I recently came across a project from my first year as an architecture student, and since the paper model I had is long gone, I thought of modelling it with Archicad so as to keep record of it for my portfolio. The building is a 2-story family house, on a sloped site. What I had at hand was purely hand-drawn documentation as a starting point to recreate my project, which made bringing it digitally to life very interesting.
I will detail below the modelling and documentation workflow, from which you will be able to get some indication and some visual inspiration if you ever find yourself having to perform a similar task, or simply wanting to recreate and experiment on your own projects.
To do this I have divided the process into 5 main phases. At the end, I will give you some tips, and considerations that I think would improve the described workflow.
I think checking this article is worth your while as it explains the Archicad Navigator, and the differences and links between the project map, view map, layout, and publisher sets, so you can better understand the overall BIM workflow:
This stage was mainly for setting up the foundations and systems that I followed throughout the modelling process. Making sure that elements are classified, and some attributes are set early on in the project will save us time and allow us to focus on creating and documenting rather than fixing mistakes as we go along.
In this part, we will make sure to model the main elements of the building, we can later focus on structural intersections and details. Remember to work within the project map during the initial phases of modelling.
Making sure that your model correctly displays structural connections will give you precise information when creating schedules and performing structural analysis. It will also allow you to obtain better quality section cuts and construction details with minimal 2D intervention.
It is common when we start becoming familiar with the software, to assume that it is not possible to create nice looking diagrams and conceptual visualizations without post-Archicad intervention, but it is! As a student this was the first time that I committed to getting this task done only using Archicad and playing around with the software's tools and here are some things you can consider.
In this section, you will work using the View map and the layout book for the most part.
There are 2 ways you can tackle this one:
Now that we are done with the workflow, here are some things that stuck out to me during the modelling process, or that I discovered while I was working on the model.
Understanding the basics, and developing good habits with Archicad, will result in an efficient workflow! You can find great foundation and advanced Archicad courses in the Learn Portal, and if you are a student, some of them are available for free using your Graphisoft ID.
Finally, by studying other projects, you can have references to improve your modelling and techniques. Find some inspiration from other fellow students’ projects over here.
Hope this information was useful!
Feel free to share your own experience with modelling your University projects with Archicad!