Forward and Backward Relations in SMC

In Solibri Model Checker (SMC), relationships exist between components and are reflected as “Relations”.  These are similar to properties and are grouped into folders within the Relations tab of the Info view. These relationships can be termed ‘forward, backward, or forward and backward’. We’ll explain what this means to you, as an SMC user.

In the previous article, Using the Decomposes Relation Property, we used the example of a stair to explain the forward and backward Decomposes relation between the stair assembly and the stair runs, landings, and railings that make up that assembly.

In this article, we’ll focus on some other relations and explain their forward and backward direction.

For more information on relations within SMC, please see the help topic:

SMC Help – Relations

The Containment Relation

As the name suggests, the containment relation is present when one component contains another component.  For example, a Building component contains Floors, Floors contain components such as Spaces, and Spaces contain other components.

Looking at the structure of the sample model (SMC Buildng.smc) that comes with SMC, you see that the Ground floor contains a space Men[104].  That space contains two Sanitary Terminal components, which are a toilet and a sink.

If you select the Men[104] space, in the Relations tab of the Info view, you’ll see the containment relation for the space.

Notice there are arrow icons in front of the listed relations that denote the direction of the relation.  A forward direction is denoted by the  forward (pointing to the right) icon, and a backward direction is denoted by the backward (pointing to the left) icon.  Since the Space is a sub-element of the Ground floor, this containment relation has a backward direction, and since the Space contains the sanitary terminals, these containment relations have a forward direction. Essentially, as you get more granular, you have forward relations, and as you refer to those elements ‘upstream’ you are expressing backward relations.

If you select the ground floor, it will have a  forward containment relation to the Mens[104] space.

So logically, if Component A has a forward relation of some relation type to Component B, then Component B has a  backward relation of that same relation type to Component A. The result is a hierarchy of the related model components.

Relations are used in the rule Comparison Between Property Values [SOL/171], by selecting “Related Component” in the Components to Compare drop-down.

In the example of this rule below, the parameters are specified to check that there is at least 1 toilet on each floor.  Since we are checking floors, Floor is set in the Components to Check table.  We are using the Containment relation, so Related Component is selected in the Components to Compare dropdown, Containment is set as the type, and the Forward direction is selected.  The Follow Relation Chain checkbox is marked because there isn’t a direct containment relation to the floor and the Toilets. Instead, a floor contains the space and the space contains the toilet.  Lastly, since we are looking for at least 1 toilet on each floor, components classified as Toilet Seat is listed in the Components to compare using a count quantifier greater than or equal to the target value 1.

The only result returned is for the Roof floor which logically doesn’t require a toilet.  This floor could be ignored in the Components to Check table in the rule parameters or the result can simply be approved.

Doors, Openings, Walls and the Void/Filling relation

Rather than a direct containment relation, doors, and walls have a Filling and Void relationship to an opening component respectively.

If you select a door in a model, you’ll find that it has a  forward Filling relation to an opening component, since the door “fills” the opening.  However, there is no direct relation listed between the door and the wall.

If you double-click the opening listed in the Info view it will become selected. You’ll see the    backward Filling relation to the door and also a  forward Void relation to the wall.

Since there are two different relation types, a single Comparison Between Property Values [SOL/171] rule cannot be used to compare walls to doors.  Instead, a gatekeeper rule can be used to return the opening of a wall, which passes those openings to a sub-rule to check the door that fills the opening.

We’ll use a simple check to ensure that 1-hr fire rated walls have 1-hr fire rated doors. This example can be found here:

Fire Rating – Relations.smc

The file consists of 4 walls that have doors attached:

Below you can see which walls and doors have a 1-hr rating as those without a rating are hidden.  Only the third wall from the left is a 1-hr fire rated wall that doesn’t have a 1-hr fire rated door:

After running a check, only that wall/opening is listed as a result:

To create the ruleset, the “Gatekeeper: Openings in 1-hr Walls” has the following parameters filled in to return as results any openings that do not have a forward void relationship to a wall with a 1-hr fire rating:

Since only openings that fill 1-hr fire rated walls pass this check, “Check only passed components” is marked for this gatekeeper rule in the Ruleset Manager.

Those openings are passed to the sub-rule “1-hr Components must fill Openings.”  This rule checks that those openings have a backward filling relation to a door that has a 1-hr fire rating.  Notice this is a backward relation since the door fills the opening.

The result is any opening that creates a void in a 1-hr wall that does not have a 1-hr door filling that opening.

Decomposes Relation in Information Takeoff (ITO)

Relations can be used in ITO to group components by their related component.  In the example below, there are beam assemblies that group multiple beams.  The total lengths of these grouped beams are listed for each assembly along with their counts. For example assembly with id 185923 has 7 beams that have a total length of 192′- 3 7/8″.

The Decomposes relation is used for components such as stairs, beam assemblies, and curtain walls that are can be made up of differing components. For example, stairs can be made up stair runs, landings, and railings.  Beam assemblies can be made up of multiple beams. Curtain walls can be made up of panels (windows) mullions (members), and doors. These examples are a subset of commonly found components that can be assemblies with a Decomposes relation.

To create this ITO we create a new ITO Definition to report only Assembly components.

Right-click on the Type column and select New Column to group and report assemblies by their Building Authoring Tool (BAT) ID.

As we don’t wish to report the Type, this column is edited by right-clicking the column and selecting Edit.  We select Relation as the Column type, Decomposes as the relation, Forward as the direction, and Grouping to group the beams to find their total length.

Right-click the Count column, and select new column to create a column that reports the total length of the beams in each assembly.  Select Quantity for column type, Length for the Quantity, leave grouping unmarked and Sum for the Function.

This example can be found through the link below:

Decomposes – ITO.smc

 

 

Advertisements
Forward and Backward Relations in SMC

Spaces and Void information – Using Information Takeoff

In an earlier article Using Advanced Classification in ITO we described how you can set up Information Takeoff (ITO) Definitions to report information on spaces. Namely, we looked at the function of the space as defined by the OmniClass classification system.  This allows you to visually select and isolate spaces based on their category of use or function, as well as report their total area and counts for that type of space.  For example, you could check the takeoff to verify that there are enough office spaces and area for those spaces on the first floor:

Total area and count of office spaces
Total area and count of office spaces

You can also zoom to a location in the model, and using the selection box tool, select those spaces from the takeoff.

Using the selection box to select spaces from ITO
Using the selection box to select spaces from ITO

With only those spaces selected, by clicking Takeoff Selected, only those spaces have their total area and count reported.  For example, below we ran a takeoff selected on only the office spaces in the pharmacy area.

Pharmacy Office Spaces
Pharmacy Office Spaces

Any property of the space can be reported in the ITO.  For example, instead of using the OmniClass category, you could create your own area plans to group spaces of a certain type.  Below is a circulation space group from an area plan in Revit along with its reported area.

Circulation space grouping from an area plan
Circulation space grouping from an area plan

You can also select to isolate the spaces that are grouped by that space grouping or area.

Individual spaces that make up the circulation area
Individual spaces that make up the circulation area

In addition to spaces, ITO also provides a powerful ability to report information about openings that exist in other components.  When you draw an opening or shaft in your BIM authoring tool, it creates a void that is automatically exported to an opening component in IFC.  This gives SMC the ability to query useful dimensional information regarding these openings.

Below is a simple mockup of a construction site that has openings.

Openings in a floor/slab
Openings in a floor/slab

By running a takeoff on these openings and slabs, you can visualize where they are, along with the floor they reside on and their area.  Below we’ve isolated the opening and slabs on level 7.

Openings on Level 7
Openings on Level 7

As the ITO is sorted by the area of the opening, we can easily find the smaller openings that pose a risk of tripping stepping into or objects falling through that would require covers or netting as opposed to openings that would require guardrail. Below, these openings are isolated and marked up using the cloud tool.

Smaller openings that require covers
Smaller openings that require covers

In summary, ITO provides a powerful reporting tool for not just physical components, but the spatial components (modelled or voids) within your model as well.

Spaces and Void information – Using Information Takeoff

Combining the Power of ITO with a Model Comparison Check

In addition to using the Model Comparison Ruleset to compare model versions, this article defines the steps to create an Information Takeoff (ITO) that displays the changes in Quantities in the ITO table format. This allows for easy review of any changes in the model quantities, in real-time.

A model recreating the screenshots and model conditions in this article is available here: SMC Building – ITO Model Comparision.smc

For tutorial information about using the ITO tool, please see our previous article on the topic:  Understanding Information Takeoff (ITO)

In Solibri Model Checker, with two different IFC versions of the same model loaded, create an ITO sorting the model by Components. ITO sorts elements within the model by the values of their properties of the left most columns.
Now, create an ITO column for the “Model” property of the “Identification” column type and ensure that “Grouping” is checked.  By doing this, ITO will create an individual row for each type of component in each model.  In other words, one type of component will be listed twice: one row representing the component(s) in Model A, and a second row representing the component(s) in Model B.

ISSUE_15_TT_04_01

Next, decide which quantities are relevant for the comparison.  In this example, we have added columns for length, width, height, area, volume, and count.  For each column, ensure that “Grouping” is turned OFF, and the function is set to “SUM”.  This means that ITO will not use these columns as a sorted grouping mechanism and that the quantity displayed in the column will be a sum for the components.

ISSUE_15_TT_04_02

The resulting ITO will resemble the results below.  Each Component type is listed on two rows, representing the components and their quantities from each of the respective two model versions.

ISSUE_15_TT_04_03

Please use the example model to explore the screenshots from this article, and to experiment with the settings in ITO.

 

Combining the Power of ITO with a Model Comparison Check

ITO Report Templates

In a previous article, Coordination Report Templates, we explored how to create your own custom coordination report templates.  Similar functionality exists for Information Takeoff (ITO) reports, allowing a user to create an Excel template to organize and format ITO information of a corresponding ITO Definition. Reporting, which was only briefly mentioned in the article Understanding Information Takeoff (ITO), is the focus of the article below.  You can follow along using the SMC Building.smc model that comes with Solibri Model Checker (SMC).

