There are varieties of tools and simulation programs with different modeling capabilities. Crawley at al. published a study that compared capabilities of twenty different building performance simulation programs some of them are still used nowadays (BLAST, BSim, DeSTm DOE-2.1E, Ecotect, Ener-Win, Energy Express, Energy-10, EnergyPlus, eQuest, ESP-r, IDA ICE, IES VE, HAP, HEED, PowerDomus, Sunrel, TAS, TRACE, TRYNSYS) (2006). These tools are used with varying degrees in architectural practices. There are two main simulation engines, namely DOE2 and Energy+. Figure 27, 28 shows a brief history of the development of the simulation engines, and the software that utilizes these engines particularly among architects.
History of used building performance simulation programs
The image below provides an overview of applicable simulation programs for the design of sustainable, high-performance building facades. Since there is not a single simulation program that can address all aspects and design questions that are posed during the design of high performance facades, typically several different programs must be used to investigate properties and behavior of facade systems. The figure shows which applications are suitable for these types of performance simulations, and their applicability for specific design aspects.
Chris Machey states on November 28, 2015:
A point of clarification:
Archsim and Honeybee are both interfaces for EnergyPlus and so it is possible to make a comparison but Ladybug is a set of components for analyzing and visualizing weather data so it cannot be easily compared to Archsim. My account of the differences between Honeybee and Archsim will be far from complete but here are the key ones that I am aware of: