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CAD Project standards

Bris0022
Newcomer
I'm interested in setting up ArchiCAD architectural standards for our office but am not sure if it can be done.

What I would like to do is create a template for new architectural projects with everything preset-up as far as librarys, dimensions, wall types etc.
I would like anyone who works on the project to have their settings overwritten and conform to that specific project settings.
Does anyone out there know it this can be done?

Currently our office has a hodgepodge of different libraries of current and previous items, different line weights, fonts, symbols, etc. Its very frustrating to find and tweak every drawing we encounter.

I would appreciate any suggestions!

Thank you!
11 REPLIES 11

TomWaltz
Newcomer
Bris0022 wrote:
I'm interested in setting up ArchiCAD architectural standards for our office but am not sure if it can be done.

What I would like to do is create a template for new architectural projects with everything preset-up as far as librarys, dimensions, wall types etc.
I would like anyone who works on the project to have their settings overwritten and conform to that specific project settings.
Does anyone out there know it this can be done?

Currently our office has a hodgepodge of different libraries of current and previous items, different line weights, fonts, symbols, etc. Its very frustrating to find and tweak every drawing we encounter.
I could write you a book on this.... but I really don't have the time to even start right now. Look for posts by me, Matthew Lohden, and Link. The three of us \ tend to talk about templates and standards a lot. If time allows (or I can find my specific posts), I'll post them later today.

To answer your question about preferences, it can be done, but only through C++ add-ons. (yes I can do that. Private Message me if you're interested.)

here are a couple quick links on templates and setups:
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=46225#46225
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=14765#14765
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=18883#18883
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=12646#12646
Tom Waltz

Bris0022
Newcomer
Thanks Tom.

I just really wanted to know if it could be done to our out of the box ArchiCAD version 9 (on macs).

I will look for previous posts on the subject.

TomWaltz
Newcomer
Ah, come on. Life's no fun until you pry open the hood and muck around with a few important things that could break the whole office!

You know you want to learn C++.... it's at least as fun as a week-long trip to the dentist! 🙂

BTW, I added a bunch of links to my last post.
Tom Waltz

Bris0022
Newcomer
Yes, I totally agree. I've already done this in the last year here!

My background is primarily in AutoCAD but that doesn't make me bias, I just need to figure it out before my boss makes me hand draft!!

Thanks for the links!

andyro
Contributor
During the Orcutt-Winslow webcast, their manager said a good template comes from a successful completed project.

IMO, this is the only way to prepare a solid template for future work. Anything prepared in advance is gonna end up having stuff added that you couldn't anticipate at the time.

Plus, there are so many bloody library objects and pen/graphic considerations, it is best not to start off too ambitious. (my mistake)

I have been air-dropped into a number of large project recently that were working, but could be organized much better. Currently, I have been getting in to different projects, with the aim of using better parts, more efficient workflows, standardized LBKs, etc.

It isn't just the template that is important, but how it is used (ie. views, folders, revisions, etc). Also, I could write a book on it, but I spend so much time dealing with this that it is the last thing I would want to write about!

Maybe some of us from different offices could post files/templates and/or share workflow strategies, such as how to handle details, for example...

The main thing to remember is that it will never be perfect, and it will always get messed up by someone with either a conscious or unconscious knack for not following workflow or protocol.
Andy Thomson
Andy Thomson | Architect
Research site
Company site

AC24 / Twinmotion / iMacPro

Mike Hann
Newcomer
I have had an office standards story which in essence contains pieces of a previous project that has all of the components of a project. Others have used modules which seems like a good approach. This allows users to always access this information and option/alt click to grab the parameters of whatever they need. In the "story" method I isolate the story from the 3d views.
Mike Hann

AC13
OSX 10.6
MacBook Pro 3.06/4 GB RAM

tsturm
Newcomer
This story you use to hold these things is where in the story settings?

Below everything or above the roof or somewhere in the middle?
Terrence Sturm, Architect
_______________
MBP OSX 10.15.4 Quad Core Intel i7 2.2hz
AC 17 build 5019
AC 22 build 7000
AC 23 build
AC 24 build 5000

TomWaltz
Newcomer
The one I set up for people is usually a Module (to allow for revisions) placed on the lowest story called "Prototypes."

I also set their template up to not show that story in 3D, since it tends to be confusing to see,
Tom Waltz

Eric Batte
Newcomer
ArchiCAD doesn't really have a way to "lock down" your standards. I'm sure many of us wish it did. You can partially lock some of them in the work environment and by using teamwork, but it will quickly become a pain to manage IMHO.

AC will also only allow certain things to be transferred between projects via attribute manager. Certain things like the way your navigator folder structure is setup, etc. cannot be transferred and must be recreated the fun way in the destination project.

You really have to start from a good foundation - your template - and document the way you want everything to be done. That is really your only hope for enforcement. Secondly, and this may sound unreasonable, but provide your users with the most logical way of doing things and they will usually see that it makes sense and follow your lead.

Finally, train them on how to do things and enforce what is expected of them. That is my mission this year at my office. We're doing weekly training sessions and there is a big pay-off. Every week people learn something that they didn't know and I see them using their new skills (and our standards) daily.

Now specific solutions such as hotlinked modules of objects, etc. work very well. You should also look into Favorites which can be loaded in any project.
Eric

MacBook Pro (Retina, 2017), 16 GB RAM, Mac OS 10.14.2, 27" 4k Display

Link
Enthusiast
Settings up specialized templates and training businesses how to use them efficiently is the core of my business.

The key is to get as many people on the same level as possible and work as a team. Regular CAD meetings are essential for sharing knowledge and setting & maintaining standards. Fostering a feeling of all successfully aiming for a common goal is as valuable as all the software and training combined.

As for the template, it may be worth waiting for AC10 as the concept of pre-linking a project to a layout book will be much more streamlined now that the two programs are integrated. This doesn't necessarily mean that a template will be easier to create, but it will be much easier to use (in theory).

Having pre-placed views in your layout book is still going to be the best time saver. This can include all phases of the project depending on the size, or can be broken up into multiple projects and/or teamworked. Either way, I follow the 90% rule - include things you will use 90% of the time. You can't cover everything and it is easier and faster to delete excess information (such as extra pages in a layout book), than it is to create them.

As for standardized attributes, the best way in AC10 will be to use a standard tpl file, to start each project from. I think a conscientious CAD Manager may go one step further and include this in a standardized project folder structure that will be copied on a central server as or before the project begins. This way every folder for the job is predictably and consistently created in it's own template-like fashion, further increasing efficiency.

Libraries too should be similarly be organized in their own structured folders, on a central server, along with add-ons, favorites, modules, profiles & schemes, schedule settings, translators, etc.

There is no way to limit or lock the attributes, but with use of favorites, well thought out template defaults, strict standards agreed upon by all, and a high morale, the opportunity for error is greatly reduced. I've seen it happen all around the world! So think about getting your colleagues to conform to the office standrards first rather than overwriting them at the end.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Link.
Get your ARCHICAD 25 Template HERE!

Rick Thompson
Newcomer
One of my favorite additions to ac10 is the tweaking to the favorite menu. Now your list of favorites is narrowed down to the active tool, so the list can be managed better. I now keep favorites located in a prominent spot next to the tool bar. It's very easy and convenient to select the tool and select a wall type, window, part.. etc.
Rick Thompson
Mac High Serra AC 20
http://www.thompsonplans.com

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