Upon opening the SMC Building.smc model and selecting the ITO layout, you’ll find a takeoff of the Building Element Quantities ITO definition in the Information Takeoff View.

Information Takeoff View
Information Takeoff View

Click the Report ITO Report button to open the Report Information Takeoff dialog.

Report Information Takeoff Dialog
Report Information Takeoff Dialog

This dialog provides the options of either exporting a Plain Excel Report or an Excel Template Report. With the Plain Excel Report option marked, click the Save Report button and save an XLSX file. Once saved, excel will automatically open the exported report as below:

Plain Excel ITO Report
Plain Excel ITO Report

The result is similarly formatted to what is viewed in the Information Takeoff view of SMC.

Close the Excel file, and click the Report ITO Report button again in the Information Takeoff view.

This time, mark the Excel Template Report. The Template drop-down menu is now enabled allowing you to browse to or edit an existing template or you can create an entirely new template by clicking the Create Default Button.

ITO Report templates already exist for the out-of-the-box ITO definitions that reside in the Information Takeoff folder of the program, which is why the Building Element Quantities.xls template was found and is already listed in the drop-down menu.  With this template selected, click the Save Report button and save an XLSX file.  Again, Excel will automatically open the exported report as below:

Excel Template ITO Report
Excel Template ITO Report

You can see the same information from the Information Takeoff Window is now reported with some additional information at the top of the report along with visually appealing formatting.

Close the Excel file, and click the Report ITO Report button again in the Information Takeoff view.

With the Building Element Quantities.xls template selected, click the Edit option.  Excel will open the XLS template for editing:

Building Element Quantities.xls ITO Excel Report Template
Building Element Quantities.xls ITO Excel Report Template

The screenshot above is the resulting template opened in Excel with an additional color coding of the different types of keywords. Similar to Coordination Report Templates, in order to populate the report with specific information from SMC, keywords (e.g. <FILE_NAME>) are used in a Microsoft Excel template file.  When you view one of these templates, you can easily see the keywords as they are capitalized and surrounded by “<” and “>” characters.    As with coordination templates, ITO Report templates can include multiple keywords in a single cell along with other descriptive text.

General keywords provide general information about the report such as the title, user information, a company logo, etc.  As this information pertains to a single entity, namely the report, these are the only keywords that can span multiple rows within the template.  It is important to understand that the other three types of keywords relate to multiple entities. Your model can contain multiple IFC files, multiple rulesets, and multiple components with takeoff information.  Therefore, these types of keywords must be contained within a single row amongst themselves. When a report is being written, SMC will iterate through those multiple entities creating rows one after another populating the keywords with information.

The Model keywords row should be below the rows of General keywords.  Model keywords provide information about the IFC models that are open in SMC.

Below the line of Model keywords is the <EXPECTED_RULE_SETS> keyword, which is populated by ruleset tasks.

Click the Classification_Settings Edit Information Takeoff Definition button in the Information Takeoff view.

Tasks within the Information Takeoff Definition Dialog
Tasks within the Information Takeoff Definition Dialog

You’ll find “Check and go through results of ‘BIM Validation.cset’” listed as a task for this ITO Definition.  This is a Ruleset task that was added to warn the user that this check should be run and any results reviewed before running the Takeoff to ensure the reported information is accurate.

If you do not complete this task when attempting to run the takeoff, a pop-up window appears:

BIM Validation.cset Ruleset Task in the Tasks Pop-up Window
BIM Validation.cset Ruleset Task in the Tasks Pop-up Window

The <EXPECTED_RULE_SETS> keyword will report all rulesets associated with a ruleset task that haven’t been loaded, checked, have unhandled results, or rejected issues.

The lowest row contains Column Name keywords that correspond to the Names of the columns from the Information Takeoff Definition.  As they correspond to the column names, they can be anything; however, they must match exactly and reside on a single row, as SMC will iterate through each row mapping the value in each cell of the corresponding column from the takeoff in SMC to the report.

The following is a listing of keywords that can be used in ITO Report Templates along with their description and where these can be edited:

GENERAL KEYWORDS
KEYWORD DESCRIPTION WHERE TO EDIT
<PNG_IMAGE> Your company logo or an image inserted as a picture In the Microsoft Excel Worksheet template, insert the PNG image anywhere in the sheet, and it will appear in the cell that contains.
<CURRENT_TIME> The current date/time on your computer when the report is generated
<REPORT_TITLE> The title of the report In the Information Takeoff view, click the Report button to open the Report Information Takeoff dialog and set the Report Title.
<USER_NAME> Your user name as currently set in SMC In the File layout, click Settings > General and set your User > Name.
<USER_POSITION> Your user position as currently set in SMC In the File layout, click Settings > General and set your User > Position.
<USER_ORGANIZATION> Your user organization as currently set in SMC In the File layout, click Settings > General and set your User > Organization.
<FILE_NAME> The file name of the SMC file you currently have open In the File layout, click Save Model As… and set the File Name of the SMC file.
<SMC_VERSION> The version of SMC you are using (e.g. 9.6)
<EMPTY> Use this tag to designate a cell as being empty. In the Microsoft Excel Worksheet template, insert this tag as a reference for where a cell should remain empty.
MODEL KEYWORDS
KEYWORD DESCRIPTION WHERE TO EDIT
<MODEL_DISCIPLINE> The discipline (e.g. Architectural, Structural, Building Services, etc.) of a model as set in SMC Right-click the model in the Model Tree view and select Set Discipline..
<MODEL_SHORT_NAME> The short name (e.g. A, B, C, ARCH, STRUCT, MEP, etc.) of a model as set in SMC Right-click the model in the Model Tree view and select Set Short Name.
<MODEL_NAME> The filename of a model
<MODEL_TIME> The timestamp of a model
<MODEL_APPLICATION> The name of the building authoring tool (BAC) that created a model
<MODEL_TYPE> The IFC Schema (e.g. IFC2X3, IFC2X2_FINAL) of a model
RULESET TASK KEYWORD
KEYWORD DESCRIPTION WHERE TO EDIT
<EXPECTED_RULE_SETS> Rulesets specified as Ruleset Tasks that should be checked and results resolved before running the takeoff.  In the Information Takeoff View, click the Edit Information Takeoff Definition button and add/remove Ruleset Tasks

Close the excel file, and click the Classification_Settings Report button again in the Information Takeoff view.

Click the Create Default button, and save to a new xls file.

Default Template for Building Element Quantities ITO Definition
Default Template for Building Element Quantities ITO Definition

SMC auto-generates an Excel template that includes the General, File, and Ruleset Task keywords formatted as above along with Column Name keywords based on every column name that exists in the Information Takeoff Definition.   If you wish to create an ITO Report Template for one of your own ITO definitions that doesn’t come out of the box, this is the recommended way.

Modify the template however you’d like and save it for your own use as a template.

In the example below, we’ve removed the right-most Color column, modified the column headers, and changed some coloring and fonts.  Notice that though we changed the column headers in the template, the keywords still must match the column names that exist in the ITO Definition.

Modified Building Element Quatities ITO Excel Report Template
Modified Building Element Quatities ITO Excel Report Template

When using this template the resulting report looks as below:

Modified Building Element Quantities Excel Template ITO Report
Modified Building Element Quantities Excel Template ITO Report

This modified template can be found here:

Building Element Quantities_version_2.xls

ITO Report Templates

SMC v9.6 introduces date-based checks

The recently released Solibri Model Checker (SMC) version 9.6 introduces support for “Date” properties.  Rather than plain text, these properties include Month, Day, Year and Time of Day information from IfcDate properties.  This allows components to be classified and visualized based on schedule information, as well as checks to be run against workflow schedules via rulesets. The following article provides details on how to set up the visual display of date properties in the settings of SMC, create date-based schedule classification, and generate Information Takeoffs that group components based on a construction schedule.

Date Unit Settings

SMC allows you to customize the date and time formatting, based on your own localization by clicking File > Settings > Units. For example, in the United States, dates are often formatted as MM/DD/YYYY as seen in the settings below:

File > Settings > Units with Date format set to MM/DD/YYYY
File > Settings > Units with Date format set to MM/DD/YYYY

This results in all date information in SMC being displayed in this format, as seen in the Info View below:

Dates Displayed as MM/DD/YYYY
Dates Displayed as MM/DD/YYYY

In many other countries, dates are formatted as DD/MM/YYYY, which is one of 18 settings that can be chosen from the File > Settings > Units > Date Format dropdown:

File > Settings > Units with Date format set to DD/MM/YYYY
File > Settings > Units with Date format set to DD/MM/YYYY

Through this date format setting, all dates are displayed as DD/MM/YYYY as seen below:

Dates Displayed as DD/MM/YYYY
Dates Displayed as DD/MM/YYYY

Classifications Using Date Information

The Classification View has been enhanced to support Date information in SMC. For more information on Classification in Solibri Model Checker, please follow the link below:

https://solibri.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/creating-classifications-in-smc/

In the Classification Settings, a Use Dates as Classification Names checkbox has been added. When selected, only dates can be used as classification names, and a date picker is provided to ensure a valid date is entered in the Classification View screens.

Date Information in Classification Settings
Date Information in Classification Settings

When creating any classification, SMC will look at a property of a component and based on the value (in this case, the date) generate distinct date classifications for use in SMC.

To begin using date information in a Classification, first ensure the date information is present in the model. In this example, the date information is coming from the WORKFLOW information tab.  Each component in the model should contain this schedule information.

WorkFlow tab displaying Schedule Start and End
WorkFlow tab displaying Schedule Start and End

Switch to the Information Takeoff view to display the Classification window.  From here, we can generate new Classifications using the date information.

Select Classification Settings.  In this example, the Classification is using the property PLANNED_START_E to define the classifications, and the Classification Name will be the same as the value of the property (in this case, the date).

Classification Rules tab showing the PLANNED_START_E property usage
Classification Rules tab showing the PLANNED_START_E property usage
Schedule Classification sorted by PLANNED_START_E date
Schedule Classification sorted by PLANNED_START_E date

If the PLANNED_START_E date changes with new updates of the model, the Schedule Classification will also change to reflect the new dates.

In Classification Settings you can create a date constraint to limit the dates that are classified by double clicking on the PLANNED_START_E column. Below, the constraint has been set to only create a Classification for dates between March 31, 2015, and April 30, 2015.

Date Constraints limit classified components to a specified range of start dates
Date Constraints limit classified components to a specified range of start dates

As a result, the only displayed Classifications listed under Schedule are dates within the specified date range.

Displayed dates are all between March 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015
Displayed dates are all between March 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015

In addition to being a useful tool for managing the model and checking schedule compliance, Schedule Classifications can also be used in an Information Takeoff.  The construction of components can be visualized by selecting rows sorted by construction start date. Other quantity information such as counts of doors or windows, or lengths of beams can be added as columns as well, to provide schedule-based quantity takeoffs.

Example of Information Takeoff results sorted by schedule date
Example of Information Takeoff results sorted by schedule date
SMC v9.6 introduces date-based checks

New in V9.6: Generating Slides Directly from Information Takeoffs

The newly released version (9.6) of Solibri Model Checker (SMC) includes an option to create presentation slides directly from information takeoff definitions. The Information Takeoff view in SMC is a perspective that allows a user to visualize and aggregate model components based on their property information.  After generating an Information Takeoff, you might wish to generate a set of slides or views showing each row, or selective rows of the Information Takeoff results.   These slides can remain in the model for later use in review sessions, or they can be exported in a formatted report.

The following article demonstrates this capability through a scheduling Information Takeoff that groups components based on their start dates of construction.  In addition to automatic slide creation through Information Takeoff, version (9.6) introduced the entirely new ‘Date’ unit type.  These separate new capabilities complement each other well in version (9.6). A more detailed explanation on date information in SMC can be found here:

SMC v9.6 introduces date-based checks

To begin, run an Information Takeoff (ITO) and generate the results you would like to visualize (for help using ITO, select the video icon in the upper right corner of the Information Takeoff view to watch a short video explanation).

When done, the model should be color-coded based on the properties defined in the takeoff.  In the example below, a takeoff has been run separating all model components by start date:

Information Takeoff of Scheduled Start Dates of Construction
Information Takeoff of Scheduled Start Dates of Construction

Select individual rows of the Takeoff to display the components built on each date, separately.

Components Isolated in the 3D View Based on Start Date
Components Isolated in the 3D View Based on Start Date

These individual row displays can be auto-generated as slides/views from the Communication Tab.

From the Communication Tab, select “Create Presentation.”

You will see the options to generate a slide “From Information Takeoff Results.”

New Presentation Option: From Information Takeoff Results
New Presentation Option: From Information Takeoff Results

The Presentation from Schedule Visualization Window dialog will open.

Presentation from Schedule visualization dialog
Presentation from Schedule visualization dialog

The following is a listing of the various options of the Presentation from Schedule visualization dialog:

  • Create Issues From Rows:
    • Create Issues from Rows: If you would like to see the views as they are displayed when selecting a single row in Information Takeoff, choose the option to view “Each Individual Row.”
    • Include Previous Rows: Select this option if you would like the views to be cumulative, so the previous rows are added to the new view. For example, if you want the first slide to display the footing built on 2015-04-29 and the second slide to include both the footings and the columns that are built on 2015-04-29, choose the option to “Include Previous Rows.”
  • Define Issue Details By Template Columns: These options allows the user to decide which Column from the Information Takeoff View will be used as the Title and Description for the slides/views.
  • Components and Visualization
    • Link Components to Issue: Components in the slide will be linked to the view for later use in the Detailed Report (XLS) option.
    • Autozoom to Components: Positions the view as close-in as possible to fill the 3D window with the relevant components.

Under Create Issues From Rows, select Include Previous Rows, and then click Create.

Individual Slides Automatically Created from Individual Information Takeoff Rows
Individual Slides Automatically Created from Individual Information Takeoff Rows

The slides displayed now reflect the individual rows from the Information Takeoff.  These slides will remain with the .SMC model for future use, and can also be exported via the “Report” button.

From Report, Select the XLS button and select Ok (For this example, we will generate an XLS report, but note that other options, such as PDF and BCF are available as well).

Excel will automatically open and display the new XLS report, reflecting the slideshow that has been generated in SMC using Information Takeoff.

A Coordination Report Generated from Information Takeoff Slides
A Coordination Report Generated from Information Takeoff Slides
New in V9.6: Generating Slides Directly from Information Takeoffs

Understanding Information Takeoff (ITO)

The following article provides an introduction to the Information Takeoff (ITO) View.  This view allows the user to analyze component information within a model both visually in the 3D View, as well as in the form of a spreadsheet in the ITO View, which can be exported to a customized Microsoft Excel Worksheet.  This information includes identifiers and classifications, locations, quantities that can be totaled by grouping components together, as well as any property values that are within a property set.

