IFC SPACE BOUNDARY TOOL (SBT)

SBT-1 enables semi-automatic conversion of "flat surface" building geometry defined in IFC-compliant CAD software for import and use by the EnergyPlus simulations engine.  It was developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
 
The tool imports a "clean" building model generated and exported in IFC2x3 format by any CAD software that is certified for compliance with the IFC2x3 Coordination View 2 by buildingSMART International.  It applies embedded data transformation rules to simplify imported geometry definitions per requirements of EnergyPlus.  The tool also allows the end user to interactively define thermal properties of construction materials that were previously defined for the building in CAD as they are required by EnergyPlus, and to define EnergyPlus simulation run control parameters.  Finally, it wraps the transformed geometry and construction materials definitions with EnergyPlus input syntax (IDF).  The exported IDF file can then be imported directly into EnergyPlus 7.1, 7.2, or 8.0 to run the geometry import part of the simulation, or can be combined with other simulation input data.
 
Building geometry transformed by SBT-1 from CAD into EnergyPlus geometry is subject to limitations of the EnergyPlus geometry model.  No curved surfaces are allowed at present; instances of objects with curved surfaces must be redefined in CAD as systems of flat segments.  Curtain walls must currently be redefined as systems of floor-to-ceiling segments, with each containing walls and windows.  And external shading objects must contain the string “Shading” in their names.

If you have Solibri Model Checker, we provide a constraint set for verifying that models are suitable for processing by SBT: SBT Solibri Constraint Set.

The SBT executable can be freely downloaded from this website, and its source code is available at https://bitbucket.org/berkeleylab/eetd-sbt. Use and redistribution of the executable and source are governed by the following four licenses:

Please direct questions to sbt-support@lbl.gov.