Ladybug Tools is a collection of free computer applications that support environmental design and education.
Of all the available environmental design software packages, Ladybug Tools is among the most comprehensive, connecting 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) interfaces to a host of validated simulation engines.
Ladybug Tools is the only open source interface that unites all of its underlying open source engines. Like these engines, it evolves through the consensus of an open community of experts.
Ladybug Tools runs within 3D modeling software and allows data transfer between its simulation engines. So all geometry creation, simulation, and visualization happen within one interface.
Ladybug Tools is composed of modular components, making it flexible across different stages of design and capable of answering a variety of research questions.
Ladybug Tools runs within parametric visual scripting interfaces, enabling the exploration of design spaces and the automation of tasks.
By harnessing capabilities of CAD interfaces, Ladybug Tools produces a variety of interactive 3D graphics, animations, and data visualizations.
Thank you to all of our industry partners whose support keeps our insects
flying and whose design processes benefit from the latest and greatest
resources that Ladybug Tools has to offer. Thanks is also due to our
institutional partners who equip students with our teaching materials and
the knowledge needed to develop creative solutions to issues within the
The organizations below are not only generous benefactors who give back to the software developers that support their work but they are also leaders in environmental design, raising the standards of our entire practice.
Ladybug Tools is used by architects, engineers, consultants, simulation
experts, and academics alike.
Here is a short list of the offices and schools using our applications.
Ladybug and Honeybee is a really powerful toolkit to handle 3D-geometry and simulation parameters on a larger scale. It’s a big step forward in complex dynamic daylight simulation!
The Grasshopper insects – Ladybug, Honeybee, Dragonfly and Butterfly – are propagating
widely in academic and in professional design and planning communities, not as an infestation
but with as much delight and value as their biological namesakes. We make great use of them
By seamlessly linking existing and highly capable performance assessment software (for daylight, energy, airflow and thermal comfort) to design workflows, the insects are creating a design ecosystem in which architects and planners can shape their efforts to promote the highest levels of performance while satisfying all design objectives. Members of the design community, trained to be creative and now empowered to develop evidence-based strategies, will generate new concepts that will enrich the discourse about how best to serve both mankind and the natural environment.
The open-source insects, described as a “passion project” by one member of the core development group, will mutate into even more capable forms with the aid of computationally capable users.
Ladybug and Honeybee provide up to date analytical functions in an open didactic manner. We have just started using them on our Masters programme, but I think our students are already becoming dedicated users.
Ladybug and Honeybee have not only assisted me in creating high quality visuals and quick energy models, their rapid visual feedback has taught me how buildings behave in response to many parameters, making me a better energy modeler and consultant.
Frankly without Ladybug and Honeybee I’d struggle to do my job. The suite of tools that the Ladybug team has developed has given the industry so much more power in understanding how buildings and people interact with the climate which is critical. The wealth and range of tools available enable the user to interrogate a huge number of scenarios and present an equally large number of metrics. But the best part is that the team behind Ladybug are constantly developing and listening. They believe in collaboration and always are on hand to help with any problems or develop further tools to suit your needs.
Ladybug and Honeybee have opened a new and readily accessible dimension to the world of integrated building performance simulation to a new generation of professionals. They have become common language amongst architecture students, consultants and academics around the world, uniting communities that until recently operated in silos. To think that until very recently I had to rely on four or five different software packages to answer a building performance question!
I’ve used the Ladybug suite for years. It is the most versatile environmental toolkit that, as it continues to develop and grow, enhances my design workflow. More importantly, its rapid feedback loop enables project teams to design better buildings, landscapes, and interiors—responsibly.
Ladybug and Honeybee have not only dramatically improved early-stage interactions with clients, they have allowed Arup to leverage parametric efficiencies in all stages of our modeling. From quickly sketching through options at a project’s inception, to rapidly running through detailed iterations later in a project’s lifecycle, these tools enrich the building design experience the whole way through.
The most valuable aspect of Ladybug and Honeybee is flexibility across the lifespan of a project. From preliminary "optioneering" and discovery through validation, the scalability of the platform allows continuity of analysis to evolve with the increased project resolution.
Ladybug has given us the tools we need as designers to gain an understanding of the environmental
consequences of our design decisions from the comfort of our preferred design platform, Rhino.
By virtue of its integration into Grasshopper, we can move beyond running analysis for its own sake to parametrically drive downstream design decisions based on the values coming out of Ladybug’s suite of simulation tools for climate analysis, solar radiation studies, daylighting, and more.
With its user-friendly interfaces, extensive documentation and examples, and friendly community support, Ladybug appeals to modeling novices and advanced design computation specialists alike, helping us to reach our goal of fully integrating environmental analysis and performance-driven design methods into our studio design culture. We and many other practices are grateful to have benefited from the collective development of this amazing open-source project!
Ladybug and Honeybee sustainability analysis tools have become an integral part in library of tools for the sustainability team at HOK . These tools provide an excellent capabilities to perform quick early design as well as detailed simulation and communicate the results to the design teams to effectively incorporate sustainability into the projects.
The modular nature of the Ladybug and Honeybee tool-sets provides a unique and powerful opportunity to create both productivity and innovative workflows at a wide gambit of skill levels and complexity. In short: it is one of the most powerful analysis tools in the industry because of its flexibility.
The Ladybug family of tools provides not only top of the line, free plug-ins for environmental simulation, but also an amazing community with support from users and developers. Being involved in this community since the first insect was “born” in January 2013, I love the fact that we can all influence the tools and help to make it better every day. The fact that we finally can run CFD simulation on every project using Butterfly via Dynamo in Revit for any space is something was not possible before these tools were developed. With the Ladybug family, the future looks very bright!
A flexible and powerful set of tools to interface architectural design and engineering software. The direct integration in the design team modeling environment of choice allows for easier and faster interoperability; the open ended nature of the parametric components allows the development of both general purpose and highly project specific workflows.
Ladybug, Honeybee and Butterfly enable us to customize environmental toolsets during the entire design process – From the very early sketches all the way to late construction stage. The toolsets work well with the rest of our digital workflow which allow us to use simulation as part of our concept development. The open source software development offers high transparency and flexibility. This enables worldwide discussions and facilitates further research and development in the area of computational design and simulation.
Ladybug and Honeybee are critical design tools that allow designers to have answers to very important environmental questions in the earliest phases of a project - when there is the greatest design flexibility and potential impact. Using these tools allows our design teams to illustrate complex environmental factors and visualize how our designs respond to those factors. This iterative parametric process is essential to meet each project's unique performance goals where form follows performance.
Ladybug and Honeybee has brought a whole new level of sophistication to our work. We are now able to produce highly accurate and professional environmental analyses in a matter of seconds, which greatly benefits our iterative design approach.
Honeybee facilitates the merging of environmental analysis and conceptual design platforms, and has profoundly impacted our studio's design process. We now have greater flexibility to communicate information between architectural and engineering teams, and can facilitate a workflow that leverages the unique skills of both professions. For our team, this translates to an approach that balances intuition with computation, and helps us strike a balance between aesthetics and performance.
What we used Ladybug for:
- climate analysis (both macro and micro)
- thermal comfort studies (indoor and outdoor)
How it has upped our game:
- quick, comprehensive climate analysis using hourly data
- ability to ask questions and crop climate data to target specific conditions
- legible, customizable graphics (color palette, heat maps vs line graphs, scales, etc)
- ability to perform annual comfort simulations, both indoor and outdoor
What we love:
- descriptions of inputs are clear and often cite the sources
- easy to learn and share with staff
- ability to scrub climate data
Overall, Ladybug is a tremendous gift to the design community. Compared to prior/alternate tools for climate analysis (WeatherTool, Climate Consultant), Ladybug's capability to allow designers to work closely with climate data and design scripts to customize and crop data helps build a deeper understanding with how climate will influence building performance.
At EDS, we have been using Ladybug Tools at every stage of our projects starting from climate and microclimate analysis, building form finding, façade optimization, indoor and outdoor comfort studies, daylight and preliminary energy performance evaluation, and taking it further for detailed energy modeling. The tools’ versatility and capability to accommodate a range of analysis types and visualization techniques give us an opportunity to go beyond conventional analysis and communicate our findings and results effectively to the design team and clients.