Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Collaborate forum

!Restored: CALCULATION: What do you want to do, what info you need???

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Hi Everyone,

I am currently looking into ways to make some modifications to the Calculation-related portions of the ArchiCAD Documentation so as to improve it. I would like to ask for your help. I'd like to get a firm reality on how ArchiCAD Users relate to this part of the program.
My question to you all is:
- Tell me things you want to do with the Calculate menu
- Tell me what kind of quantity take-offs, schedules, Bills of materials etc. you want to create and what pieces of information you want to appear on these.
- Tell me what kind of Zone Lists do you usually produce. How do you do them currently and what would be needed for you in order to be able to do them automatically using the Calculate menu's features?
- Tell me what difficulties you encountered in trying to accomplish these tasks
- Tell me what parts of the Calculation portion of ArchiCAD seems most mystical and hard-to-understand to you.
- Tell me how much do use utilize AC's built-in graphic templates, do you find them useful or would you need different ones. Can you create your own using data provided in AC Help?

Thanks in advance
Get Archicad Tips at
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC26
Loving Archicad since 1995

Thanks for asking!

My biggest problem is with the inflexibility of Property Objects. Because their parameters are not changeable, like standard GDL objects, this requires a huge number of property objects (essentially one per characteristic), and causes their assignment to be far too tedious and cumbersome.

If we could, say, assign a single "hardware" property object per door, and select the lock function (e.g. passage, privacy, classroom) in a parameter, this would be far more useful than creating a separate property object for each lock function, which seems to be the way it needs to work now. If the Interactive Scheduler could then just treat the parameters of the property objects like the other object paramters, then you'd have tremendous flexibility with scheduling.

Another wish would be to be able to adjust schedule column widths directly on the plan. The visual feedback from doing this in the I.S. preview isn't accurate enough.
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Not applicable
I would like to simply be able to quickly use a schedule template for the following tasks:

Interior finish schedule !!!!
Toilet Accessories
Parking (site)

Door Elevation types
Window Elevation types
Frame elevations

(These are not necessarily part of the schedule function but relate to the scheduling process. Right now I use the calculate function to quickly generate the elevations copy and past to the floor plan, then resize. This works o.k.)

There are probably others but I can't think of them right now. I don't even need them to be exhaustive in content, I just need to be able to quickly have them show the right parts and let me fill in the blanks. It is nice to have the schedules that you need pre-formated (templates). Of course these need to be interactive with the model, so that changes in either changes the other. The current set-up might be able to do what I am asking for but is not intuitive in nature.

Not applicable
In addition to the other comments, the ability to deal with the schedules in an interactive spread sheet type layout, picking and choosing the elements to include. The comment about the lock function is typical of the need for some sort of grouped parameters that could be assigned as opposed to individual elements. My typical use has been the IS for doors and windows, one of the things that would spped the process id to allow for a simple add on of an attached text type parameter that is not part of the base GDL and is attached as a scheduling item that could be edited easily, not the same as AutoCad attributes but rather a means to attach schedulable items related to the construction part. I believe that this would allow for virtually any component to be listed and quantified easily. The components and descriptors are just too complicated for the necessary ease of use.

Rick Thompson
Whow!!! thanks for asking. I use material list in my daily business for residential work. After many long and frustrating hours attempting to learn how to work the calc functions I have gotten to the point of providing a reasonably good material take off. I will attach a sample I made for people to download off my web site. First, the "manual" was very hard for me to figure out. This is a difficult tool to learn, so I would first recommend a very well thought out manual. I would recommend people forget the graphic template.

My biggest mistake was thinking I could develop one takeoff to generate all I needed, and using the graphic template for this. What I do now is generate several different list, which has it's own page (or topic) on the sample attached. So I have one list for "crawl foundation", one for electrical, plumbing, mech...etc.. This was the only way I could manage to organize the list. Trying to have it all come from one "button" was an error I made in the beginning.

Maybe this is too much for one program to incorporate, but with the license fee being a "professional" fee:) maybe not. I would like to see the list behave as a spreadsheet, but internal to AC. Now I save all my separate "runs" as tabbed text and open them into an Excel workbook template. Having that pre-formatted with a cover sheet, and headings for each category generates a pretty easy complete list. If AC could do this internally it would be better. There it could be exported as an Excel workbook for others to add formulas etc.

