The Calculix system uses the Room as the fundamental module on which the unique Elemental Measurement process is based. Each room is treated as a self-contained package of data which contains all relevant information about that room. This information will include the dimensions of the room and all of the building components that go to make up the room. The Room data is therefore a very simple schedule of the contents of the room together with details of the size of the room.
The options for processing Room Data are as shown on the Room Data Menu.
In addition to the usual facilities it includes an option for entering the room data via a digitizer.
In addition to the usual Menu facilities described in Chapter 1, The Room data options include the following features.
The Copying facility not only allows individual rooms to be copied but also all of the rooms that make up an Area and all of the rooms that make up a whole Floor.
The copying process is divided into two separate processes. First of all the data is copied from the source location code to the destination location code.
When the data has been copied there is an option to "Edit Copied Room".
Responding yes will display the copied data for normal editing. Abandoning the Edit will still leave the original copied data in the contract file.
The Room data Print options include a Room Summary report which lists the codes of all the rooms which have records in the contract file. This is so that you can monitor progress and easily ascertain which rooms have been entered and which are still to be done.
The Room data is best thought of as being in three parts.
The General room information is entered on the Room Data Worksheet header page. The dimensions etc are entered into the second sheet of the worksheet.
The worksheet is divided into a number of different fields.
For reference purposes each room is given a unique code called the Location Code. In order to provide the maximum flexibility the Location Code is sub-divided into four parts; UNIT, LEVEL, AREA and ROOM NUMBER.
All of the four parts of the Location Code are mandatory and may not be left blank. They are not restricted to any particular type of character and any of the ASCII set can be used.
The UNIT code XXX refers to the relevant building of an estate and all rooms in the same building will have the same UNIT code.
The UNIT code field is three characters long and each character can be any of the ASCII range.
For a project with only one building an arbitrary Unit code like "1" should be used.
The UNIT code is also used for packages of adjustments such as a collection of items required for a step, stagger or an end terrace. In this case the basic mid-terrace house will be given one Unit code and the various alternative "add-ons" will each be given a separate Unit code. The actual buildings will be composed on the Estate Configuration menu.
The LEVEL code XX identifies the floor level which the room is on. The same LEVEL code is used in the VERTICAL DATA and when the level has been entered the system checks the VERTICAL DATA to see if that floor level is known. If the details of that particular level have been entered in the VERTICAL DATA worksheet then the screen will display the "description" given to that level. If the VERTICAL DATA has not yet been added for the level the screen will display the message "That Level is not known". These messages are "for information only" and in both cases the user is taken on to the next field.
The AREA code XXXX allows a floor level to be sub-divided eg into flat types, circulation areas, office areas etc. It is a mandatory Field and when not specifically required an arbitrary value such as "1" should be used.
The ROOM NUMBER code AA99 identifies the room itself. The code can be in any format but it is suggested that the first two characters be a mnemonic letter code for the type of room (e.g. br = bedroom) and the last two characters be numbers corresponding to the room number.
It is important to appreciate that whilst the entire Location Code must be unique individual parts of the code need not be. In this way it is possible to have many living room's with a ROOM code such as "lr01" provided that each one is in a different AREA or FLOOR or UNIT.
Once a valid Location Code has been entered the Room Data Worksheet is displayed.
This field allows each room to have a description. The field can also be used for notes about the room etc. and to describe special features in the room. The field can be left blank if required.
This field is provided for a detailed analysis of the rooms of a building by FUNCTION but as yet does not have any specific application allocated to it. Watch this space!
The cost significant items that make up a room are collected into functional packages called Elements. A Door, for instance is an Element. So is a Wall and so is a Window etc. Elements are fundamental to the Calculix system and are fully explained in the Chapter devoted to them but since the Elements are scheduled on the Room data it is necessary to understand a little about them in order to understand the layout of the Room Data. Elements are referenced by a 6 character code and the required codes must be entered on the Room data worksheet.
ELEMENTS ARE ONLY INCLUDED IN THE BILL WHEN THEY ARE REFERRED TO IN THE ROOM DATA.
Codes corresponding to the required Floor and Ceiling Elements are entered in their respective fields.
NOTE that the top and bottom of a room are defined by the Ceiling and Floor elements. This means that ceilings are separated from the structure to which they are attached so that they can be allocated to the room beneath.
The Finishes that are to be applied to the floor and ceiling can be kept separate if preferred. This feature has been specifically provided so that the data can integrate with the Architects finishes schedule. The finishes can be included with the floor or ceiling element. Processing is exactly the same as if the two elements were one. Adjustment codes also work as if the items were all part of the same element. Unlike the wall finishes that follow the Floor Finish or Ceiling Finish element will be processed irrespective of whether there is a corresponding Floor or Ceiling element.
