OPEN BIM Coordination – Northing and Easting Values in ARCHICAD and REVIT

Decided to re-visit coordinate settings for projects that requires IFC exchange between ARCHICAD and Revit in this blog. In my previous blogs the focus was only on Latitude(Lat) and Longitude(Long). I received some requests to handle Northing and Easting (UTM) as well. To address that I tested the settings of both ARCHICAD and Revit and share the result via this blog.

Before going into how to do the settings we need to understand how both tools work and various coordinate systems available for us to use.

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Quick Tip for Publishing Hotlinks in Large Projects

Just recently came across this issue that unit modules were meant to be linked into a block file, but due to the large amount of small variations within the units, the designers wanted to have a base module to link into the unit file as well, such as:

Module A is linked to the Units file onto different stories. In the Units file, small variations are added to the base A, which eventually results in Unit A1, A2, etc. Similarly with Unit type B, C and so on. Eventually the Unit file was linked story-by story into the Block file.

Though from attribute management point of view such amount of hotlinks is not easy to manage, the designers preferred this solution to deal with the frequent design changes of the 30+ unit types. At the end of the linking process the problem was, that since the Units file already contained more than 20 hotlinks, the total number of links significantly increased in the master file, which caused slowness in general, for scheduling, for updating the links and so on. If the Units file could have been a single file without previously added links it would have been much easier to handle. To overcome this issue, a tiny, but very powerful function of the Publisher was activated: Break nested Hotlinks and Xrefs.

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Whenever publishing modules – in this case every story that contains one unit type was published as a separate module -, using the embedding function under Options… allows us to get rid of the excess links. At the same time the designers could still use the Units file for doing their work, but the process was not hindered later either.
As an additional benefit, the published modules only need to be linked once into the further files (typical stories or directly into the block), whenever there is an update, they just publish again with a click and update the links.

Creating Contour Lines of Meshes without Ridges

ARCHICAD Meshes can be created in many different ways – by creating level ridges based on external drawings, by importing point clouds and modeling the terrain based on it or importing text files with the coordinates and then let ARCHICAD automatically build the terrain.
The first scenario is ideal as it will provide us with the contours that mark points at the same elevation, but other creation methods do not provide that natively. Using add-ons with more comprehensive earthwork-related functions can be an option, but for such a simple request we also have a solution within ARCHICAD.

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Editable Topography from ARCHICAD to Revit

Recently came accross a situation where the Design Architect need to exchange ARCHICAD model with their project partners. The Main Contractor was using REVIT for their BIM process. So, there was a need for conversion of ARCHICAD model to REVIT model via IFC.

The project has large topography as it was a infrastructure project and all of them were created using Mesh object in ARCHICAD. When the topography was transferred to REVIT via IFC that becomes as a Model In-Place element which can not be edited easily. The Main Contractor requested for Toposurface which can be edited further in REVIT. This article covers the solution on how to re-create an editable Toposurface in REVIT using the data exported from ARCHICAD.


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Labeling IDs of Surfaces and Building Materials

I recently found a post on LinkedIn discussing the possibilities of labeling an abbreviation (ID or code) of elements, mainly the Surfaces. Since there is no perfect solution, two main ideas emerged other than using external label objects: use Labels along with Properties or IFC mapping. Though the first may seem to be easy to set up with ARCHICAD 20, it has its risks when it comes to change management since the Properties are not tied to other attributes that may change (for example Composite or Surface) unless you ALWAYS use Favorites, so let’s have a look at the Label tool options and the attributes instead.

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