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EcoDesigner STAR

Emoke Csikos


Graphisoft EcoDesigner STAR is a built-in Archicad toolset that places standard-compliant energy analysis at the heart of the BIM work environment, enabling architects to create the most energy-efficient designs. It is the fully functional version of the free Energy Evaluation toolset already accessible to every Archicad user.

This solution is available out-of-the-box as a complementary benefit for Forward subscribers. To access it, among other premium features, upgrade your license to Forward by contacting our local partners in your region.


In Archicad 25 and previous versions, an EcoDesigner STAR license was required to enable the EcoDesigner STAR feature set in Archicad. As of version 26, the entire toolset is available out-of-the-box for Forward subscribers. No separate download is necessary.

With any questions regarding the availability of EcoDesigner STAR, reach out to our local partners in your region.


From BIM (Building Information Model) to BEM (Building Energy Model) directly


EcoDesigner STAR is built to serve highly energy-efficient building design by turning Archicad Building Information Models (BIM) into multiple thermal zone Building Energy Models (BEM).

Architects can now enjoy the benefits of high-end building energy performance simulation and reporting without leaving Archicad.

Low and net-zero energy building design is made easy for architects worldwide with EcoDesigner STAR's standard compliant energy simulation engine, advanced energy model visualization and documentation.
In addition to the integrated energy simulation functionality, EcoDesigner STAR's advanced BEM export interfaces (such as gbXML and PHPP) allow full collaboration workflow with building energy consultants and enable data export from Archicad to local building energy code compliance calculation applications.

EcoDesigner STAR workflow

EcoDesigner STAR offers a workflow that fulfills the most rigorous building energy efficiency rating standards, delivering accurate energy analysis for any design stage.
Watch these workflow clips to find out more about

Evaluation for any climate or location

EcoDesigner STAR can be used to evaluate building energy performance under any kind of circumstances and locations around the world.

EcoDesigner STAR utilizes a custom dynamic building simulation method that is valid worldwide. This allows users to precisely evaluate building energy performance in any climate or location.

EcoDesigner STAR feature highlights

The combination of the 3D-model based BIM and the hourly energy simulation based on climate data and operation profiles creates a virtual reality design environment that adds another dimension to the Building Information Modeling experience.


Multiple Thermal Blocks

EcoDesigner STAR handles multiple thermal blocks for the energy balance calculations. Archicad zones are grouped according to orientation, occupancy and used building systems into thermal blocks, which are necessary to perform high-accuracy energy simulations.


Thermal Bridge simulation

EcoDesigner STAR enables architects to perform thermal bridge analysis on any detail of their project in seconds. This 2D heat-flow simulation can be run on any Archicad project details to identify those parts of the building that are responsible for heat-loss and might cause vapor condensation as well as other unwanted effects. The Thermal Bridge Simulation results can be placed on layouts and displayed as part of the project documentation set.
Watch this video clip to learn more about Thermal Bridge Simulation


On-site renewables

The EcoDesigner STAR building energy model can incorporate environmentally friendly local renewable energy solutions such as photovoltaic systems and wind turbines. Generating electricity on-site enables excellent building energy efficiency or even net-zero energy building design.


Expert Building Systems

Architects can toggle between basic and expert Building Systems modes independently for each building system, so only the relevant parameters are displayed at all times. The system settings can be gradually fine-tuned using the expert mode, as the project progresses.


BIM geometry and thermal property data export

EcoDesigner STAR ensures streamlined communication with other building energy calculation applications. The geometry and material properties of the building energy model can be shared with third party energy analysis software via a rich variety of data export formats including

  • Direct export to PHPP
  • Direct export to iSBEM
  • Direct export to VIP-Energy
  • Export via gbXML
  • Dedicated "Green" IFC translator

Standard compliant simulation engine

EcoDesigner STAR's analysis uses StruSoft's VIPcore calculation engine that complies with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140-2007 Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs. This test method represents the industry standard for the quality assurance of simulation accuracy.

It is referenced by most major sustainable building design regulations worldwide, including LEED, Green STAR, BREEAM, DGNB and CASBEE, as well as most national standards that endorse dynamic simulation (e.g. ASNRAE 90.1, NatHERS, BCA Section J).

