Managing Space Data within ARCHIBUS

Hello and welcome to my blog on managing your space data within ARCHIBUS. Before I begin, I’ll run through a couple of assumptions I am going to make about your level of knowledge:

 

1)  You have access to ARCHIBUS and have at least a basic understanding of how to navigate around the application.

2)  You or someone within your business structure uses CAD and doesn’t require any instruction in the uses of the software.

 

With Space Management there is in essence two main components to the process. The first is to record the data within the system (fundamentally it’s impossible to manage a set of data that simply doesn’t exist within the system), and the second is (once the data exists in the system) to keep it updated, as the physical space the data represents changes over time.

 

There are ultimately two methods of managing your space data within the ARCHIBUS application, and my assumptions likely gave away both. The first is to use ARCHIBUS Web Central, and the second is to use AutoCAD. Because there are two distinct methods, I will split the blog into two separate parts, beginning by looking at Web Central and following up by looking at space management through AutoCAD.


Web Central

Within Web Central, we will be looking at the space section of the application. Specifically, we will want to navigate through to Space Planning & Management, and then from there, we will want to select Space Inventory & Performance. Within here are the two sections that we will want to select further: they are Background Data and Room Inventory – Set Up & Manage.

 

Within these two tasks, we have the option to set up and create the space that we will be managing. First, we will be setting up the site, building and floor data; then we will be going into Room Inventory to set up the room data.


The process of setting up your data is thankfully simple. To set up the site, building and floor data select the ‘define locations’ view within Background Data, and on the left will be a tree showing all sites that sit within your system. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to start from scratch and create a new site, building and floor.


At the top of the tree on the left-hand side of the view is a button saying ‘add new’. Click on it and a drop down will appear with the option to add a new site, new building or new floor. To start we will create a new site- this creates the below options for the site. Once the data has been inputted, select the new site, and click ‘add new’ again, only this time we’ll be adding a new building. This will create the second view that allows you to further add the required information for the new building. Finally, within this view select the new building you’ve just built and click the ‘add new’ button again, this time so we can add a new floor or more. Once again a new set of selection boxes will appear and you can input the required details, shown below.


Site

 

Building

 

Floor

 

For all of the above, the required data is what the primary key is, and this is denoted within the application by a red asterisk by the field. For Site, this is the Site Code. For Building this is the Building Code and for Floor, this is the Floor Code. Building code is required for the floor ID as well; however, that is auto-filled as a result of your selecting the building before-hand. There are further options within the views that allow you to fill in extra data as well, however, this is not required, and in the case of the gross area data, it is recommended that this is left alone. The most accurate method of recording this is to use AutoCAD to calculate the data from accurate drawings made of the building itself.


The final piece of data that needs definition is the room data. To do this we need to go back to Space Inventory & Performance and then select the ‘Room Inventory – Set Up & Manage’, and within this task select the view called ‘Define Rooms’. Much like within the Define Locations view we have a tree on the left-hand side and a set of sites within that tree view. As we have just defined a new site, building and floors for that building we want to select within that tree view the building that the room belongs to, and then click the ‘add new’ button (much like before), select the ‘add new room’ option and a set of fields will appear much like above, that allow us to define the room data.


Room


 

Much like when defining the site, building and floor view; we have required fields and none required fields. The primary data we need to fill out is the Room Code. The other data that needs to be completed is the Building and Floor Codes, but due to the fact we select the Building and Floor that this is to be added to, this is auto-filled and greyed out so we can’t change it.


Within this view, there is the option to set the employee capacity of the room, and this is the point where space management somewhat begins to merge with employee management as well. This is why the Space Console has two sections attached to it devoted to either Space or Employee data.


So far all I’ve done is to define the space data itself, but also within these views (as can be seen in the above screenshots) the data can be amended and saved as the data around it changes. If the building name changes, then using the above building data view to change the name will concatenate down to the rooms and floors attached to the building so that the data around that is also changed and updated.


Also, should a room be merged with another, effectively removing it, the room can be deleted using the delete button at the top right of the data fields that are being added to and changed. A slight note of caution around this, should you be using the Building Operations module within the ARCHIBUS system: any work requests that are attached to the space that is about to be deleted may end up being orphaned data, and as such unable to complete due to no active SLA being able to govern them.


Before I proceed on to the second half of this blog, I would like to further mention the Space Console. I won’t go into detail as that is a blog in and of itself, but the Space Console is a tool that allows you to view quick reports on how your space is divided and utilised within the application. This is done by using the drawing files that are published within AutoCAD to create an intractable image of the space you’re managing within Web Central.


If you have the correct Security Group assigned to your User Role you can also use the Space Console to update and manage the room data much the same as you can in the define rooms view. Finally, once the view is set up correctly, the Space Console can be used to print out space reports of the building and floor you’re looking at.

 

AutoCAD

As I said earlier in this blog, I’m making the assumption that you or someone within your organisation uses AutoCAD on a semi-persistent basis, so I won’t go over how to use AutoCAD itself.


Once the user is set up as a CAD user within ARCHIBUS, you can link the application and the Space drawings into ARCHIBUS via the Smart Client. Simply log in to the Smart Client, change the version of AutoCAD to the one being used in the preferences, and then open AutoCAD with the drawing of the building/floor that you will be working on.


As you will be connected through to ARCHIBUS via the Smart Client, opening the drawing in AutoCAD will result in a property pop up so that the drawing gets linked to the correct building and floor combination. If the building and floor already exist within the application database, then you will be able to select the correct combination from a drop down. If not then you can enter in the details here, and the building and floor will be added to the database.



Once the drawing is attached to the building and floor within the space hierarchy, you open up the ARCHIBUS toolbar so that asset layers and data editing tools become available to you. Using these, we match the room data to the space hierarchy and also can edit the specific data that is attached to the rooms themselves.

This is done by importing in asset layers for the rooms table and then using the polyline tool to draw an outline of the available space that denotes the internal walls of the room. Once this is drawn, we can use the edit data tool to attach the newly created room asset within AutoCAD to the database using the polylines entity handle data as the linking key.

 



 

As can be seen in the above screenshot, the edit data view within AutoCAD has specific fields that must be filled out. Like Web Central, it has a red asterisk against it. The Building Code and the Floor Code will be auto-filled as the drawing is attached to that particular space hierarchy, the room code can either be typed in and added to the space hierarchy, or you can select values that already exist within the space hierarchy.

 


 

At the bottom of the edit data view, there is the room area, which has been measured by the application linking the closed polyline to ARCHIBUS. This is why I would recommend that the gross area is to not be filled out manually within Web Central, but that AutoCAD is used instead. This obviously relies on the AutoCAD drawing being accurate. Given that most (if not all) are provided by the architects that built the building, they should be reliable.


Now that we have the rooms attached as a full asset within the drawing, we can manage the space itself. As the space changes and adapts, then the data that is attached to each of the room assets can be changed using AutoCAD and the Smart Client link. Simply utilise Edit Data once again- as you did before- to add the data into the space hierarchy.


Should a room be chopped and changed to accommodate differing circumstances, then to update the data within ARCHIBUS all you have to do is amend the drawing and update the poly-lined assets within ARCHIBUS before using the catalogue to update the data within the Database and Web Central.


This has been a not-so-brief overview of aspects of space management within ARCHIBUS using Web Central or AutoCAD. As mentioned above, there are other methods of managing it all, but due to the length of this blog already, they will have to be covered separately within another blog at another time.

 

If you would like any more information regarding this blogs topic, please don't hesitate in contacting the MASS Technical Services Team. We are available on 0118 977 8560 or email us at news@mass-plc.com to find out more.


 



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