The LBT2PH toolkit allows you to construct, refine and control the
entire PHPP energy model from with Rhino,
while simultaneously creating a parallel model within
LadybugTools and EnergyPlus for dynamic model assessment. These
tools allow for a wide variety of uses and levels of detail,
from simple geometry export up to complete PHPP
control and multi-zone modeling.
How Does it Work?
The LBT2PH toolkit includes a set of new Rhino 'commands' as well as a group
of all new Grasshopper components which allow you to convert a LadybugTools model
into a PHPP. These tools allow for the creation and updating of the PHPP
entirely from within Rhino/Grasshopper. The new Rhino commands allow for
easy parameter assignment and management within the 3D Rhino scene, while the
new Grasshopper components are used 'in-line' with the Ladybug / Honeybee tools.
Take a look below for more details.
+ Rhino Parameter Management Tools
The Rhino side plugins allow you to easily host attribute
data directly on Rhino geometry which will then flow into the LBT2PH
plugins and PHPP model. This includes assembly information
such as U-Values as well as names, types and exposures (ground,
air, etc..). All this data is stored in the Rhino file and
can be edited and updated at any time.
+ Grasshopper Components
The Grasshopper side components allow you to read object
attributes from Rhino, add additional data or information,
and pass this bquilding data to both the Honybee Room or Model, as
well as a PHPP output model. These components work 'in-line'
with the existing Honeybee tools and supplement them where
needed in order to correctly format information for the PHPP.
From within Grasshopper, all PHPP model data can be streamed in real-time
to Excel for result evaluation.
The LBT2PH converter allows users to import EnergyPlus IDF files into
a PHPP. This is useful if you have an IDF file created by another
program (such as the 'Legacy' Ladybug Tools) that you'd like to
import into the PHPP.
In order to have access to the new Rhino LBT2PH commands inside
your copy of Rhino, they first need to be added to your system.
The method to do that is a little funny, but not so hard:
From the downloaded LBT2PH_RH.zip file, copy the folder named
(yes... with that big crazy ugly name) into your Rhino PythonPlugins
directory. For more information on Rhino and Python plugins
and how they work, check out the
Rhino Developer Doc here.
The location of your Rhino PythonPlugins directory will be
different for everyone depending your system, but for me its:
Note: if you already have a PythonPlugins directory
in there, just add the new 'PH-Tools'
folder alongside whatever else you already
have in that '...Rhinoceros/7.0/Plugins/PythonPlugins/'
folder. Otherwise, first create a directory called
PythonPlugins and then copy the new 'PH-Tools'
directory from the LBT2PH_RH.zip file into it. On my system
this all looks like:
The contents of the "PH-Tools" folder you just downloaded are
custom Rhino commands which should become available the next time you
restart Rhino. These commands are used inside Rhino in order
to do some object parameter assignment which helps to streamline
the modeling process. Note that you might not find these
useful and prefer to do everything inside grasshopper. If
so, thats fine and you can just ignore these.
Step 2: Import the new LBT2PH Toolbar
All of the new LBT2PH commands can be accessed from the Rino
command line (they all have the prefix 'PHHP_' so if you start
typing PHPP you should see all of them pop up). However in order
to have easy access to these commands through the toolbar,
its helpful to create buttons to access these commands. LBT2PH
includes a pre-set toolbar with the main commands which can
be loaded into your Rhino application if you like. To do
this, open Rhino and type 'Toolbar' into the command line
or go to File/ Properties/ Toolbars... in Rhino.
In the Document Properties/ Toolbars window select File/ Import
Toolbars.... and then navigate to the new PH_Tools.rui
file from the .zip file dowloaded above.
You should now have a new toolbar named "PH-Tools" and some new tools
in Rhino which can be accessed through this new PH-Tools toolbar
or the regular command line.
Step 3: Setup Rhino to Run Python Plugins
On some systems, you might need to make a small modification
to Rhino's Properties in order to get these new scripts
to run properly. To do this, just open Rhino and go to:
File / Properties / General / Command List /...
Here enter the text:
'_NoEcho _-RunPythonScript _Enter'
in the Run Commands section. This will tell Rhino to
initialize these custom scripts on start so they load
properly when you go to use them.
The Rhino Developer Docs explain this as "Note: Sometimes,
using this system, Rhino requires that Python be loaded
before it can see the new command for the first time in
a session - running EditPythonScript, or any other python
script should allow the command to work."
For more information or questions on custom Rhino Toolbars and
Commands, check out:
To install the new LBT2PH grasshopper components follow the
normal grasshopper install process. Simply copy / move the new
*.ghuser files from the .zip file above into the grasshopper
User Components Directory. The easiest way to find this folder
on your computer is to open Grasshopper and go to File/ Special
Folders/ User Object Folder/....
Once you know where this folder is located on your system,
simply copy all the new .ghuser files from the download
.zip file into it. Note that all the LBT2PH components have
the prefix 'LBT2PH_' so if you would like to remove them from your system,
simply select all the 'LBT2PH_' files and delete them from this folder.
The next time you start Grasshopper you should see a whole
new set of components available under the 'BT' heading in the title bar.
Step 2: Add the New Libraries
In order to keep the code organized, the LBT2PH components
mostly refer to outside .py libraries in order to run. Make sure
to add these new .py libraries to your system.
These libraries are found in the .zip download folder named 'scripts'.
Copy the contents of the download 'scripts' folder into your Rhino
'scripts' folder as shown above.
+ Copy Interop.Excel.dll
In order to export the data from LadybugTools to Excel, you'll
need an installed copy of Microsoft Excel v2015 or later. In
order to access Excel, the LBT2PH tools make use of the Interop.Excel library.
To make that library accessible to Rhino, the easiest thing to do is
simply make a copy of it and add it to the Rhino/Scripts/... folder.
To do that, first: locate the file "Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.dll"
on your computer. For me, that file was located at: