Design Builder or Pollination?

Hello all,

I work as an energy consultant, currently a long time DesignBuilder user. As my DB license has expired I’am evaluating “moving” into Pollination.
Therefore, what I’am thinking is modelling with Rhino and setup the model with the Rhino Pollination plugin, and maybe in the near future purchase the basic cloud computing package.

That being said, I got some questions regarding Pollination, that maybe some DB users may have as well.

  1. Thermally talking, is Pollination at the same level as DB?
  2. Could you do the same work DB does with Pollination? (Thinking as Rhino+Rhino Plugin+GH+Pollination)
  3. Can you configurate the model (input parameters) with Pollination at the same detail level DB does?
  4. Does Pollination have the same outputs DB has?
  5. Can you have hourly outputs with Pollination?
  6. Can you export csv data (monthly, hourly, etc) from Pollination?
  7. Can you model detailed hvac systems in Pollination?
  8. Are there construction/openings/lighting/activity/etc to configure the model in Pollination? And flexibility to do customized templates?

what would you recommend? Continue with DB or leave it (I can’t afford both licenses) and use Pollination for thermal and daylight analysis?

Thanks in advance!
Diego C.

Hi, @diegocastro - Thank you for reposting the questions here.

Sounds like a plan. For clarification, you can do everything locally with the Rhino plugin. The cloud computing package is an option to run the studies on the cloud if desired.

Pollination user OpenStudio and EnergyPlus for running simulations. It is the same engine that is used by DesignBuilder.

You have to be more specific here. Generally speaking, you can do much more with Pollination & Ladybug Tools but you might need to build some of the workflows in Grasshopper.

Similar to 2 it will be helpful if you can be more specific but generally speaking yes. Arguably, you have more flexibility in the Pollination ecosystem since you can modify the IDF file directly too if you need.

For geometry parameters, thanks to Rhino and Grasshopper, the Pollination Rhino plugin is the most flexible user interface that you can find for building the geometry.

Yes. Both software are using EnergyPlus under the hood and provide similar outputs.

Yes. Hourly outputs are standard EnergyPlus outputs.

Yes. Similar to 5.

You can model detailed HVAC using Ironbug. Pollination doesn’t provide a user interface, at least for now. See this discussion for our plans for detailed HVAC modeling.

Yes. Pollination uses OpenStudio standards for templates. Everything is customizable as needed. Check the Pollination docs and in particular this section of the documents:

I’m obviously biased but I think the best suggestion here is to slowly make the transition by testing Pollination for one of your projects and see how far it gets you. If you are a Ladybug Tools user you can get everything that you need between the Pollination Rhino plugin and the Ladybug Tools Grasshopper plugins. There are more opportunities for automation, customization, and types of simulation that you can run. That said, you should give yourself some time to become familiar with the Pollination ecosystem just like any other software.

In addition, the CAD plugins come with a 14 days trial period and we provide a 25% discount for small businesses. Let me know and I can generate a discount code for you.

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@mostapha Many thanks for you reply. This was very helpful and motivating information.