Choose your top Archicad wishes!

Read more
Post your wishes about Graphisoft products: Archicad, BIMx, BIMcloud, and DDScad.

Can Graphisoft please add timeline status to all elements in Archicad?


How hard would it be to add a "lifespan" property to all elements in Archicad, which would define when the element comes into existence and when it's being removed from the model?


This would enable having a flexible multi-phase project approach, where the display of an element like wall or window would also depend by the point in time when the plan "snapshot" is taken.


Now, some will say that this is already possible by simply using a combination of Layers, Properties and Graphic Overrides, but that combination unfortunately does not address complex interactions like presence of openings in a wall during a particular time span, which is otherwise addressed by Renovation Filter.

The Renovation filter already implements a narrow idea of was/is/will-be, but a TIME factor would allow for creating user-defined "milestones" (example: completion of construction phase), where each milestone would automatically recognize the timeline of a particular element, and be able to automatically assign a was/is/will-be status similar to Renovation.


Any View in the View Map would have an extra "Timeline" group of settings: when in time are we viewing the model, how far into the past, how far into the future, alongside Layer Combination, MVO, GO, etc.

It's been emphasized before that BIM should also factor the lifespan of a building, so what I'm proposing isn't totally out the official party line.


Well, I hope it makes sense.

Matt Krol [LinkedIn]
BHMS Architects and Planners, Chicago
AC 10 ... 26 USA

FYI: A workaround to your request has already been demonstrated by Graphisoft and myself using a Python script to control renovation status i.e. "Show on Renovation Filter". The demos demonstrated a "Construction Sequence" but the concept is the same. Basically, one uses a Python Script to change the status of the Renovation Filter to display or not, based on any criteria. One initially sets the filter to "All relevant Filters" -- the default -- and then changes the filter (through the Python Script) to one that will not show elements that do not meet that certain criteria. By creation of different filters, one could also narrow the search to  only new/existing/demo or any other property value ( phase/date).


This is a often requested Wish,abet in some different forms, and, I recognize that your wish is to make this a Archicad feature, but based on past experience, I expect it would be awhile, if ever, that Graphisoft pays any attention.


A YouTube video which demonstrates the concept for a "Construction Sequence" is shown here:

Construction Sequence 


Windows 11 - Visual Studio 2022; ArchiCAD 27

It makes sense and it is definitely the way to go for taking AC to the forefront regarding BIM. I have outlined a new approach to change and alternative designs which would be compatible with this wish but that takes it a bit further as it includes modification of elements.


Could you modify your link so that it actually links to the live YouTube video (without the "edit" bit)? Like this: Archicad Construction Sequence 

I was thinking again this morning and my thought was "I wonder if there is a way to programmatically access the Renovation property and dynamically change it based on some other variable". And then I came to the office and saw your post. Without looking at the code, I'm not sure how you're doing it, but the proof of concept is there.

Out of curiosity, how would you refer to a particular "state" of the model from the View Map? I mean, there should be an accessible "switch" to feed the initial timeline data to the script.


Python has been on my "to do" list for over two years, and there are many great reasons to learn it.


Thank you!

Matt Krol [LinkedIn]
BHMS Architects and Planners, Chicago
AC 10 ... 26 USA

Hi! Your workflow seems to aim to create "metaverses" whereas I'm still in the world of singular reality and timeline 🙂

Joking aside, the creation of multiple versions of a project requires a lot of discipline, as some versions literally overlap and exclude the others. Example: different scenarios of partial demolition of a wall with openings, depending on alternate designs of new addition.

Matt Krol [LinkedIn]
BHMS Architects and Planners, Chicago
AC 10 ... 26 USA

Practical workflow:

1) assign "birth" and end of life (EOL) of all the elements in the model (default: infinite existence).


2) under imaginary "Timeline Combination", pick the point in time from which the model is viewed


3) pick the moment in time when construction is expected to begin.

Any element with EOL after that moment - but before completion - is automatically assigned "Demo" Renovation status (as opposed to elements removed before that, which are not in scope of work)


4) Pick the moment when construction is expected to be completed.

Any element that was "born" after construction started - but before completion - automatically receives a "new" Renovation status.

5) any elements with neither EOL nor birth within the construction schedule are automatically treated similar to Existing (i.e. they are not in scope of work).


6) Assign the Timeline Combination to a defined View.


6) User can define multiple "Timeline Combinations" to reflect completely different Renovation status in each combination (example: different construction phase).


7) Alternatively (for presentation purposes) define extra "depths" in "Timeline Combination" to show any elements that used to be, or will be present outside of construction schedule. They may need an additional Renovation status which does not yet exist in ArchiCAD (for element interaction purposes). This could be used to demonstrate continuity of a particular historic site, etc.


Note: obviously, the user should be able to define custom "milestone" dates, so there would be no need to assign or change the dates directly to the elements.

There may be some holes in the approach above, but you get the idea.

Matt Krol [LinkedIn]
BHMS Architects and Planners, Chicago
AC 10 ... 26 USA

I still think the easy fix to get this workflow moving would be to change the Renovation filter status from being All or One to All or Multiple.

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)

And you will stay there as long as you don't make multiple branches from a single state.

The beauty of the approach that I outlined is that it doesn't require any discipline as element get their "ontological status" automatically and thus removes the need to keep track of settings at element level - something that is has gotten out of hand in AC already.

I agree. Unless a new feature for this is truly ground-breaking or at least elevates the control from the element level it would be better to just change that - how hard can it be? And spend the development resources on something else.

Not sure I understand your question. How would one configure the view map section to create a switch? On what basis?


Windows 11 - Visual Studio 2022; ArchiCAD 27