Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) recently revealed a free plug-in for Google SketchUp that will allow anyone to perform energy modeling on projects. The powerful plugin will allow anyone to analyze a building’s energy performance, carbon dioxide emissions, daylighting, air flow, solar analysis, and more, providing functionality that was only previously available in Autodesk’s Revit Architecture and Revit MEP.

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Google SketchUp is frequently used by architects and designers alike to create early concept models. Its easy-to-use interface and quick renderings make creating conceptual designs a snap. With the addition of this new plug-in, designers can now factor energy-efficiency into their design before switching to more robust and fully-featured applications like Revit.

Integrated Environmental Solutions’ plugin allows designers and architects to configure window size, room type, orientation, building location, and materials in order to reduce energy use – a very important step towards building greener structures. Don McLean, IES founder and managing director, says: “we would love to see architects analyze their design as early as possible in the process.”

If you don’t have Google SketchUp yet, download it here and then pick up the IES SketchUp Plug-In here. Once everything is installed, build a new SketchUp model or begin with one of IES’s models. At this point you will be asked to define the building’s location and function, as well as its HVAC system, envelope, and the distribution of specific spaces throughout the structure. The plug-in will then calculate its energy performance compared to an average U.S. building and to 2030 Challenge targets for that building type. This plug-in will make a great addition to any architect or designer’s toolbox.

+ Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd.