Installation guide for Windows (from the source)

Follow these instructions to install the CityEnergyAnalyst (CEA) on a Windows system (tested with Windows 10) from the source


We advise to follow the above guide precisely:

  • Be sure to USE conda env create NOT conda create familiar to experienced conda users. This command not only creates an environment, but also reads the environment.yml file, containing a list of packages (and versions) to install, as well as a definition of the channels to check.
  • If you need to create a conda environment for the CEA that has a specific name (the default is cea) then use the name parameter: conda env create --name your-env-name-here


Installation of the code base

Excluding the above software, CEA installation requires approximately 13 GB of storage (depending on your existing Python library) and 1 hour of your time.

  1. Open GitHub Desktop from the start menu.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+O (clone repository) and select the URL tab.
  3. Paste the CEA GitHub address:
  4. Click Clone, this will take ~ 5 -10 minutes (Size 900MB).
  5. Open Anaconda prompt (terminal console) from the start menu.
  6. Type cd Documents\GitHub\CityEnergyAnalyst and press ENTER.
  7. Type conda env create and press ENTER.
  8. Grab a cup of tea and some toast, this will take ~ 45 minutes.
  9. Type activate cea and press ENTER.
  10. Type pip install -e .[dev] and press ENTER (mind the dot ‘.’ included in this command!).


There are different ways in which you can interact with the code of CEA.

  1. The command line interface: This is the command line to all the commands of CEA from your computer terminal
  2. The dashboard: This a web-based interface to CEA, open source and developed by the CEA team.
  3. The pycharm interface: this interface provides access to all the source code of CEA.
  4. The ArcGIS interface: This a GIS interface to CEA.
  5. The Rhino/Grasshopper interface: This a 3D modeling interface to CEA.

While the command line interface, and dashboard interface are included during the installation of CEA, the rest of the interfaces require a few steps to get them up and running.


In order to access and work on the source code of CEA from pycharm do:

  1. Download and install Pycharm Community edition (64-bit) OR your own favorite editor.
  2. Open PyCharm from the start menu and open project CityEnergyAnalyst (stored where you downloaded CityEnergyAnalyst).
  3. Open File>Settings>Project:CityEnergyAnalyst>Project Interpreter>Project Interpreter.
  4. Click on the settings button (it looks like a wheel) next to the current interpreter path, and click Add.
  5. Click Conda Environment from the left hand list and select existing environment.
  6. Point to the location of your conda environment. It should look something like C:\Users\your_name\Miniconda2\envs\cea\python.exe or C:\Users\your_name\AppData\Local\conda\conda\envs\cea\python.exe. Where ‘your_name’ represents your user name in windows.
  7. Click apply changes.



This is a highly experimental interface to Rhino/Grasshopper, and we do not include any tutorials nor support to the public. for the time being, just a few modules of CEA have been integrated. If you are interested in support or would like to furthermore activate this interface contact

In order to install the interface for Rhino/Grasshopper do:

  1. Download and install Rhino 5.0 (requires a licence).
  2. Download and install the Grasshopper for rhino 5.0.
  3. Follow the steps of the installation guide of the code base described above.
  4. In your command line Type cea install-grasshopper and press ENTER.



We ended support of Arcigs by the 1st of May of 2019. This means that there are not anymore tutorials nor advice on how to use this interface. You could still use this interface at your own risk. We invite all CEA users to get acquainted with the CEA Dashboard. The CEA dashboard is our new 100% open source user interface. We will aim to create a first tutorial on how to use this interface by mid-april of 2019.

In order to install the interface for ArcGIS do:

  1. Download and install ArcGIS Desktop 10.5 or 10.6 (requires a licence).
    • An Esri account must be created to buy and download ArcGIS Desktop, located in Products: All Products.
    • ETH affiliates are advised to access ArcGIS via the ETH IT Shop.
  2. Download and install the ArcGIS Desktop Background Geoprocessing (64 Bit).
  3. Follow the steps of the installation guide of the code base described above.
  4. In the CEA command line Type cea install-arcgis and press ENTER.