The decoration on the wall can be included with the Wall Element but it is usually much more efficient to apply the same Wall Finish to all the walls of a room and an entry in the Wall Finish Field will do this.
NOTE The Wall Finish Element will be measured for every wall type that is specified in the Wall Shell Field. (A detailed explanation of the Wall Shell follows under the appropriate heading in this Chapter). This procedure ensures that if, for some reason, there is no Wall element then there will be no Wall Finish either. An entry in the Wall Finish field is, therefore, the same as specifying the same Wall Finish Element under every Wall Element in the room.
Generally the VERTICAL DATA provides the heights of the rooms by knowing how high each floor is. There are, however, several instances when the height of any particular room may be different from the other rooms on that floor. Mezzanines and differing false ceiling heights for example. These non-standard details can be entered for each room by using the appropriate Ceiling, Floor and Storey heights fields as required. If any or all of these fields are left blank then the system will automatically use the information entered on the Vertical data worksheet for the appropriate floor.
The valuation chart column number can be inserted here at any time. The contents of the room will be assigned to the appropriate location of the Valuation chart during the valuation processing. It is not necessary to input this field for Bill Production and it is generally expected that this will not be done until the Contractor is appointed. The valuation chart column number can also be inserted on the "Edit Valuation Chart Location" worksheet and this will generally be the easiest method of input.
For full details see the Chapter on Valuations.
To move from the second Room data screen back to the general room data header sheet, use the <PREV SCRN> key.
The actual measurement of a room is divided into two parts. The entry of the lengths of each wall followed by the entry of the included angles between adjacent walls. From this simple data (together with other information from Elements and Vertical data) the computer will be able to calculate all of the quantities needed to process each room.
The internal lengths of the sides of the room are entered sequentially. The lengths, in decimal metres, are automatically adjusted to three decimal places. Trailing zeros are not required. The angle between adjoining walls defaults to 90º each time a room side is entered.
The computer calculations assume that the walls are entered in a clockwise direction. It is therefore imperative that the walls are entered in clockwise order.
To ensure a systematic approach, it is recommended that the taking-off commences in the top left-hand corner of each room. This is not, however, an imperative requirement of the system and other procedures can be adopted if preferred.
Wall angles are adjusted where necessary after the wall lengths have been input. Since they automatically default to 90º it is only necessary to Edit those angles which are not 90º.
NOTE that walls in a straight line have an included angle of 180º. If adjoining walls are of different thicknesses the computer will automatically make the necessary adjustments provided the internal room details are entered correctly.
The angle entered beneath each wall on the worksheet refers to the angle between that wall and the next wall. The angle entered beneath the last wall on the worksheet is the angle between that wall and the first wall in the room.
A new Wall can be inserted into the Room data at any appropriate position by moving the cursor into either the Wall length, Wall angle or Wall Shell element fields and then pressing the <F7> function key. All Walls from the cursor position onwards on the Room Data sheet will be moved up one and a new blank wall will be inserted.
IMPORTANT The new Wall is created on the spot which means that if you subsequently <ESC> from the Room data worksheet the new wall will still be there even though the lengths and angles will NOT have been validated.
A Wall must have a length and an angle to be valid. A "dummy" wall can be easily created with 0.000 length and 180^ angle.
An existing Wall can be deleted by positioning the cursor on either the Wall length, Wall angle or Wall Shell element field and pressing the <F8> function key. All entries on the current wall are deleted and all walls following the deleted wall are moved up one to fill the space created.
IMPORTANT The deletion is done on the spot. If you subsequently <ESC> from the Room Edit the wall deletion will still have been made and the Room data will almost certainly be invalid. Care should therefore be taken when using this function to ensure that the new room layout is correct.
There is a special feature for inputting Rectangular rooms. After entering the first two wall lengths, and whilst still in the wall-2-length field, the <F11> command will copy Wall 1 into Wall 3 and Wall 2 into Wall 4. The angles will automatically be entered in the usual way and the cursor will move to Wall-1-Wall-Shell-Element field.
This feature greatly simplifies data entry particularly when using a digitiser but the process "guarantees" that the room will be valid and care should therefore be taken to ensure that the first two wall lengths are correct.
The boundary condition of a room is defined by the Floor and Ceiling elements at the top and bottom and the Wall elements at the sides. (Note: in this context columns may also form part of the boundary of a room but it is usually simpler to measure them as being extra over the wall to which they are attached). Calculix will treat all elements which form the boundary of a room as special cases and to distinguish them from "Ordinary" elements they are referred to as Shell Elements.
