This article by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari, Michelle Pak, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture is about Ladybug: A Parametric environmental plugin for grasshopper. As high performance design is becoming more desirable in the field of architecture, the need for supporting architects with environmental analysis tools is also growing. Rhino/Grasshopper is one of the most widely used platforms that are used by designers today. There are already a number of environmental plugins developed for Rhino/Grasshopper. However, Ladybug offers several advantages that are currently not offered by existing Rhino/Grasshopper related environmental design plugins.
Ladybug imports standard EnergyPlus Weather files (.EPW) in Grasshopper and provides a variety of 2D and 3D designer-friendly interactive graphics to support the decision-making process during the initial stages of design. It also simplifies the process of analysis, automates and expedites the calculations, and provides easy to understand graphical visualizations in the 3D modeling interface of Rhino/Grasshopper. It also allows users to work with validated energy and daylighting engines such as EnergyPlus, Radiance and Daysim.
Integration with the parametric tools of grasshopper allows for almost instantaneous feedback on design modifications, and as it runs within the design environment, the information and analysis is interactive. The development is a free and open source; users can customize the tool based on their needs and contribute to the source code.