Jump to content
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Petri

Wall styles: The Next Generation

Question

I am partly repeating myself here, but never mind!

The styled walls are a major step towards a truly sophisticated "VW Architect". The current implementation is probably the best that could be achieved without a next generation wall object type. However, even now, a database field for the maximum allowed height should be added as soon as possible. My brand new "Wall Style Tag" -object uses the URL-field for this, so that it can warn if the height of a wall exceeds the rated height.

(My door and window objects, by the way, now can adjust themselves automatically to fire and sound insulation ratings. Very nice, even if the implementation is not perfect: a new door or window type is not actually created, but at least the need for one is made known.)

So: what do we want? Better walls! When do we want them? Soon!

In wall styles, I'd like to be able to define one or more components to have "offset dimensions" from the "main" length and height. With, say, prefab concrete sandwich elements, the inner face is usually the free height of the floor while insulation and outer face is the total floor height. In practical terms it should be enough to have just one group of components to have this offset capability: the OI of a wall would get too complex otherwise.

While defining the make-up with fills & hatches is good enough in the interim, the new wall object should also be able to use classes and "special lines". The special lines could be

- insulation

- studs

- corrugated metal

- profiled concrete

- individual bricks

- etc

The "repeating unit" -technique might be the way to implement some of these.

Speaking of individual bricks, PIO-type windows and doors inserted into a brick wall might adjust their location and dimensions automatically to the nearest hor & vert modules, so a parameter for the brick bond would be needed.

Walls could also talk more with other PIOs. It would be nice if a window would refuse to be placed to overlap a kitchen cupboard - and vice versa. A mechanism like this might also solve the problem with wall tiling: if we could link a "grid" type object (of the Ceiling Grid type, but editable in 3D) to a wall, we'd get workable wall projections of ordinary kitchens, wash rooms, bathrooms and similar. Those of us who want absolute control over the tiling would still need to do their diagrams in drafting mode, but that's how it is.

In this "talking" respect I am expecting great things in general: the current version of VectorScript seems to have a way of linking PIOs together.

Share this post


Link to post

23 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

For intelligent doors and windows etc, we would need parameters for each wall: "appy fire rating", "apply STC rating" etc. A wall style may be used for purposes where these ratings are not applicable, so a user placing door or window objects to such walls should be able to make the relevant decisions for each wall, not for each door or window.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Wash basins, wall-hung toilets etc. should be able to pass data to the wall: studs should be here, but must not be there. They should also be able to query the wall: for plasterboard walls, use fixing A, for brick walls, use fixing B.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Wash basins, wall-hung toilets etc. should be able to pass data to the wall: studs should be here, but must not be there.

I must admit it's been a while since I drew stud constructions, but if I remember correctly I don't think I ever needed to worry about stud positions to this degree of accuracy. Isn't it the builder's responsibility to do shop drawings, or to work out that she can't put a stud where the soil stack will be located?

For what purpose would you need this level of detail on your drawings Petri?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Let's see. We have a Wall Framer tool. This may or may not be useful - if it is supposed to be, then it should talk with wash basins, concealed cisterns ets. If it does not, it is useless.

In the other end of the spectrum, we have the Product Model. This may or may not specify the location & length of each stud, but should, in general terms, provide sufficient information for tenderers and their suppliers.

The suppliers may include fabricators, who provide entire walls or even bathroom elements.

Whatever the overall concept, what are the situations where it is in your advantage not to provide the best possible information to the builder in you drawings, Christiaan?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
If it does not, it is useless.

Replying to myself: no, it is not useless. It is a liability. You produce wall framing without considering wash basins etc and guess what: each length of timber is paid for by a pound of your flesh, Antonio!

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

I'm probably talking out of turn because I haven't really been using the tool and I haven't done framed structures for quite some time. A wall tool as intelligent as you suggest would be great; I just wonder if it's realistic in terms of priorities and overhead. Do any CAD programs attain anything approaching this kind of intelligence with their walls yet?

My understanding of the current wall framer is that it produces a highly detailed estimate of the placement and number of studs in a wall, for very little overhead. It's hyperbole to call it useless or a liability. Try doing what it does totally maually for instance.

Whatever the overall concept, what are the situations where it is in your advantage not to provide the [most detailed] possible information to the builder in you drawings, Christiaan?

1) when you're not getting paid for it, and 2) when there's better hands-on expertise elsewhere than those sitting behind a computer in an architects office.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

1) when you're not getting paid for it,

So, if you agree on a too low fee, it somehow it is in your interest to provide as little or bad information as possible???? (I'm not even mentioning the letter & spirit of contracts or provisons & requirements to practice as an Architect.)

and 2) when there's better hands-on expertise elsewhere than those sitting behind a computer in an architects office.

Why issue even drawings, then?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Do any CAD programs attain anything approaching this kind of intelligence with their walls yet?