The Shell Elements will, between them, build a solid building into which the windows and doors etc. will be introduced. The Shell Elements normally consist of the Walls, Floors and Ceilings of the building.
Shell Elements are special because they will be automatically adjusted when an "ordinary" element is built into them - as in the case of a door being built into a wall.
Within Shell Elements calculix makes a further distinction in the case of Wall Shell Elements.
It is important to note that although we might expect our rooms to have walls, floors and ceilings these are not mandatory and it is possible to leave some or all of the shell elements empty. The sides of the room would still have dimensions and these would be entered in the usual way even though no walls etc. were being allocated to the shell elements. The reasons for this will be more apparent as we get further into the system.
When ADDING Room data the last used wall shell element code is stored away and can be copied whenever the cursor is moved onto a blank Wall Shell Element field. This is done by pressing <F11>.
Wall shell elements are defined by the computer as those appearing on the first line of elements for each wall on the worksheet. This is very important because it is possible and necessary to be able to input walls into other lines of the worksheet and in this case they will not be treated specially as wall shell elements.
Wall shell elements are special because their thickness and position in the structure is required to establish the geometry of the room and to enable calculations like the centre lines of the walls etc. to be made.
When entering a shell element code field the first character of the field is passed over. This single character field is obsolete and should be ignored.
Ordinary elements are entered underneath the wall with which they are associated. If they are not associated with any particular wall then they can be located in any convenient place providing they are not placed on the top line and thereby made into Shell elements.
If a wall shell element is not used then an ordinary element MUST NOT be entered in it's place (ie on the top line). Ordinary Elements can still, however, be entered underneath on the other element entry lines for that wall. When entered in this way they will not, of course, be able to make adjustments to the Wall Shell Element because there isn't one.
A curiosity of the Room data worksheet is that in order to save space two fields (the Timesing Factor and the Element code fields) are joined together without an intervening space. This appears to give a 7 Character field but it is in fact two fields of 1 character and 6 characters.
The first character - Timesing factor field is passed over when moving <DOWN> through the worksheet. This timesing factor field is accessed by using the <UP> key. The timesing factor must be an integer from 1 - 9. If a larger number is required the Element must be repeated on another line(s) until the desired quantity is obtained.
The process of entering an element code on the Room data sheet ensures that it cannot be overlooked when the Bill is produced. If no details have been entered for the Element when the Bill is processed, an error message will be produced reminding you that the Element hasn't been specified. This provides a very effective "To Take" list and can be used freely during the entering of room data to ensure that all possible items are covered. If the elements are not in fact required they can either be deleted or, alternatively, the error messages can be ignored.
When the Room Data has been correctly entered, and no further changes are required, press <END>. Two basic checks will be carried out before the data is written away.
1. The sum of the wall angles must reconcile to the polygon theorem (2n-4)*90^ (where n is the number of sides). If they don't, the following message appears
and the cursor is returned to the worksheet for the necessary corrections to be made. It is not possible to write away room data if the sum of the wall angles does not pass this test.
2. If the angles are correct the computer sets up x-y co-ordinates for every wall junction in the room and if the co-ordinates for the first point are different to those for the last point (subject to built in tolerance margins) the following message will be displayed
The error is resolved in two directions at right angles to help check the data. The first dimension is the error of the direction of wall1 and the second is the error at 90^ to wall1.
In this case it is still possible to proceed because the tolerance margin may be too fine for the scale of drawing. To ignore the message and accept the data press <RETURN>. Alternatively the room can be investigated and the room data corrected or amended. To do this, press the <ESC> key. It is important to realise that ignoring this message does not allow the error to go away and if the data is not correct then the message will re-appear in later processing routines. On the other hand it is possible that the data is correct (for instance in complex situations where some of the data has been input on outside, rather than inside, dimensions) and in this case no further messages may be encountered.
These two checks are carried out in strict order. It follows that if the message "Room size is out ..." is displayed, it can be assumed that the check on the Wall Angles was successful. On the other hand, if the "Angles: 9 degree error" message comes up it does not follow that the wall lengths are correct because that check hasn't been carried out yet. The "Room size out ..." message may, therefore, still appear after the wall angles have been corrected.
If the Room data is valid a message "Room data accepted" will be displayed and the data will be satisfactorily written away to the file.
If required the Room data input can be terminated at any time by pressing the <ESC> key. In this case all changes made to the current worksheet will be abandoned and the message "Changes to room data abandoned" will be displayed.
