Category Archives: Floor Plans

Doors & Walls – Symbolic or Projected

The symbolic or projected view of a door determines wether it matches the exact 3d settings of the door or is just a graphic plan symbol. There may be cases for both, but it is important to know what the settings do; and find the right combination of settings for both the wall and the door so that they both appear as expected, or in some combinations, appear at all.

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Wall Projection Settings

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Door Projection Settings

Below is the break down of what each combination of wall and door settings with 3 different relationships to plan cut plane settings.

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Walls and Doors Projection Settings

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All Things Grid Tool

First and most importantly it is essential to realize there are multiple parts to the grid tool and its interaction with the various drawings. The Grid Settings are relatively straight forward and simple to understand.

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Standard Grid Settings from Template Favorites

Above is an example of our default Grid Element Settings. If you find you do not have a Grid Element in your favorites, you can start with the line types and pen weights shown there. Also note the Naming Rules section; all grid elements have a custom name and are not generated automatically (this requires an automated grid placement that really only works for projects with very regular grids tied to beams and columns).

It is also important to note the upper right corner of the Grid Element Floor Plan Settings dialog. The drop down for Show on Story… allows you to define which stories each grid marker shows up on. I have audited projects in the past that used lines, circles, text, or even duplicate grid elements to selectively show grids on different stories. This drop down allows you to access a custom list of stories to show or hide each grid marker on. For most of our projects, this should be set to all stories for all grids, but if you need to customize this, there is an easy solution in the Grid Element Settings.

The Grid Tool Settings also have a section for Section/Elevation projections of the Grid. It is important to note that these settings DO NOT determine IF the grid will show up on Elevations or Sections, only HOW they will appear on those views.

To properly show Grids on an Elevation or Section, you need to set the Grid Settings in the views Marker Settings.

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Elevation Selection Settings for Grid Appearance

To turn on Grids for an Elevation or Section simply go to the Grid Tool section of the Markers Selection Settings and check the box to Show Grid Elements. Make sure that the elevation settings do not have Auto-stagger selected. This feature can be useful, but more times than not it just messes with the opposite views appearance.

As an example, here is a quick mock up of an elevation with a grid offset:

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Notice that Grid Element “C” is staggered over the top of Grid Element “B”. This is because the grid has been offset to the left of “B” on the opposite elevation. Staggering a grid element, either manually can cause this overlap. A manual adjustment applies the stagger to all elevation/section views that grid appears on. Automatic staggering should stagger grids appropriately for each view, but any manual changes will revert to the automatic position when the view is refreshed.

In the above example, Grid Element “C” may not need to appear on this elevation, since it is for a structural bearing line that does not relate to this side of the project. In the elevation or section marker settings, this Grid Element can easily be excluded from the Viewpoint of each marker individually. You simply need to go to the Marker Settings and click Selected under Show Grid Elements by Name and exclude the grids you do not want to show on that Viewpoint.

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Elevation Settings to Show/Exclude Individual Grid Elements

Relevant Stories

Everyone should be familiar with the Floor Plan Display settings for the various element types in ARCHICAD. Some tools are very flexible in regards to which stories they are visible on, others seem very limited; namely the wall and column tool. With these tools, you only get two options; Home Story Only and All Relevant Stories. So what constitutes a Relevant Story?

For this example, I have just thrown together a couple walls in the ARCHICAD20 Residential Template, but it illustrates the point well enough.Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 4.46.32 PM

The boundary walls are 12′ tall and extend 2′ to the the story above. The bisecting wall is 10 feet tall and is top linked to stop at exactly the story above. All walls are set to show on All Relevant Stories.

The resulting floor plans are as follows (Home Story left, Above Home Story right):

If this is not showing how you need or expect it to you can adjust the view settings to determine the constraints for a Relevant Story in the view map view settings.

Going to the Roof Story’s view settings, go to the 2D/3D Documents section and click on Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings…

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From here, you can define what extents will be considered relevant for this view. If I want the boundary walls to show as cut instead of outline as illustrated in the plan views above, I can drop the Cut Plan height to Current Story to a level that will cut the outer walls. Then if I want to include the interior wall as an outline element (not cut through), I can set the Relative Floor Plan Range: Show down to: Current Story -2′ (or any height that would include this wall.

