Find out what our users have been saying about DesignBuilder.
"I have been a DesignBuilder user since the early days and have watched it improve through the versions. Having a tool to draw a visual representation of the geometry of a survey not only saves me hours of desk time, but also improves EPC quality as decimal errors are easy to trouble shoot and don’t slip through the net."
Laurence Powell, Commercial Energy Assessor Level 4 DECS Assessor EES/011531
“What a brilliant piece of software DesignBuilder Software is. I will be honest and was sceptical to begin with. But my word, the amount of time you save using this software is unbelievable. If you are a NDEA and fed up of wasting hours/days writing up work in ISBEM, please give it a try.“
Robert Horton, NDEA and Retrofit Assessor
First Property Services, UK
"Many thanks for all the help online, over the phone and in person. The software is very user friendly and is backed up by a great team who go out of their way to assist in any way they can."
MBA Engineers, IE
"I am responsable for building the geometric model, simulate and determine the energy class of almost 100 supermarket stores from a big portuguese company. DesignBuilder is my "army knife", really a must! A great software from a great team! Thank you, great job! "
MANVIA - MotaEngil group, PT
“UCL has been using DesignBuilder in a variety of ways in recent years, but in 2019 we introduced both DesignBuilder and their new on-demand online training into our simulation-related curriculum. Both the software and training have been well received by lecturers and students. The on-demand training has provided a cost-effective and convenient way for our lecturers and students to learn DesignBuilder fundamentals, providing extensive content that they could either follow through progressively or just dip into specific topics. Our students typically learn DesignBuilder more quickly and the on-demand training helps to accelerate their learning in a logical and structured way. The students can access the online training any time, so it removes the need for us to teach software fundamentals, and that means our lecturers can focus on more specific/advanced priorities during valuable classroom time. Introducing DesignBuilder and their on-demand training this year was so successful that we are exploring deeper integration of the online learning content within our teaching modules in the next academic year.“
Professor Dejan Mumovic CEng FCIBSE FIBPSA MASHRAE, Professor of Building Performance Analysis, Director
UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, UK
"We have had a very positive experience with DesignBuilder this semester as it was the first year we shifted from our previous simulation software to DesignBuilder. Our students seem to spend less time on learning the software and more on actually understanding the results and being able to analyse them."
Dr Shahaboddin Resalati - Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture and Building Physics Architectural Engineering Group, School of Architecture
Oxford Brookes University, UK
“We started using DesignBuilder last year as a more user-friendly and sophisticated alternative to OpenStudio. Following a conversation with DesignBuilder about training, we were given an opportunity to use the new online training content to help with our transition to the software. The content is very well organized and provides detailed explanations about the interface and functionality. The training is very clear and helpful. It runs at a pace we found we could easily follow. It has a comprehensive content structure that covers every critical step needed in the modelling process: from geometry setup, HVAC configuration, to results analysis. Overall we found the online training content super helpful, giving us a very fast and convenient way to learn DesignBuilder without the cost and hassle of travel, hotels, etc. It has really helped shorten our team’s learning curve and gives us confidence in using DesignBuilder for our upcoming projects. Over the course of using DesignBuilder, we have found that the software is straightforward to use and its interface is well designed to speed up the modelling workflow. The Design Builder support team has been supportive and responsive in answering our questions.“
Junru Shen, Building Performance Consultant
Stantec, Vancouver, CA
"I used DesignBuilder for my MA thesis. The purpose of the work was to carry out yearly energy simulations for several variants of an office building. DesignBuilder allowed me to clearly understand the impact of the details various parameters on energy use in the buildings under analysis. The program has a very accessible interface and many useful functions. Thanks to its intuitive design the program is useful not only for engineers or architects but also for students. A large library of materials, schedules and systems helped me to create the simulation models. A great advantage is the number of simulation results available, which enable efficient and multivariate performance of various energy analyzes."
Justyna Latarska, Masters Student
Warsaw University of Technology, PL
"Just thought I'd drop you a line, I've been working with teams using modelling software for a number of years, and I would like to say how impressed I am with the responses and the development being achieved with design builder. The product is being developed with the design process in mind and this is fantastic from my perspective. Keep up the good work..."
Paul James, Director
eCubed Building Workshop, NZ
"DesignBuilder not only helped me to validate my results but allowed me to get in touch with an advanced building energy simulation tool and test some of its capabilities. As a mechanical engineer, the 3D interface when developing the graphics models is really easy to use and when setting materials, activities and HVAC properties the libraries and information available is really useful under a very user-friendly environment. The simulation speed is short which made easier the iteration process."
Miguel Bolivar, MSc Graduate
Southampton University, UK
“We used Design Builder at Lodz University of Technology on our Master Engineering course “Energy Systems in the Built Environment. Projects were executed in the groups of three students. Selected aspects of analyses were distributed among students and each of them was responsible for the group of problems. They used the program to build the simulation models in a whole building and a single room scale. It means that students had an opportunity to work at the one computational model considering different building design challenges. The students mainly analysed energy performance, thermal and lighting comfort as well as indoor air quality. The main goal of the project was to design building and get the highest assessment according to BREEAM methodology. Using Design Builder allowed us to work in groups from conceptualisation to final technical solution. This licence helped us to execute the project efficiently and quickly, accurately.”
Dariusz Heim, professor at TUL
Lodz University of Technology, PL
“I was looking for a way to improve accuracy and speed up production and found that DesignBuilder is capable of helping me do both. Complex roof structures and multi zone properties can be created so quickly it eliminates tedious and seemingly endless hours on area calculations for individual zones. Not only can I get to the end result more quickly but it makes running the recommendations back through the model simple and the information to the client much more valuable. No need for a calculator now, simplify adding offices to Portal frame buildings, saw tooth roofing with complex angles are so easy. Using templates of the types of building visited regularly in my area means I can enter entire project data sets in a single click”.
RJR Independent Energy Assessors, UK
"I’ve just discovered how the shading from other buildings was written out with transmission schedules to the EnergyPlus idf of the building that I’m currently simulating. I love the way this whole thing hangs together and again just want to compliment you and your team on a cracking job. From a total design point of view, I absolutely love this program. I find it very well thought out and I enjoy using it."
“I have been using DesignBuilder for non-domestic EPCs and compliance modelling since 2008. Having done many hundreds of models in DesignBuilder, I have been very pleased with the way the software has steadily evolved over the years. I briefly switched to using another UK Level 5 approved tool due to DesignBuilder not having approval for Level 5 DSM assessments at the time (it subsequently released L5 DSM in early 2017) but found it was more expensive and much more difficult to learn than DesignBuilder, and time-consuming to use; even after becoming relatively experienced using it. Switching back to DesignBuilder was therefore an easy choice. With the MEES legislation driving greater volumes of Level 5 DSM and simulation work, it is fantastic to be able to quickly and easily switch between SBEM and DSM modes in the same model to determine which gives the best rating for the MEES client (mostly DSM, but not always!). The service provided by the admin and technical support teams at DesignBuilder has also been first-class, with helpful staff responding quickly. I would thoroughly recommend DesignBuilder, particularly for UK Level 4 SBEM assessors wishing to ‘upgrade’ to Level 5 for DSM and MEES assessments which is a very straightforward process. Thanks to all at DesignBuilder, keep up the good work!"
Business Footprint Ltd
“I continue to be impressed by Design Builder and your team. I agree with what your company stands for, how you do it, and that you put customer support and customer services first.""
Carlos Melgar, Sustainability Consultant
Briary Energy Ltd
"I have used DesignBuilder extensively both for certification modelling and for design work. Its template system, extensive libraries and custom certification tools – eg. for ASHRAE 90.1 or LEED daylighting – help to speed up time-consuming tasks. The software enables quick analyses of various design alternatives, helping to inform design decisions and find most cost-efficient solutions. What I find particularly useful though, is access to the EnergyPlus Energy Management System combined with custom DesignBuilder extension language. Using this scripting tool, models can be customized beyond standard software capabilities. This provides endless possibilities for creating sophisticated energy models and modelling virtually any real-world system or building element. Moreover, the Helpdesk staff provides professional and quick help – whenever I had become stuck with my models or encountered seemingly irresolvable issues the DesignBuilder team was always able to come up with right answers."
Jakub Wysocki, Sustainability Consultant,
“Our firm has been using DesignBuilder for a number of years now, and have found it reliable and highly productive. It allows us to quickly assess early-stage alternatives whilst its advanced modeling tools mean we can develop the model through detailed design. The flexibility of DesignBuilder’s drawing tools helps us to quickly create new geometry or edit geometry we import from other BIM tools. The data management tools and pre-configured templates help us to create early-stage models very quickly and then easily make changes and update the model as the design evolves. Capabilities such as multi-state electrochromic glass, ventilated and unventilated double skin facades, natural ventilation etc. enable us to assess passive design alternatives with great confidence. Being able to use a single model to do the loads, energy and comfort, daylighting and CFD modeling all in one place saves us lots of time and give us the functionality we need for ASHRAE 90.1 and LEED modeling and reporting. Simulations are quick, either through the software or the cloud simulation service for more complex models. In summary, DesignBuilder makes modeling faster and easier from early-stage through detailed design; the software buys us more valuable time to analyze alternatives so that we can confidently predict the performance of our designs and get the best results for our clients.”
Natalia Quintanilla, Building Science Specialist
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
“In my previous role as a technical consultant for the UK’s largest accreditation scheme, I had the privilege of using and regularly QA-checking models from all of the approved non-domestic EPC software tools. It is no coincidence that having left that role I have now chosen to use DesignBuilder for my own EPC, Part L and MEES work. I have always found DesignBuilder to be intuitive and easy to use, allowing the rapid and concise input any building from simple two zone shops to the large, complex and fiddly multi story monsters. I am far more productive than if I had stuck with iSBEM, there is no doubt that DesignBuilder is cost effective and it only takes a few EPCs to pay for itself. DesignBuilder’s SBEM and DSM training was blissfully straightforward and very good value, once I started using the software I very quickly picked up the finer points with assistance from the excellent free online video tutorials. If you aren’t fully satisfied with your existing software, I would have no hesitation in recommending DesignBuilder."
Joe Davies BSc(Hons)
JD Energy, UK
"I have watched the steady progression of DesignBuilder for the last 10 years or so, and having seen recent improvements in DesignBuilder’s HVAC and LEED modeling I decided to attend their training. I was both surprised and pleased to find how easy to use DesignBuilder is compared to the other similar tools I’ve tried, especially given the power and flexibility offered by the underlying EnergyPlus, Radiance and CFD engines. I’m really pleased that after a week’s training I feel ready to produce accurate results and outputs for loads and sizing calculations and energy analysis. The ability to also undertake fully-integrated daylighting and CFD analysis from the same model you use for loads and thermal simulations is also a very big plus point."
David Ellis PE
Virginia 22102, USA
“DesignBuilder’s Energy Management System (EMS) functionality was used to optimize the performance of a low-temperature chilled water plant serving a suite of operating rooms (ORs). As a result of this study, the client was able to identify a potential controls adjustment that would result in an annual cost savings of up to $20,000.”
BEMP, LEED AP
“I have been using DesignBuilder to produce Energy Performance Certificates and BRUKL statements for Non Domestic buildings, both large and small, throughout the UK since 2009. I find that using DesignBuilder to model the simulation building in 3D is not only fast and accurate, but also enjoyable and satisfying. it’s just as important to be able to data check the model, and I have found that this too is straightforward using DesignBuilder. Architects and Engineers who use DesignBuilder’s other assessment and simulation modules will appreciate these advantages too. I now look forward to producing Level 5 EPC’s using DesignBuilder DSM.”
Karl Sharpe MSc ICIOB, Director
Green Zone Surveys (UK) Ltd
"I used DesignBuilder for the first time during my doctoral studies at the Berlin University of Technology. Since it uses EnergyPlus as its simulation engine, it is a very accurate and powerful simulation software tool and at the same time has a very easy to use interface. DesignBuilder has extensive capabilities that cover most of the features building energy simulation users need. Therefore it is a fantastic simulation software tool for all building simulation user groups, especially for architects and architecture students. I was so satisfied with the capabilities of DesignBuilder as well as with the high quality of customer service during my doctoral studies that I am using the software for my postgraduate sustainable design and simulation course at the Institute of Architecture at the Berlin University of Technology. Another reason for choosing DesignBuilder for education is the easy and quick to learn teaching process. The experiences from my course show me that students were able to learn how to use and apply DesignBuilder very quickly for simulation and optimization of building energy performance."
