Saturday, April 2, 2011

Please don’t clean up my wall intersections...

I should start with a disclaimer: I model in Archicad 13;
That is whenever I need to assess something quickly and am not constrained by other project-needs nor the limitations of the software itself.

So, what I am about to write may no longer be an issue in Archicad 14, nor the other modelling packages people use.
It is an issue for me, because I use Archicad 13.

It is to do with how walls clean-up where they intersect with each other.
They seem to have an overriding wish to conform to the aesthetics of the drawing – i.e. they automatically clean-up into a nice, tidy, seamless intersection.
Petty that construction in real life is rarely as tidy.

So, next disclaimer: I model stuff for construction.
Archicad is meant to be an architectural software – so why get so hung up on this trivial issue?

Education of the masses is on the agenda of most BIMutopist I meet in my daily work.
 Would it not make sense to have the building modelling software used to resolve and document (if not construct) behave in a way that is closer to reality and not driven by the look of the drawing?

I know, you’ll tell me that would be too constraining on design.
I on the other side see another opportunity for building material supplies to softly-ambush the field.

* PS – I do know how to get around this by having walls on different layers and adding the layer names different ‘priority’ numbers; And I know architects want them to be this way...
Still, my argument stays, the process is not reality-friendly it is drawing-look driven;


  1. This is a job for 'composites'. BIM programmes try to emulate the way we build right? so ArchiCAD is guessing that you have (in the images) a thick, non-descript ('dumb') material and treats it as such. If you embed more info into the wall (or roof, or slab) then you'll get more satisfactory results. Granted, it's a pain to set up (with correct section materials, priorities, etc) but this effort can be invested into an office template. Further uses of composites: greater intelligence when exporting with gbmxl (performance analysis), and the ability to show/hide non-core finishes (like to dimension to the structure in your plans, but show finishes in detail plans? 'Composites' and the like won't solve all your intersection problems, and your language will turn loud and blue for the 8hrs it'll take to get your head around the sensitivities, but the value soon become apparent. Good luck!

  2. Sounds complicated, but I do like that wall design.