Creating New Elements

Editing Commands
File Maintenance
Creating New Elements
Master Libraries
Formulae Functions & Operators
Filing Utilities
Element Schedules
Room Data
Running Calculix
Worked-Up Data
Vertical Data
Site Layout
General Bill Data


New Elements

  1. Creating new elements
  2. Element categorisation
  3. Elements Using External References
  4. Elements Using Adjustment Codes
  5. Self-Contained Elements
  6. Wall Shell Elements
  7. Notes on Walls in Elements


Creating new elements

This Chapter describes how to go about creating a brand new Element from scratch. It is usually more convenient to edit an existing Element, even if it is quite a bit different from the one required, rather than create a new one from nothing.


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Element categorisation

First of all it is necessary to establish the type of Element that is being measured. For this purpose it is necessary to identify four different types of Element that use different features of the system.


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Elements Using External References

Elements whose item quantities require External references to produce the appropriate quantity are one group. The external references involved are, of course, ga na fa pr sh fh ff ch il ml ol. Since each room has only one set of ga na fa pr sh fh ff and ch any formula utilising these external references will obtain the correct value irrespective of the input location of the Element Code. With Walls, however, there is a different set of dimensions, il ml ol, for each side of the room and to obtain the correct values when processing an Element it is essential that the Element is located underneath the appropriate Wall on the Room Data Worksheet.

It follows, therefore, that where two individual items refer to different Wall Lengths of a room, they must normally be contained in separate Elements so that they can each be located under the relevant Wall Length.

NOTE In rectangular rooms the length of the adjacent wall can be obtained by dividing the area of the room by the length of the current wall.

ie il (next) = na/il ; ol (next) = ga/ol


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Elements Using Adjustment Codes

The Adjustment Code is used to automatically alter the quantity of an item that has already been measured elsewhere. Elements which include items which use the Adjustment Code feature to adjust an item in a Wall Shell Element must be located underneath the same Wall Shell Element. This location must also be acceptable to all other items in the Element.


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Self-Contained Elements

Self contained elements are those which contain formulae which are calculated entirely from dimensions contained on the Element Worksheet (i.e. internal references ) and which do not use the adjustment code facility. These elements can be located anywhere on the Room Data Worksheet.


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Wall Shell Elements

In addition to the above, it is also helpful to identify whether or not the Element is a Wall Shell Element because in this case the special fields containing the Effective thickness (w) and the Wall Type (h) must also be completed before the Room data check can be successfully carried out. The wall type entry is normally ii for internal walls and xi for external walls.

From the above classification it is now possible to decide where the Element will be inserted on the Room Data Worksheet and this will ensure that the Element is processed correctly.

Now proceed with the "take-off" as follows :-

1. Schedule the measurable items on the left-hand side of the Worksheet with a brief explanation of each item.

2. For Shell Elements, enter the Adjustment code AC against each item where appropriate. The first character must be either W, F or C for Wall, Floor or Ceiling. The second character defines the functional layer of the item concerned, e.g.

B = Base;
F = Finish;
D = Decoration;
S = Skirting etc..
C = Cove
A = External Angle

Each Adjustment code can be attached to as many items as required.

When an item is required to make an adjustment to a Shell Item, simply input the Adjustment Code in the AC column and make the desired formula entry. It is not necessary to enter the appropriate Description Code, as calculix will find this automatically.

3. An additional kind of adjustment code is available where the required item is included in an Ordinary Element and not a shell element. In this case the first character must be an E for Element. In all other respects the process is the same as above, i.e. one entry must contain both the full item code AND the appropriate adjustment code (starting with E) and then other items need only to refer to the adjustment code.

NOTE that in this case the fully coded item can occur in any Element under the appropriate wall and, therefore, if two fully coded items are included accidentally the computer has no way of knowing which is correct.

This facility is specifically intended for wall decoration so that it need not form a part of the wall element and yet can still be adjusted by windows, doors etc..

4.Enter any appropriate dimensions for the item in the dimension fields. Any of the fields can be used but it is essential to ensure that like items in different Elements are always entered in exactly the same way because the system will regard similar items with dimensions entered in different fields as being different items, even though their printed description is identical. For this reason it is preferred to always enter the dimensions starting in the leftmost field. In this way there is no special significance to the context of l, w and h, except to identify the three columns.

The dimensions must be entered in metres and decimal parts of a metre. Trailing zeros are not required.

If a relevant dimension is required in a formula but not wanted as part of the Description, it should be entered with a leading minus or an asterisk sign. The leading sign will be ignored when using the dimension in Formulae and the dimension will be disregarded when the Description is produced.

5.Enter the Description Item Code of the item. See the Description Code Section for details, but remember that each item must contain the full code, containing all Description Codes which contribute to its position in the Bill.

6.Enter the unit of the Item in the Unit field. The Unit should be one of those contained in the Unit Table and where used calculix will convert the Code into the text format shown in the Table. Any Units inserted which are not shown on the Table will be printed out in the Bill exactly as entered.

7.Check that the sign column is correct. There is no default and so a sign must be entered. If a minus is entered, the quantity will, of course, be deducted from the Bill.

8.Enter the quantity in the Formula field either by typing a number or a Formula. The Formula part of the screen is obtained by pressing the <F6> key, if it is not already displayed.

9.A continuation page is obtained after each Formula field is saved. This can be filled in as before or the Element can be abandoned by pressing <ESC>.

10.You can move around an Element quickly using the <PAGE DOWN> and <PAGE UP>) function keys. You can also insert lines into an Element using the <F7> function key. It is usually a good idea to keep related items together and the <F7> function will allow you to add new items in the most convenient position. When inserting lines the new line number will probably not be in numerical sequence.

NOTE that the two-part Element worksheet is also saved in two parts. The first part is saved separately to the second part. This is very important because changes to a formula are only made when the <END> key is pressed.


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Notes on Walls in Elements

There are basically three kinds of wall and these correspond to the three height classifications of "calculix", i.e. storey height, floor height and ceiling height. Storey height walls are used for cladding and for timber floor construction, where the walls are measured passed the floors.

In other cases, e.g. reinforced concrete walls (where the floors are measured over-all the walls) the wall is measured to the underside of the floor and the "floor height" is therefore used.

The third category is for partitions and in this case the quantity is governed by the ceiling height of the room.

Walls can also be internal or external. For "calculix" purposes the distinction is whether the walls form the boundary between adjacent rooms or not. If they do then they will be classified as internal walls and the material content will be shared between the adjacent rooms. If they do not then the walls will be measured "full value" and all the materials will be measured in the room concerned. It should be noted that it is also possible to arrange rooms so that walls are not on the perimeter but are nevertheless wholly inside a room. Such walls would normally be partitions but most importantly these must be measured full value. The measurement of the items and their quantities for walls are NOT affected by their type. In all cases the take-off should measure them as "full value" with plaster and decoration etc. on both sides. The wall type classification will then automatically determine whether to take all the quantities or only half of them. If the finish on the other side of the wall is different this will be automatically catered for because the element code will specify a different wall when measuring the adjacent room.


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