Dr. Farshad Nasrollahi, Assistant Professor
Berlin University of Technology, DE
"I have been using DesignBuilder in the context of my Sustainable Energy Management graduate course in Mechanical Engineering since 2009. The driving factors in choosing DesignBuilder were the software’s extensive capabilities and EnergyPlus engine, coupled with an easy to use interface. Students have been able to very quickly learn to use and apply it as an experimental tool to explore the adequacy of energy management measures. It has allowed the introduction of an experiential learning component into the course that is invaluable in providing insight into the building energy balance and the effectiveness of energetic measures. I am highly satisfied with DesignBuilders capabilities and interface, and with the support and service received. Thank you very much."
Dr. Alex Friess Associate Professor
Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai, UAE
"Gold stars all round .... Many thanks again for the high quality of customer service I receive from all at DesignBuilder, it is quite refreshing and a credit to your company."
DM Hall LLP, Scotland, UK
“I found the user interface and general stability of another leading commercial modelling tool that I had used for over 12 years, to be of concern as it was impeding rather than helping my workflow, and so I decided to evaluate DesignBuilder as an alternative. I used DesignBuilder’s on-demand online training to help provide a structure for my learning and found the training content to be first-class, providing the level of detail you need to gain a good foundation in the software. I liked how the training is structured in a way that it teaches you to teach yourself by reference to relevant sections of DesignBuilder’s excellent Program Help (which is fully integrated with the software). That gave me a great foundation with confidence that I could continue learning more about the software once I completed the training."
Jerry Diccox, Sustainable Buildings Analyst and EPC Assessor
Weald Energy, UK
“DesignBuilder have just delivered two days of first-class bespoke simulation training for me. The training was based on my own priorities to help improve my knowledge in specific and more advanced modelling areas, and has undoubtedly fast-tracked me to become a more advanced user of the software. I would have no hesitation in recommending this form of training for those who are already using the software but who want to progress more quickly on advanced topics such as Parametric Analysis, Optimisation & EMS. Thanks to the DesignBuilder trainers and admin team for making this such a great experience!"
“At a time when we are all busier than we would like to be, it is refreshing to do business with a company in tune with the needs and limitations of the academic sector. The level of customer service we have received from DesignBuilder during the testing, purchase and installation of the software has been exemplary and pain-free. Thank you."
Prof. Malcolm Cook
Loughborough University, UK
“I have used DesignBuilder for a number of years and regularly train Level 3 and 4 Energy Assessors for one of the leading NDEA training organisations. We transitioned to DesignBuilder for the training around a year ago, having used iSBEM for a number of years, and have had remarkably good results.
DesignBuilder’s intuitive interface has made it much easier for the trainees to pick up the software aspects of the training and that has enabled us to reduce the time we need to spend on software instruction by around a half. Even students with limited IT skills have been able to pick up DesignBuilder SBEM much more quickly than iSBEM due to DesignBuilder’s data management tools and the graphical interface that helps them to visualise their work much more easily.
We have seen a significant improvement in the quality of the work produced by the delegates, and we now have increased confidence in their competence to produce EPCs and BRUKL reports. There is clear evidence of this in the improvement in exam results since switching to DesignBuilder.
We would encourage anyone working in the Energy Assessment and Building Modelling areas to look seriously at how DesignBuilder can improve their results and save their time!"
