DesignBuilder files, location and extensions





Any local folder(DesignBuilder Data folder is default)


Important: dsb files should only be loaded from folders on the local machine as loading/saving on network drives can cause problems.

DesignBuilder model description file. Note that dsb files are already compressed so don't need to be 'zipped' before sending in emails.



DesignBuilder exported component/template data


Library folder

Construction and Template exported files.


Any (DesignBuilder Data folder is default)

DesignBuilder Licence file for extended evaluation, activating licences when Internet access is not available or for training.


EnergyPlus folder

EnergyPlus input script file.


Weather data folder

EnergyPlus hourly weather data statistics file used by DesignBuilder to automatically load location and weather statistics to the Hourly weather data dialog when the epw file is selected. stat files are supplied with DesignBuilder and are automatically generated by the Hourly weather data translation process when creating custom weather data.


Weather data folder

EnergyPlus hourly weather data. a database of hourly weather data is supplied by automatic download or you can create your own hourly weather data.


EnergyPlus folder

Compact.idf is generated when using Compact HVAC. It is the full input data with HVAC in compact form, i.e. prior to being expanded into detailed form.


EnergyPlus folder

Expanded.idf is generated when using Compact HVAC. It is the full input data with HVAC in expanded form, i.e. after being expanded into detailed form. It is copied


EnergyPlus folder

The EnergyPlus input file when using DOE version in EP-Launch - it is necessary because EP-Launch cannot accept in.idf as an input filename. You can make minor changes to ip.idf in EP-Launch and see the effects in the DB results.


EnergyPlus folder

Temporary file generated by DesignBuilder used as input to EnergyPlus - this file is overwritten before each simulation. Note when using DOE version in EP-Launch, in.idf is generated by EP-Launch.


EnergyPlus folder

EnergyPlus data definition dictionary (see EnergyPlus documentation for information on this).


EnergyPlus folder

EnergyPlus error message file.


EnergyPlus folder

Standard eso Output File - contains detailed results to be read in by DesignBuilder.


EnergyPlus folder

EnergyPlus model summary configuration output file. Note there is a free utility called xESOView that can be used to quickly view EnergyPlus eso output files. Download it from:


EnergyPlus folder

Report Variable Data Dictionary - list all possible EnergyPlus output reports for a particular idf input file.


EnergyPlus folder

HVAC layout summary file - shows details about the branches, nodes, and other elements of the flow connections. It is intended for use in debugging potential problems and supports the EnergyPlus diagramming tool.


EnergyPlus folder

DXF file (from Report,Surfaces,DXF;)

EnergyPlus folder

Similar to .eso but only has Report Meter outputs.


EnergyPlus folder

A one line summary of success or failure used by DesignBuilder to indicate whether the simulation was successful or not.


EnergyPlus folder

From Debug Output object – may be useful to support to help  track down problems.

EPlusmap.csv EnergyPlus folder For zones simulated with daylighting controls, an illuminance map will be generated with a user defined grid (max 10 x 10) of daylighting reference points. The resulting map is output as a comma delimited text file that can be imported into a spreadsheet program for rapid visualization of the daylighting illuminance patterns in a zone.


EnergyPlus folder

Not directly from EnergyPlus - produced by EnergyPlus utility program that reads the .eso file and produces output files for spreadsheet programs.




Compact HVAC file translation process


When using Compact HVAC, the EnergyPlus input file generation process is as follows:


  1. DesignBuilder first creates in.idf using Compact HVAC notation.
  2. in.idf is copied to Compact.idf as a backup/record - this file is not used in the simulation process
  3. in.idf is processed by ExpandObjects.exe to generate expanded.idf - the full HVAC data set that can be read by EnergyPlus.
  4. expanded.idf is copied to in.idf as a backup/record and plays no further part.
  5. in.idf is used as input to EnergyPlus simulation.


All above files are stored in the EnergyPlus folder.






Typical Location*


DesignBuilder Data

My Documents\DesignBuilder Data

Storing DesignBuilder dsb data files.

DesignBuilder Data\Backup

My Documents\DesignBuilder Data\Backup

DesignBuilder automatic backup files and file copies made when opening existing files.


C:\Documents and Settings\User\LocalSettings\Application Data\DesignBuilder\EnergyPlus

Storing files related to EnergyPlus simulations.

Library data

C:\Documents and Settings\User\LocalSettings\Application Data\DesignBuilder\Data

Library data and .dat files currently being used by DesignBuilder

Diagnostic files folder

C:\Documents and Settings\User\LocalSettings\Application Data\DesignBuilder

Diagnostics files

Template projects

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DesignBuilder\Templates

DesignBuilder dsb files stored in this folder can be used as templates for future models. Click on the Templates tab on the Create New Site dialog for a list of available template files.

Weather data

C:\Documents and Settings\User\LocalSettings\Application Data\DesignBuilder\Weather Data

EnergyPlus hourly weather data is stored in this folder. The data may have been automatically downloaded from the DesignBuilder website or it can be added manually.


* The actual names of the folders will depend on the language used on your computer and on your Windows user name. The above locations assume English as the language, Windows XP operating system and Windows user name 'User'.


Tip: the above folders can be accessed from the File | Folders menu commands.