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Pete (STZ)

Project Setup

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We are currently working on a large project, both in area and number of levels, and I am just contemplating the most efficient way in which to setup the project files to enable a team of four to work on the drawings.

My current thoughts are:

Create the following files

- Site base plan.mcd

- Site Grid plan.mcd

- Building 1.mcd with layers for the each of the two levels and roof

- Building 1 sections and elevations

- Building 2 (a 6 storey building so create a separate file for each level.

- Building 2 sections and elevations

- Library.mcd - containing symbols of standard details

I workgroup reference the grid and library into every file and site plan where requried.

I use separate sheet layers for each drawing to be printed. With notes and dimensions as annotations within the viewport.

I have heard of people creating a separate drawing file where all plans could be referenced to this file, and printing / title block data, and document issue sheets created from this file.

Any thoughts, I would like to hear how others do it.



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My 2 cents for what it's worth. We used to use a separate file for each sheet with the appropriate drawings referenced to it. This was a carry over from how we used to work in AutoCad. We just switched to have a few drawing files, similar to what you listed above, and have multiple sheet layers in each drawing. It may seem obvious to some, but it is amazing how much faster and easier this setup is working compared to the old setup.

A couple people in our office are at a VW training sesson right now. I'm half expecting them to come back and tell us we need to go to the full building model approach and have everything in one file. Have to wait and see.....

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if you are going to have many files, then i would consider having all my notes in a master file and each note as a symbol. then wgr the symbol note into the drawing. they would need to be placed on the sheet layer and not in any viewports otherwise you will have a scale issue. this sounds like a good project for a keynotes system.

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One of the main things I want to utilise is the issue manager and batch printer, which I have found to be very useful for small projects where I have the whole project in one file. But spliting it up for multiple users makes this tool not as useful.

Any ideas?

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I recently completed a set of planning drawings for a 41 unit 10 storey residential building with everything in one file (using BIM method). What made this possible, of course, is that I was the only one working on the drawings.

Related post:

Workflow when multiple people are working on BIM produced project?


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I have done (on a team of two) a two-acre mixed-use development with four 4-story buildings using just three VW project files. This was back in VW8 (without viewports).

For your project involving four team members, you're probably most concerned about spreading the workload, because VW can handle the complexities of that six-story building with all its elevations and sections just fine as one file.

So in your case I would use four project files:


Bldg 1

Bldg 2


Each is different enough to be separate. The Site file can pull WG layers from the Bldg files. The other three can pull details from the Detail file and have appropriate sheet layers for printing their portion of the working drawings.

Then you should also have a general office-wide reference file for your Resources, which would be your unique scripts, symbols, title blocks, etc. which you simply access via the RB. In fact, your Detail file can be your office-wide detail library, where other projects also access it (details as symbols) to compose into detail sheets with their project title blocks.

That, as I understand, is the efficiency and nature of VW.

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the first question I would ask you is...

who is responsible for which parts of the project. In other words have you sorted out the responsibilities for the 4 people in the team?

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