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Document & Visualize forum

Properties and Classifications vs Listing

Rick Thompson
Enthusiast

I am new from AC 20 to 25.  Providing detailed material list has been a vital part of my work. I have unfortunately discovered a bad bug (you can't link a composite to a property object) so support is suggesting I should go ahead and switch to Properties and Classifications for my needs, but, from what I see there is still no way to achieve what I can extract from Listing.  I am well aware GS is transitioning away from Listing, but after years there is still no other way to extract quantities like number of studs... LF plate etc.

 

So, has anyone achieved a detailed material list via Properties and Classifications like the attached pdf?  From my initial checking it out, I don't think so.  I'd love to be wrong and that it would be easy to incorporate into existing PLN's via the Migration assistant, but I don't think so.

 

Below is what I can get from basic Listing with an exterior wall by linking a property object (based on the data base).  It's also integrated into over 200 PLN's and the thought of reworked each one with a new system is a non-starter.  Listing needs to work despite it being decades since it has been updated, it still does the job.  I'll attach a typical material list I can easily generate via Listing.  Well, easy after years of setting things up.

 

            Location         Description                                    Quanity       Unit       
                                                                                         
       1   Exterior walls   2x4 plate x 3                                      53.313   LF         
       1   Exterior walls   2x4-9 Hem fir Wd Stud, 16oc              17.771   Pieces     
       1   Exterior walls   Base exterior walls                              17.771   LF         
       1   Exterior walls   Drywall mud                                          0.136   5 Gal. Pail
       1   Exterior walls   Drywall tape 250' roll                           0.273   Roll       
       1   Exterior walls   FGlas insulation wall R-see chart       136.319   SF         
       1   Exterior walls   GWB 4'x'8'x1/2"                                      4.226   Sheet      
       1   Exterior walls   Paint - exterior                                       0.545   Gal        
       1   Exterior walls   Paint - exterior primer                             0.545   Gal        
       1   Exterior walls   Paint - interior                                         0.545   Gal        
       1   Exterior walls   Paint - interior primer                             0.545   Gal        
       1   Exterior walls   Sheathing 1/2"                                         4.226   Sheet      
       1   Exterior walls   Siding                                                    136.319   SF         
       1   Exterior walls   Tyvek Building Wrap                             136.319   SF
Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey
18 REPLIES 18

poco2013
Advisor

You did not include your formulas -- so it's hard to tell. However, I would guess that most of the items above could be done with expressions and then just sum up all of the wall properties.

 

As a alternative one could use a Python script, gather all the info and do the calculations then print out your summaries to a PDF. The Python extension for the PDF is fpdf2. I believe possible formatting of the PDF would be equivalent to the Listing schedules

Gerry



Windows 10 - Visual Studio 2019; ArchiCAD 26

Thanks for the reply.  There is no formula involved, other than creating a data base linked property object and linking it to a wall, slab, object etc (screen shot below). Listing calculates the defined components and breaks them out and totals them as needed (4x8 sheets GWB... LF plate, etc).  I can't find any guidance of how to achieve that vis "Properties and Classifications".  You can not extract from the huge existing data base of components and descriptors with predefined quantities and units for calculations, based in a surface reference.  I know years ago when Listing was all there was we all complained about it, but honestly, it works great once you get everything set up.  The FAQ says >>>  Q -"Can I use component data for calculations. A - Building Material and Component listing parameters are not available in expressions as properties are implemented on element-level".  I would think if this can be achieved in a new way that someone would have done it by now.  Thus I asked here for a concrete comparison.  GS considers Listing Legacy and won't keep it up.  This is bad considering there does't seem any thing close to replace it with .. yet. 

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

bouhmidage
Advisor

You can use properties to add custom data for your BM , and then scedule your BM 

 

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, RTX 3080 10 GB
Archicad 25
Windows 10 professional
https://www.behance.net/Nuance-Architects

I use properties to quantity everything.

It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Maybe search YouTube if nobody else responds, when I get a min I'll post a couple screen shots.

Rick Thompson
Enthusiast

Thanks.. I'm now watching cantrabim now and it's helping.  Thanks for the encouragement:)  I am assuming I can use Properties to calculate 4x8 sheets from sq ft.. etc  Any screen shots appreciated.

 

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

Rick Thompson
Enthusiast

I am pasting something I wrote to support hoping it might be read by GS members here and can be considered.  The bottom line is the need for appropriate scripts and or clear directions.  Thanks for those that responded to my question, but I don't think P & C is close to replacing Listing for my needs.

 

I would appreciate it if you would pass on my feedback to Archicad development about recommending I start using "Properties and Classifications” to quality a material material list after I reported a bug linking composites to property objects (you can't do it now).  