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The result is that the home story for these walls has not changed, all walls are shown as cut just as before, but the story above shows with the taller walls cut and the lower wall as outline only:

One of the amazing advantages of this feature is that a wall may be Relevant for one view, but not for another. Even though the story settings match, the wall height never changes, but the wall appears on one plan view, but not another of the same story. Or it appears as cut in one plan view but as outlines only for another view of the same story.

The default for our floor plans is to have the Cut Plan height to Current Story set to 4′, and all offsets set to 0″, but there are always cases to fine tune this to show or hide elements, or change how certain elements may show in a given view.

 

Smarter BIM with Labels

Precise Model needs to be documented precisely, with as many “smart BIM solutions” as possible. This means elements that update seamlessly to provide information that is as precise as the model.

Manual text and overwritten dimensions are examples of bad solutions that will make sloppy modeling tell a misleading story. There are rare cases where these are unavoidable, but there is usually a smarter solution.

I have been looking at improving our template with as many smart BIM elements as possible. Today I took a look at labels and annotating RCP’s. The new AC19 label types include a label for annotating the elevation of ceiling slabs. Since our RCP’s are created from 3D documents, this ties the bottom or finish surface of the slab to its home story.Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 2.32.49 PM

I tested this out in a few projects. We can get this label to graphically appear similar if not identical to our current text over RCP solution. With this label, not only does the annotation link to exactly what is modeled, ensuring precise modeling, but it updates with design changes, making it a smarter BIM solution.

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In the project above, I tested this out and actually found a discrepancy between the intended ceiling height and the actual modeled ceiling height. This is a clear example of the benefit of a smarter solution.

There are limits to this label. It only works on slabs, so vaulted ceilings will still need text for now. It also does not work where a home story includes a split level, as this label can only reference a slabs height to home story or height to project zero.

But if the design has single level floor plans with flat ceilings, this is a smart BIM solution. I will be adding this label to our favorites soon, but it can be used out of the box with a few minor graphic adjustments for prefix/suffix content and pen/fill settings.

Interior Elevation Naming Glitch

In ARCHICAD 19 interior elevation markers have the ability to limit the horizontal range, or be set to infinite.

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Horizontal Range Settings in the I/E Marker

Even with the Horizontal Range set to Infinite, the limited line exists, but is not active. This limited view line does however, impact the <ZoneName> auto-text naming for the I/E. It can rename the Interior Elevation to the zone its “off” extents line extends to. So if you find a stubborn interior elevation name, don’t jump to overwriting it right away. Turn on the Limited setting and review where that limiting line is set to. If you drag it back to the I/E marker boundary, then turn the Horizontal Range back to Infinite, the name should show up correctly.

Remember, there are many places and ways to override virtually everything in ARCHICAD, and most of them should just be avoided (the exceptions being anything built into the template).

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Sitting Room North Elevation Shows as Main Stair Because of Invisible Limited Range Line

Cadimage Update (Window Fix)

Since our recent C/I update, some of us have been experiencing a strange plan view window sash issue that causes the sash to offset from the width of the window frame:

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I just received a suggestion from Cadimage that solves this. Select all windows in the 3d view; I used a find & select to get only cadimage openings. Then go to the following settings: Custom Settings > Setout > Dimensions > Size Measurement > Dimension to Panel Edges.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.01.55 PM

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The result is a correct and cleaned up window. I have not tested this against multiple panel units, but it works for a single unit without any resizing, or 3d errors and can be changed for all Cadimage windows at once.

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Level of Precision, Walls

ARCHICAD 19 has an interesting bug that has developed from [presumably] the introduction of the new reference and snap features. This can occasionally result in a low level of precision, where elements are just slightly off orthogonal.

Graphisofts recommendation on combatting this is to “click carefully”, which works. I have run into some cases where clicking carefully and moving precisely has still resulted in slightly imprecise modeling.

Thankfully James Murray and Link Ellis have developed a label that has helped me combat this issue and track down any model elements (walls and beams) that are off orthogonal, even to the nearest 1000th decimal point!

We now have their label in our library, it is called “Ortho Label Check 19” available in the label settings.Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 4.45.06 PM

With a single click you can check the angle of any wall or beam in floor plan view and get an “ok” for walls that are modeled correctly or an angle increment for walls that are “slightly off”.

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I ran a check on my entire model and tracked down each wall that was misaligned (only 2), and fixed them. I will be using this for project audits, and encourage others to use it as a self-audit, when you run up against walls that will not heal correctly in elevation/section.