Send your models from Pollination CAD plugins to IES-VE using GEM files

Hello, Pollination community!

We are excited to announce a new feature that came out of several requests for an alternative way to export analytical models to IES-VE. The latest version of both the Rhino and Revit plugins allow you to export your model as a GEM file which can then be imported in IES-VE.

Why not just use gbXML?

Pollination already supports a gbXML → IES-VE workflow, but we found several cases where the rooms and shades from gbXML were not imported in IES-VE correctly. Moreover, the process could be slow for larger models with 1000s of rooms.

This new workflow makes the process much faster and more reliable. We tested it out on models with more than 1200 rooms and it took less than a minute to export the whole model from Rhino and import it in IES. Most importantly there was no error messages or warning during the import. :white_check_mark:


A GEM file only includes the geometry information. This means you have to re-apply all the metadata such as construction, programs, loads, etc. inside IES. This might not be a big deal for many, since geometry is the main pain point and many IES-VE users reapply metadata inside IES anyway.

If you need to export more than only the geometry, then you should use the gbXML workflow which continues to be supported by both Rhino and Revit plugins.

Getting Started

To test this functionality, you should download the latest version of the Rhino or Revit plugins. Once you download and install the latest versions the process should be straightforward.

In the Rhino plugin, you should see the new file format when trying to SaveAs the files. Here is a video that shows the process for the Rhino Plugin:

For the Revit plugin, simply select the GEM option from the Export Model dropdown.

Enjoy the new functionality and let us know if you have any comments!

Here is the sample HBJSON file that I used in the video if you want to test the process quickly: lab_building.hbjson (2.5 MB)

Happy Pollinating! :pollination:


Hi @mostapha,

This new feature seems so great! thanks for adding it!

I have downloaded and installed the last Rhino plugin, however I cannot see the new file format in SaveAs.

Installation was smooth and successful, so I am not too sure where the problem is.

Many thanks


Hi @lorepatti! Thank you for reporting this issue. What version of Rhino are you using? If it’s Rhino 6 then you might need to close and open Rhino three times to load all the three dependencies. See here for more information:

If you’re using Rhino 7 and you had an older version of the Rhino plugin installed, Rhino might not have detected the change to load the new DLLs.

Here are the steps to debug the process:

  1. Run the PluginManager command in Rhino and search for Pollination.

  2. You should see 3 different plugins. I imagine in your case, similar to the image below the Export and Import plugins are not loaded.

  3. Right click and load the plugins manually.

  4. Now try SaveAs again and you should be able to see the IES Geometry file.

Here is an HBJSON file if you want to use it to test the workflow.

lab_building.hbjson (2.5 MB)

Let me know how it goes!

Hi @lorepatti! Were you able to debug the issue on your side? Let me know if you need more help for getting started.

Hi @mostapha,

Just tested and it worked [Rhino 7]! Thank you very much!

I tested your file [lab_building.hbjson] and the SaveAs works perfectly.

I did a quick export of my geometry - a simple flat and I have encountered another issue.

When I import the geometry in IES, as a .gem, the windows (aperture) are not present. When I export the same geometry as a gbxml file (with the LBT componenent) windows are visible is IES-VE.

Any suggestion?

Thanks again for your help.


Hi @lorepatti! Thank you for testing and reporting back. Is it possible that the apertures are not added to the Rooms in the Rhino model? Can you share your model/HBJSON file with me so I can have a closer look? You can send it in a private message. It’s really hard to say without the file.

UPDATE: The issue was with the modeling. The apertures were modeled as orphaned apertures - after adding them to the room the export process went smoothly and the apertures were exported as windows to IES.

@mostapha - great feature! just tested exporting the .hbjson you provided from rhino then importing into VE 2021. walls, glazing, shading all imported cleanly as .gem file and did not spot any errors in the model report.

1 Like

Hi @mostapha,

Would it be possible to have the .gem export feature in honeybee (similar to the HB dumb gbxml) using the HB model? My understanding is that we can only export baked geometries from Rhino (with pollination) to IES for now.


Hi @lorepatti, We have no plans to add it to the Ladybug Tools Grasshopper plugin. That being said, we can possibly add it as one of the Grasshopper components that comes with Rhino Pollination. Why would be the reason to do it from inside Grasshopper? Are you thinking to export several models parametrically?

For now, you can bake the model back to Rhino using the Model component and use the functionality from inside Rhino as you are doing now.

A post was split to a new topic: Error in baking Honeybee model from Grasshopper to Rhino

I am running Rhino 7 and Pollination but I do not see the IES-VE .gem option during a SaveAs. Is there anything else I can try to export a .gem file?

Hi @justinshultz! Try to reload the exporter plugin manually as explained here:

I am running Rhino 7 and Pollination but I do not see the IES-VE .gem option during a SaveAs. Is there anything else I can try to export a .gem file?

@mostapha I figured out the problem. I was saving and working inside a .3dm file instead of an .hbjson file. After I did a SaveAs to .hbjson, I was then able to open the .hbjson and SaveAs an IES-VE .gem file.

Should I always be saving and opening HBJson files while working with Pollination instead of .3dm?

No. It should have worked with the 3dm file but you couldn’t see the option because the latest version of the Pollination import plugin wasn’t loaded. When you exported to HBJSON it triggered re-importing the Import plugin and that’s why you see it now. If you go back and try the 3dm file it should work just fine.

Also, how did the export go through? Did the model go to IES as expected?

A post was split to a new topic: Do I need to intersect the rooms before export the file as an IES GEM file?

A post was split to a new topic: What are the export and import options that comes with the Rhino plugin?

A post was split to a new topic: IES GEM import says “the geometry file may be unreadable or corrupt.”

Hi I tried to install the latest Pollination plugin but am unable to see any Pollination.RH.Export within the plugin list. I am using Rhino 7. What I have within the Plugin List is only Pollination.RH.Loader

Hi, @pbraajesh - and welcome to the forum! Are you sure you have installed the Rhino + Grasshopper plugin and not the Grasshopper plugin? What happens when you type the pollination command in Rhino?