After room data has been accepted, a blank worksheet will be returned with the same location reference and floor, ceiling and wall shell elements. This provides a continuation of the worksheet and a further batch of elements can be inserted underneath the walls of the room. This process can be repeated as many times as required by pressing the <END> key as often as necessary. If further input is not required the <ESC> key will return the operator to the location code for entry of details of the next room.
After completing a Room Data worksheet, the <ESC> key will move the cursor to the location code Fields.
Enter the next room location code and a new Room Data worksheet will be displayed. If part of the code e.g. UNIT, LEVEL or AREA are the same as the last room, the <RETURN> key will skip these without the need for re-typing. Only the Fields that change need be altered. The new location code must be unique but this will be achieved if any of the fields is different.
The contents of a field can be copied into the adjacent field using the <F11> function key. The data is copied and the cursor is moved to the first character position of the new field. This is intended particularly for copying wall shell elements into the next wall but the facility can be used for ordinary elements also.
From the room data the computer will do a number of calculations so that it has all the necessary dimensions for producing detailed and accurate quantities of all of the items in that room.
Specifically it must;
These calculations are actually done when the Room data is "Validated" but it is convenient to consider the details here in order to understand the necessary input data.
The input dimensions of each wall are used as the Inside length il. Taking these dimensions the computer will look up each Wall Shell Element to obtain it's thickness and to see if it is an Internal or External wall.
If it's an Internal wall the computer will take half of the wall thickness and set up the centre line of the wall as the OUTSIDE face of the room. If it's an external wall the computer will take the full thickness specified and make that the OUTSIDE face of the Room. Once the outside face is established for all walls the computer then calculates the Outside length ol of each wall.
The Mean length ml of each wall is calculated as the average of il and ol.
NOTE that for internal Walls, the room boundary, and therefore the outside length, is taken at the wall centre line, and consequently the mean length of the Wall is NOT measured on the centre line. (It is in fact measured mid-way between the centre line and the inside face of the wall).
The Perimeter pr of the room is calculated as the sum of the inside lengths il of all the sides of the room.
If there is no Wall Shell Element entered against any side of the room no adjustment will be made. The Outside face will be taken as the same as the Inside face and all three lengths il, ml and ol will be the same.
The plan area of the room is calculated to the inside face of the walls. This is called the Net Area na. A similar calculation is done to the outside face of the room which gives the Gross Area ga. The floor area fa is the area enclosed by external walls, ie the area to the inside face of external walls but over all internal walls.
The thickness of a wall is used to establish the outside face of the wall in order to calculate the outside length ol of the wall and the gross area ga of the room . For an internal wall it will always be the actual thickness of the wall but for an external wall where the outside face does not align with the edge of the structural floor, the actual thickness of the wall is modified to give the distance from the inside face of the room to the edge of the structural floor. This ensures that the gross area ga is always correct.
The Effective thickness of a wall is stored in the W field of the Wall Element. Leaving this field blank in a Wall Shell Element will give rise to an error message.
We mentioned above that the computer needs to know what type of wall each Wall Shell Element is. Specifically it needs to know if the Wall is an internal wall or an external wall. A further refinement can be made in the special case of a column.
The Wall Type of a wall Element is stored in the first character of the H field of the Wall Element.
This character must be either an i, x or c. Each character represents a particular wall type as follows:
If no entry is made the computer will assume an entry of x ie that it is an external wall and a message to this effect will be produced in the Validate Element Data Report.
So far we have assumed that the dimensions entered as the lengths of the walls are inside dimensions. This will, of course, be the usual case but occasionally it will be more convenient to enter the outside dimensions and let the computer make the adjustments inwards to obtain the inside length etc.
This can be easily done by merely telling the computer that the length it is processing is an external dimension. This is done on the Wall Shell Element using the second character of the H field.
The second character should be either i or x which indicates that the length entered against the wall was measured either internally or externally. All appropriate adjustments will be calculated accordingly.
If no entry is made the computer will assume an entry of i for internal and a message to this effect will be produced in the Validate Element Data Report.
If the H field is left blank the computer will assume an entry of xi (i.e. that the wall is an external wall and has been measured using the inside length). An appropriate message is produced in the Check Element Data report.
For further explanation of these fields see the ELEMENT Section.
Rooms, whole areas and entire floors can be copied from existing worksheets. When you use this option the screen prompts for the location code of the source data and then the location code for the new data. The copying routine can be performed with or without on-the-spot editing. If editing is selected the copied worksheet(s) will be displayed on the screen to allow you to make changes before writing them away. This does not, of course, mean that you cannot subsequently edit the copied room data as required and this can be done at any time as described in the foregoing sections.
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