How to split Square Footage in a condo unit?


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I'm working on a 4 unit and 5 unit condo project. 

After spending forever and a half adjusting the ceiling heights for the stepped units. I'm now having a hard time getting Chief to understand that they are "separate buildings". I just want the total areas, and the schedules to think of each unit as separate buildings. Right now it groups the entire floor area. Is there anyway to do this? Some way I can get Chief to see the individual units as separate buildings? Or am I whistlin dixie?

 

I'm using Premier x12

 

Thanks for your help

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Chief Architect software does not, is not capable of understanding or knowing ANYTHING!!!

It is merely a mechanical or robotic tool that implements ONLY what it is ordered to do and NOTHING else. It follows settings in Default Settings and Dialog boxes, so if the settings are wrong you do not get what you wish, rather you get what the settings dictate. It is pre programmed to consider all structures in a  plan file are the same structure, so as I said the settings per space determine the outcome. Dealing with a mechanical object you merely persist until you obtain compliance from a purely mechanical device.

 

DJP

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1 hour ago, AtlasBuildingGp said:

Right now it groups the entire floor area. Is there anyway to do this? Some way I can get Chief to see the individual units as separate buildings? Or am I whistlin dixie?

 

Both of the previous replies are correct.  However if this is something you intend to do more than once there are other ways to achieve what you want, particularly if all the units are the same size which would make it fairly simple to sort out.  Let me know if I can help.

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34 minutes ago, Chopsaw said:

 

 

2 hours ago, DavidJPotter said:

Chief Architect software does not, is not capable of understanding or knowing ANYTHING!!!

It is merely a mechanical or robotic tool that implements ONLY what it is ordered to do and NOTHING else. It follows settings in Default Settings and Dialog boxes, so if the settings are wrong you do not get what you wish, rather you get what the settings dictate. It is pre programmed to consider all structures in a  plan file are the same structure, so as I said the settings per space determine the outcome. Dealing with a mechanical object you merely persist until you obtain compliance from a purely mechanical device.

 

DJP

I understand it is a software program. I was looking for a way to trick the program into reading the single building as multiple. Not because I think it is sentient. If your draw two different buildings in one plan file, it will give you two different total "Living Area" tags regardless of the walls inside, however once the two buildings are connected the total Living Areas merge. I was trying to separate the total "Living Area" but with connected party walls. I was looking for a setting or "split" of some kind. So the program would read it as separate buildings, with multiple total "Living Area" tags. I know I can manually find it for each unit. But I was hopping to have the computer just updated the information for me automatically. 

 

I do not plan on doing multi family often, This is the first time I have done one using Chief. And was having a hard time achieving the result I was looking for, Hence my question. 

2 hours ago, joey_martin said:

Area polylines reporting to a custom schedule.

 

Thanks I will use this for schedules. I just wish it could read the units as separate buildings, to update automatically as I am still in the engineering design faze.

From what I can tell, Multi family is not one of Chiefs strong points. 

 

Thank for the replies. 

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One idea, and I haven't tried it yet but....

 

How are you separating the units? Is there 1 common wall or did you leave an air gap? If there is a way to break the walls at that gap and make a small "invisible" wall or a wall marked as "no room definition" then perhaps....perhaps....it would read that air gap as a break in the units and give the multiple living area tags.

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46 minutes ago, glennw said:

Joey,

The big problem with doing that is you stuff up the auto processes like roofs, foundations, floors...etc.

Unless you have all those completed before separating the units.

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On 8/5/2022 at 1:52 PM, AtlasBuildingGp said:

I'm working on a 4 unit and 5 unit condo project. 

After spending forever and a half adjusting the ceiling heights for the stepped units. I'm now having a hard time getting Chief to understand that they are "separate buildings". I just want the total areas, and the schedules to think of each unit as separate buildings. Right now it groups the entire floor area. Is there anyway to do this? Some way I can get Chief to see the individual units as separate buildings? Or am I whistlin dixie?

 

I'm using Premier x12

 

Thanks for your help

So your are doing one building with multiple units, or maybe separate units, or both, in the same plan. But it sounds like one structure, separated into units by party walls. I am assuming you want this for both marketing and unit costing information. I too, am always looking to get the most out of CA in these areas. If I understand the need, this can be done as required, just not automatically.

