Support and Training

DesignBuilder Australia

Please contact us at to register your interest.

Training overview

Simulation of homes has been traditionally carried out using the Chenath/NatHERS software, most frequently for compliance purposes.  The DesignBuilder (DB) software suite provides additional functionality for analysing the design of thermally comfortable and energy-efficient homes.  The DB graphical user interface (GUI) allows for building geometry input from CAD files, rendering of sunpath and shadow diagrams, daylight analysis, prediction of the impact of passive solar and natural ventilation strategies on space thermal comfort, as well as prediction of annual energy use for heating and cooling.

Australia’s National Construction Code (NCC) allows for energy simulation of buildings by comparing a Proposed Design against a Reference Design.  Long used to test commercial building compliance using Section JV3 of Volume One, this compliance path is also available for detached housing under Section 2.6 of Volume Two via the VURB (verification using a reference building) method.

Typically, Day 1 of the training workshop focuses on residential buildings, concentrating on the use of DesignBuilder to analyse house designs.  Day 2 normally covers Section J compliance for commercial buildings using the JV3  Alternate verification using a reference building method (Volume One).  Cooling load calculations using the ASHRAE Heat Balance method, and modelling of detailed HVAC systems will be addressed.  New DesignBuilder features and the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) will be demonstrated.

We offer 3 Types of Teaching modules :

  1. Beginner Modules: To be attended by all participants
  2. Elective Modules: Optional modules (Prerequisite- Beginner Modules)
  3. Advance Modules: Optional modules (Prerequisite- Beginner Modules)

1. Beginner Modules




1 What is building energy simulation? Introductory lecture to ensure we’re all on the same page with expectations from energy simulation analysis!
2 A first look atDesignBuilder A fly-around the DB interface in learning mode, using a simple building geometry and example simulation run
3 Running simulations Reporting options
4 Reviewing results Three ways to review results
5 Modelling building geometry Introduction to building model geometryfor simulation (this is NOT a CAD program);zoning
6 Windows and shading Adding windows, specifying window system performance, adding fins, louvres, overhangs and blinds
7 Visualisation Using the Visualisation analysis to check sunpath and shading effectiveness; testing passive solar design
8 Internal loads and schedules Defining heat loads from people, lights and equipment, and how they vary hour-by- hour
9 Construction systems Specifying walls, floor, roof etc; calculatingR-values; specifying an R-value;Infiltration rates
10 Creating Custom Templates Creating Custom Templates for Activity, Construction, Openings, Lighting and HVAC.
11 Simple (ideal) HVAC Specifying a Simple HVAC system (constantCOP, ideal HVAC representation)

2. Elective Modules


11 Using SimulationManager How to carry out multiple ‘what if?’ DesignBuilder simulations; Quality Assurance using Visualisation view and Spreadsheet view
12 Cooling Load calculations Using ASHRAE Heating Balance method to calculate cooling loads (and heating loads)
13 Introducing Detailed HVAC – DX and VRF systems An introduction to the Detailed HVAC interface (required for NCC Vol 1 JV3) using unitary HVAC systems
14 Detailed HVAC systems– Water-cooled chilled water VAV system Configuring and simulating Central PlantHVAC systems
15 Using DB for NCC2019Vol 1 JV3 A run through of the NCC Section-J JV3 compliance process for Vol 1 using DesignBuilder


Using the DBA NCC2019PMV plugin DesignBuilder Australia have developed a plugin for Australian users to semi- automate the laborious process of computing Temperature and PMV compliance


Using DB for NCC2019Vol 2 Verification Using a Reference Building (VURB) A run-through of the NCC Vol 2 VURB compliance process for Class 1 buildings using DesignBuilder with discussion on value-added services beyond NatHERS

3. Advance Modules


18 Natural Ventilation Analysing impact of Natural Ventilation via the EnergyPlus Airflow Network in DesignBuilder
19 Solar PV Integrating solar PV systems into building energy simulation
20 Daylighting Introduction to three types of daylighting calculations available in DesignBuilder
21 Introduction to CFD inDB A run-through of the CFD modelling process in DesignBuilder

The above content can be varied, depending on the needs of the class.  Please ask us about this.


All new DesignBuilder version 6 licences and upgrades come with one (1) complimentary hour of email or phone support.  A range of online support resources are listed below:

Additional, specialised, project-specific support may be purchased in blocks  of time.  A typical support request might use 20 minutes in which case a 60-minute support block would cover three incidents.

Questions?   Email:


Introduction to Building Energy Simulation by PC Thomas