Material Database for Energy+, Radiance and Therm


Dear all,

I wanted to share an idea for the community.

A lot of people here, for the last few years, have been using LB and HB to develop thousands and thousands of models and run what is probably millions of simulations.

One of the strengths of this community is it’s open source attitude, not only in terms of code but also in terms of work and experience of its users.

Based on this, i would like to suggest a community project that will collect all material definitions for either Energy Plus or Radiance models that users in this forum are/have been using in their models and are willing to share.

My suggestion would be that this is some kind of an online database in which users can tap into (perhaps directly from HB components in GH) and use any of the available definitions in their models.

I promise to make a start once this hellish upcoming week is over. I have not really used many custom made material definitions but I will share what I have. I will also try and go over all discussions in the forum history and dig out things that were already shared by users.

Hope that people think this is a good idea. Open to suggestions on how to actually implement this so that it can be a useful feature for everyone.

Kind regards,



Hi Theodore!

Great idea! Here are a couple of places that I find myself visiting often for Radiance-specific material definitions.…



Thanks, Theodore, for the suggestion!

Axel Jacobs created a web-interface to specify Radiance material Colour Picker for Radiance which is very useful:

  • Ji


Thanks, Sarith! I assume the lighting material website might be created by Alstan in SUTD, the main developer of DIVA.


Thanks Sarith and Ji,

I guess this can also be in the form of a wiki, where all this resources are stored for user reference. It is certainly easier than something in the (similar) form of Hydra. Still, if users want to share material definitions they already have in their LB/HB library this can be a discussion to do it!


What about searching BCL (


Hello All,

I just saw Alstan present his database of materials the other day. It’s a wonderful project and it will likely be my go-to source for a lot of opaque radiance materials. At the moment, it’s mostly just Alstan and Greg Ward that have contributed and I hope others will send their material collections in the future.

It’s also worth noting that LBNL has assembled a database of all glass and window materials currently on the global market. Specifically, this is called the International Glazing Database (IGDB) and, because of it, there is really no need to make such a database of glazing materials anymore. They update the database regularly and you can produce Radiance materials from the database using LBNL Optics and you can produce EnergyPlus constructions using LBNL WINDOW.

LBNL is also working on integrating a lot of complex light-diffusing systems now into their Complex Glazing DataBase (CGDB) so most translucent materials will also be covered by this database.

As a result, if we were to make such a library, it’s really only going to be for opaque materials. On thing that might be nice would be to take the LBNL Therm library and assign heat capacities, densities, and visual reflectance to all of the materials so that we could easily use them in E+ and Radiance. Here’s the current list of THERM materials that install with THERM and that Honeybee uses:…



Does have Radiance materials too? I couldn’t find a section for that.


Hi Ji,

Yes. That website was created, and I assume is still being maintained, by Alstan Jakubiec and his students. I had heard him talk about it during Radiance workshop last year.



@chris Is there any update on the THERM opaque material database? Currently I have 83 materials that were either installed by HB or I manually downloaded (can’t remember). Something as simple as stone, specifically limestone I’m having trouble finding. I’ve been looking for cut sheets to make my own, but my question is, are there larger databases for THERM already, if not, it would be nice to start one. Once I figure out limestone I would be happy to add it for the community.