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Design forum

Project Zero, site model, and undecided finished floor level


Hi there, 


I am at the early stage of sketch design of a detached dwelling on a site.

I am experimenting with different finished floor level (FFL) to have a look at how the space feels like. 


Current project setup.

Project Location > Altitude(Sea level) to 10m. 

Project Zero is at 0. 


Story setting

Ground (-500mm) / Ground Floor (project zero, at 0) / Roof (+3000mm)

Placing site model at "Ground" story and most of building elements on Ground floor/Roof.



My understanding is that the correct process to set FFL of the building is by altering Altitude to a desired height and leave the Project Zero to "0", pretty much at all time.


But in my case of undetermined FFL, if I change Altitude, my site model moves as well with the building. This requires me to remember and to correct the site model height every time I try different FFL / Project Zero / Altitude. 


Like, If I change altitude from 10m to 11m to bring FFL 1m up, I would need to remember to bring down site model by 1m. 


Is there any elegant solution for the case like this? Like being able to lock the site model (from topographical surveyor) so that even with altitude change (therefore, project zero change), the contour level stays the same?


Would Hot-link be a solution, if so any direction that one could point me to?

I've thought of keeping Altitude set to 0, and use storey setting to include Sea level, anchoring site mesh to sea level, to prevent it moving around. But this somehow doesn't sit well with me. 


Can anyone please enlighten me? 


Thank you!



If as you describe it the building design is still fluid I would model & document the building in its own .PLN file and Hotlink that or any other variants into your site plan. That way you only have one site model to worry about. If you keep the two together then as you add site detail (roads, paths etc) it will become even more difficult to maintain if you keep changing building levels with altitude. The other approach is you keep the site model & associated elements on their own storey, and raise or lower the site storey to suit leaving the building at project zero. So if you raise the altitude, you then lower the site storey by the opposite amount which will move all the elements on that storey. It's not a great alternative as it can impact other aspects if you have other active stories below the site storey. 

Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Hey thank you for this.


Since FFL would still be moving around (I think for awhile), I may need to look into Hotlink the files. I can foresee the little issues that may slow me down if I keep the site model within the same file. 


In case of Hotlink, 

I would be just setting altitude to whatever I would like. then adjust the building model around? 

Would I be able to link the layout sheets back to building PLN file? 

Would I be able to do a site excavation etc with the linked building module? 


I don't know much about Hotlink, If you have any recommendation for guide, it'd be amazing as well. 


Thank you for your help!


If you are new to Hotlinks try this LINK to the help files.


There is a Workflow Guide Document for Hotlink Management available at the Graphisoft Learn Portal but it is probably a bit advanced for a newcomer, although it may give you a bit more insight into how Hotlinking can be used. There's also one for site plan creation.

Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Thank you for the pointer. Much appreciated! Hotlink Module has been something that I have been able to avoid due to a scale of projects I've been involved with. Maybe this is time. 


I'm looking at both of your recommendations. Workflow Guide for Hotlink + Site plan looks like the exact one that I needed. 


Thank you for your time and your help!

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