Open BIM Construction Systems

Update history

The mode of communication between Open BIM applications and the collaborative work platform has changed. In previous versions, the applications used the " Sync" tool to upload and download the files of the contributions associated with the project from the platform. This tool was downloaded from the platform or installed together with the installation of the platform applications if users so desired.

From version 2024.a onwards, applications are now able to work directly with without an intermediary. That is, without the need for the " Sync" tool.

This modification will improve the performance and efficiency of Open BIM applications significantly. By removing this dependency, the applications have more autonomy and the waiting times for communication between Sync and the program have been considerably reduced. The process of downloading contributions has also been optimised, as users no longer need to obtain the entire content of a project from in order to work, but only the contributions to be read.

The way of authenticating a user in the applications has also been modified. Now, this process is carried out within the web platform. To do this, the application with which the user is working will run the user's default browser when the "Login" button is pressed. When the credentials are entered, or after opening the browser if the user is already connected to the platform, an authorisation page will be displayed. This page details the resources the application is requesting access to and two buttons for granting or denying this access.

The authorisation must be carried out for each application. Once access has been granted, it is saved for the next time the program is run and there is no need to perform this process again for that application.

As well as performance improvements, changes have been made to the user interface of the Open BIM applications regarding the connection to

  • The "Connect to" window now includes a "Configuration" button. Clicking it launches a menu from which you can edit the "File directory stored in local cache". This is the path where the files that make up the contributions will be downloaded when working with them from the applications. In previous versions, this location could be selected from the Sync tool.
  • The appearance of the "Project selection" window has been modified.
  • In the "Select project" list, the "View only my projects" option has been added to show only the projects where the connected user is the owner. Icons have also been included for the "Type of project" column in order to make it easier to identify them. The detailed data of a project now shows the image of each contribution, the description and the tags.
  • The "Review new contributions" and "Review updated contributions" options have been added to the "Create new project" window.
  • The list for selecting contributions ("Import BIM models") now includes the images of the contributions and the tags. The name of the contribution will be displayed in blue to indicate that the owner is the logged-in user.
  • When sharing a contribution or selecting contributions during the process of linking to a project, a progress window will appear during the upload or download process.

To work in with versions of Open BIM applications prior to 2024.a, users must continue to use the Sync tool. This is still available for download from the platform and was included in the installation packages of the CYPE Open BIM applications prior to 2024.a.

As of version 2023.e, some CYPE applications have a new dockable window system that replaces the main screen user interface. As a result, users can now customise the workspace to suit their needs.

The list of applications that have this dockable window system appears at the end of this new feature. In future versions, the number of applications with this window system will be increased.

Dockable windows can be moved and resized. They can be either floating windows, pinned to a location within the application's main dialogue box, dragged outside of it, or even moved to another monitor.

  • Move windows
    A docked window can be moved by clicking on the title bar at the top of the window and dragging it.

    When dragging a dockable window, several visual aids are displayed to make its relocation easier. Next to the cursor, a text box appears containing the title of the dockable window being moved. Whenever the cursor approaches the edge of another window, a box appears showing a preview of the space it would occupy.

    It is possible to leave a window as a floating window without docking it to another window, and it is also possible to dock windows within a floating window. Holding down the CTRL key can prevent a floating window from being docked while it is being moved.

  • Group windows
    It is possible to group several windows in the same space by dragging one window to the top left-hand corner or to the bottom left-hand corner of another window. When this is carried out, tabs will appear at the bottom or top of the group, allowing users to alternate between the grouped windows. If the tabs are at the bottom, the title of the group of windows corresponds to the active window. On the other hand, if the tabs are at the top, they will be used as the title.

  • Show/Hide windows
    The icon to close the window can be found in the top right-hand corner of each dockable window.

    To manage the display of the dockable windows in the user interface, a "Window" button () has been added to the application environment, next to the "General Settings" button (icons on the top right-hand side of the program). By clicking on it, a drop-down menu appears with the available dockable windows and users are able to change their status. In addition, there is the "Reset Window Layout" option which allows users to restore the default workspace.

    In some cases, such as the "Work area" of applications with a 3D environment, the window cannot be hidden. In these cases, the icon for closing the window is not displayed and, in the "Window" menu (), the "Work area" will be locked.

  • Collapse windows
    When several dockable windows are arranged vertically, an icon is displayed, next to the close icon, which allows each window to be expanded or collapsed. When the window is collapsed, it will return to its previous size.

The window layout and display settings are saved when closing the application.

It is important to note that not all floating windows in an application are dockable windows. In order to tell them apart, the icon has been added to the title bar of windows that are dockable.

The following applications now include the new floating window environment in version 2023.e:

  • AcouBAT by CYPE
  • CYPE Architecture
  • CYPE Connect
  • CYPEHVAC Hydronics 3D
  • CYPEPLUMBING Water Systems
  • Open BIM Analytical Model
  • Open BIM Construction Systems
  • Open BIM COVID-19
  • Open BIM Layout
  • Open BIM Lightning
  • Open BIM Quantities
  • Open BIM Site
  • StruBIM Steel
  • The floating window environment also includes the "Bill of Quantities" tab in all applications that have this tab.

As of version 2023.e, Open BIM Construction Systems allows users to import and export several construction solutions simultaneously from the element list of a category (façades, screeds, curtain walls, etc.).

This way, users don't need to carry out the process for each construction solution individually, thus making it easier to reuse the same systems in several projects.

Since version 2022.a, the applications integrated within the Open BIM workflow via the platform include a tool for managing project reference systems. This option is available from the configuration window that appears when linking or updating a project via the "Geographic location and reference system" option. As of version 2023.d, the applications now allow users to run a graphical environment where they can visually define a reference system for their model. To do this, the "Geographic location and reference system" window now contains the "Visual editing of the local reference system of the model" option.

From the "Visual editing of the local reference system of the model" window, the origin and orientation of the reference system of the model can be indicated in the workspace with the "Define the reference system of the partial model" tool. Both the axes of the reference system of the model, which we have just entered and the axes of the reference system of the site can be viewed in the workspace. The latter appears with a "Site" tag.

To make it easier to define the reference system, the 3D models corresponding to the project contributions selected during the linking process are displayed. The management of the visibility and object snaps of these models is carried out from the "Elements read" menu in the left sidebar of the window. The "Views" menu can also be found in the same options bar, from which different types of 2D and 3D views of the model can be generated. These tools can already be found in several CYPE applications. For more information on how they work, please refer to the User’s Manual for the 3D work environment tools available in CYPE applications.

Apart from 3D models, 2D drawings or plans can also be imported from CAD files (".dxf", ".dwg", ".dwf") or images (".jpeg", ".jpg", ".bmp", ".png", ".wmf", ".emf", ".pcx"). These files and object snaps are managed through the "DXF-DWG Template" and "Template object snaps" options accordingly.

Once the editing is complete, the coordinates and orientation of the reference system of the model with respect to the reference system of the site are moved to the corresponding fields in the "Geographic location and reference system" window.

The "Font size" option has been added to the general configuration menu of the applications. This tool allows users to increase or decrease the basic size of the font used in the user interface of the programs. Thanks to this implementation, the accessibility of the applications has been improved while also ensuring the correct visibility of the content on devices with different screen resolutions.

To enter a "Basic size" the "Set custom font size" option must be checked. The size users can enter is the application's basic font size. Any other font sizes that may exist in the program's interface will be automatically modified proportionally according to the change in the basic size.

It is important to note that, as this is a common parameter, its modification will affect all installed CYPE tools.

The "Thermal insulation" section of the technical data associated with curtain wall construction systems has been modified. It is now equivalent to that of glazed openings and has the following parameters:

  • Glazing
    • Thermal transmittance
    • Solar factor

  • Fittings
    • Opening opaque fraction
    • Thermal transmittance
    • Absorption coefficient

  • Additional data

Since version 2023.a, Open BIM Construction Systems allows the technical data of construction systems to be exported for thermal and acoustic analysis applications. Consequently, these new parameters can be read and incorporated into the design model of these tools.