This article uses the SMC Building.smc sample model that is included with SMC.  You can find this file in the Models folder listed in the Recent Model Places list, by clicking File > Recent within SMC.

This file is also available here: SMC Building.smc

The steps that follow will walk you through the creation of an ITO definition that reports room and door information.  This ITO provides door counts based on their operation and total area of the rooms those doors are associated with, based on their floor and space usage.

This ITO from the article is available here: Rooms and Doors.ito

Information Takeoff Definition Dialog

The Information Takeoff Definition dialog is the starting point when creating your ITO definition, and appears first when you click the New Information Takeoff Definition button.  Its purpose is to limit the components you wish to include in the ITO.  Prior to version 9.5, this dialog was limited to a component type and discipline list.  In SMC v9.5, these have been replaced with a Components Filter Parameter table that allows a more detailed filter to specify the components used in the Information Takeoff. In this section, the ITO definition created in the steps that follow limit the components to rooms from an Architectural model.

  1. Open the SMC Building.smc file.
  2. Select the Information Takeoff Layout tab at the top of the SMC window.
  3. In the Information Takeoff View, click the New Information Takeoff Definition New Classification button.
  4. In the Information Takeoff Definition dialog, enter Rooms and Doors in the Name text box.
  5. In the existing row of the Components Filter Parameters table, click the cell in the Components column and click the Browse BROWSE button. The Select Component Type dialog will open.
  6. In the Select Component Type dialog, hit the ‘S’ key on the keyboard twice to quickly select Space and click OK..

    Select Component Type dialog
    Information Takeoff Definition – Select Component Type dialog
  7. In the Components Filter Parameters table, click the cell in the Property column and click the Browse BROWSE button.
  8. In the Select Property dialog, select the Identification Property Group and select Discipline from the Property drop-down box. Click OK.

    Select Property dialog - Discipline
    Select Property dialog – Discipline
  9. Click the cell in the Operator column and select One Of.
  10. Double-click the cell in the Value column, select Architectural, and click OK.
    Components Filter Parameters Table - Architectural Spaces
    Components Filter Parameters Table – Architectural Spaces

    The Components Filter Parameters table should appear as the image above. The filter is now only reporting spaces from Architectural models.

  11. In the Components Filter Parameters Table, click the Add a New Filter Add a New Filter button.
  12. In the second row, click the cell in the State column and select Exclude.
  13. Set the component cell of the second row to Space.
  14. Click the cell in the Property column and click the Browse BROWSE button.
  15. In the Select Property dialog, select the Classification Property Group and select the Space Grouping classification in the Classification drop down. Click OK.

    Select Property Dialog - Space Grouping classification
    Select Property Dialog – Space Grouping classification
  16. Click the cell in the Operator column and select Is Defined.
    Information Takeoff Definition dialog - Rooms
    Information Takeoff Definition dialog – Rooms from an Architectural Model

    The Components Filter Parameters table should appear as the image above. The second row excludes spaces classified as Space Groups (e.g. gross or rentable areas from an area plan, which are not rooms).  This ITO should now only report rooms from an architectural model.NOTE: The Enable Grouping option was set to allow rooms to be grouped together on a single row in the ITO report.  When grouped, multiple components will reside on a single row based on a property (e.g. grouped by type).  Setting the option to One Component per Row, allows rows to report only a single component.

  17. Click OK to create the ITO definition.
  18. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Double-clicking a row in ITO
    Double-clicking a row in ITO

    In the Information Takeoff View, components are listed and grouped by their Component type (wall, door, space, etc.) and Type property.  The count column provides the total number of components in the row.  For example, there are 17 spaces within this model that are of the “2 Office” type.  Selecting rows in the Information Takeoff View isolates those components in the 3D View. If you double-click a row in the Information Takeoff View, the camera zooms to those components in the 3D view.

Sorting ComponentS Through column Order

Sorting the information in an ITO is simple, as the leftmost columns are sorted first.  In this section, we’ll add room name and room number property columns to our ITO and show by moving the columns left or right, the values are sorted based on values of those properties.

  1. Right-click in the Component column header to open the pop-up commands and select Edit Column.
    ITO pop-up commands
    ITO pop-up commands

    NOTE: Double-clicking the column header also edits the column.

  2. Select the Identification Column Type and select Name in the Identification drop-down box. Leave the Grouping check box enabled and the Sorting Order set to A -> Z. Click OK.

    Edit Column - Identification > Name
    Edit Column: Identification > Name
  3. Double-click the Type column header to edit the column.
  4. Select the Identification Column Type and select Number in the Identification drop-down box:

    Edit Column - Identification > Number
    Edit Column: Identification > Number
  5. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    ITO sorted by Name
    Rooms sorted by Name

    Notice the rows in the Information Takeoff View are sorted first by the Name and then by the Number in ascending order.  Note: You can quickly change the order to descending by right-clicking a column and selecting Z->A in the pop-up commands.