Standard compliant performance rating calculation


EcoDesigner STAR's performance rating function helps architects compare the energy efficiency of design alternatives. In addition to being compliant with the ASHRAE 90.1 2007 (Appendix G: Performance Rating Method) standard specifications as referenced by USGBC LEED Energy 2007, the program's baseline building reference file generation method offers a large degree of freedom to suit other performance rating regulations, as well.

In addition to the Performance Rating calculations, EcoDesigner STAR also executes Fuel Consumption, Primary Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emission calculations that can be used in documentations such as AIA Sustainable Practice in Architecture 2030 Goal or Energy STAR.

Detailed energy performance evaluation report


Monitor the entire project's energy performance.

Control and optimize the behavior of spaces independently.

EcoDesigner STAR displays fully customizable, detailed reports about various, energy-related characteristics of the individual thermal blocks, including HVAC Design Data for Building System sizing (in demand calculation mode), Thermal Block Key Values and Energy Balance, as well as Daily Temperature profiles. This detailed report enables designers to not only monitor the entire project's energy performance but also to control the behavior of spaces (or groups of spaces) independently, in order to truly optimize them for their specific purpose within the building.

EcoDesigner STAR User Manual (PDF)


Energy Evaluation and EcoDesigner STAR features compared

Click to see all features listed
  Energy Evaluation EcoDesigner STAR
Availability By default in every Archicad (with Full, Trial and Edu licenses) Available for SSA and Forward subscribers only
Standard Compliance NA ASHRAE 140-2007, ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (LEED Energy)
Workflow Limited input, Compliant simulation technology, Limited report content Compliant input, Compliant simulation technology, Compliant report content
BIM geometry and material property data export other than IFC gbXML, PHPP gbXML, PHPP, VIP-Energy
Thermal Bridge Simulation NA Energy Flow and Thermal Imaging on the Archicad Detail
Building Systems Basic Dialog only Basic or Expert Dialog options
On-site Renewables NA Solar Photovoltaic and Wind Energy
Performance Rating NA Export/Import of PLN as Baseline Building, Automated Model Rotation and Recalculation (optional) Comparative Calculation
PDF Report Simplified: Project Data only Detailed: Project and Thermal Block Data, Performance Rating Results
XLS Report Simplified: Monthly Results, Project Data only Detailed: Monthly, Weekly and Hourly Results, Project and Thermal Block Data, Performance Rating Results
Results Comparison NA Baseline Building, Baseline Performance, Baseline Energy Costs
Additional Report Data NA Thermal Block Key Values, Thermal Block Energy Balance, Daily Temp. Profile, HVAC Design Data, Renewable Energy Sources, Performance Rating Table, Energy Consumption and Savings




I'm having trouble with accessing the video clip for the Thermal Bridge simulation since the video is private on youtube. How can i get access to it?

Noemi Balogh
Community Admin
Community Admin

Hi Sidsel,

These videos should open if you click on the link above. I tested it from private window as well, worked well for me, so I'm wondering if it is something on your end. Can you please share a screenshot about what you see?



Hi Noemi!

I get the following error both when using my own computer and a colleauge's. It translates to 'The video is not available - This video is private'.




Hope you can help!

Thanks in advance






Barry Kelly

I see the same problem when I click on that link.







Is it still possible to get EcoDesigner Star on Archicad 24 or Archicad 25? The energy simulation built-in in Archicad 24 seems to be a version stripped of functions as shown on the EcoDesigner manual ( the report became much less comprehensive and the renewable energies part was removed).



It appears EcoDesigner Star has been discontinued by Graphisoft because it can't meet too many thermal bridge perfomance requirements in North America for example. Discontinuing it is not a good idea. Put it on the market as a beta version so that the Archicad users can help improve it. 


There will be more added values for Archicad with EcoDesigner Star than the structural features that Graphisoft is trying to integrate in Archicad actually.

Sheena Marie Tamidle

i would like to ask if ecodesigner is available in solo Archicad 26 as well? i heard it is available already in Archicad full license

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