Hevacomp to OpenBuildings - A complete guide for every user

We are mindful that for a very long time Hevacomp was (and still is) central to the work of many design engineers. More so now than ever, as dependence on such design tools has increased to take advantage of the potential efficiencies and capabilities on offer.

So, we can certainly understand that any change to something that became core to the working day of many, may seem a daunting prospect at first.

This post is intended to help allay any fears or concerns that Hevacomp users may have and to offer clarity on what exactly the move to OpenBuildings Designer entails.

1 - OpenBuildings Energy Simulator - Building Performance Software with Hevacomp Capabilities

We are cognisant that design engineers want a quick and easy way to run their calculations. Under pressure for results, they don't want to have to draw an entire BIM model and all that entails, to get a few CIBSE Gain or Heat Loss reports.

It is true that OpenBuildings Designer is BIM software with a very wide range of capabilities. However, alongside this, OpenBuildings Energy Simulator is included as standard.

While there are some links, Energy Simulator is essentially completely independent, separate software. It is a fully-fledged dedicated building performance and energy modelling software, based entirely on the capabilities of Hevacomp Design Database and Simulator.

It is easy to use, and modelling a whole building takes a matter of minutes. The familiar workflows from Hevacomp are at the core of this, but now streamlined into a much more intuitive, modern, and user friendly interface. You can trace your rooms in 2D via floor plans, and also import projects via Hevacomp, GBXML or OpenBuildings Designers ASM.

All capabilities such as the Load Calculations, Dynamic Simulations, Part L, and Radiance Daylight Simulation are included as standard as part of your license.

2. Duct/Pipe Sizing - just like Netsys

Within OpenBuildings Designer there are different workflows for each design discipline - e.g. Structural, Architectural and so on. All of these are available to you as standard, and the Netsys capabilities are within the Mechanical section.

Similar to above, the familiar Hevacomp workflows are now present. While you can trace in 3D directly into a BIM model should you wish, you can also easily trace single-line schematics, or import a floor plan to trace your routing in 2D, just like in Netsys.

However, unlike Netsys, you can now promote your completed system to 3D. This model can be modified, printed, or referenced into other drawings to form your complete building model, should you need.

3. Hevacomp - still available if needed

We are aware that becoming familiar with new software can take time for some, and also that many will have ongoing Hevacomp projects. Also, legacy projects will need to be revisited on an ongoing basis and users still rely on Connect for electrical designs.

With this in mind, throughout this transition Technical Support has remained available to help with any Hevacomp issues, and Hevacomp remains available as a free entitlement as part of your OpenBuildings Designer license. 

Should you need to download Hevacomp, simply log a Support Case here.

4. Free Training and Resources

All OpenBuildings Energy Simulator training courses have been made freely available to users, on both our LearnServer, and on YouTube.

These training resources should cover all the major topics you need, with additional guidance on our Energy Simulation Wiki page. 

5. Part L Energy Assessors - everything you need

Our Part L Energy Assessor course has been made freely available on our LearnServer, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Registration for the related Energy Assessor examination is very straightforward as all exams are now online. Exams are announced on our Forum - see here for example.

6. Here to help - Support

And of course if there is anything you need help with, be it technical support, training, or any other guidance, we are here to help.

To get started with OpenBuildings Energy Simulator, follow our simple guide by following the arrows shown on the Energy Simulation Wiki page.