 
I have watched every video I can fine, and none have addressed the basic formulas to generate things like 4x8 sheets of GWG, OSB, LF wall plate, number of studs... etc.  Now we have the wonderful detailed data base with calculation formulas to easily link property objects to and extract quantities.  I can see the great potential to shift to Properties and Classifications but is is far away from practical quantifying building materials for a usable takeoff best I can tell.  If I could figure out how to create all the formulas and build the schedules to do this, the time to do this would be overwhelming.
 
I posted on the user forum and no one has provide examples of how to generate these basic quantities. Either it can’t be done or it’s too overwhelming for most of us.  One suggestion was python.  I am an architect and have no interest in attempting anything like that.  After paying $4500 a few months ago, it’s very disappointing to find I can’t link a composite to a PO, and the new way is not ready for prime time usage for this function.
 
Of all the Properties listed in the Property Manager now, only one is close to addressing a similar need (number of bricks).  But attaching a formula to calculate the mortar etc is not provided, and each one of us shouldn't have to recreate the wheel. There is no built in script for 4x8 sheets, LF plate etc.  It’s not user friendly to us mere mortals.
 
Please repair the bug I reported.  Hopefully down the road GS will develop this new way to replace Listing, but it’s just not there, at least for someone not making a living programing (or just love that.. I don't).  If it is actually there and can replace Listing, please provide a user guide and built in scripts to achieve this, other than “number of bricks".  For now I’ll continue with Listing best I can after this new bug, Listing is actually useable out of the box.  I can’t believe I just typed that after so many decades hearing complaints on Architalk about listing, and many by me:)
 
Thank you

 

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator

Hi Rick,

I would not be surprised if 99% of current users have no idea what a Property Object (GDL script) is, much less the database and other features of the old "Listing" system are.   I do know that Graphisoft had announced, many years ago, that they had no intention of  improving the Listing system or the Property Object capabilities to include any new features.  At one point, they talked about removing it entirely - which received quite a bit of pushback.

 

But, given that Property Objects cannot, for example, deal with (complex) profiled walls, columns, etc ... much less those with adjustable skins, their use is super limited. Someone would have to not use any new features in order to use the old database/object/listing methods.

 

To clarify for people who don't know your work:  Rick has, for decades, produced stock house plans.  Unlike the majority of Archicad users who put a project to bed after construction - Rick's projects live basically forever.

 

Also to clarify for those not familiar with Property Objects and Listings ... a single Property Object attached to a building element can generate an unlimited number of items in the material listing. This use of the word "Property" has absolutely no relation to the current "property" entries for an element.  And, the capability of a Property Object differs tremendously from the newer property formula which simply creates a single new value.

 

A single Property Object for a Wall, for example, could - given GDL expressions and or database lookup - generate a list of building materials including, e.g., siding in standard length units, nails, weather membrane, sheathing in standard units (e.g., 4' x 8' panels), studs / plates in standard length and width units, headers / microlams / glulams, insulation in standard batt rolls etc, vapor barrier, gyp board in standard sizes.

Property expressions are useless for this.  While I could write an expression to fill in a property for each of the above quantities (pretty complex as run-on IF statements and functions vs standard GDL IF blocks with subroutines) ... how would these be placed in a schedule for printing?  They would only apply to walls.  For flooring, there would be totally different (lower case) property fields. How would these be labeled to say what they are and aggregate like building materials into a total material order?

 

On an empty stomach 🙂 I just don't see anything else in Archicad - property expressions, Python, etc - that is a substitute for the ancient Property Object / Listing function.

 

One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.8, iMac Pro

Thanks for the feedback Karl.  I always appreciate whatever you have to say about something, it is very helpful. I am not sure what to do other than continue with Listing and wait and see if GS can adapt Properties for this function.  To be a BIM solution it seems like a rather fundaments task for a CAD program to pull a detailed material list as I attached above to my question.  I am old now (72 and loving it), and trying to get my business "up to date" so my kids or someone can get use out of it when I give up the ghost.  I guess I'll just get every plan list up to date in spreadsheet/PDF format while it does exist and call it a day.  

 

I do get satisfactory results with complex profiles linking my standard wall property objects via ID.  I can't distinguish when a CP has 2 different sidings stacked, but at least I can give them the total amount of siding.  Same with columns, but not to the detail you are probably referring to.  

 

There's so much detailed info in the provided data base for materials to link to, plus you can easily add you own.  They are great and I hate to see that abandoned. Throwing out the baby with the bath water seems fitting here.

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

Its been years since I abandoned Listings and Property Objects, but as i recall, their capabilities did far exceed what we have now in just Schedules. However, over the years, as Graphisoft added features they did not provide access to the new data objects, so, much data was then unavailable. But, Listings/Property Objects are cumbersome and difficult to setup and documentation is very Poor. Granted they are basically a one time thing, but without access to all of the data, it will quickly became a dead end and not worth the effort to set up for the limited data.

