All Collections
Running your first OpenStudio model from cove.tool
Running your first OpenStudio model from cove.tool

Getting started guide for OpenStudio

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Running OpenStudio can occur outside of the cove.tool web app. This getting started guide will walk you through all the steps: from opening your first .osm file, setting up an energy simulation, to viewing the results. Also, check out some of the other online resources available for using unique OpenStudio features, link here.

Getting Ready

Begin by downloading the OpenStudio export from the baseline energy page in the app. cove.tool provides a zip file with the .osm and weather files you'll need in order to run the OpenStudio model. Unzip the folder and move to a location where you plan on storing all of your energy modeling files. We highly recommend a location on your local C: drive for easy access and preventing lost links. Talk with your energy modeling champion for best practices at your firm. Note that OpenStudio will save all files in this directory, including results.

Opening .osm file in OpenStudio

Start by opening the OpenStudio application on your desktop. Next go to File > Open. This will bring up a dialog to select an .osm file. Navigate to where you saved your file and hit open. You may get a popup asking if you wish to save changes to the current 'Untitled' document, simply hit discard to continue. You may also get a popup asking to upgrade the file, again simply hit OK to continue. And finally a popup regarding the weather file, hit OK for this one as well. Don't worry we'll be setting the weather file in the next step.

Your .osm from cove.tool is now opened! You should see the file's name in the upper left corner which confirms your file has loaded.

Setting weather file

Next, you will need to set the weather file. This is something that cove.tool does automatically on the web app based on the project location. For OpenStudio the weather file has been provided along with the .osm file. To link the weather file, use the first tab of the OpenStudio interface, select Change Weather File and navigate to the provided .epw weather file in your folders window. Hit open and you're done!

Add Report Generation Measure & Running simulation

OpenStudio is able to generate a report with useful graphs and metrics, to enable the OpenStudio report we need to activate a measure. Go to the 'Measures' tab, drag the 'OpenStudio Results' measure from the reporting section of the library on the right, and drop it under the 'Reporting Measures' tab on the left.

Next, we're going to move to the Run Simulation tab. Don't worry, cove.tool has automated the inputs for everything from schedules to HVAC Systems! You will want to revisit all these inputs to add more and more detail as your design progresses, but for now, simply go to the Run Simulation tab and hit Run!

You'll see a series of text summarizing the simulation steps and the progress top progress bar fill. Most simulations should take between 2-10 minutes, depending on the complexity of your model.

Viewing the Report

Once your model has finished running, the final tab will display an option to view your results. Make sure to 'Reports' drop down is set to OpenStudio Results.

Alternatively, the report can be viewed as EnergyPlus Results and has a lot of information included. To orientate yourself hit the Table of Contents link in the upper right of the report.

A useful section of the EnergyPlus Results is the Annual Building Utility Performance Summary, this provides energy use for standard end uses (heating, cooling, lighting etc.) along with normalized per area metrics for easy comparisons. Note that EnergyPlus's default energy units are Joules, so you may need to convert outputs to appropriate units. Here are some common conversions:

1 joule =

9.48*10^-4 BTU

1 joule =

2.78*10^-7 kWh

1 gigajoule (GJ) =

1,000,000,000 J

You'll find the file containing the full report saved as openstudio_results_report.html and eplustbl.html in a new folder. The folder was generated during the simulation and can be found with the file location:

C:\...\'your model name'\reports

What next?

Learn more about what you can do with OpenStudio by checking out these tutorials from the OpenStudio Coalition.

Further Reading

Did this answer your question?