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Week #11 – Conceptual Design Strategies
11-2. Program Planning: Room and Area Lists using Fills and Zones

 ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 11-2)

This 23 minute lesson shows how you can tabulate rooms and areas to compare against program requirements using either the Fill tool or the Zone tool.

The Fill tool has an option to display area text that is calculated from fill geometry. This number is automatically updated whenever the Fill changes shape or size. It is easy to create an Interactive Schedule to show these areas and tabulate totals. Grouping of the Fills in the schedule may be done by setting similar areas to use the same ID. The options here are limited, and for example, one cannot group the Fills by pen color or give them a category other than by Layer or ID.

The Zone tool has a similar option to display area text. This is calculated initially when the zone is placed, but the Zone stamp will not update when changes are made until the Update Zones command is used (see previous lesson for a demonstration). A similar Interactive Schedule can display the areas and room names. Since Zones can carry more data, it is possible to give them categories as well as names and numbers that can be shown and used for grouping or sorting. In the schedule Scheme settings, in the parameter area, one can use the “flag” icon to subtotal areas for all zones in the same category. The “headline” option can make this display even more clearly.

The final section of this lesson shows some easy ways to resize rooms or entire building facades using the marquee tool. It is possible to take a concept that was sketched by eye and tighten it up so that specific or whole number dimensions are created.

One key to this process is to use the marquee tool to outline just the area that you want to affect: use the rectangular, rotated rectangle or polygon option as appropriate; and make sure to use the thin marquee to affect a single story or the heavy marquee to affect all stories.

Make sure to leave the marquee tool active in the Toolbox, then click on any element within the marquee (you should see a checkmark or mercedes cursor rather than a trident) to start the stretch operation. Move the cursor to the new position using guidelines and the tracker as needed. To reference a distance from another point (for example, the other end of the room or building), hover the cursor over that point, then type in the offset (how far away you want to end up) and a minus (-) sign; if you have entered a whole number of feet (USA users only) then you will need to type the number of inches as well (this can be 0) or type an extra minus sign in order to complete the operation.

Technical Note: Only visible elements will be affected, unless Groups are active; in which case if a grouped element is moved using the marquee operation, other grouped elements on hidden layers will move as well.

Please post your comments and questions below.

Eric

Thank you for visiting the Best Practices Course website. The video lessons are available for members only. If you are an active member and would like to watch the ArchiCAD training video on this page, please login to the website. If you are not currently a member, please visit the following pages for more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course or for the Best Practices ArchiCAD Coaching Program. Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course
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ArchiCAD Training: Program Planning: Room and Area Lists using Fills and Zones

Let us know how you feel... (17 comments so far)

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  1. ToddHotchkiss
    3 years ago

    Ah, I see it:
    Document/Set Model View/Override Zone Fills


    • Eric Bobrow
      3 years ago

      Todd –
      I’m glad you figured this out yourself!
      By the way, you can change this setting manually to see what it does, but it’s best if you set up your preferred options in a named Model View Option. That way whenever you activate a View, you will get a standardized view of your model based on the MVO that is saved in the View Settings.
      Eric


  2. ToddHotchkiss
    3 years ago

    I can’t figure out why the zone colors aren’t showing up. Is there a display preference that tells ArchiCad to hide or show the zone color?


  3. Steven R
    4 years ago

    Hi Eric.
    Great video as always. I actually never thought of using fills as a secondary option to use in schedules. I can see a lot of potential to how I work.

    I think a couple of things should be noted, you may already know these but other people might not:

    -Zones placed using any method other than manual drawing are kind of “parametric”. Say you had your zones’ layer turned off and use the marquee to stretch the rooms (or just plain move walls). Updating the zones will find the edges again, stretch the zones and update the areas, provided the room is a closed loop and the zone hotspot is still inside the room.

    -The walls’ relation to zones can be changed so zones find them or ignore them

    -Zones can display measured and calculated area. The measured one will instantly update if you use the marquee to stretch it or edit the boundary, but it will disregard any other elements that might need to be considered for area calculation. The calculated area will use the project preferences options to subtract walls and other elements from the area based on the options. So if you have a big column in the middle of the room, the measured area will not remove the area used by the column, but the calculated area will consider it based on the project preferences.

    Thanks for your passion.


  4. BinhNguyen
    4 years ago

    Thanks


  5. OliviaAlcala
    5 years ago

    I cannot watch or download this video. Kindly check the file. Thanks


    • Eric Bobrow
      5 years ago

      Olivia –
      I have fixed the problem with the video – thanks for bringing this to my attention!
      (Recently I had someone reorganize the video files on the server, and apparently this one was not done correctly. It should work properly now.)
      Eric


      • BinhNguyen
        4 years ago

        Hi Eric

        I can’t watch the video
        It didn’t appear


        • Eric Bobrow
          4 years ago

          Binh – I checked and this lesson had not been set up properly for the new ArchiCAD Training Passes. I have corrected the issue, and you should be able to watch the video now.
          Eric

  6. JohnDunham
    JohnDunham
    5 years ago

    Thank you! Watching you create simple schedules has been a real eye-opener for me as I was always intimidated by this tool and avoided it. Had I known it was as easy as it is to use I would have done so ages ago! 🙂 And as always, your simple demonstrations of common tools and techniques, such as the marquee tool and zones, have revealed things about them that I just wasn’t aware of. Thanks again!


    • Eric Bobrow
      5 years ago

      John –
      I’m very pleased that this lesson has opened up a whole new world for you!
      Eric


  7. ChristopherEllis
    6 years ago

    Eric,
    More wonderful nuggets … as usual !


    • Eric Bobrow
      5 years ago

      Chris – thanks for the kind words!


  8. HagithPopper
    6 years ago

    Eric, you have this quality of delivering a lot of useful tools and information, in a clear simple to follow way. Thanks !


    • Eric Bobrow
      5 years ago

      Hagit –
      I’m always pleased to read what you post – thanks!
      Eric

  9. AndrewPolkinghorne
    AndrewPolkinghorne
    6 years ago

    Eric,

    At the risk of being a tiny bit dramatic, the section on adjusting room sizes with the Marquee tool at 00:19:10 may just change my life for ever!

    If I had known that tip a week ago….

    Thank you, great episode. I can’t wait for the next one.


    • Eric Bobrow
      6 years ago

      Andrew –
      You’ve always had a flair for the dramatic – but I don’t mind.
      Thanks for the feedback – I’m glad to know that this tip is so useful!
      Eric