There are quite a few frustrating "small" things, but I can't remember them all now. I will start keeping a list:) One comes to mind. If you make a new property and want to link to the data base, it would be nice for the data base to stay open, and not require you to re-navigate to the place you were. Often the components are in the same file and it might take 5 or 6 clicks to get right back to where you were to link the next component. I would like to keep the data base open and drag and drop components into the property object. That would be great. Much like Golive link placing. THat would speed the process up a lot.

I would like to see in the info box what property is being linked to. Now you have to open the tool, open the pane, then if you change something it does not necessarily update untill you close the pane and reopen it. It's this stuff that bogs the work flow down.

thanks for placing attention on this.
Rick Thompson

Mac Ventura AC 25
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

Rick Thompson
If you list roof framing from the default roof wizard you get lenghts that will drive a builder mad... 2x6x15'-3" as an example. For a hip roof you get a zillion differnt menbers. I had the resident ex- GS staff member make a hack to round these to the nearest 2' increment, and then you get something useable... 12 -2x6x16 While I have this solved, it should be built in to AC. Perhaps a place to set a preference. I will post the hack in case someone wants it. When GS moved the lumber components out of the accessable library I could not use this... thanks for putting it back.

hummmm... I can't attach a >sit or .ISM file, so I will attach a PDF of a srceen shot. I will email directly to anyone wanting it.
Rick Thompson

Mac Ventura AC 25
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

Rick Thompson
the rest of the lumber component round off script
Rick Thompson

Mac Ventura AC 25
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

Geoff Briggs
I'm thinking in terms of improving the IS since the property/list scheme seems overly complicated for most needs (but provides tremendous power for those who need it). Off the top of my head here's what I'd like to see happen to the IS:

-Live Update
-Work directly in placed schedule or change dbx to non-modal palette that can be left open.
-Calculation fields like a true spread sheet for figuring simple things like rough openings, glazing areas, etc.
-Two way "dumb" parameters, ie. the ability to add non graphic info like detail references or hardware key notes to either the object or the schedule. Not just empty text fields, the info would populate object list parameters so other schedules could also access it.
-Empty text fields

On a related note, I can't wait for auto text to make it's way to this level so something like a door jamb detail could be included as auto text in a schedule.

Thanks Lasz. I happy to hear this is on the hit list.
Geoff Briggs
DeForest Architects
Seattle, USA
AC25 INT, Mac (home), Win10 (work)
Yes, you read that correctly, we are in the US but use the INT version, because the libraries are better.

Well, I do not use the calculation menu very often, but I have tried some “test runs” (just being curious about it) and I must admit I have found it too much complicated for the first time user even after reading the manual. What I would like to see there is sort of simple wizards which would allow you to setup simple tasks graphically, like Setup List Schemes… At the moment one has to fill hundreds of fields in (sometimes not knowing the meaning of all of them) for an uncertain final result, I mean to have a "visual" control over the final document through the whole process.
I suppose the idea of an “active” spreadsheet would really work.

Not applicable
I am new to archicad but i have quite explred the calculation capabilities.
They are just great.
As i see it all the calculation is based on 3 things.
a) Select
b) Extract attributes
c) Do maths with (b)

So improving calculation capabilities means improving all of them
Some things i noticed.

Selection is powerfull as is now but there are some drawbacks.
For example i need to select wall with 5 different raster patterns
This should is troubling to be made in the current situation
It would be nicer when i choose the wall object for selection and then choose raster to get a list of all used rasters in the building and just tick witch i want. The same goes for floor selection. When i select to filter on floor there should be a list and tick witch floor i want or dont want.

b) is a part of what said before. Just easier faster selection and filtering.

c) Is that really present?. I noticed only sums and partial sums at interactive scheduler but i may be wrong

Thats how i see calculation, but i am no power user.

Start a new conversation!

Still looking?

Browse more topics

Back to forum

See latest solutions

Accepted solutions

Start a new discussion!