2020 | 017 – Detailed Modeling for Multiple Stories and Finish Flooring

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ARCHICAD Training Lesson Outline

Detailed Modeling for Multiple Stories

Deriving clean, accurate and detailed section drawings requires elements to be drawn accurately, and aligned, connected or intersected based on appropriate methods.

Walls, columns and beams will intersect with each other if placed on layers with the same Layer Intersection Group. This means that ARCHICAD will attempt to clean up both the 2D plan linework and the 3D model geometry based on Building Materials and other settings such as Junction Order.

In either case, the slabs are drawn to extend out to the face of framing. This allows the sheathing and cladding of the walls to pass the slab edge without intersection, while the Building Materials priority settings should stop the vertical framing at the structural core of the slab.

In multi-story contexts, one can run the exterior walls from the base of the ceiling slab up through to the base of the next ceiling slab, or run them from one story reference level up to the next one. 

Window and Door vertical anchors can be set to sill or top; these usually are best set in relation to the story rather than the wall base, since the base of the wall may be extended downward to go past the slab edge.

Interior walls are often run from the top of the structural slab to the underside of the core of the ceiling slab. This facilitates interior building materials such as finish floors, gypsum board wall cladding and ceilings to clean up to each other.

The reference level for each story can be the top of finish floor or the top of structural floor. Your interior wall base will usually need to rest on the structural floor, so the base z-height setting relative to the story will either be 0 or a small negative value (if you set the reference elevation to match the finish floor).

Structural Slabs and Finish Flooring

Floor slabs can be set as composites with finish floor, core and ceiling, or can be modeled with separate elements for structure and finish. The latter method allows each room or area to have a different finish.

Interior doors will need to be raised above the structural floor, so the sill may have a positive value relative to the wall base. You may run the finish flooring into the threshold area, with or without a visible threshold element.

Door cutaway showing tile floor transitioning to hardwood floor underneath threshold

In the recording, I demonstrated how to run the finish floor under the raised door sill, adjusting the polygon outline for the finish floor slabs to extend under the door opening.

To avoid a conflict with the wall framing (which will exist underneath the door when you simply raise the sill) one may:

  1. Adjust the priority of the Building Material for the floor finishes to be higher than the framing, which will allow them to pass "undisturbed" through the door opening, overriding the wall framing in the intersecting space 
  2. Place the Finish Floor layer onto another Layer Intersection Group (for all relevant Layer Combinations) so that the finish floor does not participate in automatic intersections; then use Solid Element Operations to subtract out the finish floor slabs from the wall.

A simpler option (not shown in the video) is to use the Opening Oversize setting (available in current Graphisoft library doors) to cut out the necessary space below the door. This would also allow the door panel to be raised off the floor a tiny amount for a more realistic 3D model, if desired.

Door Settings showing Lower Opening Oversize set to match the raised Sill elevation 

Also not shown in the video:

In a simplified design with a constant top skin for the finish floor, you can use a single composite slab with the finish as the top skin. If the Building Material has a lower priority than the wall framing, then the framing will pass through it appropriately, reaching the structural core.

  • COMING UP NEXT TIME: Detailed Modeling for Connecting Walls and Roofs

ARCHICAD Training Lesson Transcript

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