Tag Archives: Information Management

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.

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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.

REFINING LISTED CRITERIA

Along the same lines as the last post about additional schedule information, I would like to touch on revising or rearranging a list for better search or selection.  There are multiple places in ArchiCAD where we get columns of information. These columns can often be re-arranged or re-ordered in alphabetical order, grouped by type or by number.

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One example is the Favorites Palette. As you already know you can limit your favorites list by selecting the element in the Toolbox you are going to use. You can then further hone in on your desired object by changing the alphabetical order of the listing.

Another example is the attribute manager, you can rearrange the elements of the attribute manager by name, number or any other column offered for a given attribute. This can be extremely helpful when you are transferring select attributes between projects.

As in our last post, when you are looking for a specific object setting to add to a schedule it can be difficult to find the object in the additional parameters. Once you do find the object you still need to find the parameter that needs to be added. By refining the columns to group by type you can quickly read through only the parameter types you are looking for.

And now the reason for this entire post: Last week we had a project with views that lost their links to layouts and the drawing manager needed to be sorted out, cleaned up and re-linked. Many of the drawings on layouts were linked to the same view in the View Map, but spread across the entire length of the Drawing Manager when sorted by Name. By sorting the Drawing Manager list alphabetically by source view I was able to quickly re-link all identical drawing paths simultaneously.

ADDITIONAL SCHEDULE CATEGORIES

Recently we were looking for parameters for a door schedule, but could not find them in the standard schedule scheme settings. If this happens they most likely will be located in the additional object parameters or the additional IFC properties.

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In the schedule Scheme Settings, click the down arrow to the right of the “Add” button (bottom left corner of the dialog box. This will give you a search box for the above mentioned additional parameters/properties. Virtually anything in an objects selection settings and IFC settings can be scheduled, you just need to find the object within the additional object parameters menu.

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A quick way to find these objects is to be sure to save the object as a favorite, or to use the appropriate favorites from the start. By using the favorites and having the correct favorites palette loaded you will be able to search for specific objects by the favorites list. Once you have the object selected it is a simple task to search through the schedule-able fields and find the category you want to add. If it shows up in an objects selection settings dialog box it should show up in the favorites Additional Object Parameters dialog box.

The parameters we were searching for were the “User Defined” elements of a Cadimage door. Using these, rather than the default “Custom Text”, we were able to have custom fields that tied directly to the door object rather than a global Custom Text. These User Defined list items were located in the favorites list under the Cadimage Door object.Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 10.54.44 AM