In previous versions of the application, after being linked to the project, all exterior exposed floor slabs entered in the architectural model were added to the "Roofs" group. As of version 2023.b, Open BIM Construction Systems includes the "Exterior floor slabs" category in the "Building envelope" section. This group includes the floor slabs that are exposed to the exterior and that have not been defined as roofs. This new category is incorporated into the documents generated by the program and is exported when the model is shared in the project.

Thermal and acoustic simulation applications will now interpret these construction systems as floor slabs instead of roofs.

A new tool has been implemented in the user interface that is common in Open BIM applications with a 3D working environment. Now, the management of the elements from the digital model of the building, which comes from the associated project, is carried out from the "Elements read" menu located in the left sidebar of the application. 

The elements read are structured in the form of a tree based on two classification types: "Models" and "Categories". The organisation by "Models" allows users to inspect each contribution linked to the job and each associated 3D model within it. On the other hand, the "Categories" group the "Elements read" into families according to their features. Next to each tree component, three buttons are displayed to control the visibility, the display mode (solid, transparent or wire) and the object snap. It should be noted that the organisational settings applied to the organisation by "Models" prevail over those indicated by "Categories".

Applications can have default visibility and object snap settings when creating a new view. Furthermore, when entering new components with the tools in the program, the application itself can force the activation or deactivation of the visibility and object snaps of certain categories. When this happens, a yellow padlock will be displayed next to the set options. When users finish using the tool, the tree will return to its original state.

In previous versions, the management of the visibility of BIM project models was carried out in the configuration panel of a view. As a consequence of this improvement, editing is now managed from the "Elements read" menu in the left sidebar and has therefore been removed from the previous location. However, in the editing panel of a view users can indicate whether the view should have its own configuration for viewing these elements or whether it should use the general configuration of the job. For this purpose, the "Use a specific view configuration for the view" option has been added. When this option is active, the "View" text will appear in the "Elements read" menu.

In addition to the component tree of the external models, the "Elements read" menu includes a toolbar with a group of buttons that allow the following actions to be carried out:

  • Isolate selection
    Allows elements from the 3D model to be isolated. Users can select the elements of the 3D model that they wish to isolate and when right-clicking on them, the rest of the elements from the model will disappear.

  • Hide
    Allows the selected elements to be hidden. Users can select the elements from the 3D model that they wish to hide and by right-clicking on them, they will disappear.

  • Show all
    Shows all hidden elements.

  • Aspect
    Allows users to choose between normal drawing or monochrome drawing.

  • BIM information
    Displays a panel showing the attributes associated with the selected component.

In version 2023.a, the management of visibility and object snaps of external elements is available in the following CYPE Open BIM applications:

  • CYPE Architecture
  • CYPELEC Distribution
  • CYPELEC Electrical Mechanisms
  • CYPELEC PV Systems
  • CYPEPLUMBING Water Systems
  • Open BIM Analytical Model
  • Open BIM Construction Systems
  • Open BIM COVID-19
  • Open BIM Lightning
  • Open BIM Sampling
  • Open BIM Site

As of version 2023.a, "Open BIM Construction Systems" can share the complete technical data of the construction solutions entered in the job in the project. This information can be displayed in the 3D view of the applications as well as in the web viewer of the platform.

The applications can use the technical data to complete the parameters of the models. The CYPE Open BIM applications currently capable of reading and incorporating the construction systems from "Open BIM Construction Systems" in their analysis model are as follows:

  • Thermal simulation
    • CYPETHERM RT2012
    • CYPETHERM RTExistant
    • CYPETHERM RE2020

  • Acoustic simulation

Acoustic simulation tools can read the fields available within the "Sound insulation" tab of the technical data editing panel, while thermal simulation applications can read the fields available within the "Thermal insulation" tab. In order for the applications to be able to read the technical data, they must be running version 2023.a or higher.