  6. Drag the Number column header left to place it before the Name column. Note: You can also move a column by right-clicking a column and selecting Move Column Left and Move Column Right.
  7. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    ITO sorted by Number
    Rooms sorted by Number

    Notice now the rooms are sorted first by their number, and then by their name.

Grouping

The concept of grouping components on a single row based on a property value reported in an ITO column may seem confusing at first glance; however, when understood, this feature becomes quite powerful.  When an ITO column has grouping enabled, all components that have that a unique value for that property reside on an individual row within the ITO view. When an ITO column does not have grouping enabled, components are grouped on the row based on whatever other columns have grouping enabled. For that row, if the value of the non-grouped column is text, all the different property values are listed in a single cell.  However, if the property value is a quantity, those values can have one of 4 functions performed on the values to create a single value in the cell:

  • Sum: The values for the property are added together and reported.
  • Maximum: The largest value of the property is reported.
  • Minimum: The smallest value of the property is reported.
  • Average: The average of all values of the property is reported.

In this section, we’ll show how the rows in the ITO view group rooms together based on whether grouping is enabled for the Space Usage classification, Number property, and Name property columns.  The end result will be an ITO with rooms grouped together on individual rows only based on their Space Usage classification in order to report the sum of the Area of rooms based on their space usage.

  1. Right-click the Number column header and select New Column.
  2. Select Classification as the Column Type and select the Space Usage classification in the Classification drop-down box. Leave the Grouping checkbox marked as this is the column we wish to group by.

    New Column - Classification > Space Usage
    New Column: Classification > Space Usage
  3. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Grouping on for Space Usage, Number, and Name
    Grouping enabled for Space Usage, Number, and Name

    Notice that even though grouping was enabled in the Space Usage column, since grouping is enabled in the Number column and each room has a unique number, each row reports a single space.

  4. Edit the Number column to turn grouping off and click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Grouping on for Space Usage and Name
    Grouping enabled for Space Usage and Name

    Notice now that spaces are grouped by both Space Usage and Name, since grouping is still enabled in the Name column.

  5. Edit the Name column to turn grouping off and click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Grouping on for Space Usage only
    Grouping enabled for Space Usage only

    Notice that each Space Usage of a space is grouped on a row and multiple numbers and names of spaces are reported on those rows.

  6. Right-click the Count column header and select New Column.
  7. Select the Quantity Column Type and select Area in the Quantity drop-down box.  Leave the Grouping check box unmarked and notice that the Function drop-down box is enabled and set to Sum.

    New Column - Quantity > Area
    New Column: Quantity > Area
  8. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Space Usage - Total Area
    Total Area of Space Usage

    In the Area column, the total area of each space is reported based on their Space Usage classification.  For example, the 18 Circulation Spaces in the model have a total area of 2404.12 sq ft.

  9. Edit the Area column to turn grouping on.  Notice that the Function drop-down is now disabled as each area value will grouped and reported on a single row.
  10. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Area with grouping on
    Area with grouping enabled

    Notice that there are 3 Circulation spaces named stair that each have the same area 142.08 sq ft.  This is not a sum of the area of the three spaces. If you select one of these spaces such as Stair[111] and check the Area in the Quantities tab of the Info View, you’ll see it has the value 142.08 sq ft.

    Area with grouping on
    Area of single space Stair[111] = 142.08 sq ft
  11. Edit the Area column to turn grouping off so that the sum of the area of each Space Usage is reported again.

VALUE BY COLUMN

Some of the properties of components that can be reported in an ITO are components themselves.  For example, Location properties include Building, Floor, Group, Site, Zone, and System that contain the components reported in the ITO.  Properties of these “container” components can also be reported through the Value By Column column attribute, by setting this drop-down box to the column that contains the components with the properties you wish to report.  In this section, we’ll add a column to report the floor that rooms reside on, and we’ll add a column to report the area of those floors by setting the Value by Column attribute to the column that reports the floor.

  1. Right-click the Space Usage column and select New Column.
  2. Select the Location Column Type and select Floor in the Location drop-down box.

    New Column - Location > Floor
    New Column: Location > Floor
  3. Right-click the Space Usage column and select New Column.
  4. Select the Quantity Column Type and select Area in the Quantity drop-down box.
  5. Importantly, select Floor in the Value by Column.
    New Column - Quantity > Area (Floor)
    New Column: Quantity > Area (Floor)

    If the Value by Column was left empty as by default, the column would report the sum of the area of each Space Usage on each floor.  By setting the Value by Column drop-down to Floor, the column reports the Area property of the floor container component reported in the Floor column.  This is an important concept as container components are not listed in the Select Component Type dialog of the Components Filter Parameter table of Information Takeoff Definition when creating your initial ITO.  The same method works to report properties of the building, floors group, site, systems, and zone that contain the components reported in the ITO definition.

  6. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.

