DesignBuilder Building Performance Analysis Software

DesignBuilder Resources

Advice on which package is for you!

DesignBuilder is structured as a completely modular solution, comprising a core 3-D modeller and nine modules that work together to provide in-depth performance analysis for any building. Every module integrates fully with its counterparts, so you can pick individual modules or choose one of our packages.


For architects: If you’re designing a renovation or new-build project, DesignBuilder is perfect for early design stage simulations.

For engineers: Minimise the ‘energy gap’ for your clients with DesignBuilder’s advanced modelling.

For academic institutions: Universities worldwide use DesignBuilder for teaching since it is accessible to learn, and for research since it is so powerful.


  • 3-D Modeller - The core module, our efficient 3-D building modeller.
  • Visualisation - Visualisation: Stunning rendered images and site shading analysis.
  • Simulation - EnergyPlus simulations for energy and comfort analyses.
  • Daylighting - Reports daylight factors and illuminance using Radiance.
  • HVAC - A powerful and flexible interface to EnergyPlus HVAC.
  • Cost - Early stage building cost estimation.
  • LEED - LEED EAp2 and ASHRAE 90.1 calculations.
  • Optimisation - Multi-criteria optimisation to help meet design goals.
  • Scripting - Access to the EnergyPlus Energy Management System allows you to customise the behaviour of the HVAC equipment, controls and facades with sophisticated logic and custom integration with other codes.
  • CFD - Computational Fluid Dynamics calculates distribution of air properties such as velocity, temperature and pressure in and around buildings.

Hardware requirements

DesignBuilder is a professional graphics application and requires a high standard of computer hardware for successful use. This page contains information on the minimum system requirements and also the recommended specification. The main areas you should pay attention to if you are buying or upgrading your computer system to run DesignBuilder are:

Graphics adapter - a good 100% OpenGL compatible graphics adapter is required to run DesignBuilder. Most of the NVIDIA cards we have tested work well. Some graphics adapters integrated with the motherboard are unable to run DesignBuilder as are some ATI graphics cards.

  • Memory: DesignBuilder will use all the memory you can throw at it - at least 8 GB is recommended for serious modelling.
  • CPU speed: Get as fast as you can afford.
  • CPU cores: Having more than one processor core does not necessarily speed up simulations in DesignBuilder but it does allow you to continue using your computer while simulations are running. Multi core processors also make the software more responsive in use.

Windows environment

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or better (Windows 10 recommended)
  • 2.4 GHz dual core processor (i5, i7 or Xeon quad core processor recommended)
  • 4 GB (or more) RAM
  • 5 GB free disk space (200 GB recommended)
  • Pointing device (3-button scroll mouse highly recommended)
  • 100% OpenGL compatible 3D graphics adapter with hardware acceleration running in 32-bit colour mode
  • 1280x1024 pixels or larger screens for efficiency during the modelling process and for displaying high-quality visualisation images and walk-throughs of DesignBuilder models and CFD results. DesignBuilder works well with wide screens.

Mac environment

DesignBuilder has been developed using a Windows-specific software development system and there is no immediate prospect of the software running natively under the Mac operating system. However the latest Mac computers do support two alternative approaches to running Windows software:

  1. Boot Camp where Intel-based Mac computers can be booted using either the Mac or Windows operating systems. This is the recommended approach to use if possible as it runs faster and more reliably than…
  2. Virtual machines such as Parallels.


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