Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in for SketchUp

Version 1.0.11
Updated July 28, 2014

Download the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in

The Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in for SketchUp makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. This free plug-in also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving the SketchUp 3D drawing program

Note that active development has moved from the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in to the more comprehensive OpenStudio suite of tools and libraries. Changes to the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in will be limited to bug fixes and compatibility updates for new versions of EnergyPlus.

Learn more:

About the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in

The Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in allows you to use the standard SketchUp tools to create and edit EnergyPlus zones and surfaces. You can explore your EnergyPlus input files by using all of the native SketchUp 3D capabilities to view the geometry from any vantage point, apply different rendering styles, and perform shadowing studies. The plug-in allows you to mix EnergyPlus simulation content with decorative content such as background images, landscaping, people, and architectural finish details—all within the same SketchUp model.

The plug-in adds the building energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus to the SketchUp environment. You can launch an EnergyPlus simulation of the model you are working on and view the results without leaving SketchUp.

Screenshot from EnergyPlus with OpenStudio.  In the center of the screen is a large graphical display of the building being designed in EnergyPlus.  The 3-story building is designed like an H, and color-coded.

Highlights of Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in include the ability to:

  • Create and edit EnergyPlus zones and surfaces
  • Launch EnergyPlus and view the results without leaving SketchUp
  • Match interzone surface boundary conditions
  • Search for surfaces and subsurfaces by object name
  • Add internal gains and simple outdoor air for load calculations
  • Add the ideal HVAC system for load calculations
  • Set and change default constructions
  • Add daylighting controls and illuminance map
  • Get help from tutorials and documentation

This plug-in makes it easier to work with EnergyPlus. However, expertise in using EnergyPlus at the text level is highly recommended for performing successful and accurate simulations. The Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in does not yet handle all critical input objects. Some editing of the input file will usually be required outside of SketchUp. You can use a text editor, a third-party interface/tool, or other program (for example, the IDF Editor) to edit EnergyPlus input files.

The Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in for SketchUp was created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Release Notes

Below are notes about new features and bug fixes for recent Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in releases.


This newest release is updated to work with SketchUp 2014.

Software Requirements

  • Windows 7/8.1 or Mac OS X 10.48+
  • SketchUp 8.0 or later (Free or Pro)
  • EnergyPlus Version 8.1

This plug-in is compatible with both the Free and the Pro versions of SketchUp. EnergyPlus must be installed on your computer for full access to all of the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in functionality. However, EnergyPlus can be installed after the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in.

Installation Instructions

  • Make sure that SketchUp 8.0 or higher is installed on your computer.

  • Download the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in 1.0.11 plugin and download EnergyPlus 8.1.

  • Make sure that you are logged in as an admin user.

  • Install EnergyPlus 8.1.

  • Install the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in 1.0.11. The installation will be placed in your local SketchUp plug-in directory. Please see the note below.

  • Launch SketchUp. You are now ready to start modeling. You should see the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in toolbars. If you don't see them, you can open them via the View > Toolbars submenu.

  • For documentation, tutorials, and release notes, see the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in Help within SketchUp. Click the green "?" icon or choose Help > OpenStudio Plug-in User Guide from the menu. The help files will be displayed in your web browser. The help files can also be found in your local SketchUp plug-in directory under OpenStudio/doc/help.

Note: the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in for SketchUp version 1.0.11 supports SketchUp 8 2013, and 2014. However, the default installation is for SketchUp 2014. SketchUp 2014 is the first version of SketchUp to load plugins from within the user’s home directory. Previous versions of SketchUp require that plugins be located in the installation directory. If you want to use the Legacy OpenStudio Plug-in for SketchUp 8 or SketchUp 2013, please do the following:

  • Windows — Change the installation directory to 'C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins' or 'C:\Program Files (x86)\SketchUp\SketchUp 2013\Plugins' instead of 'C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\SketchUp\SketchUp 2014\SketchUp\Plugins'.

  • Mac — If you installed for all users then the plugin will be installed under '/Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2014/SketchUp/Plugins/'. If you installed for just you then it will be under '~/Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2014/SketchUp/Plugins/'. Copy the OpenStudio.rb file and OpenStudio directory from this directory to '/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/Plugins/' or '/Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2013/SketchUp/Plugins'.


Technical support is available through the openstudio-support@lists.sourceforge.net mailing list. To join this list, send a blank email to openstudio-support-join@lists.sourceforge.net. NOTE: You must join the list to be allowed to post.