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problems with wall area in Worksheet


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Hello to everyone,

This is my first post on this forum. I am from Austria, and please excuse in advance if my technical English is sometimes not so good.

In our office, we have just started our first BIM project in Vectorworks 2015 and are facing big problems.

We want to generate a list of all wall areas for a public tender. So we created a wallsheet and wanted to get the values of the square metres of each wall, but we soon recognized something went wrong:

The area is obsiouvsly calculated in the middle of the wall, thus generating wrong values at each joining of walls, and it only generates the area of one side of the wall and not both. In Austria there are very strict regulations how to calculate those square metres and I have to stick to this or do it manually which we do not want to do any longer.

In another forum I was given the advice to use wall components, but this does not work for us, as the existing walls do not have different components in our plans, but we need the square metres for e.g. the painter. Furthermore, the wall components are not calculated on the surface of the wall, but on the side of the adjoining component.

Another advice was to use the room perimeters to calculate, but most of our rooms have vaulted ceilings, so I need to use walls and fit them to the ceiling.

The attached file shows our problems,the green lines are what we need and the red ones what Vectorworks calculates.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as we are completely stuck with this problem and have little time to solve it.

Best regards,


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Create a wall style with an inner and outer component of very thin material, call it paint, make it a millimeter thick, one for the inner face, one for the outer face.

Use the Replace command to “swop out” the newly created walls with your unstyled walls.

I believe this will get you well within the 10 – 15 percent waste factor that most contractors apply when calculating materials.

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First of all, thank you for your quick reply, although sadly it is not so simple for our requirements.

As it is an old building, nearly each wall has a different width, so we would have to create about 50 different wall styles and replace each wall with the correct new style, whereas now we can use an unstyled wall and just change the width in the info palette for each object. So this is not an option for us.

Furthermore, we do not need this only for the painter, but also for other crafts, and also for new walls. It is essential for us to get the exact wall area values as they are in the plan, not measured in the middle of a wall, and not within a waste factor, because we have to stick to the Austrian standards.

Is it not possible to edit the parameters used for calculating wall areas? I am quite surprised that nobody else seems have this problem?

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Probally not what you want the hear, but a suggestion:

Draw all walls unstyled as you do.

Extract the wall faces as polygons (you have to do this by hand with the extract tool)

Put the extracted faces in a specific class (old/new/paintwork/etc.)

Create a worksheet and 'pull' the M2 from the classes/polygons

Maybe it helps?

Edited by Bas Vellekoop
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@Angelika - I think Bas outlined the only other option for you, other than creating wall styles for all of your unstyled walls as Wes suggested.

The main drawback to extracting the wall surfaces as Bas suggested is that the extracted surfaces will not be linked to your walls, and any changes in the wall openings will require re-extracting the wall surfaces.

As I see it, those are your only two options.

It won't help with your immediate need, but this would be a good wishlist item: for Vectorworks worksheets to allow calculating the actual surface areas of both sides of unstyled walls, and not base area calculations on the centerline of the wall.

It also might be helpful for Vectorworks, Inc. if you could provide a link to or info on Austria's requirements for calculating quantities of materials.

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You can add a thin paint component like Wes says to unstyled walls as well as styled ones, and then just adjust the thickness of the middle component manually as you would the overall thickness, although it involves a few extra clicks to get there?

That area can then be scheduled using the CompAreabyName function that Alan notes?

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  • 1 year later...

It is a database feature.  The database call is something like   =COMPAREABYNAME('Gypsum Board')


This will return the area of wall, slab, and roof components named Gypsum Board.


It is weird.  Usually functions with a criteria in parenthesis are used in spreadsheets  like   =AREA(T="RECT')






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thanks, guys :) your suggestion for the database works, but for the spreadsheet doesn't. i have for the whole wall one class, and for the component another class. neither of the values for the class (c - criteria, wall nor component class) returns any viable result.

and why is exactly the function call different for the spreadsheet and for the database row?

Edited by gester
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Pat  -  Cool.  Never noticed that trick of C=Class,name of class


All functions are different in the way they are used between spreadsheet cells and database calls.  In general, =AREA works for a database call, =AREA(criteria) works for a spreadsheet cell.


Because in a database the criteria is handled by the database criteria.  In a spreadsheet cell you need to tell it what object(s) to look at.




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Exactly what formula did you use for the database cells and what for the spreadsheet cells.


As Michael says, the change is for most functions between the spreadsheet and database.  In a database, the database criteria already specify what objects and the sub-row specifies exactly what objects are in the row, so the functions just use that data to be the objects the function should apply to.


In a spreadsheet, you need to add the criteria into the parameters passed to the function so it know what objects to work on.  Most of the worksheet functions don't take any parameters, so in a spreadsheet cell it is just =function(criteria).  The CompAreaByName function already requires a parameter (the name of the component), so in a spreadsheet you need to pass two parameters separated by a comma =function(criteria, parameter)  {=CompAreaByName(Criteria, ComponentName)



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  • 10 months later...

I already Create 1 drawing here, And I already create report for wall core area but its not the  exact area,,

Its showing only wall internal Area.


  1. in this file i create new wall style of mid portion is Wall Core i take report for all walls,
  2. in this report i insert new column and i put formula for CompAreaByName('Wall Core') its coming like wall internal wall area only its not calculated corner walls, i want the corner wall Area,


 How to Calculate the Corner Wall Area.




Edited by Raj
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