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File conversion process for updating legacy files

Not applicable
We have a large project in our office that was drawn up 5 years ago but was never built. The project is now potentially going to see the light of day again, but before we can start celebrating, the horror show of file conversion raises it's ugly head.

Back in 2006 when the project was created we had virtually no experienced archicad users, no template and very few office standards to speak of, so the files (7 buildings and the site model) are in quite a sorry state. If the project is to go to site again, we're going to have to review the design again as there have been a number of revisions to our National Building Regulations as well as the client potentially having different needs.

So, in light of all of this, I've written out a step by step instruction methodology for the process and I was hoping that everyone could review it and comment as to it's efficiency/practicality/etc. Process as follows:

When importing information from one file to another, the following attributes can be imported:
Pen sets, line types, fill types, composites, materials, layers and layer combinations. All these attributes need to be changed from the old format to the template format.
FOR EXAMPLE: a 280mm wall element on the layer "A-Wall-Ext" should be changed to "Wall.Types" the associated line types should be changed in the walls settings under the 'Floor Plan and Section' dialogue box. The composite should be changed to "ACG 280mm Cavity Wall" and so on. Each element will have various settings that will need to be changed to make it compliant with the Template.
Step by Step:
1. Open latest template file (Version 6.2 used for project 0528) and set up storey levels that match the building to be imported.

2. Share file into teamwork to assist in identifying imported attributes (New attributes are underlined in TW before sending and receiving, so you can see what attributes have been imported)

3. Merge legacy file and New file using the "Virtual Building" option. This will import all 3D inofrmation and all 2D information that resides on the floor plans. NB: IT DOES NOT IMPORT 2D INFORMATION FROM SECTIONS/DETAILS/WORKSHEETS

4. Turn on all imported layers and go to 3D. Use Find and Select to change 3D building elements to the correct layers and apply to all 3D elements. Hide all template layers so that as elements are changed to the correct layer they are hidden.

5. Use find and select to apply line types, fills and composites to bring the imported 3D model up to the template standards.

6. Merge legacy file and new file using the "Layout Book" Option. This will import all layouts, drawings and 2D information that resides on the Layouts from the legacy file.

7. Save File (??) be careful when doing this - make sure you're not saving old outdated file information(layers/line types/fills/etc) into the new file.

8. Importing of 2D information from Details/Sections/Worksheets. This is where the fun REALLY starts. First, you need to setup detail/worksheets/sections as required in the new file so that you can copy and paste information from the old file into the new one. Do it one at a time!!
For example: Make a new independent detail window for each detail type (i.e Door details for imported door details and so on)

9. You will then have to copy and paste information from ALL Details/Sections/Worksheets into the new Details/Sections/Worksheets in the new file. Do it one at a time!! Then you'll probably have to adjust the pen weights, fills and line types. You'll definitely need to adjust layers. Now do this for every Detail/Section/Worksheet.

10. Purge imported layers/fills/pen sets/line types/zone categories/profiles etc that are not required or are not compliant with the Template - these should be underlined if the project is in teamwork. NB: IF YOU SEND AND RECEIVE PRIOR TO PURGING ALL OF THE OLD OUTDATED ATTRIBUTES WILL BE ADDED TO THE TEAMWORK FILE AND WILL NO LONGER BE UNDERLINED.
11. Replace 2D door & window tags/grid lines/storey levels/etc with automated ones. This may be counterproductive, speak to your team leader to determine viability.

I look forward to comments!
Not applicable
oh. I think step 7 needs to be omitted or moved down the list....
Not applicable
Oh and the files were started in AC10, but have been worked on since in AC11, and AC12. I haven't included or considered the library compatibility issues here. Another fun aspect to this process is that there were library parts created by users that have now gone missing, become corrupted or have multiple versions of them and no version control whatsoever.
Good times...
Erika Epstein
You should consider starting over building the model because:

- you now have experienced archicad staff
- you have an office template
- archicad has changed considerably since 2006

Even if you go with updating the old model, you will have to change out all the library parts to new ones, and legacy issues will come up from time to time costing you time and money.

A new model will also be built with your staff aware of what is not currently to code etc.

Architect, Consultant
MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch Yosemite 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Mac OSX 10.11.1
Onuma System

"Implementing Successful Building Information Modeling"
I agree completely with Erika. You'll be happier and in a much better position if you just start from scratch. I'd wager $10,000 like Mitt Romney that it wouldn't take any longer to build than it would to fix. No matter how much time you put into converting, there'll still be garbage and rot if you try to use the old models.

I just had a similar situation at the office. Much smaller scale (farmhouse). Converting files TO an office standard is a pain. Better to start with a clean happy template.
Jared Banks, AIA
Shoegnome Architects

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