Tag Archives: Walls

Wall Junction Trouble Shooting

There are times when walls just do not seem to want to clean up. There are several “tricks” to getting walls to look good in plan. Areas to pay attention to are:

  1. Wall Reference Lines
  2. Layer Intersection Groups
  3. Building Material Priorities
  4. Wall Junction Order Settings
  5. Composite Core/Finish/Other Designations

Here are a few videos to help trouble shoot these plan connections:

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.


Wall Projection Settings


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.


Walls and Doors Projection Settings

A Simple Look at Complex Profiles

Profiles are a great way to add the level of detail you need in your model; obtaining complete control over the shape, surface and appearance of Walls, Columns, and Beams. But it is important to keep in mind the shape and reference origin of each of these tools.

Profiles applied to Walls and Beams may seem to be interchangeable; or a wall may seem like the better tool simply because it is called a “wall”, or because you need an opening in addition to the complex profile. But Walls and Beams behave very differently, especially when using profiles.

First, walls do not miter, they interlace and intersect at the corners. This is obvious, even when looking at a basic composite wall.

Things get even more cluttered at the intersection when you start to look at complex profiles, especially with curving and sloping faces. The examples below are completely fabricated, but emphasize the downside to using Complex Custom Profiles on walls.

If you look closely, you will see some odd irregularities and jutting projections where the above images are intersecting with another wall at their corners. By comparison, Beams intersect cleanly (as long as they are both flat, non-sloping, and at appropriate angles).

Now I am not saying that we should use Beams instead of Walls for all complex profiles, but being aware of how each tool is placed and reacts to their attributes (Building Materials, Surfaces, Composites, Profiles), how they interact with other elements, and how they affect file performance is critical in choosing the correct tool. I have seen at least one project that poor file performance was pin pointed to overly complex profiles applied to walls.

Smarter Modeling & Top Link Settings

In the wake of our office presentation on Solid Element Operations, I have been getting a lot of feed back, questions, comments and suggestions on use of SEO’s and methods of modeling without them.

I want to point out three scenarios that I came across this morning. One is SEO’s done correctly, the other are wrong. These deal specifically with walls, columns and beams and their relationship to the roof elements above.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.39.51 AM.png

Wall perpendicular to roof slope trimmed to roofs with upward extrusion

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.40.13 AM.png

Wall parallel to roof slope, extended to ridge height and trimmed with upward extrusion

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.40.04 AM.png

Columns extended beyond roof plane and trimmed with upward extrusion

The basic idea here is that elements are all extended beyond the roof and then cleaned up by using SEO’s. This is wrong for several reasons:

  • First, this habit will cause more unnecessary SEO’s in the project. And we have already covered why that is problematic
  • Second, these elements can interact, intersect, create voids in elements above, such as dormer walls
  • Third, these walls do not clean up correctly with their roofs in section, wall section, details
  • Fourth, it runs a risk of saving out incorrect or inaccurate IFC or SKP files

The correct method for making these walls/columns/beams flexible to design adjustments is to set them to the correct height relative to the story above. Top link the wall, even if it is grossly below the story above, as in this case where the floor to roof height is 18′ in the story settings; so the top of wall is -9′ to story above.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.12.55 AM.png

18′ floor to floor height for floor/roof stories

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.12.47 AM.png

Wall Top linked to Roof and set at -9′

Modeling Wall Ends

As with everything in ARCHICAD, there are several ways (or seemingly infinite ways in some cases) to model any design conditions. When it comes to a wall end wrapped with a finish or trim, there are only a couple of good options. 1) The wall end tool, and 2) a custom profiled column.

Option 1 falls apart in several conditions and for one specific reason. In floor plan, the wall end has lines that you may not want to see, and in RCP (3d Document) the fills and pens do not match. The reason for this is that the walls use building materials, but the wall end tool is a GDL object which uses fills, not building materials. A fill will never clean up with a building material, so option 1 should be considered an unacceptable solution.

This is crap, dont do this!

Option 2 has the advantage of using a building material, cleaning up perfectly with the wall and looking correct in all views. Additionally this option forces the wall length to be modeled correctly to the actual core length, as opposed to the full wall length (face of finish) that is required for the wall end tool to show correctly. The only shortcoming a complex profiled column has is the column does not move with the wall when the wall is extended or shifted; but its a small amount of coordination to ensure the plans, elevations, model, and RCP all show cleanly and correctly.

Thats a nice looking wall end!

Surface Mis-Alignment

If you ever run into a situation where a surface, running across multiple elements, looks correct in 3d, but is misaligned in elevation, the problem may be due to the wall or beams direction. We ran into this recently on a project that, despite all the efforts to align surfaces in 3d, change surface settings, surface fill settings, or even redo portions of the model, the surfaces did not clean up correctly in elevation.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 8.39.16 AM

Fig. 1.0 Misaligned Walls In Elevation

This was a difficult one to duplicate, since the align surface command works for most surfaces and conditions. But in this particular case the wall was a bit of a jig saw puzzle and alignment was always slightly off. The issue was the walls orientation, or direction, and not the surface settings. Ideally walls should be drawn in the same direction when they abut. To check the direction of the reference line of a placed wall go to View > On-Screen View Options > Walls & Beams Reference Lines. This will show the location and orientation of the wall or beam in a floor plan view.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 8.37.54 AM

Fig. 1.1 Wall Reference Lines Direction/Orientation In Plan

This is not something I recommend checking for, but rather keep it in the back of your mind for when you find a tricky elevation that does not seem to align properly despite all the align surface attempts. The fix is to simply mirror the wall from its center point perpendicular to the reference line in order to get the correct or matching direction of the walls below or adjacent to it.

Slatted & Screened Walls

Todays post is inspired by some creative modeling by Maggie! Unfortunately her project was redesigned before I could get a screen shot of how she used a fence object to model slatted walls, but it got me thinking of other ways to model repetitious elements, other than dragging & managing multiple copies of columns, beams, etc.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 4.10.15 PMThe image above is of three slatted elements modeled with three separate tools. The left-most slats are morph elements boolean-ed into a single morph object. These have the advantage of easily extending both vertically and horizontally as a single element. The morph element can also be reoriented to a horizontal or even diagonal element with a single rotation. The profiles need to be simple and consistent or managing the element could be tedious and inaccurate.

The center slats are a complex profile with repeating shapes applied to a column. Advantages for this method are the ability to slope the column, change the shape, size & spacing of the boards with a quick redraft of the custom profile and easy extension of the height and width. The profiles can be more complex than the morph element.

The right-most slats are a fence object. This object has an advantage of being the easiest to change the element width, board spacing and size with no redrafting or manual object editing. Its disadvantages are that the boards must be oriented vertically or horizontally and can only be square or round profiles depending on the fence element used. The plan symbol for these objects can also be limited, which may be the most discouraging factor for this option.

All three options are a cleaner and more manageable solution to separate columns individually placed and coordinated.