[Bldg-sim] Simulation software recommendations

Leenknegt Sarah Leenknegt at lemonconsult.ch
Fri Aug 19 06:29:19 PDT 2022


I would like to ask advice regarding which simulation tool would best suite our needs. We are an engineering bureau in Zürich, with long years of experience in building simulation. We deal with: load calculations, comfort evaluations, daylight, natural ventilation, HVAC optimization, LEED certification or support in development of innovative energy concepts.

Our current tool is TAS from edsl, which has large benefits in 3D-modelling, fast and stable calculations and user friendliness, but is lacking regarding HVAC modelling (geothermal concepts, European market oriented systems) and has flaws regarding solar shading and natural ventilation controls.

It is very clear that there is no "best" simulation tool, but very difficult to guess which one is best for us. I can read summaries of features and watch video tutorials, discuss with customer services, which I am doing, but the most useful input is from the user side. I am hoping I can get some recommendations here.

What we need:

-        Reliable modelling of natural or mixed mode ventilation (TAS has a time step of 1h -> no proper natural ventilation modelling possible)

-        Able to run daylight controlled interior lighting

-        Very strong HVAC modelling, with predefined components and libraries, able to deal with large numbers of zones

-        Automated export of results (select a group of zones and a list of parameters and put them in a .txt file)

-        Suitable for commercial use (good support, tutorials etc. available, no need for open source, userfriendly)

Nice to have:

-        Efficient 3D-modelling, able to deal with challenging architecture

-        Able to process a high number of zones (with TAS, I can run a 1000-zones model in about one hour, albeit without HVAC systems)

-        LEED plugins

-        Daylight calculations

On our shortlist:

-        E+/Designbuilder

-        IESVE

-        IDA ICE

I appologize for the long post and would very much welcome any inputs!

Thank you in advance,


Dr. Sarah Leenknegt
MSc Eng. Arch. | Dr. Bauphysik
T +41 44 200 77 37 (Mi. abwesend)

Lemon Consult AG
Energy Efficiency Engineering
Sumatrastrasse 10
8006 Zürich
T +41 44 200 77 44

HR-Nr. CH-

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