2020 | 002 – What Are the Best Practices for ARCHICAD?

Topic Progress:


To access the training video, please login to your account.

If you are not currently a member of the ARCHICAD Best Practices 2020 course, please visit bobrow.com/2020 for information and registration.

ARCHICAD Training Lesson Outline

7 Keys to ARCHICAD Best Practices

  1. Get Organized
  2. Do It Once
  3. Save Your Settings
  4. Work from the General to the Specific
  5. Use ARCHICAD's Structure
  6. Model Well, Draw Less
  7. Keep It Safe

Codified in 2009, Video in 2010, Article in 2011

Have these key principles changed in recent versions?

We can boil it down to:

  1. Organization - optimize for ease and efficiency
  2. Describe the building in detail
  3. Integrate everything as much as possible

Attributes - How are elements displayed or defined

  • Layers - what is visible, editable
  • Linetypes - drawn
  • Fills - areas of building elements
  • Surfaces - appearance in 3D or section/elevation
  • Building Materials - what it's made from
  • Composites - assemblies
  • Complex Profiles - more complex assemblies

Option Settings - Viewing the Model or Drawings

  • Layer Combinations
  • Partial Structure Display
  • Model View Options
  • Pen Sets
  • Graphic Overrides
  • Renovation Filters
  • Dimension Preferences
  • 3D Styles

