Frequently Asked Questions

We've pulled together some basics to get you started.

What makes Pollination unique?

Pollination is the only cloud-enabled platfrom for environmental simulation that is built to support customizable "recipes". We believe that a simulation platform should give you the freedom to do what you need rather than forcing you to fit your needs into a black box that you cannot control.

If you cannot find what you need from the available recipes you can create your own recipes from scratch or you can modify one of the available recipes to fit your needs. You are able to see through the whole process and validate the results for every step of the simulations.
The benefits of using recipes include:
  • Modularity: Recipes break down environmental and energy simulations into modular building blocks (AKA functions) which can easily be reconfigured and extended for your own projects.
  • Accessible domain expertise: Pollination recipes developed by building science and energy modeling experts can be studied, extended or plugged into your own recipes.
  • Speed & scale: Recipes can easily be scaled to generate thousands of simulations, or extended with other simulation types for multi-disciplinary optimization, machine learning model training or statistical analysis.
  • Lightweight collaboration: Recipes remove the technical barriers to run energy and environmental processes, so that anyone can participate in simulation, analysis and quality check and quality assurance.

Can I use Pollination directly from CAD and BIM tools?

Yes. Right now, we are developing the plugins for Grasshopper, Rhino and Revit. Additionally, you can take advantage of Ladybug Tools SDKs and Pollination Cloud’s API to develop your own plugins just like how we developed the current Pollination Cloud plugins.

How do I use my building geometry as an input for Pollination recipes?

The answer depends on each specific recipe. However, most of our out-of-the-box recipes are intended to work with the Honeybee model JSON schema and/or Dragonfly model JSON schema. You can use Ladybug Tools plugins for Grasshopper, Rhino or Revit to generate these files.

What is a Pollination recipes? How do I create one?

Pollination recipes are environmental and energy simulation workflows broken down into modular building blocks that can seamlessly be reconfigured, extended and plugged into your favorite modeling tools.

A recipe can be created by defining a series of simple, inter-related commands, corresponding to specific simulation processes, written in plain text. Pollination uses a workflow language, called Queenbee, based on the YAML format, specified here: Queenbee repository.

We will be releasing more recipes. Let us know which recipes would be most useful to your simulation needs.

How does Pollination support team collaboration?


‍Business and enterprise accounts allows you to creates teams under your organization. You can add internal and external collaborators to your teams and control their access to projects and recipes inside your organization.

What types of simulations will Pollination support?

Currently, Pollination supports any type of simulations and post/pre-processing that you want to run using Radiance, EnergyPlus or OpenStudio. This includes energy, daylight and comfort simulations. We will be adding more plugins to Pollination to support other types of simulation.

Please get in touch with us and let us know which plugins and recipes will be most useful to your simulation needs.

I'm a Ladybug Tools user. Why and when should I use Pollination?


‍Pollination is designed to extend the greatness of Ladybug Tools to cloud and make it easier to scale your studies and share your knowledge. Pollination provides easy access to high performance cloud computing, additional recipes and the ability to collaborate online.

I'm NOT a Ladybug Tools user. Can I use Pollination?

Yes. Recipe inputs are not limited to Ladybug Tools formats. Depending on the recipe you should be able to use other standard file formants such as IDF, OSM or Rad files. Moreover Pollination provides a REST API which can be used with or without Ladybug Tools Plugins. See our API documentation here.

I'm an instructor. How can I use Pollination for teaching environmental design?

Education is a core value of our team. We are exploring the best approach to provide an educational subscription to Pollination for instructors. If you are an instructor and think Pollination can be helpful to your students, get in touch and let us know about your needs.

Can I host an instance of Pollination on-premises or in the cloud?

Currently, we do not support self-managed hosting. If you are interested in using Pollination but need self-managed hosting, get in touch with us and let us know about your specific needs.

I have a different question. How can I contact you?

Use this link to contact us with more questions