Renovations and Additions

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ARCHICAD Training Lesson Outline


The Renovation system was introduced in ArchiCAD 15, and has only changed a little over the past 10+ years. It enables you to develop a single file that can be selectively viewed in different states of a remodel or renovation.

The foundation of this system is based on two components:

  • TAGS - elements can be tagged as Existing, Demo or New
  • FILTERS - the active filter determines which elements are shown in drawings and 3d views, and allows optional Overrides to highlight categories

To fully control of the Renovation system, use the Renovation Palette. This palette can be shown or hidden from the Window menu > Palettes submenu, or using a Toolbar button or Keyboard Shortcut. It can float onscreen or be docked; a convenient location is on top or below the Navigator in the sidebar.

The active Renovation Filter determines what is shown onscreen at any given time. It is included in the View Settings, so it's easy to create Views that show Existing, Demo or New conditions.

On the fly changes to the active Renovation Filter (to show different sets of elements) can be managed from the Renovation Palette or via the Renovation area of the Quick Options bar (at the bottom of the active window).


Building elements can be tagged as:

  • Existing (to remain)
  • Demo (included in as-built or pre-renovation, will be removed)
  • New (to be added to the design)

This enables you to create different versions of your design using Renovation Filters:

  • Existing Plan (As-Built) - drawings and model
  • Demolition Plan - drawings to illustrate what is to be removed
  • After Demolition - drawings and model to show what's left after demo, before new elements are added
  • New Construction - showing the final state of the design while highlighting categories of elements
  • Planned Status - final state of design, all elements shown in normal state

Other variations (and naming conventions) are possible, highlighting different categories and/or showing specific "pinned" elements (see explanation of the Pin option below).

As you draw or model elements, they are tagged based on the Default Elements setting in the Renovation Palette.

Elements that are already drawn can be selected and retagged using the Renovation Palette or inside their Settings dialog in the Classifications and Properties panel (at the bottom of the dialog).

The most common setting for elements is to Show on All Relevant Filters. This allows Existing elements to show on all Filters, and for Demo elements to show on As-Built plans as well as Demolition plans.

The alternate setting will Pin elements to a specific Filter, so they only show when that filter is active. This is frequently used for annotation that will only be seen on a specific drawing such as a Demolition Plan.


The settings for each Filter determine whether elements in each Tag category (Existing, Demo, New) will be shown normally, shown with a graphic override applied, or hidden.

Graphic Override rules for Renovation Filters may be accessed from the button in the bottom right of the Renovation Palette, which opens up the GO Rules dialog. In the topmost section of this dialog, the overrides for Existing, Demo and New elements are listed; click on any one of these to inspect and possibly change the settings (visible in the lower right). Any changes made in this dialog will affect elements of that type / Tag whenever the Override option is selected in a Renovation Filter.

Overrides are useful for highlighting elements of a specific Tag category on any drawing (e.g. Plan, Elevation, Section etc.) using alternate Pen colors or Fills, or in 3D model views using an alternate Surface appearance.


In the Renovation Filter settings dialog, each Filter has a set of checkboxes that control specific details in the drawing.

The option to hide Window and Door Markers is frequently used for Existing elements shown on the Floor Plans used for final construction drawings; this allows you to show markers for new doors and windows while hiding the ones that exist and will remain.

Another frequently used setting disables overrides for annotation elements such as labels or dimensions, preventing them from becoming dashed and less legible while the elements they refer to may be shown dashed by their active override.

Other settings are best understood in context and via experimentation, one can ascertain the preferred option for your own needs.

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