ArchSim Energy Modeling for GH

Hi all - Archsim Energy Modeling is a plugin that, for the first time, brings fully featured EnergyPlus simulations to Rhino/Grasshopper and thus links the EnergyPlus simulation engine with a powerful parametric design and CAD modeling environment. Archsim allows you to effortlessly create complex multi-zone energy models, simulate them and visualize results without ever switching between tools. Archsim supports advanced daylighting and shading controls, ventilation modules such as wind and stack natural ventilation, airflow-networks, simple HVAC, photovoltaics and phase changing materials. It is typically used for rapid early design exploration where building shape, window to wall ratios, facade and glazing systems and passive approaches such as shading and natural ventilation potential are tested for their impact on the building environmental performance and comfort. Simulation inputs such as model geometry, materiality, constructions and zone usage profiles are fully parametric and can be coupled with optimization algorithms within Grasshopper. Archsim is a young tool under heavy development and new features are added frequently. Archsim exports native IDF files that are fully customizable. Besides EnergyPlus version 8-1-0 support the same workflow can also produce TRNSYS B17 files. Documentation and example files, community support and most importantly a copy of Archsim are available under

I have tested the project in all conscience but the simulations as well as the code might still contain errors. Please use it "as is", it does not come with warranties. I spent a lot of time developing the logic and implementing it, please give credit where credit is due. Your feedback is, of course, very welcome and it would help me a lot to further improve the tool.

The installation assumes that you have EnergyPlus v8.1 already installed on your computer. Energy Plus is free and can be downloaded here.

To install the plugin:

  • Close Rhino and Grasshopper
  • Remove all oder versions of Archsim
  • Run the RHI intaller
  • Select "Just Me" - ("Anyone" will not work)

To install the Grasshopper components manually:

  • Unzip the RHI file to get the component files and dlls.
  • In Grasshopper, choose File > Special Folders > Components folder. Save all delivered files [gha,dll,xmls] there.
  • Right-click the file > Properties > make sure there is no "blocked" text
  • Restart Rhino and Grasshopper

Documentation is available on

By downloading or using the software you acknowledge that you have read and accepted the terms and conditions of this agreement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions, do not download, install, or attempt to use the software.


- Timur

Support Email: 4FQ.4GAUQLS@LH4GK@
Plug-in rating:
Average: 4.7 (6 votes)
Title Release Notes
Updated lic file.  
Language: English
New icon set, Visualization components (Beta), Fixes problems with boundary condition objects and the eso reader  
Language: English
Support for Energy Plus 8.2 Fixed error in scheduled ventilation Networker auto-culls null objects Result-loader with tree and label output  
Language: English
Performance indicators Parametric zone and window settings Parametric schedules Materials with defaults *bugfix for Library component  
Language: English
Grasshopper style interface Several bug fixes  
Language: English
fixes a bug in the "Integrate Indicators" component fixes a bug that was showing wrong xml in the zone set output  
Language: English
ArchSim EM
Adds Grasshopper components for materials and glazing. Adds material import from IDF. Fixes a bug with Boundary Condition Objects and Adiabatic switch. Performance improvements  
Language: English
ArchSim EM
Adds airflow networks, PCM and finite difference solver support. Window and Ventilation controls as well as Simple HVAC have been improved.  
Language: English
Homepage: Archsim Page


Hello, we are facing with a problem of calculating a thermal zone, a window, a window frame. In our attempts to model this more complex entity we have tried to set it up as a window itself, however this is not possible since the program is looking for glazing constructions which doesn't share the same properties as an obeque construction. The model we are entering it into is also designed to be parameteric to allow iterative testing. Is there a way to assign a frame to have a different value then the surrounding wall or the window it is attached to while modeling them all simulationously as a single zone? What is the best solution to this simulaiton problem?




Has anyone encountered this error?

 1. Solution exception:Unable to cast object of type 'Grasshopper.Kernel.Types.GH_Brep' to type 'Grasshopper.Kernel.Types.GH_ObjectWrapper'.

I was setting a brep to a zone component and this error came up.

Hi Timur!

Thanks for this plugin. I am trying to use Archsim however am facing some issues. It would be great if you could provide an example file for thermal simulation. Just a basic shoebox will be highly appreciated.




hello again,

thanks for the reply! does that mean that ArchSim will not work on a mesh model where the roof is a sequence of smaller vaults and also in the interiors there are arches?




