Element Information Palette

Heres one that you may not be aware of, or if you are, possibly do not use. The Element Information Palette! Its a great tool to quickly look at the geometries, areas, volumes of selected elements. This palette has buttons to view a selected Element’s Properties, Size, Area on Plan, Height, Surface, and Volume.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.54.59 PM  Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.55.07 PM  Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.55.10 PM  Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.55.21 PM  Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.55.28 PM
Recently this was very useful in checking an estimate of additional fill on a terrain mesh. I have also used it to check glazing to floor area percentages by comparing the wall surfaces with and without holes considered to get an approximate glazed opening to floor area (slab) ratio. The holes considered/not considered fields take into account holes in beams, openings in walls, skylights, openings in slabs, roofs and meshes as well as solid element operations. So depending on level of precision of the BIM model, it can be a fairly accurate estimating and verification tool.

Ultimately these are just design checks and not part of our documentation, so the Element Information Palette is a great tool for these non-permanent checks, rather than developing a full schedule or list to create a document from.

This palette is also very helpful for checking Element ID’s, by selecting all slabs, for example, you can verify that important slabs have an appropriate and unique ID. Or you can perform a quick check to verify you do not have 200 slabs with an element ID of “Kitchen Counter”.

Lastly, be aware that you can adjust the calculation units that appear in the Element Info Palette in the project preferences, and can even save or print the element information list. This palette in combination with the Element Selections Palette can be very useful tool for checking and rechecking areas, volumes and element ID’s.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.55.43 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.58.24 PM I recommend having a shortcut set up for this palette, Com + I, so that it can easily be toggled on/off. Do not leave this palette up as a permanent fixture of your work environment, as it does slow AC down when a selection is made. It will attempt to recalculate all listable information with every new selection as long as the palette is open.

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