June 21, 2010
ArchiCAD 14 Offers Intelligent Workflow for the Extended Design Team
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

ArchiCAD 14 Offers Intelligent Workflow for the Extended Design Team
By Susan Smith

Graphisoft’s Tibor Szolnoki spoke about the company’s new release, ArchiCAD 14, which supports the BIM workflow with a specific focus on completing the integration of the architectural workflow with the engineering world. Data energy analysis applications, structural function. New tools to allow architects to quickly find the load-bearing structures using Find and Select functions with an intelligent filter are among the new features that help tools prepare the model for export to the structural engineer.

“IFC is a generic format for interdisciplinary model exchange between theme applications and other applications. As a generic format, it’s a very very data reach model format; because of its complex it needs a very precise setting for export and import,” according to Szolnoki. “This IFC export and import was available in previous versions of ArchiCAD as well but to configure the system we had to use different dialogs and different locations for setting the file exchange between different applications. For many architects this was not really easy.”

In ArchiCAD 14 there is a very natural interface for setting the export and import. This tool is called the Translator, very similar to the DWG Translator. “And we also provide a default translator for the most common structural and energy MEP applications.”

By saving as IFC architects will have a number of translators already. They can use the Revit Structure translator, and export the model according to the structural engineer’s requirements. “For that we have to make one more thing on the Revit side so we created an add-on which is also free to download, an add-on for Revit to work with the IFC models on compatibility,” said Szolnoki.

The next step in the workflow is dealing with the structural engineer’s model versions. What you have to do in ArchiCAD with those structural models is to be able to reference the IFC files and be able to find the differences between the two versions of those IFC files. Because it’s workflow, is not a linear workflow, it’s a rapid workflow with many cycles and repetitions what you really have to do is find the differences between two IFC files within ArchiCAD. “For that we have a new tool that is called Track IFC model Changes.”

According to the press release, ArchiCAD 14 introduces workflow solutions that help bridge the different requirements for BIM models between architects and the various engineering disciplines of the AEC industry. Model mapping, element classification, IFC reference model version tracking and change management support help the coordination between architects and engineers become a smooth and automatic process. ArchiCAD 14 also moves forward with developments to its revolutionary BIM Server based Teamwork solution, further optimizing the management of design teams working on shared BIM projects.

ArchiCAD 14 turns IFC technology into full-fledged workflow solutions enabling collaboration with engineers regardless of their discipline or the name and version of the application they prefer working with. This “open” approach to interdisciplinary collaboration broadens designers’ options for real Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) resulting in faster delivered projects and significantly less coordination errors.

“I’m using two Revit IFC files – go to Detect IFC Model Changes, and find all the deleted elements, modified elements and all the new elements between the two versions. Click next where we can filter. This is the first version I got from my structural engineer a week ago, this is the second one. I just click next – here we can filter the model – at this time I’m not interested in all the changes, I’m only interested in what has been changed between the walls. There are two elements that are new , so I’ll merge these elements as a reference into my ArchiCAD model and just better reference. For better visualization I will use the wire-frame view,” said Szolnoki. “In the wire-frame view you will see the ArchiCAD model, you’ll see changes coming from structural engineers in color.”

“The structural engineer suggests that I should remove these two columns and two beams because they’re not necessary from the structural point of view, but wants two other beams to be added to the model.”

ArchiCAD 14 also extends its functionality with developments to its BIM Server based Teamwork solution, helping the management of design teams working on shared BIM projects.

The BIM Server is a good access for a standard internet connection so you can locate your BIM Server at any geographic location regardless of where you’re actual team is located,” said Szolnoki. “You add lots of flexibility in terms of organizing your work. We have EcoDesigner that allows you to connect to the analysis energy tool, there are some energy applications that are used for IFC and there is the new filtering tool that allows you to filter the elements with regard to their relation to the building, internal external and also connect your ArchiCAD model to energy and other applications using IFC.” The third area is MEP and MEP design where Graphisoft has a successful add on for ArchiCAD which is called MEP Modeler that that has a connection to AutoCAD MEP Modeler via IFC. This functionality is being extended to Revit MEPin ArchiCAD 14. Using IFC and ArchiCAD MEP Modeler you can import and export intelligent parametric MEP models, not just geometry.

Top News of the Week

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, announced the immediate availability of the V8i (SELECTseries 1) versions of Bentley MXROAD and MXROAD Suite – both of which provide advanced string-based modeling that enables the rapid and accurate design of all road types. These updates continue the evolution of Bentley’s proven MX product line by including Bentley’s Roadway Designer functionality, which provides innovative 3D parametric modeling tools for resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation projects. The new releases also add a full-featured geospatial information management system – to address the unique and challenging needs of organizations that map, plan, design, build, and operate transportation systems – and are integrated with the ProjectWise collaboration services. ProjectWise provides distributed project teams with improved engineering content management and collaborative workflows that enhance productivity and the quality of deliverables.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated, announced that SmartGeometry 2010 Conference presentations on generative design, along with informative interviews of key conference participants, can now be viewed as videos, free of charge, at www.SmartGeometryConference.com/2010. This year’s SmartGeometry Conference, the premier event dedicated to innovative design tools, technologies, and methodologies that allow and encourage new forms of architectural and structural expression, took place March 23-24 in Barcelona, Spain. At the conference, leading industry and academic experts from around the globe addressed the important issues driving the use of generative design technology and shaping the course of its development. The conference theme focused on working prototypes developed to prove and test concept and design

The Center for International Business Ethics (CIBE) in Beijing China, the Dynamic City Foundation, and Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for the infrastructure that sustains our world, announced that, to date, 180 architectural and engineering student teams from 68 universities in China and other parts of the world have submitted projects for the inaugural Future Cities China student design competition. Among the schools represented are: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Tongji University, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing Forestry University, Harbin Institute of Technology, and Sichuan University in China; Harvard University and the University of Florida in the United States; and RMIT University and the University of Melbourne in Australia. The student teams must develop a master plan for the sustainable university campus of tomorrow. This campus will be the cornerstone of the modern “green” Chinese city and help address the many challenges associated with inner-city environments. The deadline for student registration and project submissions is 30 June.

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