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 must be logged in to view these tutorials, if you do not have a username and password, please click here to register.
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!
Important Note: UK and Ireland Energy Assessors should view the tutorials at the bottom of this page, which are specific to DesignBuilder’s Certification interface. The tutorials above that are predominantly based on the EnergyPlus interface, which is different to the interface used for SBEM and DSM modelling.
- 000 Introduction to Tutorials - Tutorial concept and freely available resources
- 001 DesignBuilder User Interface – Modelling: Opening screen, loading a model, screen layout, navigation
- 002 DesignBuilder User Interface – Model Data: Site level, model data tabs, data hierarchy and inheritance
- 003 DesignBuilder User Interface – Simulation Screens: Overview of visualisation and calculation screens
These tutorials cover the key areas needed to get started, including how to quickly create and edit building geometry, automated adjacency assignment, importing/exporting models from/to other tools, and creating thermal zones using partitions.
- 101 Starting a new project
- 102 Blocks and dimensioning protocols
- 103 Adding blocks and using the measure tool
- 104 Shading using standard component blocks
- 105 Setting adjacency conditions using ground and adiabatic blocks
- 106 Selecting, moving, cloning and deleting objects
- 107 Stretch, drag face and rotate tools
- 108 Add surface, increment snaps
- 109 Adding a roof, construction lines
- 110 Outline blocks, Boolean operations
- 111 Cutting blocks, protractor tool
- 112 Drawing arcs, circles and domes
- 113 Importing drawing files
- 114 Partitioning blocks to create zones
- 115 Drawing holes and merging zones
Basic Model DataThe Basic Model Data tutorials show how to set up data on the Activity, Constructions, Openings, Lighting and HVAC model data tabs for EnergyPlus simulations.
- 201 Model data hierarchy and inheritance
- 202 Program and Model Options
- 203 Data templates
- 204 Site level data and weather files
- 205 Activity data templates and time schedules
- 206 Construction data
- 207 Create and edit constructions
- 208 Glazing and openings
- 209 Drawing windows and doors
- 210 Creating new glazing types
- 211 Shading via louvres, overhangs, and side fins
- 212 Lighting data and daylight controls
- 213 Simple HVAC Data
- 214 Timings, schedules and profiles
- 215 Compact schedules
- 216 Hourly weather data
Heating Design, Cooling Design and Simulation
The Calculations tutorials explain how to set up DesignBuilder EnergyPlus simulations and analyse results.
- 301 Model Data Grid View & QA checking
- 302 Heating Design Calculations
- 303 Cooling Design Calculations
- 304 Setting up simulations
- 305 Analysing results in DesignBuilder’s interface
- 306 Simulation Manager and Results viewer
The Detailed HVAC tutorials show how to model different systems and components to serve a whole building or parts of it. The tutorials will show you how to quickly and easily create and edit EnergyPlus Detailed HVAC systems (including pre-configured templates for ASHRAE 90.1), and also how to create systems from scratch.
- 401 Introduction to Detailed HVAC
- 402 HVAC zone groups and components
- 403 Adding loops and connecting components
- 404 Editing HVAC loop and component properties
- 405 Chilled water loops chillers and fan coil units
- 406 Condenser loops cooling tower
- 407 Adding air loops and AHUs
- 408 Editing Generic air loop and system components
- 409 Running Detailed HVAC simulations
- 410 Radiant surfaces
These tutorials explain how to configure a DesignBuilder EnergyPlus model for scheduled and calculated natural ventilation and mixed-mode systems, then set up simulations and analyse results.
- 501 Scheduled natural ventilation and infiltration
- 502 Calculated natural ventilation
- 503 Mixed mode ventilation
UK/Ireland SBEM, DSM, and Summer Overheating
The Certification foundation tutorial will show you how to use DesignBuilder’s SBEM UK and Ireland Certification interface to create or import model geometry, add model data, run a calculation, and review the SBEM Certification output documents. DesignBuilder’s SBEM and DSM interfaces are largely identical, so the DSM tutorial will highlight the main differences and additional functionality in the DSM interface to enable more accurate modelling of solar gain and shading etc. The summer overheating tutorial will show how quickly you can input key model data, run simulations, and generate outputs for CIBSE TM52 and TM59 assessments.
- A001 Certification Foundation and SBEM
- A002 DSM for Certification
- A003 CIBSE TM52 & TM59 Summer Overheating
Note that you can switch seamlessly between DesignBuilder’s interfaces for SBEM, DSM, and summer overheating calculations. That process is illustrated in our “Generating TM52/59 Reports From Your EPC Model in Record Time” webinar on this page: https://designbuilder.co.uk/training/webinars
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.