IDF Import from DOE

I found some prototype residential building models on the DOE website here:

I was going to import some of them to see how the HVAC, Hot Water and other constructions were being done, but when I tried importing after going through the IDF versioner I still come up with these errors:

I tried to follow some of the previous topics, but I’m not quite advanced enough to understand where those conversations were headed. Is it not possible to import these files? The downloads come with .html files. Is that really the only way to view them? Or open them in EnergyPlus?


These IDF file is created by Energyplus 9.5 which is lower than LBT used. You should download Energyplus for upgrade the idf file to EnergyPlus 2310.

Hi @minggangyin,

That was the first thing I did. Installed the latest version of Energyplus and used the IDF Versioner to upgrade the file to 23.1. That’s how I was able to get the warning in the screenshot. With an older IDF the warning is significantly longer.

I used LBT 1.6.0 with same error.

IDF is generally a terrible format to store an energy model if you want to use it later. EnergyPlus often has many breaking changes between versions and there are just issues in the IDF Version Updater that make it impossible to update certain IDFs beyond a certain timeline.

To get to the real problem that you’re trying to solve here, the recommended way to get the latest DoE commercial reference buildings is to use the Create Typical DoE Building OpenStudio meausre. I describe this fully here:

That will ensure that you get versions of those energy models without any loss of information that would happen if you try to update those IDFs.

Hi @chris,

I think I did start to read that thread some weeks back and forgot about it. To your point though, I should be able use this “Generate-Prototype-Buildings” measure for the Residential prototypes that DoE has listed?

I noticed that we might lose the HVAC info though. Is there a way to keep that or do I have to just look at the .HTML file that comes with the prototypes and just figure it out?