    Floor area and Space Usage total area
    Floor area and Total Area of Space Usage on each floor

Color Column Type

You are able to visualize components in the 3D View with different colors based on the values of properties reporting in ITO.  Furthermore, you are able to use the colors specified in the classification settings of a classification by setting the Color column to that classification.

In this section, we’ll demonstrate coloring rooms in the model based on the floor they reside on as well as by their space usage.

  1. Double-click the Color column header to edit the column.
  2. Select the Floor column in the Value by Column drop-down box.

    Edit Column - Color - Floor
    Edit Column: Color > Floor
  3. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Color value by Floor
    Color value by Floor

    You can see space components have a random color based on the Floor they reside on.

  4. Select the Space Usage column in the Value by Column drop-down box.

    Edit Column - Color > Space Usage
    Edit Column: Color > Space Usage
  5. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Color Value by Space Usage
    Color Value by Space Usage

    You can see now that the space components have a specific color that is 50% transparent based on their Space Usage.  If you edit the classification settings of the Space Usage classification, and select the Settings tab, the colors set in the Default Classification Names table correspond to those colors in the Color column of the ITO definition.

    Classification Settings - Space Usage
    Classification Settings – Space Usage

Relation Column Type

Components have relation properties to other components that can be reported in an ITO. In the following section, we’ll add a column that uses the Nearest Spaces relation to report door components that are inside or touching rooms. We’ll then add a column to report the door operation by setting Value by Column attribute to the door column.

  1. Select any of the spaces, in the 3D View or Information Takeoff View.
  2. In the Info View, select the Relations tab, and expand the Nearest Space relation.
    Info View - Relations - Nearest Space
    Info View – Relations – Nearest Space

    Any components that are inside or touching the space are listed under Nearest Space. Also notice the arrow icons are pointing backward as this is a backward relation.  Components have a forward nearest space relation to their nearest space.  Spaces have a backward nearest space relation to components that are near them.

  3. Right-click the Color column header and select New Column.
  4. Select the Relation Column Type.
  5. Select Nearest Spaces in the Relation drop-down box.
  6. Select Door in the Component Type drop-down box.
  7. Select Backward in the Direction drop-down box.
  8. Mark the Grouping check box.

    New Column - Relations - Nearest Space
    New Column: Relations > Nearest Space
  9. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Doors by Space Usage
    Doors by Space Usage

    Notice that under each row that corresponds to a grouping of spaces based on Space Usage there is a row that corresponds to the doors contained within or enter/exit those spaces.

  10. Right-click the Color column header and select New Column.
  11. Select Identification Column Type, select Door in the Value by Column drop-down box, select Operation in the Identification drop-down box, and mark the Grouping check box.

    New Column - Identification > Operation (Door)
    New Column: Identification > Operation (Door)
  12. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Door Operation by Space Usage
    Door Operation by Space Usage

    Notice that doors are now grouped by their operation (e.g. Double Door Single Swing, Single Swing Left, etc.)

  13. Right-click the Color column header and select New Column.
  14. Select Component Count for the Column Type, and enter Door Count in the Name box.

    New Column - Component Count
    New Column: Component Count
  15. Click the Takeoff All Takeoff All button.
    Doors Counts by Space Usage
    Doors Counts by Space Usage

    The Information Takeoff is now reporting counts of the different door operations for each space usage on each floor.

  16. Since there is no classification for doors in the Space Usage classification, the doors have a yellow default color that isn’t prominent in the view.  In the Color column, double-click one of these yellow cells that correspond to a group of doors and set the color to Red in the Color Chooser dialog.  Now when you multi-select rows in the ITO for spaces and doors, the doors will stand out from the spaces in the 3D View.

    Multi-selecting rooms based on Space Usage and doors based on operation
    Multi-selecting rooms based on Space Usage and doors based on operation

Takeoff Selected

The Takeoff Selected button, updates the ITO View with only the components that are currently part of the selection basket. This is useful to quickly limit what is reported without requiring the Components Filter Parameters table to be updated within the ITO definition. In the following section, we’ll set the selection basket to only report the spaces and doors that reside on 1. First floor to produce a Microsoft Excel Worksheet.

  1. In the Information Takeoff View, select all rows (including rows for doors) that are contained on the floor:1. First floor.
  2. Click the Set to Selection Basket Set to Selection Basket button.
    Setting the Selection Basket to components on 1. First Floor
    Setting the Selection Basket to components on 1. First Floor

    The components reported on those rows in the Information Takeoff View are now set to the selection basket.  You can see them reported in the Selection Basket View.

  3. Click the Alternate Items Open Alternate Items button next to the Takeoff All Takeoff All button and click the Takeoff Selected Takeoff Selected button.
    Takeoff Selected - 1. First floor
    Takeoff Selected – 1. First floor

    The Information Takeoff View is now only reporting the spaces and doors on the floor: 1. First floor.

  4. Click the Report Information Takeoff Report ITO button. With the Plain Excel Report Report Option marked, save the report to an .xlsx file.
    Information Takeoff Report
    Information Takeoff Report

    The same information from the Information Takeoff View is reported.

Understanding Information Takeoff (ITO)