I see. VW should be the very last piece of CAD-software to be drawn kicking and screaming to the 21st Century, so that it would remain compatible with Mr. Christiaan. Fair enough in NZ, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
So, if you agree on a too low fee, it somehow it is in your interest to provide as little or bad information as possible???? (I'm not even mentioning the letter & spirit of contracts or provisons & requirements to practice as an Architect.)

It's beside the point what you or I think is an ideal contract. The reality is many contracts do not pay the architect to supply this information. But even where you are paid or required to supply such information, that doesn't mean it needs to be done graphically.

Why issue even drawings, then?

Architects and designers issue drawings to communicate a design. There're many different levels of detail provided depending on a situation. All I'm saying is that one of those situations involves an expert or a builder knowing more about how a building fits together than somebody's draftsperson.

I didn't mean to get into a debate about the level of information that should be supplied by an architect, but instead a debate about whether having the ability to provide this sort of detailed graphical information dynamically should be a priority for Vectorworks developers. Because it seems to me, at first glance, (and I may well be wrong) that the technology you're asking for is probably very expensive in relation to what it would provide.

And that would mean some cheaper but relatively more advantageous technology would get shoved down the list. I'm not saying this is a fact, I'm just asking the question (maybe a NNA employee could join the discussion?).

I see. VW should be the very last piece of CAD-software to be drawn kicking and screaming to the 21st Century, so that it would remain compatible with Mr. Christiaan. Fair enough in NZ, I guess.

No, it wasn't a rhetorical question. I'm interested to know if there are any other programs that approach this kind of intelligence in the wall tool.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
I didn't mean to get into a debate about the level of information that should be supplied by an architect, but instead a debate about whether having the ability to provide this sort of detailed graphical information dynamically should be a priority for Vectorworks developers. Because it seems to me, at first glance, (and I may well be wrong) that the technology you're asking for is probably very expensive in relation to what it would provide.

Fair points - my apologies for misinterpreting your intention.

This kind of things would of course not be the Architect's responsibility, but object supplier's responsibility. A wash basin manufacturer would provide the basin as an object, which would do all the work.

Do manufacturers supply objects? Yes: at least in Finland it is easier to work with ArchiCAD than AutoCAD, not to mention VW. ArchiCAD GDL-objects are much easier to obtain than DWG or DXF blocks. The leading sanitaryware firm does not have anything else than GDL-objects. How intelligent they are, I have no idea.

With IFC just around the corner (see http://www.nemetschek.net/edispatch/Vol50/index.php) and gaining momentum, NNA has the opportunity to become a leader or at least be at the forefront.

The current version of VectorScript already seems to have the basic programming structures in place for extended interaction between objects: one can establish associations between two or more objects. An association is a mechanism to pass information between them, make them interdependent. Expensive? I would not know, but the C++ -language VW is written in is an object-oriented language, so handling (true) objects should not be hugely complicated.

By a "true object" I mean things like parametric objects which are programs, not "data containers".

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

A little essay, if you don't mind.

The construction industry is developing to a direction where there are less and less skills in the contracting firms. Pretty much everything is subcontracted and sub-subcontracted and in a project there is no-one who would control everything and know everything.

The only way to handle the situation is to move to Building Modeling and Product Modeling - this transition is driven by the construction industry and big clients.

In a product model, all those details and what have you that traditionally were "implicit" can be made "explicit". Since we can't rely on the sub-sub-subcontractor's bloke to know or care whether our basin needs the studs or other fixing components, we have to tell him.

From the designer's point of view, these still need to appear "implicit", so there really is no other way to handle the information than the "graphical" method. I don't think anyone wants to write the exact assembly specification for each basin?

BIM: a short discussion in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_Information_Modeling

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Petri, reasonable points in the larger context, but in terms of the original notion to make wall framing models respond automatically to the presence of certain objects - if I were interested in providing such a model, I'd prefer to edit the generic framing model myself rather than have the software attempt it.

I think it's the designer's responsibility to go over those details in any instance, and there are potentially so many situations that would create the need to depart from generic, someone (dare I say an architect?) has to personally look at all situations.

Philosophically, I'm skeptical of all impusles towards standardization and automation in software. It creates yet another market incentive to make cookie-cutter buildings and discourages innnovation. Automation to enhance flexibility and enable creativity, yes - to standardize, no.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Philosophically, I like to leave as much mundane, rule-based tasks for the software so I can concentrate on innovation and creativity. Checking for all studs in a school, hospital or similar is not what I want to do. (Domestic design is obviously something completely different, but I've never designed a house, so I would not know.)

Walls already respond to doors and windows - do you feel that it limits your design and makes your buildings cookie-cutter ones? I don't think so.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Petri, sorry to be picky. In the main, your suggestions are good ones.

In the end, as long as everything is editable or flexible, I can work with automation. We are getting into the area of software design that spawned Microsoft's spellcheck and then grammar check. Thanks, but no thanks, is my reply to a software engineer's attempt to automatically correct grammar. I can turn the feature off in Word, so I'm happy.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Obviously no-one forces you to use intelligent objects. By all means, do not let windows to adjust themselves to the wall thickness, if that limits your creative freedom. Draw the wall as lines and cut them to put a window there - that's fine by me.

