Everything we do in ARCHICAD relies on Attributes. Some elements rely on only one or two and others rely on nearly all of them. 95% of ARCHICAD Users go day by day interacting with them truly not understanding their capabilities and their limitations and risks. Over the next three instalments I will explain the following about Attributes.

  • What is an Attribute
  • How Attributes relate to one another
  • How to manage attributes when working with multiple files
  • How to manage attributes when working with different templates (upgrading)
  • How to manage attributes when collaborating in IFC

What is an Attribute

An Attribute by definition in computing, is a piece of information that determines the property of a field or tag in a database. Within ARCHICAD we place a variety of digital elements to represent / explain our Architectural designs to a variety of different stakeholders. The following are treated as Attributes within ARCHICAD.

  • Layers
  • Layer Combinations
  • Pens
  • Pensets
  • Lines
  • Fills
  • Composites
  • Complex Profiles
  • Surfaces
  • Building Materials
  • Zone Categories
  • Cities
  • Operational Profiles
  • Renovation Status

How Attributes relate to one another

Attributes not only stand alone as a parameter / description / data representation but they also in many cases rely on other Attributes to function correctly. In one of my first ever posts I talked about Building Materials being the Super Attribute and that still remains. But Users need to be aware of all of the relationships to prevent problems occurring within their files. A future post will explain suggested processes to manage Attributes but this introductory post hopefully will bring more awareness of the complexity of the relationships between Attributes.

Below is a relationship diagram showing the parent attribute, the one that the user is using to obtain an output on the right side and the related attributes and their connections building out from the left side of the attribute.

As you can see above there are a number of complex relationships between attributes and when working with / building attributes in your template you need to create them in their order in which they are required to be referred too. Before starting to create your own attributes you should start outside of ARCHICAD in a spreadsheet / database and map out your desired data / graphical outputs and build your attributes up from there.

In the next post I will share how I handle attributes in multiple files and how to upgrade projects that use different templates.