Thank you for the plug-in! I would like to ask if Archsim is working on meshes or NURBS models?

Another hesitation is if it is open source or free/paid?
The answers will be very useful for an ongoing research of mine.

Thank you!

Timur's picture

Hi - It works with the planar surfaces only. Archsim uses Breps and Surfaces as geometry format and convertes them into mesh-like EnergyPlus format.

It is free but not open source.


Hi, first thanks for the great tool.

I just start using it and have some questions about the NatVent simulation. I used the buoyancy model and built a box model.

1. is there anyway to set what version energyplus to use?

2. the csv result shows that only three days are simulated, May 22, 23 and 24. why use these three days of the year? and is there anyway to change the simulation period (e.g. 6 hours a day, or all 365 days a year)?

3. the csv result shows the ambient outdoor and the indoor operative temperatures. But the operative temperature seems to be in IP unit though the heading says celcius. is it already converted from celcius automatically?

I downloaded the installation package today so hopefully i have the latest version. 

Thank you in advance!

Timur's picture

Dear Yuna,

all settings you asked for can be found under the settings of the energy plus component.

archsim should simulate only in SI units.



polomani's picture

Hi Timur,

First of all thank you for the promising tool!

I would like to pin point some features that are highly expected in the future realeases if that is of interest for you. I am a Tas Edsl user so sorry if some of the terminology would be inconsistent or irrelevant. Nevertheless I am sure you would get my point.

Me and I guess a lot of AA SED programme students would appreciate if the tool would allow to assign schedules for the infiltration rate as we assume infiltration can be controlled by the trickle vents). Secondly, and I have no idea if E+ allows that but it would be great to have possibility to provide substitution for building elements according to the schedule. This would be extremely powerful as this would allow to apply bioclimatic strategies like the use of shutters over windows during the night. 

There are some specifics of the interface I didn't understand. Can you clarify according to which schedule MECH VENT in conditioning folder in zone settings work?

More detailed labeling of the results would be appreciated as well as at first it was unclear which values do we deal with (J or kWh).

Lastly it is still unclear for me how do I assign boundary conditions. Is there a step by step guide anywhere online? This is specifically of interest for the case where one would wish to build a model from faces. For instance if I have a shoebox where I want only one wall to be exposed, do I have to provide a brep that represents my slabs and the rest of the walls and than provide concident coplanar breps that represent boundary conditions? What do I do?

I have a lot more questions, but I think this is enough for now. Thank you a lot for a nice plug-in.

I'm having some trouble getting the rhino toolbar to show up. I've installed this a bunch of different ways, and I'm seeing the grasshopper interface, but not the rhino one. Any tips?

Timur's picture

Hi mitevpi,

Unfortunately, there is no Rhino version of Archsim. It's a Grassopper plugin. It does add the scissor tool as a command in Rhino though.



Just getting started trying this plugin, seems really promising!

I was wondering however, when I place a Thermal Zone component, the input options only include "Brep" and "Set". In the image I see that there should also be an option for window input ("Win"), of which I find in the network component but not the zone. I want to be able to assign different glass types to different thermal zones. How do I do that?

Thank you!

Timur's picture

Hi Aloomans,

the newer versions have a separate window component. Apologies for not updating the images. Check out the latest release - it has a couple of example files. Let me know if you need more help - best Timur

Thanks Timur, unfortunately when I use the networker component now I get the message that "Solution exception:Access to the path 'C:\Program Files\Common Files\McNeel\Rhinoceros\5.0\Plug-ins\ArchsimRhino (9ead4e28-0d4e-4e87-aca5-94cd9dbb4388)\\ArchsimHardwareId.txt' is denied."

I went to make sure all the files were unblocked and they were, did I uninstall it wrong or something? Probably something really simple, the help is much appreciated.



Timur's picture

Hi Aloomans, thanks for making me aware of this problem. I noticed this happens when you install it for "Anyone on this computer". Then Rhino copies the files into a folder that is read-only. If you select "Just Me" during the installation it should work. I updated the helpfiles here.

Make sure to delete the old installation before you reinstall.



An odd glitch, I reinstalled and it works perfect! Excited to start experimenting with it, thanks Timur!


Protected Collaborative Environments
© 2016McNeel Europe. User-submitted content and trademarks property of their respective owners.