ArchiCad Big Building White Paper

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The size and complexity of projects and other important factors like short deadlinesor big project teams can significantly influence the design and documentationworkflow in an architectural office. To find the most effective Archicad approach foryour practice requires lot of experimenting and refining of your working methods.The main goal of this white paper is to provide strategy for using Archicad effectivelyon big projects. You may also find case studies in this document that illustrate howArchicad can be implemented successfully in large firms.Furthermore it is important to call your attention that the integrated layoutingfeatures of Archicad 10 require the complete revision of the documentation workfloweven in those firms where Archicad has been used successfully for a long time. Wehope that experienced Archicad users will also find useful information in this book.

Text of ArchiCad Big Building White Paper

  • 1Big Building Whitepaper

  • 2Table of Content

    1 Preface ...............................................................................................................................42 Challenges .........................................................................................................................43 Definition of Big Buildings ...............................................................................................4

    3.1 3D Polygon Count ...................................................................................................43.2 The Project File size................................................................................................53.3 Layout Book Size ....................................................................................................63.4 Team Size ................................................................................................................63.5 No. of stories ...........................................................................................................63.6 Summary..................................................................................................................7

    4 Hardware and Software Requirements..........................................................................74.1 Suggested configuration ........................................................................................8

    4.1.1 Archicad NetworkKey Servers...........................................................................84.1.2 File Servers..........................................................................................................84.1.3 Archicad Workstations .......................................................................................84.1.4 Rendering and Visualization Workstations......................................................8

    4.2 Memory Requirements ...........................................................................................94.2.1 Windows XP Professional..................................................................................94.2.2 Windows XP Professional x64 Edition ..............................................................94.2.3 Mac OS X..............................................................................................................9

    5 Speed Issues ...................................................................................................................105.1 3D Rebuild and Navigation ..................................................................................10

    5.1.1 The Polycount add-on ......................................................................................105.1.2 How to reduce the 3D model size? ................................................................115.1.3 Sections and Elevations ...................................................................................13

    5.2 Rendering...............................................................................................................135.3 Floor Plan Regeneration.......................................................................................14

    6 Setting up the Project Team .........................................................................................146.1 Mid-size Office ....................................................................................................... 156.2 Large Office............................................................................................................ 15

    7 The Modeling and Documentation Workflow ..............................................................167.1 Small Projects Single File Concept.................................................................. 177.2 Medium Size Projects Model File and Document File Separated .................187.3 Big Projects Hierarchal File Structure..............................................................18

    8 Sharing the Project......................................................................................................... 208.1 1. Teamwork.......................................................................................................... 208.2 2. Hotlinked Modules............................................................................................218.3 3. Xrefs...................................................................................................................228.4 4. Documentation Separated from the Model File ........................................... 23

    8.4.1 Master file Method ............................................................................................248.4.2 Complex and Distributed methos................................................................... 24

    9 Company Standards....................................................................................................... 259.1 The Company Template File................................................................................259.2 Library Management.............................................................................................259.3 Archiving and Data Safety...................................................................................26

    10 Case Studies .............................................................................................................. 2610.1 Campus Buildings / Orcutt Winslow Partnership.............................................. 26

    10.1.1 About the Company .....................................................................................2610.1.2 Project Details...............................................................................................2710.1.3 Use of PlotMaker...........................................................................................27

  • 310.1.4 Use of TeamWork .........................................................................................2810.1.5 Use of Hotlinked Modules ............................................................................ 2810.1.6 Use of Templates..........................................................................................2910.1.7 Use of Details ................................................................................................2910.1.8 Use of Libraries .............................................................................................29

    10.2 Offices and Retail Units /John Robertson Architects........................................ 2910.2.1 About the Company .....................................................................................2910.2.2 Project Details...............................................................................................2910.2.3 The Project Workflow ...................................................................................3010.2.4 For Planning:................................................................................................. 3010.2.5 For Tender:.................................................................................................... 30

  • 41 Preface

    The size and complexity of projects and other important factors like short deadlines or big project teams can significantly influence the design and documentation workflow in an architectural office. To find the most effective Archicad approach foryour practice requires lot of experimenting and refining of your working methods.

    The main goal of this white paper is to provide strategy for using Archicad effectively on big projects. You may also find case studies in this document that illustrate how Archicad can be implemented successfully in large firms.

    Furthermore it is important to call your attention that the integrated layouting features of Archicad 10 require the complete revision of the documentation workfloweven in those firms where Archicad has been used successfully for a long time. We hope that experienced Archicad users will also find useful information in this book.

    2 ChallengesWhat are the possible problems that you have to face when designing big buildings?

    The project team size Communication with other team members (teamwork) Communication with partners (DWG-DXF) Office organization Document management File size Size of the 3D model (Polygon count) Hardware requirement

    3 Definition of Big BuildingsThere is no exact definition for which building is big however we can say that the following project attributes have to be carefully examined so that you can find the best Archicad approach:

    3D Polygon count File size Layout book size Team size No. of stories

    3.1 3D Polygon CountToo many 3D polygons in the Archicad model can significantly slow down theregeneration of 3D, section and elevation windows that in worse case can freezeArchicad. The 3D polygon limitation of Archicad depends on many factors including the computers memory, the graphic cards memory and the type of the active 3D

  • 5window (internal engine, OpenGL, rendering, section/elevation etc.). For the detailed description of Archicads memory requirements please read chapter 4.2.Generally speaking we can say that more that 200.000 polygons results a big model in 3D views and in this case you have to make sure that your computers hardware configuration is suitable for the project. Projects with more then 2 million polygons can be unacceptably slow in 3D and may cause Archicad to freeze.Please note that large polygon count or huge file size not necessary means big buildings. In most of the projects significant part of 3D polygons are generated from library parts. The model of a room interior can easily contain as many polygons as a multistory building if the room is furnished with very detailed GDL objects. Please read chapter 5.1.2 for advice how to limit the polygon count.

    3.2