However, if I'd design curtain walls based on a particular manufacturer's system, I would not mind using an ArchiCAD or VW object that would do everything else except the "visual" design. You may be better than I am in remembering every fixing, gasket, profile, screw and bolt than I am, so by all means, draw everything yourself. Surely you will still appreciate that you get the M8, M10 and M12 bolts from the "software engineer"?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Maybe there should be another category for Vectorworks. You could have ?Fundamentals?, ?Architect?, and the ?Nuts, Bolts & Beyond? version. That

way the rest of us mere mortals wouldn?t have to pay for the technology required for such tasks. (not that it?s a bad thing.) ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Obviously no-one forces you to use intelligent objects. By all means, do not let windows to adjust themselves to the wall thickness, if that limits your creative freedom. Draw the wall as lines and cut them to put a window there - that's fine by me.

However, if I'd design curtain walls based on a particular manufacturer's system, I would not mind using an ArchiCAD or VW object that would do everything else except the "visual" design. You may be better than I am in remembering every fixing, gasket, profile, screw and bolt than I am, so by all means, draw everything yourself. Surely you will still appreciate that you get the M8, M10 and M12 bolts from the "software engineer"?

Petri, I appreciate your sense of humor (lucky for you!).

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
That way the rest of us mere mortals wouldn?t have to pay for the technology required for such tasks.

Listen, Amy - I can give you a great trade-in offer for your VW licence! You get this fabulous piece of technology, called a pencil, and you never, ever need to buy expensive software upgrades again. Yes, there are costs for the consumables, but they are only a few dollars a year.

So, let me see. You pay me $500 and I can guarantee that you save it in less than a year. In fact, VW 13 is just around the corner, so it is just a matter of months!

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Petri, I appreciate your sense of humor (lucky for you!).

Lucky indeed! No offence was intended.

(Humour? What humour? With all respect, these discussions about BIM & next generation technology resemble oddly the discussions about CAD some 10 to 15 years ago and 3D some 4 to 6 years ago.)

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

More wishes from The Field:

We'd need a mechanism for defining various required ratings for walls in a persistent manner:

- thermal

- sound

- fire

These requirements are usually defined at a relatively early (planning) stage in the project. It would be very useful if the requirements could be documented in the model instead of blueprints and messy notes.

At this stage we do not often know what the actual construction (ie. "style") we are going to use; quite often, the wall types are changed by request from the contractor.

So, for each wall I'd want to be able to define the requirements and "tick" them to be kept intact when the style is changed. Moreover, doors placed into walls with a required fire rating could automatically become appropriately rated. (Eg. in Finland, if the wall needs to be EI 60, doors must be EI 30. I may have an EI 120 wall there, but don't want EI 60 doors, so the rating of the wall style is often inadequate and misleading.)

We'd also need to be able to import components of wall styles into existing wall styles, in other words redefine the style without laboriously changing, deleting and adding the components to be the same in a style I have already defined elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Walls already respond to doors and windows - do you feel that it limits your design and makes your buildings cookie-cutter ones? I don't think so.

Right. I get it now. I can see how this would be a reasonable extension of that technology.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Maybe there should be another category for Vectorworks. You could have ?Fundamentals?, ?Architect?, and the ?Nuts, Bolts & Beyond? version. That

way the rest of us mere mortals wouldn?t have to pay for the technology required for such tasks. (not that it?s a bad thing.) ;-)

Mathematica has taken this 'piecemeal' approach to the EXTREME and now with v6 it's next to impossible to order the application !

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Petri,

i know this is going to sound like a workarround, lets just call it a proof of concept if it works. (yes i'm not a fan or workarrounds)

Walls can already have openings (windows, doors) that the wall framer tool works with and knows to frame up for them.

these openings can be controlled by locus point in the symbol if you want a structural opening bigger than the symbol or to get the wall to draw in if the symbol has say trims built in.

the locus points can be classed out and only effect the wall if that class is visable.

so if your in wall cistern object had loci in say a "opening-structural" class to block out the area needed cistern in the wall

and another set of of loci in a class "opening-finish" for the access panel.

Then in theory the having only the structural classes on on when you run wall framer should produce the right result.

Now smarter wall types would be great if we could class componets of the wall so they automatically responsed to the loci combos(or another way of blocked out 3d space)in the symbols or plug in objects then we would have a lot of the function you are after.

So for basin the the loci could be placed to make sure there is a stud in the right place for the brackets,and the area left clear for plumbing.

for a plumbing or service riser loci would would tell the wall no structure in that area, yet the lack of finish loci would tell the any linings or finishes to sail right past.

I guess if we are really smart we could work out what the IFC class names would be and use them off the bat.

well just a though

thanks for reading

Matt

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...