These “get you started” tutorials cover the latest key features in DesignBuilder, and are produced in short sessions so that you can quickly and easily dip into specific topics of interest. They provide a valuable resource for existing DesignBuilder users to refresh their knowledge on areas of the software they may not have used for a while. Also, for those new to DesignBuilder, the tutorials will provide a nice logical way to learn the software basics. Please note that although the tutorials use SI units you can easily change to IP units in Program Options.
You may find it helpful to cross-reference the tutorial you view with the content in the Program Help. People generally learn most effectively by "doing" rather than "watching", so please do try out the techniques shown in the tutorials while they are fresh in your mind before moving on to the next tutorial. And above all, we hope you find the tutorials useful and fun!
1. Introductory TutorialsDesignBuilder UI – Simulation Screens: Overview of visualisation and calculation screens
We will be progressively releasing new tutorials in the months ahead. The new tutorials will be added to the list above and will ultimately replace the legacy tutorials below.
The legacy tutorials below are not up to date and miss some important functionality. In general we advise not using the legacy tutorials, but you may still find them useful as an introduction if a newer tutorial on that topic is not available above. If the content you need is not yet available in a new tutorial, we highly recommend you read the relevant program help topic. Also, our new on-demand online training is based on the latest software and provides step by step guidance on the fundamentals of modelling in DesignBuilder. You can find more information on this training content here.
2. Basic Geometry (1 - 8 to be completed before attendance on the SBEM 1 day course)
The Basic Geometry series of tutorials explain how to create and modify the blocks used to define building geometry in DesignBuilder.
- Introduction to the DesignBuilder user interface
- Creating a model - adding buildings and blocks, drawing guides and snaps
- Adding, moving and cloning blocks, deleting objects, increment snap, check dimensions of existing objects
- Rotate, stretch, drag face and construction line tools
- Adding roofs basics: roof angle conventions, pitched and extruded roofs
- Cut block, use of protractor tool and outline blocks
- Zoning blocks by drawing partitions, zone types and zoning protocols
- Drawing holes, merging zones and creating an atrium
- Adding shading and adjacency modification using component blocks
- Drawing arcs, circular shapes and domes
- Importing 2-D floor plans from DXF and bitmaps to help draw blocks and partitions
- How to create a room in roof
- How to draw dormer windows
- How to model a smaller zone within a larger zone (e.g.an office in a warehouse)
Some DesignBuilder classroom training courses require that you have completed the above Basic Geometry video tutorials.
To let us know you've done this please fill in the Basic Geometry Tutorials Confirmation Form >>
3. Basic Model Data
The Basic Model Data tutorials show how to set up data on the Activity, Constructions, Openings, Lighting and HVAC model data tabs for EnergyPlus simulations.
- Overview of the model data tabs and of data inheritance
- Starting a new project, adding a building and use of learning mode
- Activity data
- Constructions data 1 - templates, selecting constructions
- Constructions data 2 - adding new constructions, performance, applying to surfaces
- Drawing windows, doors and sub-surfaces, editing openings at building level
- Openings model data
- Shading data
- Lighting and daylight control data
- HVAC data (heating, cooling, ventilation, Domestic Hot Water (DHW)
- Timing, schedules, profiles and holidays
- Hourly weather data
4. Heating Design, Cooling Design and Simulation
The Calculations tutorials explain how to set up DesignBuilder EnergyPlus simulations and analyse results.
- Heating design calculations for sizing heating systems
- Cooling design calculations for sizing cooling systems
- Setting up and running simulations
- Analysing simulation results
- Exporting data and compiling reports
5. Natural Ventilation
7. Detailed HVAC
- Introduction to Detailed HVAC
- Activity setpoints, Fresh air settings and HVAC Zone groups
- Adding zone equipment
- Introduction to HVAC loops
- Hot water plant loops, boilers
- Generic air loops, air handling units
- Refrigeration cycle
- Chilled water loops, Chillers and Fan Coil Units
- Condenser loop, Cooling towers
- Heated floors