Project data & BIM
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Best file type for Standard (Stock) plans

Not applicable
I am working for a builder which has around 50 'standard plans'. Each new job is some variation of one of these house plans. For every new job we will open up a standard plan and modify it as the client wishes before saving a pln for each new job number. These standard plans are currently saved as pln files and we also have a main office template (tpl) which any one off plans are created from. I am thinking that these 'standard plans' may be better off saved as tpl files as it will make it harder for someone in the office to accidentally save over them. Is anyone working in a similar way with many standard plan files? Could anyone offer some pros/cons or suggestions as to the best way to keep this library of standard plans.
We are also working on a server which is backed up and deleted or corrupted files can be accessed from a previous backup in a worse case scenario if this makes any difference. Thankyou

Barry Kelly
I think the only advantage of a TPL file is that you must 'Save As' for every new job.
However, you must 'Save As' if ever you want to update that TPL file - and make sure you are saving as the correct file.

The company I work for has 1000+ standard plans and they are all just saved as PLN files.
The thing is though, we also give our users read and write permissions to access these files (at a network system admin level - not thorough Archicad or BIM Server).
So unless the users has standard plan access, they can only read the files and must 'Save As' to a job folder to continue working.
The easy way for them to start a job is to simply copy the standard plan and paste it in a job folder.
Rename the file and start working on it with a simple 'Save'.

With good network administration and backup routines you should be OK with just PLN files.


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Erwin Edel
I'd say those plans come with their own project library for custom parts and hotlinked modules, so to me it would make more sense to have to copy a folder with plan X to the new project folder on the server and start working from that.

A template will only contain the model and layouts, you'd still need to sort out modules and library parts for custom bits.

Also, having 50+ templates will become a bit tedious when starting a new project.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

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