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Template for AC 21

Steven Dumont
I created a great template file in our office that we've been using for quite a few years now. My question is; is there a point where I should start from scratch and create a new one? I've always migrated the template from the last version of ArchiCAD. Creating a new one from scratch is quite time consuming (though I know it pays off).

If starting from scratch, how much do I have to recreate? Can I bring in building materials, pen sets, composites, etc? I understand that starting over can remove potential bugs in the software... just wondering what is ok to migrate over and what might create problems.
Mac OS X 10.13.6
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AC23, latest hotfix, USA Full

Steve Jepson
Still against ? I certainly never said I was. Of course they have their place.

You make your case rock solid and perfectly clear by saying that what I am doing would be only a subset of the ways you need to work with ArchiCAD.
This is the only response necessary for all those who also need to use ArchiCAD in more ways than I do.

In the case of the Stair-
"I cannot copy the stairs for the buildings in Beijing to a building in Wynwood nor a house remodel in Puerto Rico or to an Emergency Room remodel. The IBC Codes are different in each locale and version 2009 (PR) is more stringent than 2015 (Miami) so if I copy from one to the other I might violate code. Parking requirements in Miami are more stringent than in Puerto Rico so copying and pasting from the latest PR project to the one in Miami can be a mistake and should be done with caution."

The idea of using pre modeled Stair assemblies is that they have all the necessary elements to simply be adjusted quickly for new conditions.
More quickly in many cased than you can configure the Stair Tool and it will never be exactly what you need if you are making detailed drawings and material schedules for the Stair. This is why even very simple Stairs are more useful when modeled with individual, highly adjustable elements, which include some complex profiles.

Presumably you have completed many projects with a Steel Stair, a Concrete Stair, Wood Stair, Stone... you can understand I am sure that if you did have similar Stairs already modeled, you would not keep them in Favorites, and they being able to reuse them because they are highly adjustable would be a a very big savings in time.

Regardless of building codes, all Stairs of a similar type have similar fundamental components and they could be modeled in a way that makes them very easy to use again.

The Stair is just one example that is typical of the entire building model.
If you have completed projects that are very detailed with highly adjustable elements, carefully chosen for how they function, not for what they are called, and configured specifically for reuse, you would understand better why I use ArchiCAD the way I do.

Using pre modeled assemblies, using multiple instances of ArchiCAD,
modeling everything with the intent of using it over in many projects, letting unique file structures evolve as you work, starting new projects with a file that is very close to being tailor made... these things are legitimate reasons I don't use a conventional Template or its corresponding Workflow.

Add or improve certain functionalities to the program, and some of my reasons for working the way I do with ArchiCAD might evaporate.

My final answer to the original question: Maybe you don't need to update your 3 year old Template. Maybe you don't need to use a Template at all?

I apologize for perhaps not reading all of the posts that might have been important to read. I have actually only read a few of them and my posts have been about those.

Also, I have just noticed that the question was in the category of BIM Managers. The category automatically implies the context where working without a Template is unthinkable.
ArchiCAD 25 3011 USA - Windows 10 Pro 64x - Dell 7720 64 GB 2400MHz ECC - Xeon E3 1535M v6 4.20GHz - (2) 1TB M.2 PCIe Class 50 SSD's - 17.3" UHD IPS (3840x2160) - Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB GDDR5 - Maxwell Studio/Render Multilight

Richard wrote:
Then consider that when you copy an assembly in, as Steve suggests, all of the needed building materials, fills, composite assemblies, etc. come with it. If you have a parallel project open, where you are copying things into your project file, you can start with virtually no attributes, and then you just have to deal with a very few choices.

I find this so-called "attribute pollution" actually occurs most frequently when I start with lots of existing attributes in a template, and then bring in something new that doesn't match. Part of what makes an extensive template difficult is "decision fatigue" where you may be scrolling through a page or two of surfaces, trying to find just the right one. Now, multiply this for views, lines, composites, building materials, fills, etc. It's not the same as looking through 5 materials and 6 fills.
We all are delivering different projects at different scales and have different practice sizes so therefore there are significant differences in needs of each one of us taking part in this pissing competition.

Richard and others that copy paste from other files I would like to query you on attributes. Most people are aware of index numbers that are attached to attributes. When you copy and paste them between files where the attribute does not exist in the file you copy / paste into it creates a new one which it appends to the end of the list. Now depending on the order in which you do this copy / paste you will end up with situations where attribute index numbers are different between files. This is a killer for multi file projects where they are linked together. For users that have the copy / paste method they need to be well aware of the Issues that this can create.

As for massive attribute lists I would have the biggest attribute list in the world. But the key to this successful workflow is that the attributes in the working template are light and there is a secondary attribute file where attributes get brought in via the attribute manager using the index method. This way we will not end up with attribute mess and for projects that may have multiple projects occurring over say 10 years which we currently have. I can bring in an existing building that I documented last year into my new file as a reference building adjacent all while the attribute index numbers are all aligned.

Once again this is a process to ensure consistency across a whole practice and over multiple years. But everyone's needs are different.

Cheers Nathan
Nathan Hildebrandt
Director | Skewed

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