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Workflow to model structure, internal elements and external elements separately


Christiaan

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I think these are interesting points.

 

The other restricting factor when using walls formed in parallel is doors/windows. I would like to be able to insert a door/window symbol in the outer wall + have the wall hole component clip not only that wall but the inner wall as well.

 

I have used paired walls a few times in refurb projects where I draw the existing wall first then a second wall alongside it to represent an internal lining (e.g. air gap, timber framework, insulation, OSB, drywall). And also in new build where I'm using a twin stud wall construction where in order to use the wall framer command I have to divide the wall into two halves (because you can only have one core in a wall).

 

At the moment I put the door/window symbol in the outer wall + a corresponding 'opening'-configured door/window in the inner wall, + when I move/resize/remove one I have to edit the other as well.

 

Also 2D component wrapping doesn't really work across two walls but that's not a major issue for me because I prefer to do the wrapping manually in 3D... But that's not to say I wouldn't be really happy to be able to add/subtract wall components the same way you can with slab components...

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This kind of workflow makes a lot of sense to me.

 

I would suggest that some thought should be given to how insulation would be treated. It doesn't fit within the finishes category.

 

Insulation is quite often associated with the structure (it might be any one or any combination of: within the structure, outside of the structure, inside of the structure). Obviously it tends mainly to be associated with the parts of the structure that form the external envelope.

 

The way I currently tend to set up my models at the moment is so that using saved views to control class visibilities, I can easily show:

 

1 Structure only

2 Structure plus insulation

3 Everything including finishes

 

Depending on complexity and the particular project, I might have intermediate stages between 2 and 3 and they will generally be determined by construction sequence. And I might have a primary and secondary structure.

 

I find it very useful to isolate out the thermal insulation layer in order to visualise/check continuity.

 

 

 

 

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@ChristiaanDoes that mean you model your exterior walls, interior walls, and structural elements on separate layers?  Or would you divide out the exterior walls into two separate elements (framing + finishes)?  Where do slabs and roofs fit into this equation?  I'd be interested in learning more about how you organize your models. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, cberg said:

@ChristiaanDoes that mean you model your exterior walls, interior walls, and structural elements on separate layers? 

We've always placed our exterior walls and interior walls on different layers because this helps manage unit Space objects vs room Space objects and it also assists with project sharing, in that somebody can sign out the internal wall layer or external wall layer. (on one recent project I've elected to place them both on the same layer because of a bug with the interior elevations that calculates the elevations using one layer only)

 

Putting the structural elements on a separate layer is something I've experimented with only recently, on a concrete frame building. I actually started off with the concrete frame as part of the wall styles and then separated them out so that I could easily isolate our frame and compare it with the engineer's model. I mostly did this by changing the concrete in my wall styles to an empty placeholder and then modelling the concrete columns and sheer walls on a separate layer. (we've always modelled our structural floors on a separate layer, more on that below)

 

18 hours ago, cberg said:

Or would you divide out the exterior walls into two separate elements (framing + finishes)? 

I've done this in some very limited situations where it was easier to do this than to use a single wall style with a structural placeholder. In a limited way because doing this wholesale would make editing wall positions very onerous. But this is essentially what this wish is about. Being able to control the joins of these elements independently instead of as a whole group, while also being able to move the elements as a whole group.

 

18 hours ago, cberg said:

Where do slabs and roofs fit into this equation?  I'd be interested in learning more about how you organize your models. 

So with roofs I've been fully working in this way despite the overhead of managing placement. On a recent model we have pitched ceilings with bits of flat ceiling near the apex. The way I've managed this so that our model sections are accurate is to separate out the following elements as separate walls styles and onto separate layers:

 

1. Roof tiles + roof battens 

2. Rafters

3. Vapour control airtightness board to underside of rafters

4. Pitched ceiling lining with batten/service zone + flat ceiling linings

This allows for better control of each of these elements when clipping them to the walls. The downside is that if I have to move the roofs I need to do so separately for each element I've separated.

With regard to Slabs we've always separated out the following onto different layers:

1. Floor deck or screed

2. Structure

3. Any flat ceiling below

Edited by Christiaan
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22 hours ago, line-weight said:

I would suggest that some thought should be given to how insulation would be treated. It doesn't fit within the finishes category.

 

I actually edited my original post just before you made this comment to change the nomenclature to 'elements external to structure' and 'elements internal to structure', rather than mentioning finishes.

 

I think what you're doing now—using Classes to control visibility of insulation within the structure—is still the right way to do this, even if I got my wish.

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I have been setting things up with "object" classes and "material" classes. Object class assigned to container of some kind (often a group) and then materials classes for the individual objects within that container. Certain parametric objects like walls or slabs go in the "object class" and their components in material classes.

 

Then I can define "object" classes as structural or non-structural, or insulation, or finishes or whatever, and control visibility like this.

 

However - that system falls apart a bit with composite objects like walls, because some of their components are structural and some not. Then I end up having to define some materials as structural or non structural, in order that for example in a structure-only view, I have the composite object's class turned on but only its structural components turned on and others turned off. So I end up having to duplicate materials... "rough timber-structural" and "rough timber-non structural" and so on.

 

As a consequence of this, I have kind of abandoned "object classes" and just give the structural version of any material its own class, and control visibilities entirely by class.

 

If I want to show structure only, I set "rough timber-structural" and "steel structural" etc as visible.

 

This then potentially gets messy if I want to have primary & secondary structure separate (then I need "steel-primary structure" and "steel-secondary structure classes). Then if I want to make some change to attributes of all steel objects, I have 2 or 3 classes that I have to make the same change to. And if I have a group of lots of objects (let's say a directly-modelled truss or something) that needs to change from primary to secondary structure then I need to go in and change the class of all the relevant contained objects, instead of just changing the container object's class.

 

The same applies to any material that appears in more than one construction stage that I want to separate out. But in practice, that doesn't happen very much. For example, plasterboard is always going to be a "finish" element - it will never be insulation or structure.

 

It feels like this is probably the "least-bad" approach for me and the kind of projects I do.

 

I think I've managed to export a structure-only model for engineers just using class visibility control.

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