 

You can tweak schedules to do rooms. You can also use macros on the plan and in the materials lists. I have included a sample plan that shows:

  1. Single structure broken into units via a custom room type called Condo, with different labels. The party walls are fire walls. In FL, many two story have to have parapet walls, regardless of a flat roof or not (sometimes you see the wall sticking out of the roof, but a fire rated demising wall in the attic). 
  2. Separate structure of same type as #1.
  3. Example wall and window schedules, you can assign a schedule to a "unit". You can see the differences in the schedules. You can also add custom elements to objects and schedules. In my case I assign wind load "pressures". This is done in the multi-unit and standalone scenario.
  4. It also shows the use of macros within each unit that tells the room type, and sq footage. Macros, and the use of Ruby can be very powerful. This is also done in the multi-unit and standalone scenario.

 

So the end game is assign each unit a room type of "condo" with a separate label, and then use room/floor specific schedules and macro placement. You can also then do "rollups" per floor of all units, etc. It is not perfect, but its usable. The only other way I can see is a separate plan per unit (not bad if not in a single building), and then combine that onto a layout for the whole project.

 

It is not easy to learn where CA starts and stops. But over time you do, the key as I just learned (again this AM) is to understand the limitations and go from there. It is a great drafting tool overall. I used to get stuck on every plan, now its about 1 in 10, and the forum and trainers have never let me down. Great trainers on this forum, well worth the money to move fast.

CondoIdeas.plan

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What I have been doing is a plan file for each unique unit.

Once the shell, interior walls & basic cabinets are done I create a combined plan file for building plan view & building elevations.

Then I flush out the separate unit plans with electrical, plumbing, framing.

The gotcha is if you need to change the exterior at all, it becomes a tedious job.

 

 

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An update,.... I woke up and said to myself, what happens in you make interior rooms to a condo unit?

 

Well, if you make a new room within a unit, it still works as CA will pick up into the schedules rooms within a room. Even if those interior rooms within a room are of a different type. Notice the interior-4 walls on the left and right condo units.  Condo on left has interior room for type closet, on right the room is still condo with a different label, so it works ok.

 

So this cut the mustard? Updated plan is attached (I had the wall schedule on the left assigned to the wrong room in the prior upload as well). It seems to me you could design different elevations, room heights, all the standard stuff, and get what you want. I just did the middle unit as a different ceiling height and it works ok.

 

 

CondoIdeas.plan

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Actually there is the Room Finish Schedule that is ever closer. Too bad it does not seem to roll-up like room sq-ft in contained rooms within the room you select like a sub-report., as It does appear to for walls in the wall schedule. As Eric points out in the video, rollup calculations do seem like a basic thing that would be most beneficial. I assume the schedules are doing a very similar thing with macros under the covers to extract the object information into the schedule.

 

The polyline is slick, and probably more flexible. However I am seeing other problems with it. I made a custom schedule for the polylines, only the labels for normal polylines show up, the Make living area tool polylines are not, making the schedule difficult to use (note labels in schedule below). The speed of the tool is cool for doing other things maybe. But for the purposes of marketing, material rollups per unit, I an not see any difference from the Room Finish Schedule. Perhaps I am missing something in the edit tooling polyline labeling. Plan is attached with these polylines.

 

Regardless, both methods can get quite tedious at scale. ACSDucers is another way to handle the scale if things stay the same. I think the real answer is a robust Ruby/macro scrip that crawls the plan and does what you want.  Apparently several members produce them. 

 

Screenshot 2022-08-10 222013.png

CondoIdeas.plan

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There are several ways, many of which have already been mentioned directly or alluded to.  One that hasn't been mentioned though is to simply use a Custom Schedule.  Just make sure all rooms in any given unit are set to report to a Schedule using a Custom Schedule Category and then set your schedule to report only that one Category.  Make sure your schedules for each unit are set to report a Totals Row and there you have it.  In fact, if you set your Schedule to Swap Rows/Columns and then Right justify the schedule text then your total will always remain in the exact same location so that you can simply use a cropped layout box or you could even mask it.  This approach can be used to tabulate all sorts of things.  The 2 key elements though are:

  1. Having your objects report to the appropriate Category/Categories
  2. Having your schedule only report the appropriate Category/Categories

The tip regarding swapping rows/columns and right justifying isn't necessary, but it will help you not have to reposition your schedule after any changes to the plan have been made.

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1 hour ago, Alaskan_Son said:

There are several ways, many of which have already been mentioned directly or alluded to.  One that hasn't been mentioned though is to simply use a Custom Schedule.  Just make sure all rooms in any given unit are set to report to a Schedule using a Custom Schedule Category and then set your schedule to report only that one Category.  Make sure your schedules for each unit are set to report a Totals Row and there you have it.  In fact, if you set your Schedule to Swap Rows/Columns and then Right justify the schedule text then your total will always remain in the exact same location so that you can simply use a cropped layout box or you could even mask it.  This approach can be used to tabulate all sorts of things.  The 2 key elements though are:

  1. Having your objects report to the appropriate Category/Categories
  2. Having your schedule only report the appropriate Category/Categories

The tip regarding swapping rows/columns and right justifying isn't necessary, but it will help you not have to reposition your schedule after any changes to the plan have been made.

The Alaskan_Son strikes again!

 

Nice trick, thanks, did not think of that. That will do nicely on the totals for the permitting cover page :-). 

 

I think the OP might have wanted a breakdown by "unit", which in my model would be one unit and contained rooms only in that condo, and a unit could be multi-floor for sure. Got any ideas, its a valid ask. I guess you could make a custom schedule per unit. Can you subtotal and then total in a schedule? I have not seen that.

Screenshot 2022-08-11 204549.png

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16 hours ago, PMMully said:

Nice trick, thanks, did not think of that. That will do nicely on the totals for the permitting cover page :-). 

 

I think the OP might have wanted a breakdown by "unit", which in my model would be one condo and contained rooms only in that condo. 

Screenshot 2022-08-11 204549.png

 

Not sure you quite followed.  You can use separate schedules for each unit.  Here's a quick example plan:

pic.thumb.jpg.243282c4c39d173dc1b3845759e09ec6.jpg

Test.plan

 

Also, just a side note, but I would suggest you abandon your "contained rooms" train of thought.  The concept very quickly comes crashing down when:

  • the overall footprint of the unit doesn't actually "contain" one of its rooms
  • there is no overriding large room or when there are adjacent rooms of equal size
  • when a the largest room is broken up into smaller rooms using room dividers
  • when there are rooms inside of rooms inside of rooms
  • when the largest room is surrounded by smaller rooms
  • etc.
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1 hour ago, Alaskan_Son said:

 

Not sure you quite followed.  You can use separate schedules for each unit.

 

Also, just a side note, but I would suggest you abandon your "contained rooms" train of thought.  The concept very quickly comes crashing down when:

  • the overall footprint of the unit doesn't actually "contain" one of its rooms
  • there is no overriding large room or when there are adjacent rooms of equal size
  • when a the largest room is broken up into smaller rooms using room dividers
  • when there are rooms inside of rooms inside of rooms
  • when the largest room is surrounded by smaller roooms
  • etc.

Here's a quick example plan:

pic.thumb.jpg.243282c4c39d173dc1b3845759e09ec6.jpg

Test.plan 3.29 MB · 0 downloads

I follow on the separate schedules, crisscrossed on my response update before you saw it.

 

If you say to drop it, I will :-) 

 

The custom schedule was a good idea for other uses though. 

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17 hours ago, PMMully said:

The Alaskan_Son strikes again!

 

Nice trick, thanks, did not think of that. That will do nicely on the totals for the permitting cover page :-). 

 

I think the OP might have wanted a breakdown by "unit", which in my model would be one unit and contained rooms only in that condo, and a unit could be multi-floor for sure. Got any ideas, its a valid ask. I guess you could make a custom schedule per unit. Can you subtotal and then total in a schedule? I have not seen that.

Screenshot 2022-08-11 204549.png

 

18 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:

There are several ways, many of which have already been mentioned directly or alluded to.  One that hasn't been mentioned though is to simply use a Custom Schedule.  Just make sure all rooms in any given unit are set to report to a Schedule using a Custom Schedule Category and then set your schedule to report only that one Category.  Make sure your schedules for each unit are set to report a Totals Row and there you have it.  In fact, if you set your Schedule to Swap Rows/Columns and then Right justify the schedule text then your total will always remain in the exact same location so that you can simply use a cropped layout box or you could even mask it.  This approach can be used to tabulate all sorts of things.  The 2 key elements though are:

  1. Having your objects report to the appropriate Category/Categories
  2. Having your schedule only report the appropriate Category/Categories

The tip regarding swapping rows/columns and right justifying isn't necessary, but it will help you not have to reposition your schedule after any changes to the plan have been made.

 

You guys rock, This will do most of what I was asking! I am a learn as I go chief user, and I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. Previous line of work was CAD and Revit only. So I get hung up on trying to make the program do what I want with old info. lol. 

 

This will work for all my doors, windows, electrical and so on, if I understand it right!!! Thanks! 

I can make custom schedules that are per unit and just link the crap out of it. 

 

Also, macros are intimidating and I will likely steer clear for a bit. 

 

I appreciate everyone's suggestions, Thanks!! 

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