In the last post I talked about the need for organisations in the UK to align their approach with “Level 1 BIM”. One of the requirements is to produce all information with standard file names (BS 1192:2007+A2:2016). Creating BS 1192 compliant file names has to date been a difficult process from ARCHICAD. The process has relied on users manually renaming files once they had dragged their Layout Sheets to the Publisher using ARCHICAD’s Organiser or renaming after publishing the files to a Desktop or Server.
As I talked about in my last post BIM for me stands for Better Information Management and the need to produce more reliable outputs is one of the key aims of BIM. This post, on a technical solution within our authoring tool, is all about Better Information Management.
Investing time in template development
I spend a lot of time each year developing and maintaining our templates. The investment in our templates is key to our whole BIM approach. Its where everything starts, so getting the foundations right are critical to deliver our requirements, but also of course with BIM, others requirements. The templates aim to integrate the latest national and international standards, incorporate lessons learnt from projects, fix any errors, incorporate new version features and consider user feedback for improvements. In line with IS09001 we are committed to continual improvement and these templates have been something we have developed over the last 21 years.
Our ARCHICAD 19 templates are about to be unleashed for new projects so I thought it would be good to show an example of where this time investment in template development will deliver massive benefits to actual projects going forward.
This particular post is about the incorporation of a new version feature in ARCHICAD 19. This is the ability to add data fields (rather than using dumb text) to Layout Sheets allows automation of BS 1192 file naming when publishing ARCHICAD layout sheets.
I almost missed the ability to implement this approach in our template. I would hazard a guess though that embedding this approach in our template could save at least 2 hours for every project we create. That’s a pretty hefty time saving over the next few years for every project! It also provides a lot less opportunity for manual error so improves the quality of export and means that aligning with BS 1192 is almost impossible to avoid.
Of course not all countries will need to follow BS 1192 but this workflow may prove useful to those who have different standards elsewhere, even if the output is slightly different. In the UK though BS 1192 should be applied to all projects moving forward.
So in this post we look at how to create the automation and what users need to do when creating layout sheets.
Why not just use the Layout ID field for the Naming?
One method to create the BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 Name field would be to put the whole code in the Layout ID (SourceID) field. However with this method there is very little opportunity for formatting the fields nicely on a Layout Sheet. We want the fields to be clear to both authors and more importantly the recipient so there is a need to separate each field. This means we can provide headers above to explain each field. This wouldn’t be possible with a single field.
This is what the Name field looks like on our ARCHICAD 19 title block:
Image: BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 Name field on the title block (also showing the Status code/Suitability description and Revision code/Revision description)
Also the dialogue box would need to be very wide on screen to be able to see the whole code. This becomes very inefficient and cumbersome for users so we need a method to use separate fields.
Process for creating template integration
Go to Book Settings (use the ARCHICAD Help menu if you don’t know where to find any of the ARCHICAD terms) and under Layout Scheme add the following fields:
- Volume or system
- Level (this is already in the UKI ARCHICAD 19 template as ‘Layout Level’ is you are using the out-of-the-box template)
- Type (this is already in the UKI ARCHICAD 19 template as ‘Layout Type’ is you are using the out-of-the-box template)
Image: Book Settings – Layout Scheme dialogue for adding new fields
Next go to your Master Layout sheets and add these fields to your layout sheet. The text may look pretty untidy on the Master Layout sheet as the fields will overlap each other.
In order to creation the automation there needs to be at least one View setup in your publisher.
You can then select the top level folder and choose ‘Rename Folders…‘. The dialogue will look like this:
Image: The ‘Rename Items…’ is accessed by right clicking on the folder
On choosing ‘Rename Items…’ the following dialogue appears:
Image: The default name in the Publisher is the SourceID and SourceItemName. i.e Number and Description [Click to enlarge]
As a default the Automatic Name is made up of SourceID (Number) and SourceItemName (Description). In order to change the format simply select ‘Custom Name‘ and then ‘Insert Autotext‘.
Move the cursor in front of the SourceID and from the Insert Autotext list choose Project then insert a hyphen. Repeat this process with Originator, Type, Volume or system, Level, Type and Role.
The Custom Name should now look like this:
Image: Fields created previously in the Layout Scheme can be added to the Custom Name. [Click to enlarge]
Note that the Description (SourceItemName) is optional for BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 so you can set it up without if required. You can also have a Status code and Revision code to the end of the string. i.e. ABCDE-BBA-00-GF-DR-A-0001_GF GROUND FLOOR-S2-P01. (Note: Status code is already in the UKI template as ‘Layout Status Code’ is you are using the out-of-the-box template)
For DWGs follow the same procedure above but instead of mapping the Type simply add manual text of M2.
Note that Views dragged directly into the Publisher (e.g. BIMx models and IFC) would require a different process. These would ideally be named correctly directly in the Views themselves to save renaming.
In order to assist users complete information it is also advised to set up a schedule (under Project Indexes) where the layout information can be quickly completed and checked. This would look something like this:
Image: Schedule with layout information [Click to enlarge]
Process for users
A user needs to first create a Layout Sheet. They can add the Layout ID (Number / SourceID) and Layout Name (Description / SourceItemName) at the point a new Layout is created.
Once the Layout has been generated there are 2 possible methods to add the other data.
- Layout Settings – Right click on the Layout and choose Layout Settings… Then go to the bottom of the dialogue (Tags & Categories) and complete the other fields (i.e. Project, Originator, Volume, Level, Type, Role etc).
- Schedule – Use a schedule under Project Indexes in the Project Map to complete the other fields (i.e. Project, Originator, Volume, Level, Type, Role etc). See example above.
Once the information has been completed the user simply needs to drag a Layout Sheet from Layout Book to the correct Publisher Set.
Image: Dragging the Layout to the Publisher will automatically show the mapping values [Click to enlarge]
Automatically the BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 Name will appear in the Publisher Set.
This should look something like below when a PDF is dragged into a Publisher Set for a Common Data Environment (CDE). This includes only the Name as the Description and other meta data are completed in other fields in most CDEs.
Image: Files aligning with required 7 required fields for BS 1192:2007+A2:2016. These files can be uploaded to a Common Data Environment (CDE).
If a file is required to live on a Server or sent by email (not-appropriate with a “Level 1 BIM” or “Level 2 BIM” compatible process which requires a CDE to be setup and utilised for a project) then a Description can be added as well as meta data (Status and/or Revision). The Description is separated from the Name by an Underscore (_). We have added only the Revision from simplicity. This would look like this:
Image: Files aligning with required 7 required fields and 2 of the 3 optional fields (Description and Revision with Status excluded) for BS 1192:2007+A2:2016. These files can be stored on a Server or sent directly by email if required.
Our template has been setup with standard Publisher Sets for saving to both Common Data Environments (CDE) and to a Server. We also have set up Custom Naming for other file formats (i.e. DWG) and printing to provide consistency for outputs.
The process for creating BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 automation in ARCHICAD 19’s Publisher is pretty straightforward. Of course the same data that is used for the file naming can also be used for other purposes including the Task Information Delivery Plan (TIDP) that we discussed in an earlier post. The fact we are using data rather than text also removes user error on the layout sheets themselves. Implementing this process though is another step to removing manual processes, improving quality and improving the speed of output. It’s basically win, win, win!!
Rob Jackson, Associate Director, Bond Bryan Digital
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