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Wall and Floor Framing with Curtain Wall: Tip


Hi, I've been playing around with the curtain wall tool for wall and floor framing. It's probably obvious to some, but some newer users might benefit.


Using the boundary method on a floor plan, you can easily create a horizontal curtain wall that can be your floor framing. Once the scheme is set up (and saved as a favorite), you can frame a whole floor, including stair openings in literally seconds. In my area, we extensively use I-joists for framing with LVL or LSL for rim joists. Any rectangular members can be easily created with the CW's built-in frames. For the I-joists, you just create a complex profile and use that in the curtain wall. Normally, I have a single I-joist profile that I stretch for different sizes. Note that offset modifiers don't work in curtain wall, so you'll have to have a distinct profile for each size of I-joist. You can set custom frame classes for rim joist and floor joist. Set the scheme pattern to your desired joist spacing (you can easily modify any time.) I set the scheme to be something like 50' (15 m) long so I don't get any intermediate frames. However, you could add a "blocking" custom frame if you wish.




Floor Framing_CW settings.jpg


Floor Framing.jpg


When using curtain wall for wall framing, it works really well when creating separate frame classes for each member type (I've got blocking, lintel/header, bottom plates, top plates, cap plates, studs, cripple studs, jack studs). Careful control of the intersection priorities of each class makes for very clean intersections. I was having a bit of trouble with lintels, so the one in the image is actually a separate beam.





Wall Framing_CW settings.jpg


Hope this is helpful to someone. How else do you use the curtain wall tool?

ArchiCAD 25-4013; Windows 10; Intel i5-3570K; 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 960

I just wrote my own wall accessory for framing and finishes, but I did consider this option prior.  Well done

How do you handle wall intersections?

Noemi Balogh
Community Admin
Community Admin

Really nice job! I also like the presentation of the end result. My all time favourite idea is to use curtain walls as facade elements (e.g. fiber cement facades), but your examples are pretty good too. 

Noémi Balogh

Customer Engagement Expert, Community Admin


I used to work that way but encountered a number of frustrations with editing and the way the framing only runs between nodes so you can't get an easy take off. If your framing is simple then it is a good solution. In my world though a transom should not split a mullion if it has a higher priority & then I started wrestling with complex openings, angled head cuts and as @SenecaDesignLLC mentions, adding framing for wall junctions. For now I have moved my standard framing to GDL objects with stick building (columns/beams) for special situations. I keep hoping one day we might have the ability to create modules with in-place editing, we could then create accurate framing with columns & beams that could be easily scheduled.

Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)


Great description and explanation with the images really helps. 
This method is good enough for architects that need to show the framing, etc in various views. 
Good to help the designer understand how their design goes together. 

Graphisoft Certified ArchiCAD BIM Manager

ArchiCAD 25

Windows 10

Steve Jepson

And how is that working for you all with Interactive Schedules?  I mention this because if you don't need to schedule the Framing per how many units of what length to order, why are you modeling the framing?  Just curious.  


framing model for Interactive Schedules.png

ArchiCAD 25 5010 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 2 - Adobe Acrobat Pro

My accessory gives me all the data so it's pretty good on that end. I almost have cut plans coded too.

And really I do it for the sake of knowing my design functions and can indeed be built. 

But that's easy when I can frame the house in minutes lol

My accessory also has sheetrock sheathing and baseboard all built in so it's extra detail with no extra work.

Hi Steve. I'm just primarily modeling it for visualization purposes to help the client, builder, and plans examiner understand the framing concepts. From a liability standpoint, I'm not sure I'd ever provide a detailed schedule even if I could.

ArchiCAD 25-4013; Windows 10; Intel i5-3570K; 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 960

Eric Bobrow

I love what you're doing here.


I've been experimenting with using Curtain Walls for board and batten, as well as for standing seam roofing. In general it seems to work pretty nicely with minimal effort to create these coverings, and is fairly flexible. It is easy enough to cut the battens around doors and windows, although a little annoying because it's not associative so if you move or resize the openings you have to manually coordinate the covering.


Your images have a tasteful amount of sketchiness, with lines overshooting a tiny amount. How did you create these screenshots? I like the style a lot.

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