ENVI-met Support Area
ENVI-met software tutorials are designed for learning how to use our software.
Free support. Providing guidance, helping customers to learn and therefore save time.
Step by step instruction. We provide you with quick and easy access to help with installing, configuring, and troubleshooting. You find step-by-step instructions and examples that show you how to accomplish various tasks and use different features.
User forum. Development thrives on exchange: Here you will find answers to questions from other users as well as feedback on how to achieve your own project goals.The ENVI-met forum offers you a place where our software developers will provide feedback and helping to solve potential issues.
Technical documentation for the model. If you want to learn more about our software, take a look at our support area which will help you better understand our product and its features – as well as troubleshoot any potential problems.
You want a summary of how to start your professional work with ENVI-met? Find your way here.
Learn the basics and get started with your first project.
- Part 1/7: Headquarter
How to get ENVI-met started: Basic system overview and introduction to the Headquarter.
- Part 2/7: Creating Workspace
How to organize projects on your computer when creating an ENVI-met workspace.
- Part 3/7: Database Logic
Understanding the ENVI-met database logic: How different database entries are compiled in your project.
- Part 4/7: Database Manager
Using the Database Manager: How to specify materials, plants, and other features, as well as database organization.
- Part 5/7: Design with Spaces
First introduction to Spaces: How to set-up area input files, define vegetation and materials, and model building geometries.
- Part 6/7: Simulation
Using ENVI-guide and ENVI-met: How to define model parameters, input meteorological data and run simulations.
- Part 7/7: Analyse with Leonardo
Visualizing simulation output in 2-D and 3-D to reveal site-specific performance metrics.
- Something missing?
Learn the basics about Model Geometry.
- File Structure
This tutorial summarizes which files are needed to start an ENVI-met simulation.
- Model Chain
Understand ENVI-met’s model chain and how the software is mutually dependent.
- Spatial Discretization
Explanation of ENVI-met’s spatial discretization of the real world, and the resulting structure and appearance of the model area.
This series will take you through every single step and function of the software, from the setup of a work area, to the creation of a simulation, to analyzing the data from your project, and everything in between.
- Starting from the Scratch
In this video we introduce you to the ENVI-met software. We show you around the model area we will be using throughout the series, describe the database system, and help you to set up a new project.
- Building and Materials
In this video we show the different kinds of materials that ENVI-met offers. In addition, you get an introduction on how to create your own materials.
- Building Walls
In this video we show how walls work in the Database Manager and how to create your own wall types. We also explain the functionality of the multiple node model and how to average parameter values to simulate walls containing more than 3 materials.
- Soils and Profiles
In this video we cover soils and soil profiles and show how both work in the Database Manager as well as how to create your own custom soils and profiles in ENVI-met.
We also explain all of the parameters that define soils and soil profiles.
- Simple Plants
In this video we cover simple plants and show how they work in the Database Manager. In the process, we also explain the parameters that define simple plants in ENVI-met.
- Façade and Roof Greening
In this video we explain façade and roof greening and show how greening profiles work in the Database Manager as well as explain the parameter values associated with both the soil/substrate layer and the vegetation layer.
- Pollutions and Sources, Part I
In this video we explain how pollution and pollution source profiles work in ENVI-met. Source profiles allow the user to create and analyze particulate generating sources within the model area.
- Pollutions and Sources, Part II
In this second part of the Pollution and Sources feature, we explain the “Traffic Tools” portion of a pollution source profile. This feature allows the user to create a specific and accurate pollution source profile based on custom traffic patterns and vehicle pollution values.
- Albero: Overview
In this video we will begin explaining the 3-D plant modeling program Albero. We cover the basic layout and parameters that has to offer and give an overview of how the program works and how to interact with the various features.
- Albero: Custom 3D Plants
In this video we explain how to create your own 3D plant using Albero. We cover all of the different options Albero offers in order to create a new 3D plant as well as how to create custom root profiles.
- Albero: Plant Tools
In this video we explain some of the advanced tools Albero offers within the Plant Tools tab. A variety of important tools are explained from scaling plants to new sizes and heights, generating or subtracting leaf structure around plants, and modifying the yearly leaf structure changes plants experience through the seasons.
- Spaces: Part I
In this video we explain some of the settings surrounding the creation of a model area in Spaces.
A variety of important parameters and features are explained – from setting the size and resolution of the model area to referencing the model inspector window for detailed information regarding your model area.
- Spaces: Part II
In this video we explain how to place objects like buildings and vegetation into your model area.
We also describe the 3D View and how to use this mode to interact with individual building façade cells in order to, for example, place windows on buildings.
- Leonardo: Creating Outdoor Maps
In this video we explain how to visually display and analyse simulation output data in the form of output maps in Leonardo.
We also show the various settings and parameters available to customize your output maps as well as how to display wind vectors on top of any output map you may create.
- Leonardo: Creating Comparison and 3D Maps
In this video we explain how to create comparison output maps as well as 3D output maps.
We also show how to analyse single grid cells and export your analysis results.
- Rhino/ Grasshopper Plugin
Brief introduction to how this plugin enables users to convert Rhino 3-D designs to ENVI-met model areas and run simulations without even opening the ENVI-met software suite.
- Plugin for SketchUp
In this video we explain the ENVI-met SketchUp Plugin designed by Antonello Di Nunzio. With this plugin, you can model an ENVI-met model area using the popular architectural modeling program SketchUp. You can then import your SketchUp model area for use within the ENVI-met Suite.
Elevate your skills to the next level with these advanced learning materials.
- Building Physics 1/3
An introduction to the important interaction between building physics and the microclimate.
- Building Physics 2/3
Learn how to create new materials, walls/roofs, and simple conversion techniques to generate the physical parameters necessary for simulations. The newly created walls/roofs are then applied in a model area in SPACES.
- Building Physics 3/3
In the third part, a configuration file for the simulation is created and executed. The 3D model results are analyzed with a focus on different building services.
- Monde 1/3
An introduction to the framework and interface of Monde, and guide to the digitization of layers and creation of ENVI-met models.
- Monde 2/3
Learn how to import data from OpenStreetMap and generate new layers in Monde.
- Monde 3/3
An introduction to the framework and interface of Monde, and guide to the digitization of layers and creation of ENVI-met models.
- Rhino 1/3
This first video will take you through the process of how to use the Grasshopper plugin to import a model area from Rhino to ENVI-met.
- Rhino 2/3
This second video explains the three parts of the Grasshopper – ENVI-met workflow.
- Rhino 3/3
This third video shows you a way to combine other plugins, like Ladybug with Dragonfly ENVI-met components.
ENVI-met Explained is a new mini-series where Prof. Dr. Michael Bruse, CDO and Dr. Helge Simon, Head of Software Development offer an overview of the new features of ENVI-met V5. They explain four main features with example projects and demonstrate the workflow within the interface.
Short explanation of the new ENVI-guide, which allows you to check and adjust all climatic parameters and simulation options through its new user interface.
- Vegetation model
An overview of the new vegetation model, which allows analysis in high resolution down to individual branches and leaves.
- Indexed View Sphere (IVS)
An overview of the new Indexed View Sphere (IVS) module, which allows you to scan the environment and visualize the radiation exchange with intelligent radiation tracking algorithms.
A brief introduction to the new Data Studio, which allows integrated data processing with Python scripts for data analysis and visualization.
ENVI-met V5 Tutorials
Building on the ENVI-met Explained mini-series, these more detailed tutorials provide even more insights into the new features of ENVI-met V5.
- Python V5
Introducing the basic concept of using Python with ENVI-met Data Studio. Prof. Dr. Michael Bruse presents three different ways of using Python to visualize ENVI-met model data and to control the Leonardo application through scripting.
- Indexed View Sphere V5
Introducing a new approach to modelling secondary radiation using the newly developed Indexed View Sphere (IVS). Dr. Helge Simon presents the basic concepts of modelling secondary radiation and how to use IVS. He also demonstrates the increase in accuracy achieved in simulations using IVS.
- Vegetation Model V5
Introducing the fundamentals of the new high resolution vegetation model. Prof. Michael Bruse explains the logic of the underlying Lindenmayer system and shows its integration in the ENVI-met Database system.
Here you will find answers to frequent technical questions from users about ENVI-met.
