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Residential Projects in ARCHLine.XP

ARCHLine.XP is built to make quick work of residential projects. It contains all the toolsets and features to make residential work easy and well-organised. Additionally, using ARCHLine.XP for residential projects will help you generate a higher level of detail which is otherwise not available in other programs such as Revit or ArchiCAD. We can easily switch between “course” viewing mode and “fine filled” viewing mode which both show different levels of details to match our preferences. The following shows a quick rundown of what you can expect to create from these tools!

Automated Level & Construction Details Updates

This parametric tool is very useful in ARCHLine.XP for generating construction-worthy wall-floor constraints that show a higher level of detail than Revit. It follows the simple process of being able to select floor heights relative to the height of the structure above sea level. You can define the structure and any changes you made reflect through to the constraints. For example, if you change a floor height from 3000mm to 2800mm, there are no manual changes needed as everything updates automatically, including every constrained element such as walls, floors, ceilings, joints, etc. Setting your levels and floor structures should be the first thing you do when setting up a project.

To do this, right click on floor plan (in the project navigator) > properties

Now you can set your levels. It is important to note that you need to also set your top of structure to 0 mm (the “RL level”, your “bottom of structure” is the slab thickness, and the “false ceiling” is your ceiling height. 

Modelling Construction Details

Using the Australian Standards – AS 4773.1:2015 we will create a cavity construction for the ground floor – first floor and a veneer construction for the first floor. We can generate realistic structural features, for example: a double brick cavity wall connecting to a slab at ground level, with a foundation wall running beneath. This is created by defining the layers of the wall and slab and how they relate to each other.

We can click on wall > properties (pencil icon) and edit structure –> set layers here to show the inside and outside layers which can individually be constrained to a level. This shows a simple double brick cavity with render on both sides. We need to define how it relates to the level properties. The interior wall goes to the TS – 15 (for the finish layer), while the outer layer goes to BS or bottom of structure (0mm bottom of slab). For the top, we want it to end at the bottom of structure so we have an even surface for the wall on the next level to connect. We need to create a wall on each layer as ARCHLine.XP does not show walls from other levels. We can show ghost layers, but this is an entirely different topic. 

So, now when we edit the slab settings, it will show how this all ties together into the wall structure. After we are happy with our wall, we click okay and we need to remember to overwrite it into a new wall style. 

Here we can overwrite our wall so we don’t need to recreate it every time. This will ensure it is saved as a style (an important step, so don’t miss it!).

Another thing we need to look at is how the slab connects to the wall. In ARCHLine.XP, the slab is defined from 0 mm. “Base offset from floor” needs to be set to top of structure, 0 mm.This is the reference or “RL” and is extruded downwards.

So, we then create a finish layer of -15 mm and a slab at -100 mm. This means that our bottom of structure is defined as -115 mm, as we previously set in the floor levels (15mm floor finish + 100mm slab). Now we can easily connect the floor and wall by simply drawing our slab using this slab type.  Again, we need to remember to save it as a style like we did with the wall. We’ll just name this one “100mm slab + 15mm finish” by going to style > modify and overwrite.

With ARCHLine.XP we can create a  slab using “Slab by Walls”, which instantly recognises the walls. To do this click on slab > slab by walls. 

Now, all we need to do is select the slab we previously created and activate it. Then we need to select all the external walls and hit enter. 

Foundation Connection

For the first floor we will create a brick veneer wall connection.

We will also add the bottom slab foundation from slab > closed foundation and select along the edges of our floor and input our width. An orange line will appear that shows where the foundation is located. Once we’re done, we’ll hit enter and edit the slab properties. This can be done before or after the slab creation.

In this step, once we’ve created our foundation, we can edit it to make sure it matches our construction detail. Foundations are created as slabs, so we can hit edit > and edit the slab layers. This one will be 200 mm in thickness so it will be -200 mm. Next, we need to make sure it extrudes down from the bottom of structure. To do this, go “base offset from floor” and set it to “bottom of structure”, 0 mm. 

In this step, once we’ve created our foundation, we can edit it to make sure it matches our construction detail. Foundations are created as slabs, so we can hit edit > and edit the slab layers. This one will be 200 mm in thickness so it will be -200 mm. Next, we need to make sure it extrudes down from the bottom of structure. To do this, go “base offset from floor” and set it to “bottom of structure”, 0 mm. 

Now that this is done, we can go back and actually edit the edge to make it more slanted as per your country’s construction code. Right click on the foundation > reshape > edit profile

Now that we’ve modelled our details accurately, whenever we cut a section, these details will appear. In addition, whenever something is modified, this detail will actually stick to it’s constraints, so there’s no need to remodel it. It can simply be adjusted.

In the next residential design article, we will go into detail about how to neatly lay out your floor plans using the correct dimensions, view settings and properties. Then we’ll also go into how to put these onto sheets with titleblocks.