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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Archicad 17 Addresses the Details in BIM Models

May 21st, 2013 by Susan Smith

Akos Pfemeter, Director of Graphisoft Global Marketing, talked about the upcoming release of Archicad 17 in June – a major upgrade for Archicad.

According to Pfemeter, “In the last 30 years we had one single vision, which was building information modeling, meaning a central BIM model, serving everything coming out of that model, Bill of Materials, analysis, quantity analysis, etc. We are coming closer to this vision.”

Going back over past versions of Archicad, Pfemeter said Archicad 13 was about how to share the central BIM model. With BIM you have one big central file, and can share it with BIM Server, so users at multiple locations can work live with the same model. Archicad 14 was about making the BIM model capable of serving multiple disciplines, and with a bunch of IFC standards it was positioned as the open BIM Version of Archicad. Archicad 15 was about greatly extending the freedom and introduced the shell concept that gave users a true BIM tool with freedom. “The last version Archicad 16 is where we realized that BIM should not only be about these standard structures that are built on site but should take into account the sharing of components such as building materials and costs.

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In Archicad 17, Pfemeter said they are addressing the challenge where the reality of BIM and the vision of BIM are still not the same.

“If  you go closer to design development, most of the BIM apps can still serve the purpose of design development documentation,” said Pfemeter. “When it comes to construction documentation, most BIM models are being broken up, because it’s much more work to clean up the model than to turn to 2D and create the 2D document. Archicad 17 provides a complete solution to that. There will be “priority based automatic junctions,” in the order of how the buildings’ structures are being built. The new buildings materials feature in 17 is a dashboard where an architect can set up the BIM for the entire building project, the order of buildings, physical parameters such as size, overheat parameters for energy analysis as well as all the documentation parameters.  This is also available out of the box, automatically.

Archicad 17 allows the user to insert or change stories, then the vertical structures of the building automatically follow the stories.  The user can make a real-time cutaway of the building to check the consistency of the BIM model, Bill of Materials and documentation.

“Archicad 17 has lots of modeling functionality, you will still need to create annotation, but over 90% of these details will come automatically correctly from the model so you will not need to break your model to create documentation,” said Pfemeter. “Everything comes automatically from the model in a detailed report.”

In terms of BIM performance, Archicad 17 has Industry-first Background Processing for BIM software. This helps clean those junctions in the background while you are working on the sections and making annotations; this more detailed BIM model is faster than previous versions.

The idea in Archicad 17 is to provide all necessary tools and support so no one has to break the link between the BIM model and the documentation. The slogan is attributed to the famous architect, Mies Van der Rohe, “God lives in the details.”

“Now we say BIM lives in the details,” said Pfemeter.

From the press release – here are the new features of Archicad 17:

Priority Based Connections – Structurally Correct Details out of the Box

Priority Based Connections, together with Intelligent Building Materials, automatically provide structurally correct sections and details. Further usability improvements such as Intelligent Element Association to Story Heights and Intelligent Reference Line Handling of Elements make ArchiCAD the best BIM-based construction documentation solution available on the market today.

Industry-first Background Processing – Large/Complex Models to Stay Responsive

To further enhance productivity, ArchiCAD 17 takes the next revolutionary step in multi-core processing to support the creation and manipulation of large complex models with industry-first Background Processing Support for faster generation of complex model details. Optimized Scaling of Multiple-core CPUs boosts performance on large complex models. The software features Improved Central Graphics Unit Performance to make 3D navigation even smoother when working with extra large models.

Extended IFC Model View Definitions – OPEN BIM to Support National Standards

ArchiCAD 17 supports Coordination View 2.0 and expands capabilities for defining new IFC data such as Concept Design BIM 2010 (required by GSA (US), Statsbygg (Norway), Senate Properties (Finland), FM Handover (required by COBie), and others. This includes currency unit export, calendar date type IFC properties and IfcSystems Assignment Support for system type elements such as MEP systems.

BIMobject® Partnership – Boost in Directly Accessible GDL Content for ArchiCAD Users

Integration with, the world’s No.1 manufacturer-specific content provider, offers direct access to an extensive collection of high quality BIM content by Real Manufacturers available both in ArchiCAD 17 and on With this partnership, takes an important step to becoming the central portal for GDL content for ArchiCAD users.

Workflow Improvements – Integrated Design, Visualization and Analysis Workflow

ArchiCAD 17 delivers a wide array of workflow improvements including an Improved MORPH Tool to support conceptual design with useful zoning information and Real-time 3D Cutting Planes to give extra control of ArchiCAD’s 3D modeling environment. Inclusion of fully functional BIMx in every installation enables users to share BIM projects with their clients in the form of interactive BIM project environments; further improved Energy Evaluation supporting multiple thermal zones allows users to evaluate their designs with standard compliant technology.

ArchiCAD 17 will be released on June 1, 2013, with shipment to customers beginning within a few weeks of the official release.

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Categories: AEC, Archicad, architecture, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, construction, engineering, infrastructure, integrated project delivery

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