Russell Pridgeon CEng LCEA MCIBSE MIET
Enquire Consulting, UK
"First of all I would like to thank you very much for the outstanding online training that you made possible for our team. I was very happy that we could join with three people in an online training that offered us as an outstanding value. ... The course with DesignBuilder is going very well and we have some great feedback from the students.... Your data entry GUI makes it easy for students not only to “accept defaults” but to experiment. In addition your online help is extremely thorough and you present not only the theoretical background but also offer great links to the reference. You might not realize what a powerful learning tool this is; but it is. We think you have created something very valuable and we are looking forward very much to where your company goes from here... Thanks again for your great support. "
Dr Manfred J. Zapka
University of Hawaii, USA
"We decided to go out and measure some natural light levels in buildings that we have access to.... One building was our own office, and the other was a green building we worked on which will be tenanted in 2 weeks so we had a chance to take readings in the same environment for which we simulated. I am happy to say that the DesignBuilder results are very close to what we measured... What impresses me is that if we measure a value of 250 lux at 3m from the facade, DB returns similar values. This means that if we say that 40% of a building's usable area will have lux levels of 250 or above, then the measured results correlate with that. ... It certainly makes us confident in the results we give to clients."
Warren Gray, Mechanical Engineer
Solid Green Consulting, ZA
“DesignBuilder’s clear, well-structured layout and intuitive help system makes it a much simpler tool to learn and use, and compared to other simulation packages the creation of professional-looking geometry is much easier. The ease of use extends to other areas of the program such as thermal bridging analysis and setting up HVAC systems, and the capability to easily model adjacent ground conditions is very useful. A very important aspect of our work is optimisation, and DesignBuilder seems to be the only software that currently provides this functionality. We are encouraged that the development team have taken some of our functionality and user efficiency suggestions on board for the next release. We are already using DesignBuilder for research, and for the above reasons we think it is a tool that our students will find easier to use so we will be using it for teaching next academic year.”
Professor Ljubomir Jankovic, Birmingham School of Architecture
Birmingham City University, UK
"We utilised DesignBuilder software to carry out detailed natural ventilation assessments on buildings at our UK gas plants in order to demonstrate compliance with hazardous area regulations. First of all I would like to praise the initial support received from DesignBuilder staff, who were extremely knowledgeable and provided a welcoming point of contact for support and advice. Having used the majority of the alternative building simulation software packages on the market, I found without a doubt DesignBuilder the most user friendly and enjoyable to use. The modelling program itself is fantastically simple allowing even complex buildings to be developed quickly and easily. The user interface of the calculation part of the software is well thought out and the results outputs are graphical and concise. Within a few hours I had got to grips with the software and obtained the results I desired. It has allowed Shell to present compliance to regulating authorities, who were also impressed with the visualisation displays and graphical outputs. I fully endorse DesignBuilder, and in particular how easy it was to learn and use compared to similar building simulation software on the market."
Iain Begg, Senior HVAC Engineer
Shell Projects and Technology Group, Aberdeen, UK
"The graphical user interface of DesignBuilder is comprehensive and intuitive, allowing us to model complex buildings simply and quickly. The data management structure (data hierarchy and inheritance) allows us to assign model data quickly and accurately, improving our efficiency. The power and flexibility of EnergyPlus, the underlying simulation engine, enables us to model a building in fine detail where required so that we can accurately analyse its performance. This is particularly helpful when calibrating the model with actual energy consumption to obtain a reliable close match when assessing potential improvements and energy conservation measures."
Alessandro Righi, Architect and Researcher
IUAV - Laboratory technical physics. IT
"I have used DesignBuilder for a number of years because I believe it is the best software package available for designing high performance buildings. It is easy to set up a model in early design. The model provides both an estimate of energy consumption and a 3-D visualization of the project that can be shared with clients. The same model can be continuously updated with more detail as the project evolves.
I recently attended the DesignBuilder training in Denver which reinforced just how quick to learn and easy to use DesignBuilder is compared to the other similar tools I’ve tried. I would be happy to recommend DesignBuilder software (and their training) as a way of helping modelers produce accurate results and outputs for loads/sizing and energy analysis. With the ability to also undertake daylighting and CFD analysis from the same model you use for loads and thermal simulations it seems DesignBuilder have all the capabilities most architectural and engineering firms would need in one efficient package."
Dave Bryan AIA, LEED AP
Third Level Design, Minneapolis, USA
"By using DesignBuilder I estimate that our establishments can process certificates up to 3 times faster than the iSBEM method, this has allowed us to excel in the Scottish market…"
Director of Operations, CADmeleon, UK
I love the way this whole thing hangs together and again just want to compliment you and your team on a cracking job. From a total design point of view, I absolutely love this program. I find it very well thought out and I enjoy using it.
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