Many users battle with placing of zones when exporting ArchiCAD model to gbXML for use in engineering analysis, as a result elements like walls do not show when imported into other softwares,this add-on simplifies all 3D geometry to the bare essentials and structured for applications such as thermal analysis and augmented with engineering data like material properties, power usage, plant and occupancy. Refer to the suggestions below, they may be helpful to get the zones working and ready for export.
1. Firstly, when placing room zones, they must bound with walls-any walls not adjoining the zones will be ignored. Zones identifying a room must be traced around the inside faces of the bounding walls, refer to figure (a) below. Any zone stamp, category, or layer may be used.
2. In multiple storey buildings, zones have to be independent storey by storey, refer to figure (b) below.
3. Zones bounding the exterior wall are also required to allow the add-on to calculate the relationships between surfaces, spaces and the out-doors. Zones must be traced around the exterior faces of the building, refer to figure (c) below. Any zone stamp, category, or layer may be used.
4. Site properties must be specified, and can be extracted from the project model, and most importantly, its location and orientation. The site post code will be exported if specified in the “project info” dialog (from File/Info menu), figure (d) below.
The remainder are found in the ArchiCAD sun settings accessed through the “3D Projection Settings” dialog ( from “View/3D View Mode” menu) specifically the site location and project north, figure (e) below.
5. Zones may be placed manually but it can be a long process hence the add-on provides the automated zone placing by going to Design/Design Extras/Place Zones fig (f) below, but this tool may not find all the rooms which might be due to some modelling problems like gaps between walls, and this leaves the user to adjust or add unidentified zones manually.
6. Then specify which zones to place and their properties in the “Zone Placement” dialog, fig (g).
7. Saving as gbXML, first select “Save As” from the “File” menu. In the “Save As” dialog, select “gbXML” as the export type, specify the file name and location, click “Save” ( The illustration below ( fig. (h)) is for Mac OS, but the principle is the same for Windows).
The “gbXML Export Settings” dialog will appear, select the properties of the room and exterior zones to export. If no layer or category is selected, the add-on will export all zones. Refer to fig (i) below.