General discussions
Posts about job ads, news about competitions, events, learning resources, research, etc.

Component Level Design Workflows - Conversation & feedback

James B

Hi All,


Now in Archicad, most design and data are handled at the element level - assigning properties, using Graphic Overrides or setting renovation status are a few examples.

To express design intent and extract data at a more detailed level, the component or skin level requires further data and flexibility. We already visualise these skins, have Offset Modifiers for Profiles to create smart parametric extrusions, and Component/Surface Schedules to extract data.

We plan to further develop the component/skin level of elements and expand existing functionality in that area, so we are exploring more about what you need. Some questions:


  • What type of data do you need to store in components/skins that may be separate or different to existing Building Material properties?
  • How is this data used and presented in documentation and schedules?
  • Renovation of components, are similar for the same composite/profile? Or mostly unique for all placed elements separately?
  • Modelling flexibility of components, in which common situations are you resorting to workarounds, like stacking elements, that existing composites/profiles with modifiers can't achieve?
  • Visualisation of components, in which situations do components need be visualised differently compared to the whole element? Such as requirement for submission to highlight structural skins.


As we progress in this area, your input will be invaluable to understand priorities and our direction moving forward. Thanks in advance.


James Badcock
Graphisoft Senior Product Manager
127 REPLIES 127

Maximilian Schorer

Hi James,

Profile and composit walls cannot be mitered as a whole (every skin mitered).
Wall ends tool "Wall End Camfer XX" does not work correct on composit and complex walls.

The junction order, length and miter of the individual skins must definable by the user.
By now as workarounds:
a.  correct junction is done in 2d  (but the automatic evaluation and IFC is then wrong).
b. or all skins are modeled in single skin Elements

4.3 Wall tool in general and for every skin should be customizable in the elevation like the slab tool.
I don't understand why this is not already built in even the GDL command CWall_ looks a lot like this functionality.

4.4 Slab Composite and Slab General
please let us model slabs like these


The wall tool (Trapezoid) does it, why not the slab?



+if i morph the wall then all but one building material will be forgotten
it would be better to break up each skin into a single morph then the building mat. would be preserved

this does not belong here at all but as a bonus:

Please standardize most setting options across all tools.

Especially Groundfloor and Section.... please make the same settings available in all tools if possible and more automatic.
if projection then really with hidden lines and real projection.... no mess with 2D fillings in 2022 please.

please don't make the most unimportant setting in every element possible.
example: break marker lines and pens....    this can be a global setting in MVO

Beste Grüße aus Deutschland | Best regards


Maximilian Schorer

Re: complex objects: As in the slab example above

Just to add my own emphasis: Provide the morph editing tools on Archicad native objects (pencils to add points & lines, and live corners) for maximum user flexibility in defining these complex geometries on slabs and walls.

I would also suggest that morphs be upgraded to be able to accept composites to their faces & boolean objects be upgraded to display accurately in plan views.



@James B wrote:

...the component or skin level requires further data and flexibility.

  • How is this data used and presented in documentation and schedules?

Hi James,

I think it's a common practice among architects around the globe to create interior finish schedule that lists finishes on a room by room basis. Right now, unfortunately, it's almost impossible to utilize the material information we store in the skins of the building elements to create this type of schedule. We use the zone properties instead, and for that we have to enter isolated redundant finish information in the zones.

We know that the energy evaluation tool can list walls, slabs and roofs grouped by the thermal blocks which are made from zones. The list can even display the orientation of each element as well as the thermal properties of each skin in every element. If this is possible already then how about using the same technology and develop a tool that can generate fully automatic finish schedule based on the component properties of the building elements?

Kei Mito

Architect | Graphisoft Certified BIM Manager
ArchiCAD 26 JPN USA & INT | Windows 10

Good point Kei.


I have used the surface object in Goodies but its quite clunky and doesn't always pick up the geometry correctly.

I would have thought zones could do the job by reading the finish of each surface they intersect with, walls, floor, ceilings.

Tim Ball

AC26, iMac

User since V5


To sum this up in a simple description, I think we all would like to have:

1. extended modeling options within composite skins, their modifiers and profiles,

2. ability to assign data to individual composite and profile components,

3. ability to use assigned data for graphic display (renovation status, graphic overrides, etc.),

4. ability to access, structure and display all assigned data in schedules.

5. All this should be possible for horizontal, vertical and tilted zero-depth surfaces.

| Archicad 4.55 - 26
| HP Z840 | 2× E5-2643 v4 | 64 GB RAM | Quadro M5000 | Windows 10 Pro x64
| HP Z4 G4 | W-2245 | 64 GB RAM | RTX A4000 | Windows 11

Mathias Jonathan

A wish linked to the component question that can impact the modelling flexibility:


Actually, if you change a complex profile (of a wall for instance) , Archicad reset this profile (and modifiers) to the default value. It makes it difficult to change this complex profile in the project if the value are not the default one.


Can you give the possibility to change to a different complex profiles without losing our modifications (height, modifiers with the same name) ?

Remi Lecomte

Hi James, a few thoughts about renovation tools, composite skins and openings:


To me it would be very very useful to allow a composite skin to have a renovation status.


This way you can quickly add an insulation layer to an existing wall rather than creating a new wall, on a different layer with different layer number.. this tends to be complicated and creates conflicts.

Or quickly show that you are removing a ceiling (its skin being as downtaking the rest staying as existing) rather than drawing a slab and a ceiling, or adding a new floor to an existing slab.. I find that limiting the amount of elements drawn (sometime exactly the same on plan) is so useful.


It would seem to me a really good easy addition, those who prefer drawing several slabs on top of each other or several adjoining walls could still do it if they like it.


I'm not convinced of a workaround using complex profiles, although having the possibility to determine if an element in a complex profile is existing/to be demolished/new sounds like a good idea too.


Another thing concerning renovation tool is to make openings smarter with it.. if you put an existing opening as downtaking, then the "hole" disappears, (that's not like that in reality). 

Then you need to battle with layer and priorities to show how you fill up the opening with new materials. You want to keep a smooth connection with the new filling though especially in elevation where you don't want to see the old opening line.. I guess if the external material was the same it shouldn't be a problem




If it has not been said, it would help to be able to show a partial demolition of a wall composite such as removing the existing gypsum board or removing a facade's existing stucco. I don't know how complex this would be, but I have had many projects that require a partial demolition.



Thank you,

Still looking?

Browse more topics

Back to forum

See latest solutions

Accepted solutions

Start a new discussion!