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ARCHICAD 23 - LAYER NAMING CONVENTIONS? (USA Template)

rob2218
Enthusiast
Just downloaded my copy of AC23.
First thing I went to check was....the layer naming convention.

Why does Graphisoft continually keep changing the layer naming conventions on their template files from "Walls Exterior" to "A-Wall-Exterior"????

Please guys, can you stick to ONE freakin' layer naming convention?
I believe the AIA layer naming convention of "Dicipline-plane of 3d space-sub descriptor-subdescriptor" works best.......A-WALL-EXTR..............A-WALL-INTR.....any try to stick to a 1-4444-4444-**** type format....it puts everything in place when organization it KEY.
...Bobby Hollywood live from...
i>u
Edgewater, FL!
SOFTWARE VERSION:
Archicad 22, Archicad 23
Windows7 -OS, MAC Maverick OS
23 REPLIES 23
rob2218
Enthusiast
I'm not sure why Graphisoft hands off the "layer naming" responsibility to some intern to come up with their own (inexperience real life) inequities in determining what naming format to use for layers.

I mean.........the AIA works very well.

A-WALL-EXTR
A-WALL-INTR
C-SITE-PVMT
M-FLOR-EQPT
E-FLOR-PWR
E-CLNG-LITE
A-FLOR-TEXT
A-CLNG-TEXT
A-ROOF-BM


See how easy it is.......it's all alphabetical, separated by a "dash" (-) with a dicipline letter being the trade it is..........it's very easy to follow.
...Bobby Hollywood live from...
i>u
Edgewater, FL!
SOFTWARE VERSION:
Archicad 22, Archicad 23
Windows7 -OS, MAC Maverick OS
Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
rob2218 wrote:
I'm not sure why Graphisoft hands off the "layer naming" responsibility to some intern to come up with their own (inexperience real life) inequities in determining what naming format to use for layers.
...
See how easy it is.......it's all alphabetical, separated by a "dash" (-) with a dicipline letter being the trade it is..........it's very easy to follow.
I'm really not sure what the complaint really is here? The delivered template is a starting point for new users. Anyone such as you who has been using ARCHICAD for many years should have your own customized template at this point.

The names in USA 23 and USA 24 are pretty much NCS names ... just made more readable by GSUS since the NCS names are ridiculously short due some DOS / AutoCAD heritage. For example,

You want:
A-WALL-EXTR
E-CLNG-LITE

and the template has:
A - Walls - Exterior
A - Ceilings
A - Lighting
MEP - Electrical

...where I see that the MEP and S (structural) layer names are super limited...and that there are no E or site/landscape/etc trade groups, it is no big deal to add them... But, you get the idea... layers are sorted by trade just as you want them to be... so I don't see what the complaint is?

If you want different names, and don't have your own template, just go into Attribute Manager, change the names, save a template, and now you have them your way for the future.

Do you really want GSUS to change the template for new users to show:
A-CLNG
rather than:
A - Ceilings ?

BTW, the person who created the template has years of experience, including real life projects, and does nationwide training... hardly inexperienced. Just different than what you might want. Key strengths of ARCHICAD are that there are many ways to do the same thing and it can be customized for each of us via our own Templates and Work Environment 🙂

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.7, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
rob2218
Enthusiast
perhaps I was not clear.
my "complaint" if you want to call it that rather than an observation is that Graphisoft CHANGES back and forth and sometimes to ridiculous naming, the convention of their templates.

That's what so wonderful about a "template" in that there are so many to chose from.

Templates, IN reality, don't work if you are a hired-BIM-gun to multiple architects who have THEIR way of organization.
Perhaps if you only work for one large AE company as a consultant and have been with that company for decades...perhaps a template would work but for the continually adaptive circumstances...."templates" don't work.

Just like "standard details". There's no such thing as a "standard detail" because........for one, the great thing about 'standards' is that there are so many to chose from.

Get where I'm coming from?(rhetorical).

While I can appreciate the efforts made by folks who want to "standardize" and corral how one works in Archicad...it's of no use if said "template" controls your every decision to 'place here', 'draw in this manner', 'use THESE walls', 'you MUST use these views', you must have 'stuff' off to the side and constantely refer to those "things" to grab from...................see, that doesn't work.

Design and working for multiple clients one, as hired-BIM-assasine, must be so flexible in order to survive this crazy climate of change.