 

i believe this is changing with the new tools such as expressions , & Python. Everything, expressed above can be easily done with either expressions, Python, or Excel. But these involve learning new skills. You can say you don't want to learn new skills,  but you should not expect any company to expend funds to meet your particular style of work when perfectly effective tools are available.

 

This seems similar to the "oldtimers" refusal to transition from pencil to CAD. The architectural world simply passed them by. IOW, I really don't expect Graphisoft to invest in old technology when they are now "on track"  with much better, more versatile technology. 

 

I would suggest taking a look a expressions and/or the Excel interface as is used by ContraBIM. Anything not available  there can be implemented through a Python script (including BM Properties,composites, etc.) as has been demonstrated, including formatting to PDFs

 

If you are interested and have any questions regarding the capability of Python Scripts just leave a comment but I do note the lack of interest.

Gerry



Windows 10 - Visual Studio 2019; ArchiCAD 26

I fully understand it being a legacy function, but it did and still will provides a path to an end that Properties has not arrived at, but hopefully will.  Yes I am an old timer and I appreciate learning new ways.  I started AC with 4.5 and Listing 6.5 so starting down a new path has always been a rewarding experience.  

 

Here I found a bug in Listing that breaks a function that is still available and fully documented under the Help menu as a solution.  All I ask is until Properties becomes more fully capable out of the box to do what listing does, don't fail to maintain what will.  It's a very expensive piece of software we pay for.  I did beta test for more than 10 years and liked having input and see some results of that input.  I don't have that option now, just this forum. So, I appreciate your suggestions, but would still appreciate Listing working till Properties grows up a bit more.  That's all.  

 

As Karl said above "I just don't see anything else in Archicad - property expressions, Python, etc - that is a substitute for the ancient Property Object / Listing function."  So why spend days learning python and other means to maybe, maybe not get the same results we now can until AC evolves a bit more.  I am all for expressions and properties, it's just doesn't help listing materials yet. so keep Listing alive a bit longer, please.  

 

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

poco2013
Advisor

The Point that i was trying to convey, is that all of the material listing capabilities you posted are available now, abet in a different technology. I see nothing unusual in your attached Material list -- except for a wall stud estimate. There, because studs are a object, not a element, requires alteration of the GDL script for a exact count.

For myself, I only abandoned Listings and Property Objects because Graphisoft refused to allow that technology to have access to the new data types they implemented after Listings were introduced. In other words, the problem is just data access as is required to satisfy all reporting requirements.

I completely agree that the formatting capabilities of the List Schedules and the organizational capabilities of Property Objects are superior to the our interactive Schedules now. But i disagree that there are not better alternative now. Its just that Graphisoft does a terrible job of documenting those new features. Just as bad as the original Listing Documentation. It also adds to the confusion that Graphisoft has apparently decided to "slow walk" new options such as Python and documentation in general. .

I see your point, that if certain features work, than don't abandon them for the sake of something new? But, I don't believe that Listings meet today's documentation requirements. They are simply too data limited. However, I don't think Graphisoft will  remove them at any time soon.

IAE, It may take some effort, But I think the new tools do meet and exceed your requirements. I don't know why Graphisoft "crippled"  Listings to the extend that it became obsolete? I expect it had something to do with the abandonment of ODBC?

i am working on extending Python's data capabilities for 26, but getting little help for my concerns from  Graphisoft. I think their "off" on other issues right now.

Even at that, I expect that between properties, expressions, Excel and perhaps Python, all your requirements can be met and exceeded. but also agree there is no need to abandon what works.

Gerry



Windows 10 - Visual Studio 2019; ArchiCAD 26

Gerry, I really appreciate your time to reply and what you have said.  I am not going to give up, but might not get very far at this point due to a few practical reasons on my front 🙂  I do hope GS improves the documentation soon and provides some concrete built in useful examples, expressions, etc.  I use the very old rule of thumb w/Listing that one stud per wall's LF gets you very close to reality in estimating, I would assume that's more easily done than manually entering the many entries defined in the data base into schedules.  That seems overwhelming at this point.  So I am hopeful at least.  Thanks again

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

@poco2013 Thanks for all of your input here, Gerry!

 

I must just be totally missing it, but I don't believe there is anything in Archicad today that permits what Property Objects / Listing does / did.  Specifically:   Property Objects allow a one-to-many relationship and output:  a single wall can produce an unlimited amount of data entries that are summarized in a Listing.

