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Office Standard Libraries

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I have sort of been given the task at my office of looking into how we currently manage our office library and libraries for our projects within the office. I would like to see what others are doing, the pro's and con's for each method proposed.

We currently use the standard archicad libraries for what ever version archicad we are using (We use archicad 12, 15 & 17. We have kept the job in the version we started to avoid breaking the models moving up the versions), and then have an office library which has additional objects which everyone uses loaded in. We would then have an individual job specific library for each project. What we started to notice was that we would make some objects for each project and we wouldn't move them into the office library because they wouldn't be used for all projects but we would need them on another similar project. So would end up linking multiple job specific libraries into the job and this went on. This is not what we want to have going forward. Plus people that know about the objects use them but because they aren't shared (in office library etc.) and so not everyone would know about them and would not be able to use them.

This method works but it is very messy as you can imagine. Also there is no real convention for objects that are created and anyone who is confident enough to make an object is etc. and are just labelled chair, socket etc. basically.

Do others have a method or consistent labelling for each item?

I'd like to create a managed library which is not time consuming or resource consuming to manage it, but simplifies and makes using the libraries more efficient in the future moving forward. Am I being optimistic?

How do you mange your office libraries? What do you think would be a good method? Any improvements to our existing method?

I look forward to your replies.

The best age-old solution IMHO is the basic three library method:

1. ArchiCAD Library - match the version of ArchiCAD you're using.
2. Office Library - linked or BIM Server Library - this contains all parts and (sub) libraries that are used on all project types within your office.
3. Project specific library - usually embedded library that contains only parts used in each individual project.

Ever since ArchiCAD 13 (?) library part GUIDs have been matched part by part, so that if you upgraded the project and replaced the existing ArchiCAD Library with the new version, all parts would automatically migrate to the updated version. That said there should be no concerns with upgrading projects at any time.

For office specific parts, I'd recommend prefixing them with your company acronym to distinguish them from any other parts. Similarly if you create project specific parts, you may want to prefix them with the project number.

Get your ARCHICAD 25 Template HERE!

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Thanks for your reply. This is basically the same configuration of our current method.

Do you find that you might reuse objects which were job specific but you might want to change these to general office items, or use again on another similar project? Would it be an idea to store all job specific items in a general location?
I know moving forward, we would be receiving more job specific items from manufacturers etc. which would only be used once, but could be used again etc. but we don't want a massive office library.

I do like the idea of prefixing objects created as this helps know the origin, how old the object is etc. and who was likely to have created it.

Have you come across other systems that could be discussed?


I think when it is time to include any library part into your library, you should save it with a new name (prefixed with your company acronym) and consequently a new GUID. Only do this on an as-needed basis.

With this system I don't think there's need for any other tactics really. That's the beauty of it, it's simple. Just keep in mind that any third party library should be a subfolder of your office library wherever possible.

If you're using teamwork, then use BIM Server Libraries rather than Linked Libraries, so they stay synched across all projects and users. And watch the size of Embedded Libraries - keeping them as small as possible will lessen the risk of anything going wrong with your files.

Get your ARCHICAD 25 Template HERE!

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