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Plan, Section, Elevation, Schedule, Layouting...

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

What's your opinion about this wish?

Essential (5)
Important (4)
Average (3)
No votes
Not important (2)
Not needed (1)
No votes
User avatar
By ejrolon
jameshart wrote:I am making changes to the windows in our project today. I was just thinking how nice and easy it would be to write a spreadsheet formula that could double check a window's dimensions and alert us if there is some kind of code problem with the window that we need to resolve (maybe not wide enough for egress or not large enough to meet fresh air or natural light requirements, etc.)….
Check Solibri for this type of functionality.
User avatar
By zarmenas
ejrolon wrote: Check Solibri for this type of functionality.
Sometimes I wonder why half of questions about AC functions end up answered "check this add-on / 3rd party program", or "try this workaround"? Working in AC is already a huge hill of workarounds one has to do... Roofs from meshes, meshes from roofs and so on :evil:

What is wrong with wishing that AC could do some basic math? Why shouldn't it be possible to do nearly everything inside the program and not exporting to some other fancy soft in the middle of the project making process? Especially, when there is no options to keep a live link between exported files and the source.

I vote Esential.
zarmenas, I agree on 'essential', but Eduardo was addressing a particular, somewhat off-topic request: code checking. jameshart asked about meeting egress, air or light requirements per code and the Solibri product is built to do code checking which is more complicated than just spreadsheet calcs in schedules, the topic of this wish.
By Stan Rostas
For spreadsheet functions to be outside of an application that says it is BIM makes the (I) dead data. If an energy analysis feature can be implemented within then math should be able to be performed even in data fields. For instance if I want a stair tread to be a value of 7 risers over a given distance we should be able to type in the stair field 10/7 and have it place the result in that field.

Math needs to be performed on areas, on lengths of walls, etc. Math is being performed in the application all the time so the code must exist and should be implemented within the schedules.

What if we are doing a design where certain rooms are to remain a certain percentage of the overall area. What we should be able to do is have the schedule of this data and see it change live as we work the design rather than having to export, fix, review. You then make another change and you have to export, fix, review. This could happen for many iterations.

Hard to fathom this and lack of a notes data base and notation keynotes in a BIM application going on 30 years old. Some of these things are just plain foundational for an Application that architects would use.
By sinceV6
I wouldn't go as far as to say it is dead data if the information is there and you can use it -be it inside the app or by exporting-, that is what the "I" really stands for. I do reckon there are a lot of improvements that need to be done in this area -and many others-, as having only a sum function in schedules is very very limiting. Basic arithmetic functions could really help a lot.

Problem is that people tend to think that if addition/subtraction/multiplication/division were added, other functions could be thrown in as well (as formulas/conditional formatting/etc)... trying in the end to be able to do everything a spreadsheet editor can do just because the information is inside, and that is wrong. Tools have a purpose and a limit.

Because of the way AC works, in this case, one could have the schedule open along a plan view but it won't be "live". You'd either need to rebuild it or reopen it to see the changes. Setting up a publisher set to export the data as TXT once and linking that in Excel once, would yield almost the same result (you just republish over the same files) with the added benefit of having every other function available for data analysis.

In any case, I do believe there is room for improvement.

Best regards.
By Stan Rostas
Once the data loses the link to the object the data is dead, if the model changes the data outside stays the same.

Cos t scenario study's within ArchiCAD is impossible. The time to takes to go out and reformat the data and apps the formulas is not work flow friendly.

If the engineering effort cannot be made then at least give us a live link to external spreadsheet with the ability to auto populate if not use update.

Never realized how far ahead Vectorworks was in this functionality.
By sinceV6
If that's the case, every time you export data to give to consultants (a model, a schedule, an exported .dwg, even the same AC file) you are giving dead data; if you then change something the data you gave is no longer reliable, and that's where model revision management comes into play... and that's another topic.

Try what I said regarding schedules. Export them as TXT, in Excel, in the Data tab select "From text", follow the wizard and insert the data. You can then change the link properties so it doesn't ask the file name when you update and change the update time to 1minute. Use then that data and spreasheet to apply formulas, analysis, etc. Should you publish the info again... just wait and watch it update by itself. There's no need to reapply formulas... and you can always use another spreadsheet or pivot table to grab information from there even if it updates. I remember seeing a tutorial somewhere about how to do this exactly. Same steps, just explained in detail.

Best regards.
By Stan Rostas
Alas, we do not use excel, we use google docs or we use pages. Sometimes we use Smartsheets.

We will explore all of them to see if they do as you suggest.

The reason for the above choices is the collaborative possibilities without having to pay for 365.

Thanks for your suggestion, still wonder why GS with AC cannot do what Vectorworks has been doing since way back 20 some odd years in minicad?
By didrik
It's no longer clear what I am voting for: spreadsheet functions in AC, or some degree of code checking that makes use of spreadsheet functions. I am therefore voting based on the Subject line of the wish without reference to code checking.

My opinion is that some amount of spreadsheet functionality inside ArchiCAD would be really helpful. Citing the gap or weakness of "I" manipulation (other comment below) in a groundbreaking s/w like ArchiCAD, is a compelling statement. We all probably recognize that it's the thin end of the features development wedge. Some amount of spreadsheet capability would have to be settled upon, and that would be challenging.

GS is not a spreadsheet developer. On the other hand, they're not stair design software developers, either.
By jameshart
ejrolon wrote:Check Solibri for this type of functionality.
Karl Ottenstein wrote:zarmenas, I agree on 'essential', but Eduardo was addressing a particular, somewhat off-topic request: code checking. jameshart asked about meeting egress, air or light requirements per code and the Solibri product is built to do code checking which is more complicated than just spreadsheet calcs in schedules, the topic of this wish.
I need to clarify my earlier post: I was just giving the example of something that would be possible in ArchiCAD if schedules had the ability to do simple math.

Here are more examples:
  • • On a recent project the jurisdiction required us to calculate the percentages of facade materials used on each building. ArchiCAD easily calculated the square footage of each facade material, but the jurisdiction required that the percentages be shown (not the square footage), so we had to do the schedule in Excel.
    • Our template includes a schedule of zones, which is very helpful. If schedules could do math, the schedule could calculate the building efficiency (not currently possible.)