 

The 'current' features within Archicad allow only one-to-one and many-to-one data mappings in Schedules and element properties.  Even Excel cannot do one-to-many relationships (without writing Visual Basic) - that is something limited to a true database.

 

But, I hope I'm wrong?

 

Karl

 

One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.8, iMac Pro

poco2013
Advisor

Thanks for your input(s). I always learn a lot from practical users.

 

As to property Objects, they can do one (many) to many (one) relationships but I found them very limited in the data they could access and very cumbersome to work with. They do have the advantage of allowing a user specific database which can be tailored to projects needs.Generally, they can be altered with minimal effort. Not so with Listings which usually require a rewrite.

 

Excel can be very complicated too. But, ContraBIM does some amazing and fairly detailed reports. Unfortunately, many are generalized, again due to data limitations.

 

Now, with respect to Archicad, expressions were never designed for multi-relationships. Python scripts - other than the C++ API -- was introduced to do that.  However, any new technique is difficult to understand, particularly in Archicad. I really believe Graphisoft uses the Philosophy of - " We have given you examples , so figure it out for yourself"  Poor customer relations!!

 

Python does have some limitations -- notably in the presentation of data in Archicad- but that is more a Archicad limitation now.

 

I recognize that that this topic may be too abstract due to Graphisoft poor documentation efforts and some Advertising hype?

 

To my point, I would offer to demonstrate that Python script(s) can do more than the previous technologies, together with specific targeted videos and demo scripts,  if you, Rick or anyone else would care to post their typical project data lists together with  the applicable typical working sample plan(s). Rick's listing is very detailed but also very elementary and typical for most projects, His example only lacks an associated sample plan to demonstrate from? I think you will be surprised at the mostly short, easy to understand resulting scripts and their versatility. Certainly, not more complicated than expression programing. I would expect that both Graphisoft and myself might benefit from real world concerns. This would greatly help, as it is impossible now to communicate the  present limitations in Documentation to Graphisoft because, as i said before, they are "off" on other issues now. You can post suggestions, but I bet that they are mostly filed in the circular file cabinet, at present?

 

Note, that I am currently working in 26, so videos and such may have to wait until the 26 release, which is very close now anyway.

 

Gerry



Windows 10 - Visual Studio 2019; ArchiCAD 26

I sent a link via dropbox to your inbox for the pla the material list is pulled from.  Thank you so much for your time and hope it helps others and not just me.

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

bouhmidage
Advisor

CONTRABIM SYSTEMS is an entrance to a a much bigger world of quantity takeoff, 

I bought the system product, than i made a huge modification on it to adapt it for my work, 

Combining schedules, expressions, classifications and some intermediate excel skills will bring you to another level, 

Using systems, i extracted quantites of  elements that i didnt model it at all, like you said, sheets quantities from standard sizes, 

It's tricky, yes, but when you get familiar with,  you can do a lot of good stuff, 

The one missing part is calculation and "smart database, 

Archicad, so far, can't multiply quantities and unit price, 

Database is not a " 1 place to put all the stuff " , using properties, it should be fragmented to small databases according to the elements you're planning to use for, a mess, 

Excel can do this for you using vlookup formula, .

I"ll be glad to help you !

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, RTX 3080 10 GB
Archicad 25
Windows 10 professional
https://www.behance.net/Nuance-Architects

Thank you for your input and your generous offer to help.  I have watched some of Contrabim's videos and they are simply amazing at the whole deal.  It's a huge commitment for me to consider shifting gears here.  I have over 200 active plans and list.  I can run a list and format it in Numbers (Mac's excel) in about 15min. which has to be a lot faster than starting over with this  more advanced option.  To consider starting a new approach is not first on my time list 🙂  I am rerunning all my list as I realized a few links broke during the shift to Building Materials and some info was left out of subsequent list, plus realizing a few details I could do to make them better.  I am pretty far into it so I will finish and see where to go in the future, which might not include me 🙂 🙂 

Rick Thompson

Mac Monterey AC 25

http://www.thompsonplans.com
iMac 3.4GHz Quad i5 24 GB w/SSD Monterey

@bouhmidage This sounds really interesting.  Looking forward to what you, Gerry and Rick share over time.

 

One correction:  Archicad "can" multiply quantities and unit prices...  but only with the old database / Property Object / Listing functionality... unfortunately, as Gerry notes, that was never properly documented... and legend has it, that only one person (the original author / programmer) at Graphisoft fully understood it and that was over 20 years ago.  Most of it was explained well in Eric Wilk's 2007 book "Archicad From CAD to Quantity Survey" ... although the graphical report format remains a partial mystery.  Anyway, since it is all a deprecated feature, hearing about Contrabim and the potential python approaches will be very interesting to many people.  Perhaps a new thread should be started for that.

 

One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.8, iMac Pro

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