How to install Honeybee for Grasshopper

Honeybee is a plugin for Grasshopper for daylight analysis, created by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari. Honeybee links to third party analysis tools in order to do its calculations. So in order to install Honeybee, we also need to install these tools. This can be a little fiddly – this guide shows how I got round it.

What we need first

Make sure these are installed. Unfortunately Honeybee isn’t compatible with Rhino 4, but you can use the trial version of Rhino 5 for 90 days.

Install Honeybee

Honeybee comes packaged with Ladybug, another of Mostapha’s plugins. (See my Ladybug installation guide.) Join this group (you may need to register) and download the Ladybug/Honeybee files from the link on the group page.

To install, simply unzip the file and drag the contents (roughly 100 items)  into the Grasshopper window. Grasshopper will put the files in the right place and Honeybee/Ladybug tabs should appear in Grasshopper.

If installation doesn’t work, make sure the files are in the correct location. In Grasshopper, go File > Special Folders > User Objects Folder. In my case, this took me to C:UsersjramsdenAppDataRoamingGrasshopperUserObjects.

Install DAYSIM

  • Download DAYSIM
  • Install in the default location – which should be C:/DAYSIM/

Mostapha has created a guide and a video for further guidance on installing DAYSIM and Radiance.

Install Radiance

Radiance has its roots in UNIX, which historically made it difficult to install on Windows. Recently, an installer has been made available to make this much simpler.

  • Download Radiance from the NERL, or from Radiance-online if you have problems
  • Install in C:/RADIANCE. (Not anywhere else – I seemed to get errors otherwise.)

Once installed, check if you have the following files in C:/Radiance/bin: falsecolor2.exe and evalglare.exe. You probably don’t. You’ll need them for glare analysis and false colour rendering. Download these files and copy them into the bin folder.

Install GHPython

Honeybee is written using in Python for Grasshopper. We need the Python component so Grasshopper can read the Honeybee components.

  • Download GHPython (you may need to register and log in to download)
  • You should have a single file called ghpython.gha. Drag it into the Grasshopper window.

The file should go into the components folder. To check, go File > Special folders > Components folder.

Install EnergyPlus

EnergyPlus is used for thermal and energy calculations. Honeybee is currently configured to run on version 8.4.0 and some earlier versions. You can download it here.

Which version of EnergyPlus do I download?

First, try downloading the latest version. Hopefully, Honeybee will be compatible with this.

In my experience, Honeybee isn’t often compatible with the latest version of EnergyPlus, and you may get an error like the one below. If so, read the error message, and try installing the most recent version from the message.

Error message - incompatible version of EnergyPlus with Honeybee

Install EmbryoViz (optional)

EmbryoViz by John Harding allows you to view images within Grasshopper components. It is not critical, but very useful and is used in the tutorials.

  • Download EmbryoViz
  • Drag EmbryoViz.gha into the Grasshopper window. As before, it will move into the components folder (File > Special folders > Components folder) and you can use it straight away.

If things are still going wrong…

Honeybee automatically downloads certain other files that it needs when you run it. Network issues might stop Honeybee from downloading these (especially if you’re on your work computer), and it may give some cryptic error messages. Try installing these files manually into your ladybug folder (C:/Ladybug). (Source)

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