I'll leave you with this thought............."it's not the spoon that bends rather it is YOU who must bend".
...Bobby Hollywood live from...
i>u
Edgewater, FL!
SOFTWARE VERSION:
Archicad 22, Archicad 23
Windows7 -OS, MAC Maverick OS
Podolsky
Ace
I don't really understand the matter where this conversation is "bending". For me it is absolutely clear - if in USA there is NCS standard, that states how layers must be named - it's really worth to make NCS compatible template for all ArchiCAD users. Maybe as a second option (in case if someone does not like NCS), but that would be the right way. And we should not to forget, that exists International version template too - that possible to get.
I know only NCS 3.1 (as I was able to find it in Internet for free), I know now there are new, BIM-oriented, versions - but I just don't want to pay for it just because I'm curious (I'm in UK anyway).
I might take the side of Rob (sorry, don't know your real name) - as in UK also was some strange things about a template. In UK was AEC (UK) CAD standard for layer names based on BS1192 and ISO13567. That was quite cute, let say this way. Then appeared next revision, updated to Unicalss 2015. That looks strange. But this is a new standard. That time was established Graphisoft UK already, and they implemented the new standard to UKI template. And what was there? 200 layers! I don't know who were working on that - but that was something that couldn't call really professional. So finally I carefully reviewed the new standard and created my own template - based on the standard - and doesn't really matter how I like layers names or not. I wish my work would be adopted by Graphisoft UK, but they refused. Well, maybe this way they left me space for my own private business.
By the way, some BIM managers in UK are saying - they must use national CAD/BIM standard, if they don't - they can have legal problems with the client. I'm not sure how honest there BIM managers are, but very possible that this is sometimes true.

Just to finalise I would like to quote USA NCS: "As a building design and construction industry professional and as representative of a company, organization, or association, you are an integral part of this process. We urge you to adopt the Standard throughout your business enterprise, and to participate in its ongoing development to ensure a Standard that reflects the broadest possible spectrum of viewpoints from throughout the industry."
rob2218
Enthusiast
Interesting.
I have seen a many (ahem) "creative" layer naming conventions and to this day...

A-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

format works like a charm. Keeping all "architectural" "mechanical", "electrical"...etc. layers alphabetized and in order so you can simply zip thru the first letter of the discipline and make sense of what trade you are altering.

Makes sense to me but hey...with my opinion and 75cents you can buy a pack of gum.
...Bobby Hollywood live from...
i>u
Edgewater, FL!
SOFTWARE VERSION:
Archicad 22, Archicad 23
Windows7 -OS, MAC Maverick OS
rob2218
Enthusiast
this is straight-forward and makes perfect logic...but then again...sometimes 'logic' has nothing to do with decision making...does it.

A-WALL-EXTR

1) first letter is dicipline
2) set of 4 descriptors is "WALL", "CLNG", "FLOR"..etc..
3) third group of letters are sub-descriptor....ie "INTR" "EXTR" etc...

again...logical keeping ALL same diciplines together and easily searchable....

Instead we now get
"Walls - Interior"
"Walls - Exterior".....

Or "Interior Walls" and "Exterior Walls"....with a jumblement of layer names that are sprawled out all over the layer list..................

Have a peaceful Memorial Day...to all and to all a good night.
...Bobby Hollywood live from...
i>u
Edgewater, FL!
SOFTWARE VERSION:
Archicad 22, Archicad 23
Windows7 -OS, MAC Maverick OS
my 2 cents. The use of NCS layer names might be better added to the AC toolbox by a layer map embedded in the DWG translator. Something that would allow any user to decide their own layer set and then map these to NCS layer names.

I prefer layer names in less truncated (DOS is dead) form, but acknowledge that downstream users (clients, FM people, etc.) might insist on NCS layer names.

I personally think UNIFORMAT points to a better layer name strategy as it is more clearly BIM-centric. NCS layer names are about drawings and were formuated when it was still important to support 8-bit operating systems and their limitations.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC4.55 through 27 / USA AC27-5030 USA
Rhino 8 Mac
MacOS 14.5
rob2218
Enthusiast
I'm not quite sure that naming a layer "A-WALL-EXTR" was solely a (DOS IS DEAD) thing.....

I'd like to see that Uniformat thing you speak of.
...Bobby Hollywood live from...
i>u
Edgewater, FL!
SOFTWARE VERSION:
Archicad 22, Archicad 23
Windows7 -OS, MAC Maverick OS
Podolsky
Ace
I came with some idea about layer naming standard.
In UK layer shall have discipline letter, Uniclass 2015 code, then code for model, 2D element, dimension of text and then description.
Because in different cases code becoming different length, description is just jumping left and right in the list of the layers. To solve it, I added spaces between code and description - to align description and make it more readable.
I think something similar possible to do with USA layer names. Use NCS short names and after full description.
For example:

A-FLOR Floor
A-FLOR-EVTR Elevator Cars and Equipment
A-FLOR-HRAL Handrail / Guard Rail

It would be nice, if ArchiCAD had code and description fields in layers settings, showing them aligned this way in the list. Then during DWG export possible to choose - export only codes or codes with description.