Category Archives: Coordination

Interior Iterations

In this particular project, we are late in the game and need to run some options through our model, as suggested by the Interior Design Team. I could save out a .pln or duplicate the teamwork file (see the BIM Manual for pros and cons of various iteration methods), but in this case, I was able to run 3 different surface options and 2 different stone slab configurations through 3 rooms without having any impact on the documents or even the model.

Here are 3 (1-3 minute) videos on steps I took to make this as efficient and nondestructive to the model as possible.

  1.  Using Graphic Overrides to switch between surfaces:
  2. Using the surface painter to reassign surfaces quickly and easily:
  3. Using the Renovation Filter to pin elements that may not be permanent to the model:

Drawing Manager – External Content

Right now, with remote connections, there are a lot of pdf’s and dwg’s being dropped into projects from user’s desktops. This is actually a preferred method of working, as it is faster than trying to link to the file server through our VPN. It is important to not, however, that files drag/dropped into views or onto layouts from a desktop need to be vetted.

Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 4.21.31 PM

  • If the file needs to be in the file long-term, it needs to be embedded (break the link)
  • If it is short term, delete the drawing after you are done with it
  • If you do embed a drawing, verify the pdf/dwg file size before dropping into the project
  • Maximum file size for embedded pdf should be 2-3 MB
  • Maximum file size for embedded dwg should be 5-10 MB

There are some work arounds to reduce file size. We can use PDF compression before dropping into a file, and we can open and eliminate complex fills from a DWG.

To Mod or not to Mod

We often use modules to place buildings onto a site. This gives us a lot of flexibility and freedom to position and locate the building(s) within the terrain, without the need to use excessive grouping or difficult selections. It also allows buildings to be documented orthogonal to each other, regardless of final positioning on the site.

If, however, a single building or orthogonal cluster of buildings is the final design, it is almost always easier to avoid modules, and simply reposition the site around the buildings to make adjustments.

Here is a chart to help determine wether modules should or shouldn’t be used to place buildings onto the terrain. In the case of this chart, we can assume “Maybe” is understood as “probably not”. The important thing to note is , if the project entails a single building on a fixed position (infill lot), modules are never used, and if a project is to be a multi-building design of non-orthogonal or non-interconnected buildings, modules should always be used.

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Collision Detection

With the increase in MEP and Structural integration into our ARCHICAD models, we have started to explore the Collision Detection features in ARCHICAD. These have been baked into our template and explained in the BIM manual. For those who may be interested in trying this feature out, but are not using the current template, this video explains the settings: