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Remodels and Additions in ArchiCAD
March 6, 2008
5:56 am
Forum Posts: 383
Member Since:
February 2, 2009
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  • In reply to:
AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue #26 (January 24, 2008)

Remodels and Additions in ArchiCAD
by Eric Bobrow, Affiliate AIA
Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group

As I've trained and talked with ArchiCAD users over the years, I've identified several different strategies for working on remodels and additions. Each approach has different strengths, and users may choose between these methods in order to handle a wide variety of project sizes and scenarios.

The basic challenge of documenting a remodel involves entering existing conditions as well as the new design in the most efficient manner, and managing what information is shown on each drawing. In general, ArchiCAD controls "what to show" by using layers, a classic method that provides tremendous flexibility. Unlike BIM solutions that try to shoehorn all design elements into preset categories, families or project phases, ArchiCAD's layer management makes it easy to customize and control visibility of information exactly the way you need it for each project.

To read the complete article, click here .

ArchiCAD MasterTemplate 1.1 incorporates support for projects involving remodels and additions. This article describes four different approaches to remodel projects, including a lengthy explanation of the method used in AMT 1.1.

We have had an interesting discussion on remodels and additions on this forum, which you may view at

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD –

March 10, 2008
1:46 am

MasterTemplate Licensees
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
December 3, 2007
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Hi Eric,

Reading the article and the v. 1.1 notes, it looks like you are suggesting a change from hotlinked .mod files to hotlinked .pln files. This makes sense in that it eliminates the extar step of creating an as-built module - was that the purpose of the change?

Also, I'm wondering about the demo objects - In the past, when I had demo walls in the same file (on a demo layer) I ended up with problems attaching cadimage wall accessories to new walls that overlapped demoed walls even though their layer was turned off.

In the article, you say "The demolition items are now easily controlled by the DEMO layer(s). (Tip: Make sure layer combinations are updated so that demolition layers do not interact with elements on other layers)." Does this mean simply that the layer combinations should be updated to turn off the demo layer or are there additional settings to be made to prevent interaction?


March 12, 2008
12:20 pm
Forum Posts: 383
Member Since:
February 2, 2009
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Chris -

I like hotlinking PLN files since it is simple and eliminates one step. Scott points out however, that one has more flexibility when hotlinking MOD files. You can save exactly what you need for the hotlink by choosing what layers are turned on and selecting using a heavy marquee (and/or doing a Find and Select), before Saving the Selection as a Hotlinked Module.

I haven't tested the wall accessories (Cadimage or otherwise) to see if there are unwanted interactions with demo walls. Let us know what you experience if you try using them.

Interactions between layers are influenced by the "Layer Intersection Priority", that little number on the same line as the Layer name on the right side of the Layer Settings dialog box. Basically, all layers with the same priority number (e.g. 1) will interact, whether hidden or not; layers on different priorities (e.g. 1 and 2) will not interact. The layer priority is recorded in the Layer Combo, so be sure to Update the Layer Combo after you put the Demo layer on a different priority (e.g. 2) than your normal walls (which are probably set to the default value of 1).

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD –

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