Model areas should have a few cells at the model border where no building cells are digitized. Terrain, soil profiles, plants should still be digitized correctly. Building cells near the model edge can block or channel wind flow, which may lead to large instabilities and ultimately simulation crashes.
How much open space is needed at the edge depends on the building density and building heights. As a rule of thumb, distance between model border and the first building should be half the size of the building height. That commonly leads to around 4-8 cells of open space at each model area boundary. However, in the vertical dimension, the distance should be significantly larger (more about this in the next question).
Most ENVI-met studies analyze outdoor thermal comfort at pedestrian level, thus needing a high vertical resolution. In general, the model area height should at least be twice the height of the highest building. However, if very tall buildings (for example 100 m height) are included in the model area, 100 Z cells in a 2 m resolution would be needed to accurately represent the model area and still obtain high resolution results at the pedestrian level (approximately at 1 m above the surface). We now have several solutions to decrease the amount of Z cells and thus the simulation time:
Use the telescoping option to stretch cells that are not in scope, i.e., starting above highest building height, we will only stretch air cells. A stretching factor to be specified in percent is then applied to the size of each previous cell: cell sizes thus quickly increase. Thereby, the model area height is achieved with less Z cells. Using our example above: with a telescoping factor of 20 % and a starting height of 60 m, we now only need 45 cells instead of 100 cells to reach more than 200 m in model area height. However, we would start to stretch within the building height range to achieve this objective.
Use the splitting option to divide the grid cell closest to the ground into 5 cells. The cells of particular interest at pedestrian level are now available in high resolution, while the default vertical resolution can be modified to a rather coarse value such as 5 m. Back to our example: with splitting activated and a 5 m resolution, we now only need 41 cells to reach more than 200 m in model area height and we still have high resolution outputs at pedestrian level (i.e., at 1.5 m height).
Use a combination of telescoping (Solution A) and splitting (Solution B) with a 5 m vertical resolution and the telescoping settings described in Solution A. We now only need 22 cells to reach more than 200 m in model area height. However, since we saved that many Z cells now, we could try to improve the stability even further and thus add some more Z cells to provide more free air cells above the highest building. We could also consider increasing vertical resolution to 3 m or 4 m or choose a higher starting height for telescoping / use a lower telescoping factor.
We strongly recommend you check these settings before you start digitizing your model area. Digitized 3D information such as special facade elements can be lost if the vertical gridding has to be changed again at the end (and in the process is converted back from 3D to 2.5D mode). Use the “Model Inspector” located in the Tools tab in Spaces to find the perfect vertical resolution for your model area.
Yes, soil profiles are only visually covered by terrain in Spaces but are still correctly used in the simulation.
Please check the CSV file carefully. Time steps need to be in 30-minute intervals, should not appear more than once and no time step should be missing. All columns must exist as in the template image, even if they are empty or carry invalid data.
Make sure that you chose the correct value separator and decimal separator for the text file import. Check the units of the imported values. Date and time need to be in the correct structure (example: 08:00:00, not 8:00:00). Temperature needs to be given in kelvin instead of Celsius.
The standard values for these two parameters generally do not have to be adjusted. If specific humidity values become rather large due to high humidity near the ground (this can happen in both Simple and Full Forcing), you can lower the specific humidity value at 2500 m to around 8 g/kg to avoid instabilities in the simulation.
Everything is fine as long as the Task Manager in Windows still shows that the ENVI-core program is using the CPU. ENVI-met does not react to Windows messages such as “Redraw yourself” during the simulation to save processing time. It will update the simulation window from time to time.
Simulation time strongly depends on three aspects:
- Hardware: how many cores are there, what is the CPU speed, how much RAM is available. Also note only some versions allow parallel processing.
- Simulation settings: e.g., pollutant simulations with active chemistry take longer than standard simulations
- Model area: Even if the model area is rather small in its horizontal dimensions, many users choose a very high vertical resolution. This can massively increase the simulation time and is not necessary in most cases. See the question “How do I find the best vertical gridding for my model area without the need of too much Z cells?” in Spaces section for more details.
If this issue arises, it is most likely due to a numerical instability. There are billions of operations executed in ENVI-met each minute and yet every user (including us) wishes for even greater complexity.
