Class Name: building

Description: This is the top-level object, and primarily contains the elements for those aspects of the building that do not change when upgrading a building.

Parent Class: <none>

Number of Instances: 1


3scale key for access to the API
 Nstring 32   
postal_codeUSPS ZipCodeYstring6 
num_unitsNumber of housing units in building Y int   1 500
conditioned_floor_areaTotal conditioned floor area (sqft) Y float   250 300,000
orientationOrientation of building (degrees, 0=North) Y int   0 359
num_floor_above_gradeNumber of floors above grade Y int   1 50
num_floor_below_gradeNumber of floors below grade Y int   0 5
height_above_gradeHeight of first floor above grade level (feet) Y int   0 20
height_below_gradeTotal height of the building below ground (includes all below ground floors) (feet) Y int   0 50
ground_reflectancereflectivity of the ground Y float   0 1
weather_stationID of weather station N int    
weather_type Type of weather file to use Y string 20 tmy3, amy  
weather_begin_dateBeginning date of simulation N date    
weather_end_dateEnding date of simulation N date    
shelter_classLocal wind shelter class Y string 20open, light, moderate, heavy, very_heavy  
hvac_availableHow hvac availability schedule determined N string 20always, user, auto  
tmy3: "Typical Meteorological Year"; 20 year average weather data for energy analysis
amy: annual weather for a specific year (currently 2007-2013 are available)
always - both heating and cooling are always available
user - heating and cooling availability are determined by heat_avail_schedule and cool_avail_schedule in hvac_control
auto - heating and cooling availability are determined according to Building America guidelines based on monthly temperatures


  • Either postal_code or weather_station must be submitted. If postal_code is submitted the closest weather file to the postal code centroid will be used. The weather_station number can be determined using the nearest_weather() method.
  • If weather_type is set to amy then weather_begin_date and weather_end_date must be entered.
  • If hvac_available is not submitted then auto will be used.