Workflow: Building Costs/Volume

This project has three houses with six floors, 32 appartements, shops and an underground garage.

Start modelling only the outside parameters for houses, length, width and height.
Before copying groups to the next floor, make shure all nested instances are on the layer you want. Moving a group or component will only show the first Level of instance moved, it‘s empty. So move nested Instances again. Don‘t leave any faces our edges in Layer0 not to loose control of the building.

Before copying a building part to the next floor name the Instance in Entity Info just to save time. You can also do it later.

Make sure all building parts are solid and show the Entity Volume in Entity Info. If not check with Model Info and purge. Maybe the plugins Solidinspector or Cleanup will help.

Generate a Report.
You will still find some volumes that show 0 cubic m. You can‘t see it in the model but easily find the position shown in Report. Mostly Edges are broken in two or three parts and been covered by another edge to fix it. Erase them all and make one new edge. The Instance turns solid and shows the Volume.

Generate a Report.
Select the Report Attributes you need. At this time don‘t move the Attributes vertical. All items will move to the first line. Save the Report to the model so you don‘t have to select the Attributes again. Download in .csv-format and open it with your spreadsheet program.

In the column Entity Volume select all „cubic m“ and replace them with nothing.
Now you can make a summary of the column.

Maybe you need strict calculation for official permit or client, make Scenes of the model for LayOut and dimension it. Both calculations differ a bit. The spreadsheet shows Volume by floors, Report shows Volume by houses, nice crosscheck.

All faces and edges should be left in Layer0, only the containers (group/component) should be moved to other layers…


Have fun by finding the changes you have to make about cost control. You don’t see what you get und don’t get what you see.

You can change the layer of loose geometry, but you should really know what you are doing.
A general advice to change the layer of loose geometry in a tutorial that might be read by a lot of beginners isn’t a good idea I think.

Here’s a nice blog entry about this topic:


Who’s talking about loose geometry? Does it have a volume?

Creating a building you really should know what you are doing. It’s not a table.

I completly agree, it’s a mess nobody can read. No way to compare with the calculation you made.

You are!

Faces and Edges are loose geometry. Groups and Components aren’t loose geometry.

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That’s right. They turn loose and fall back to the Layer came from, because they didn’t move with the container. That’s why you have to move it twice. Nothing to do with Layer0.

To understand how it works. First move for the visibility, second move for the accessibility.

The video shows the visibility, at about 4:30 the accessibility.

The fifth image in first post has been updated in SU2017-M2. Angels are at work and make me beleave in SU again.

To solve the Layer issues I fixed it with TIG’s LayerWatcher from ScetchUcation.
The wiseguys can’t follow my workflow. No need to jump in and tare uses down to your knowlegde level if you don’t know what you are talking about, it’s no help. Like yourself somewere else.