Project Structure - Navigator

  • Project Map
  • View Map
  • Layout Book
  • Publisher

ARCHICAD Training Lesson Transcript

Description | Comments
Keywords / Categories
Course Reference / URL
IntroductionOverview of Course Outline, revisiting old Keys0:00:00
7 Keys to Best Practices revisited, updated7 Keys to Best Practices: 1. Get Organized. 2. Do it Once (like setting up templates, preserve attributes & structure). 3. Save Your Settings (favorites, schedules). 4. Work from the General to the Specific. 5. Use ARCHICAD's Structure. 6. Model Well, Draw Less. 7. Keep it Safe (save often, off-site copies of plans).0:02:157 Keys to Best Practices
Have the 7 Keys changed? They can be boiled down to three: 1. Organization (optimize as much as possible). 2. Describing in Detail (modeling) and 3. Integration of everything, as much as possible (3D, 2D and data).0:10:28
AttributesAttributes are how elements are displayed or defined0:14:17attributes
Layers - what is visible, editablelayers
Line Types - how things are drawnline types
Fills - area of building elementsfills
Surfaces - appearance in 3D, sections, elevationssurfaces
Building Materials - what it's made from (i.e. concrete, steel, GWB)building materials
Composites - assembliescomposites
Complex Profiles - more complex assembliescomplex profiles
Option SettingsOption Settings allow us to quickly switch combinations of things (i.e. layer combinations), the way we are viewing the model/drawings; Can be seen on the bottom of the work environment (AC 20 and above)0:18:44Option Settings
Layer Combinations - define which layers are in useLayer combinations
Partial Structure Display - defines whether we’re seeing the full body of a wall or just the core of itpartial structure display
Model View Options - determine what level of detail we're seeingmodel view options
Pen Sets - relate to just how the lines are being drawn, and in some cases, we want to have more differentiationpen sets
Graphic Overrides - a wide variety of ways of seeing the design and a view of the design for presentation and analysis and just generally to give flexibility to the graphic standardsgraphic overrides
Renovation Filters - control what phase of a project is being worked on or looked at (existing, demo or new)renovation filter
Dimension Preferences - the flexibility to define the dimension annotation for a site plan to be different than a detailed drawingdimension preferences
3D Styles - how things look in 3D3D styles
Attributes & Option Settings are Organizational Principals that you need to understand & use well to maximize ARCHICAD capabilities, simplify your work, to make it easier, get the job done faster while still maintaining your creativity0:24:54
The Best Practices Course will be looking at the definitions of these attributes so that you know how to control them, and will look at the definitions of all of these options so that you know exactly where you would use them and what they’re used for, and we’re going to be working with the navigator to make sure that you understand the relationships of the project map through the view map to the layout book. We will be going through all the tools, and moving toward complex profiles because they have more flexibility.0:27:07Best Practices Course
Caller: 2D part of sections disappearingrelaunching ARCHICAD fixes this bug0:31:12
Understanding the General/Template and the Building Specific in the ARCHICAD project file enables you to make these buildings much faster and get documents that perform better0:37:00
US Standard Project TemplateEric opened a standard template and notes the predrawn sections and elevations, and a wall section. The sections and elevations can be seen in the Project Map as well.0:37:41Standard Template
The View Map allows us to look at different viewpoints in the project in different ways.0:39:17View Map
View Map OrganizationView Settings - select a plan and at the bottom of the view map, select Settings and you can set the settings for that view (Layer Combinations, Scale, Pen Set, etc.)0:39:41View Settings
Keep it organized - the template has it set up by project phases (Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents), and supplemental views for various purposes (presentations, renderings, etc.)
Layout BookThe Layout Book has a similar set with the different layout sheets; the sheets are auto-numbered, and sheet numbers will update if you remove drawings. In the Layout Settings dialog box, you can adjust the Layout ID to use your own custom numbers0:40:27Layout Book
Coaching ProgramThere is a Coaching Program accompanying this course on Thursdays where you can ask questions to help apply the Best Practices to a real-world project0:43:01Coaching Calls
Access to course infoEric explained all the courses will be available online, with full transcripts, and videos will have captioning ability.0:44:32Online Courses
ARCHICAD updatesIn a sample project, Eric showed how some of the things weren’t available or were done differently a few years ago (i.e. stair tool, walls)0:46:50Updates
SurfacesSurface is the finish of a material, what is looks like from the outsides, so things can be made with stone but ended up looking like it had paint on it, or different variations so you can have something that structurally has a certain appearance and designation but has a different appearance ornamentally0:55:37Surfaces
Stairs & RailingsCaller wants to learn more about stairs & railings, and Eric directed her to a tutorial on MastersofArchicad.com0:59:20Stair & Railingshttps://bit.ly/2SHapQF
Railing toolEric suggested caller submit project and question to the Coaching Call so he can answer directly within the project setting.1:00:43Coaching Calls
Roof linked to storiesCall has issues when moving a roof to another floor. Eric showed some ways to adjust that, via Roof Selection Settings or by right-clicking the roof and changing the home story.1:02:40Roof links
Element RepresentationCaller wants to adjust stair representation in the model view, so Eric showed how to adjust representations in the Model View Options dialog box.1:06:00Model Representation
Laptop viewingEric talked about docking and undocking tabs1:08:19Docking tabs
Text and dimensions to float in front of elementsEric would assume that annotation normally would float in front of the other elements, so if that's not happening he suggests this be a Coaching Call so he can look at the project.1:10:23Annotations
Best Practices vs Cutting CornersCaller said sometimes a tight deadline leads to cutting corners. Eric suggests that adhering to Best Practices saves time overall, and one can generally still get it done in time; he also acknowledges quick and dirty sometimes is required.1:11:36
Migration from older ARCHICAD version to 22There will be talk of migration strategies, has generally gotten easier. Libraries will need to get migrated. Favorites that relate to library parts may require being reconfigured, and there are some other things that didn’t exist in 19 that exist in 22 that need to be considered.1:12:13Migration
Issue with how ARCHICAD making the client think they are further in the design than they really areEric said there are ways to make the drawings appear less complete by making simplified design views, simplifying how doors and windows are represented, using the white model option.1:13:17Simplified design view, white model
Favorites to replace interactive templates?Eric said they have different strengths. Favorites are fantastic. The interactive legends still allow a much more extensive set of elements to pick from, and you can zoom around and look at a single element; you can also use it for groups of elements like a whole kitchen, and thereby you can bring in room groupings. You can’t do that with the favorites.1:15:15Favorites, Interactive Templates
Roof overhang with narrow raftersEric demonstrated a couple of ways of modifying the roof using a solid element operation1:16:47Modifying roof
Undock a tab in WindowsYou should be able to undock the tab, but when you do that, it will probably keep it within the boundary of the ARCHICAD working window – the app window, but if you are using the option to minimize or to have a variable size for this, you can pull it over to the other monitor, and so you would take the overall boundary of that app over to the other monitor, and then you’d be able to have the different tabs or windows displayed across.1:19:37Dock tabs
Older ARCHICAD MasterTemplatesEric updates the template every year to make it use the new features that ARCHICAD has added. In version 22, he went the extra mile to really rework a lot of stuff. This course will address how the file structure has changed in more detail.1:20:28MasterTemplate updates
Laptop view for inputting designEric notes that working on a laptop is just fine, having an external monitor would be an easy way to add more views, but working on (at least) 15" laptop can still be effective1:25:40Laptop views
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}