Almost all the variables calculated within the simulation depend on other spatial and temporal factors, which may give rise to a rogue variable that contains unrealistic values. The software corrects this in most cases, but it may also be the case that the variable unexpectedly went to a value such as zero before it is used for a division in the next operation, which triggers an error.
This does not arise because of a programming error, but of the dataset being damaged during calculations. Checking the validity of the data before every operation is not possible as it would increase the calculation time dramatically. An immense number of “intelligent” routines have been introduced into ENVI-met to autocorrect the most common problems. Ultimately, it is a sophisticated numerical tool, and these routine errors are inherent in numerical modeling.
You might also want to check our support center, where many individual cases are answered.
There is no general cause for why a model may not run correctly. In most cases you have to try different things to get a stable simulation if errors are occurring. However, if your configuration does not work, here are a few things to check:
- Was Windows working properly when the simulation crashed? ENVI-met allocates huge amounts of memory for data storage. If a program crashes or Windows has serious issues either before or during the model run, stored data may be lost. Do not run ENVI-met if there is little remaining memory, and make sure that the simulation is run in your physical memory, NOT in the virtual memory.
- Does ENVI-met crash at the beginning? Check the simulation log output present on the screen. Use the “Check Model” option to generate a review of the output. Check to see if the input files and database files are ok and contain realistic values. Problems with the model area design often lead to simulation crashes.
- Check the meteorological boundary conditions (especially important in Full Forcing!): Do radiation values look unreasonable to you? Are wind speeds too low (<0.8 m/s) or too high (> 5 m/s)? Is the wind direction rapidly and strongly changing between timesteps (e.g., from 0° to 180° within one hour)? Are the relative humidity values too high for your high temperature values, resulting in a very high specific humidity?
A few additional tips to promote a successful simulation are:
- Move complex buildings away from the model border
- Increase the vertical extents of the model
- Decrease the time step if the model gets unstable in the normal calculation loop
- Simplify your model, complex geometries of certain buildings can be adjusted to a simpler configuration
This feature is not implemented at the moment. If a simulation is cancelled, it must be restarted from the beginning.
Unfortunately, this is not yet possible.
If the license originates from a version before ENVI-met 4.4.5, the BIO-met license will only work for the old BIO-met version 1.5, which is available separately from our homepage (https://envi-met.info/doku.php?id=files:downloadv4).
The new BIO-met 2.0, which is included in the recent ENVI-met versions from 4.4.5 onwards, works in parallel mode (faster). A new license will be required to use this version.
UTCI cannot be calculated for wind speeds below 0.5 m/s. See here for more information: https://envi-met.info/doku.php?id=apps:biomet_utci.
Pollutant simulations in ENVI-met are complex. There are many circumstances that could lead to only some or no pollutants being simulated.
Please read this document regarding air pollution simulations (http://www.envi-met.info/doku.php?id=kb:sources) to find out more.
If Terrain is used together with Splitting and the Leonardo map is extracted with the option “Follow Terrain”, the elevation in meters is only valid for cells with an elevation of 0 m. Let us take as an example a model with a vertical resolution of 2 m, which we want to be extracted in Leonardo with Follow Terrain for the height level 3 (since the index counting in Leonardo starts at 0, we extract the 4th cell above the ground):
Cell A: This cell has terrain height of 0 m. Height information extraction takes place at 1.4 m height.
Cell B: This cell has terrain height of 2 m. Height extraction takes place at 9 m height.
Leonardo always shows the elevation that would be extracted without terrain, and therefore (in this example) it shows 1.4 m above ground. This means if a 5 m high building is placed in the model, it would be only displayed in Cell A, but not in Cell B.
It is recommended to disable Splitting if Terrain is used in simulations to avoid these complications.
The Air Temperature variable is now called Potential Air Temperature. This is a more accurate name for the variable, since ENVI-met always simulates at standard air pressure. However, it is planned to add air pressure as a variable in the future and thus there will be a difference between potential and absolute air temperature.
More information about all output variables of the atmosphere folder can be found here: https://envi-met.info/doku.php?id=filereference:output:atmosphere. Output variable descriptions of the other output folders are also found on the https://envi-met.info website.
Our technical documentation in English provides detailed information on the model architecture and other aspects of using the software.