April 11, 2005
Create Ductwork without Indepth Knowledge of HVACArchitects Help Assess South Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Structural Damage
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

About this Issue….

A weekly news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

Welcome to AECWeekly! Architects and designers that receive simple 2D data from their HVAC consultants can use Ductwork HVAC for ArchiCAD to model that data in their projects and coordinate the systems and visualize the model using ArchiCAD's 3D tools. Interior designers can use HVAC for ArchiCAD to model HVAC systems for their projects, customizing the ductwork's appearance to create designs for their clients. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

Also, find out what architects are doing to help with assessing the damage done by the South Asia earthquake and tsunami in this issue.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Awards, Appointments, Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Create Ductwork without Indepth Knowledge of HVAC

By Susan Smith

This week I spoke with Viktor Bullain, Manager of Architecture and Engineering, for Graphisoft ArchiCAD about Ductwork HVAC for ArchiCAD, which provides ArchiCAD users tools to model ductwork -- without needing an indepth knowledge of HVAC. A/E firms or engineering consultants are the main customers of this tool.

Architects and designers that receive simple 2D data from their HVAC consultants can use this add-on to model that data in their projects and coordinate the systems and visualize the model using ArchiCAD's 3D tools. The architectural, structural and HVAC model are stored in one single file and the architect can easily detect conflicts between these various disciplines using clash detection.

I would guess that HVAC consultants would send in 2D drawings of ductwork in various file formats. How does the product handle these disparate formats?

Bullain: The HVAC duct system is modeled in context with the ArchiCAD 3D building model. The primary focus of the tool is model coordination. 2D documentation is automatically created based on the building model.
ArchiCAD can reference in 2D DWG, DGN, and DXF files. These drawings can be used as an underlay in the model. Each floor for example can have one or more drawings under-laid ( in a non-printing format ). An engineer or an architect can use Ductwork to trace over the drawings. The automatic routing functions and the flexibility of the components speed up the modeling process.

How does this work?

Bullain: HVAC for ArchiCAD includes a parametric GDL object library with more than 300 HVAC and electrical 3D objects and 2D symbols. These can be added to the [ductwork] building model created using the add-on ductwork tool to develop detailed designs for building services applications. Graphisoft's Application Programming Interface allows you to work without having to leave the familiar ArchiCAD workspace. Objects behave as ordinary parametric 3D ArchiCAD library parts and can be edited and modified at will. Each GDL object has an easy to use custom interface to make creating the model as flexible and productive as possible. The Parametric content has rules built in for various design
options, making it easy to select manufacturer specific components.

Is HVAC for ArchiCAD a standalone application?

Bullain: No. HVAC for ArchiCAD is not a standalone application, it can only be run from within ArchiCAD. Facility Management information is also available in each object, allowing the model to be imported into the ArchiFM database.
How do you create the Ductwork systems?

Bullain: You can use the duct routing add-on to create the outline and hatching of a duct in 2D and a solid duct body in 3D. The add-on will recognize any change in direction or level, and automatically size and place the bend of the respective duct section. Tees and shoes can be automatically sized and placed, and all connections are made automatically. Grilles can be connected with user-defined methods.

How do you connect duct elements to form part of a larger system?

Bullain: HVAC for ArchiCAD can automatically connect the duct elements by selecting them and using the Auto-connect command. The auto-connect feature works with both simple two duct systems and more complex arrangements that may involve flexible ductwork, grilles, tees, etc.

Penetrations can be automatically created for all ductwork systems where ductwork passes through internal and external walls and slabs. Users can define the clearances required on each side of the ducts, and minimum distances between penetrations that determine when adjacent penetrations should be combined. As the building model develops, these penetrations can automatically be updated to reflect changes in the project.

System requirements:


Operating System: Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.x., OSX 10.2-10.3

ArchiCAD: ArchiCAD 7.0 / 8.1 / 9.0


Operating System: Microsoft Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / NT 4.0 / XP pro

ArchiCAD: ArchiCAD 7.0 / 8.1 / 9.0

Architects Help Assess South Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Structural Damage

The ASCE was one of three technical teams comprised of Institution of Civil Engineers (

The teams' findings will be available to ASCE members in early spring.

article in the Environmental Times speaks to the awareness that architects can contribute to post-disaster recovery and preventing recurrent damage. Architectes de l'Urgence (AU) was formed after flooding of the Somme basin of France in 2001. Oddly architects are all too often notably absent in humanitarian emergency teams, despite the fact that their structural, planning and environmental know-how is generally essential. In some cases they are the only technicians capable of striking a balance between technical and natural factors.

, a web site covering "Tools, models and ideas for building a better future" jointly launched a reconstruction appeal within hours of the tsunami and earthquake disaster in South Asia.

The Architecture for Humanity / Worldchanging.com Tsunami Reconstruction Appeal has raised more than $225,000 in donations and pro-bono services. Architecture for Humanity has been involved in previous reconstruction efforts in Grenada,


AVEVA, supplier of engineering IT systems for the process, power, and marine industries, announced that CB&I, an engineering/procurement/construction (EPC) company, has signed a global license agreement to implement and deploy VANTAGE(R) Project Resource Management (VPRM).

Dexter + Chaney has integrated BMG Seltec's Site Automation truck ticketing software into its Forefront(R) Construction Management Software, giving aggregate and asphalt suppliers and construction companies a seamless quoting-to-invoicing system. Information obtained about jobs, materials and customers is entered only once into the system, where it resides in a single location for invoicing and other purposes. Information flows automatically between Forefront and BMG Seltec's applications.


Dr. Don McLean from Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Limited is to present at the Building Information Modelling conference, organised jointly by the Georgia Tech College of Architecture and the LaiserinLetterTM technology advisory service in April. For more information on the event visit www.laiserin.com/laiserinlive

You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


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