EnergyPlus & DesignBuilder (Boston)

EnergyPlus for Practitioners (July 15-16)

This two-day workshop focuses on the needs of the energy modeling practitioner in order to get you up to speed and highly productive with EnergyPlus as quickly as possible. We cover the fundamentals of EnergyPlus such as geometry and internal loads while rapidly ramping up to advanced topics such as HVAC systems and controls. We guide you through the complexities of the EnergyPlus syntax, input/output files, documentation, and essential software tools including the Euclid extension for SketchUp. Most importantly, we teach you how to use the available resources to teach yourself going forward. Demonstrations and hands-on exercises are used extensively throughout. By the end of the workshop, you should be comfortable with creating, running, and debugging EnergyPlus models.

We have developed our training materials from scratch over a period of several years based on our extensive experience using EnergyPlus to model real-world projects and helping others to do the same. This workshop should be a prerequisite for anyone planning to work with EnergyPlus regardless of what user interface you choose.


DesignBuilder Simulation Training (July 17-18)

This two-day workshop is an excellent opportunity to deepen your DesignBuilder knowledge using features of version 6 of the software. The course is suitable for new and experienced users alike and is structured to give you plenty of worked examples so you can “learn by doing”. No experience with EnergyPlus is required. If you are a new DesignBuilder user, you can use a free 30-day trial license for the workshop.


Day 1 (July 17) - Modeler

1. Intro to DesignBuilder

2. Geometric Operations

3. Roof Geometry, Outline Blocks, etc.

4. Import Floor Plans and Zoning

5. Model Data, Activities and Zone Merging

6. Construction, Infiltration, and Model Data


Day 2 (July 18) - Simulation

1. Component Blocks (Ground and Adiabatic)

2. Templates

3. Timing - Compact Schedules, Profiles, Holidays

4. Heating and Cooling Load Calculations

5. Simulation & Comparing Results

6. Lighting and Daylighting Control

7. Introduction to Detailed HVAC


Visit the Big Ladder website to learn more about our training philosophy.

Workshop Instructor: Aaron Boranian 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact Big Ladder for questions?

Send us a message by clicking the "Contact the Organizer" button in the right-hand column and we will respond as soon as possible.

What are the transportation and parking options for getting to the workshop?

Please review public transit, taxi, subway, and parking options in the "Getting Here & Getting Around" section of MIT's page for visitors.

Is there a dress code for the workshop?


What do I need to bring to the workshop?

You must bring your own laptop computer in order to perform the hands-on exercises. The Windows operating system is required--either as your primary system, running as a virtual machine, or using Boot Camp.


Can I register for just one day of the EnergyPlus for Practitioners workshop?

No. The EnergyPlus for Practitioners workshop has been carefully designed to build on your skills from one day to the next. If you have an unavoidable conflict, you are welcome to register for the full workshop and then only attend the parts that fit your schedule. 


Can I register for just one day of the DesignBuilder Simulation Training workshop?

No. The DesignBuilder Simulation Training workshop has been carefully designed to build on your skills from one day to the next. If you have an unavoidable conflict, you are welcome to register for the full workshop and then only attend the parts that fit your schedule.


Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the workshop?

No. It is not necessary to bring a printed ticket. As long as you have registered in advance, we will have an electronic record of your registration.

Is my registration transferrable to another person?

Yes. Please transfer your registration to the new participant before the workshop by emailing us at

The name on the registration doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay?

Yes. Ideally, we would prefer that you would transfer your registration to the new participant before the workshop by emailing us at


What is the refund policy?

Full refunds can be issued up to two weeks before the workshop. No refunds can be given after that date.


Will I receive continuing education credits from attending the workshop?

Yes! We will provide printed certificates that validate the Continuing Education / Professional Development Hour credits you will earn as a result of attending the workshop.