Get started with a renovation or recycling in Archicad

From old to new

Bringing a building from an old to a new condition: in short, this is the common factor for a transformation, renovation and recycling. But where is the difference exactly? Vrolix: “It is open to interpretation. I myself speak of a transformation when the external appearance of a building changes. This can be done, for example, by placing a new facade or by adding new elements on, in or next to the building. “The purpose of a renovation is rather to improve the physical condition by making adjustments to the building. Reusing the building changes the function of the building, but the external appearance remains unchanged. In any case, Archicad can be very practical.”

Existing state as a basis

Step one is always the same: starting from the existing condition of the building. You can measure and sketch that situation yourself, but if you are lucky, there are existing plans in PDF or DWG. If the property is digitally surveyed by a land surveyor, you will have a point cloud available. “In any case, you can work perfectly with that foundation in Archicad,” explains Vrolix. “If you have a hand-sketched measurement, you can just start modeling by entering the values ​​numerically. You can then easily add something to it via the X or Y coordinates. Archicad also provides many guides to get back to the starting point. Then add you a floor with the wand with a single click, after which you can see the result in 3D. ”

Because Archicad is a very open source software, you can import all sorts of other file formats. This also applies to a PDF or DWG file: “You drag a file like this into a spreadsheet, a kind of scraper sheet. You place the image at zero and check the dimensions and scale. Then you can use the image as a base on the floor plan to draw it over with Archicad elements. You move on in the same way as with a measurement, just a little faster. The advantage of a DWG file is that Archicad really understand or pulls towards the corners, making it easy to click precisely on them. Finally, you can use a point cloud. Of course you see many details. A combination of the point cloud and the Archicad elements is therefore regularly selected. Here too you can easily let the elements scups of Archicad. That way, everything ends up in the right place quickly. ”

Useful tools for transformation

Archicad offers practical tools to make the work of architects easier or increase their creative freedom for transformation, renovation and recycling. Vrolix: “If you are working on a transformation and you are planning an expansion, for example, the filters at the bottom of Archicad are very useful. You can quickly switch between the existing and the new mode. They help you make choices when showing your model or floor plan. How to layer decide what to show and what not to show. You also choose the way you do it: via graphic overrides can you add a color filter? Together, these filters ensure that you, as an architect, can add your creative signature to your project. ”

If you want to provide your building with a new facade, you can easily do this with curtain wall tool: “By using an image as a background, you can copy an item and morph† You can, so to speak, pull and push until you have the desired shape. This forms the basis for one facade panel of one curtain wall† You then make a kind of pattern, which you fill in with the panels you have made, after which you specify how this pattern should be repeated over the entire facade. You can also decide how that pattern behaves on corners or sloping sides. “

“In Archicad, a wall does not have to be a wall. It took a little getting used to at first, but after a while it gives you so much design freedom. ” – Peter Geraerts, Cocoon Architects

Useful tool for renovation

You’re doing a renovation project in Archicad that you really want: you tear down elements first and then add new elements. Archicad’s refurbishment tool speaks for itself: “You tear down old things with a bulldozer, build new items with a crane,” says Vrolix. “You can immediately see the new situation where you just stay within one model. All your Archicad drawings are then geared for this and are ready right away: floor plans, facades, carvings and so on. ”

“The renovation tool takes a lot of work out of your hands and ensures you do not have to do things twice.” – Gerhard Vermeulen, Architects HMV

With a view to sustainability, new elements for an renovation are increasingly being added via wooden construction. For this reason, KUBUS developed a wooden construction module for KeyMember Edition of Archicad: “This module provides access to an additional wooden construction library with all kinds of attributes for wooden frame construction, but also constructive elements for CLT. You can download and model everything in 3D with the standard tools from Archicad. All kinds of floor structures are also supplied to enable fast modeling with the right composition. The same goes for roofs and walls: different compositions are possible. “

Useful tools for recycling

Finally, Archicad also offers recycling benefits. Vrolix: “I immediately think of the zone tool. With this tool you can draw the necessary spaces in the floor plan. The advantage is that these are 3D elements from which you can generate information. Suppose you convert an existing home into a bed and breakfast, which includes three rooms: a kitchen, breakfast room, and storage room. You can quickly draw in these spaces, but you can also call them up in 3D, in combination with a point cloud. You can also separate the zones so you can see the amounts you want to add. You can also assign a color to each zone to clarify its function. Even in 3D, you can continue designing here. Think: Make the breakfast room bigger, align the room nicely with the storage room, … Finally, you can generate the information in a list and see the total area of ​​all rooms. This gives you a clear overview of recycling. ”

There is also the Eisen program in extension of the zones: “This addition is also an additional development from KeyMember Edition. Here you fill in the spaces you need for your design in a document in Excel or Numbers. You can add as much information as you want. If you then export this file to a CSV file, you can immediately import it back into Archicad. Archicad automatically converts this information into zones. Again, you can call up the zones and edit them in 3D. This way, you can quickly go from a simple Excel document to a 3D volume study. ”

Want some examples with this explanation? Then watch the webinar ‘Transformation, renovation & repurposing’, organized by the BIM supplier KUBUS. Or follow a group demo to get started with Archicad in your organization.

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