In this tutorial, you'll learn how to check the required free areas around doors and windows using a pre-configured rule in Solibri. The purpose of the tutorial is to demonstrate how clearance checking works in Solibri. You'll also get an idea of some of the most common clearance-related design issues which can be detected using Solibri.
Note that the example here is a generic one, and to get meaningful results for your own project, you need to check the rule parameters.
This article covers the following topics:
From design and construction perspective, clearance issues are difficult and expensive to fix afterwards. Often we only notice the issue when something doesn't work - a door can't be fully opened, or something is blocking our way in a corridor. Clearance is important for maintenance and repair, for there needs to be enough free space for assembly. Therefore, it's essential to ensure the quality of the design before anything is constructed or installed.
In this tutorial, we'll be using a rule that checks door clearances. The rule checks there is enough free space on both sides of a door, as well as around it, to ensure that the door can be used safely and that there are no obstacles restricting the use. These obstacles can be, for example, columns, other doors, fixed furniture or equipment. We'll also use a similar rule to check window clearances.
Here are some of the most typical door clearance issues which can be detected in Solibri. You may find something similar when you check your model:
Flow terminal (basin) is too close to door component: The door cannot be opened fully. Either the door operation direction is incorrect, or the locations or types of the basins are incorrect.
Stair is too close to door component: This is a design modelling error. The door can't be used because the stair is blocking it.
Furniture is too close to door component: The example is from a kindergarten. This is is a safety issue, for the bed is blocking the door, which can't be opened. If there's an emergency, the bed is too heavy to be moved out of the way.
Beam and slab (suspended ceiling) are too close to door component: Although the door opens to the opposite direction and can be used, this kind of issue needs further investigation and analysis. The slab and beam may prevent the installation of the door.
The window clearance rule uses the same logic as the door clearance rule. The following images represent some typical window clearance issues:
Beam is too close to window: The beam is so close to the window that it may prevent the installation of the window. This kind of issue needs further investigation and analysis.
Beam and slab are too close to window: This is a design modelling error. The window is inside the structure, which may be because of the window is incorrectly placed.
Column is too close to window: This is a design modelling error, and the error is repeated in several places in the model. The column is so close to the window that it's blocking the view outside completely. The window is incorrectly placed.
The Get Started ruleset includes another ruleset, BIM Model Structure Validation, which checks that the model includes the required structure and components. The rules have been parameterized to concern only the component classes in an architectural model, and no specific type (e.g. apartment door, bathroom door, balcony door, main exit) has been defined for them.
Solibri Office 9.12.8 or later.
Language set to English. The resources aren't available in other languages, and they don't function correctly if the software is set to some other language.
An architectural IFC model. You can either use your own model or the Solibri Building.ifc sample model delivered with the installer.
The role used in this tutorial is Get Started. This is the default role which is set for you when you open Solibri.
Step-by-step instructions for checking door and window clearance:
Open Solibri Office. Click Open Model and select the model you wish to use for this tutorial. If you're using the Solibri Building, you can open it from the following location:
In Windows: Windows (C:) > Users > Public > Solibri > SOLIBRI > Samples > IFC
In MacOS: Applications > Solibri > Samples > IFC
Ensure that the model discipline is Architectural and click OK:
The model is loaded and the Get Started layout opens:
You can see that the rulesets have already been loaded in the Checking view:
Click Check Model. The progression and status of checking are shown in the Checking view. The checking results are marked with symbols indicating the status of each rule:
To view the results of the door clearance rule in the Results view, select the Clearance in Front of Doors rule in the Checking view:
In the Results view, the results of the check are by default organised in a category hierarchy. The root of the tree is the category. Categories help you to investigate and visualise rules and make comments and decisions to a whole category at once.
In this tutorial, we'll focus on the second category on the list, Distribution Element too close to Door component. It includes two issues. Click the small black arrows to expand the category so that you see the individual issues and the components related to them:
To zoom in on the issue in the 3D view, double click it in the Results view.
Both issues are caused by toiled seat being too close to the door, so that the door can't be opened. The footprint shows you the direction the door opens. The blue area in front of the door is the free area required in the rule parameters. The red area shows the area where the components collide. This is the area that causes the issue. You can also see the area dimensions:
When you click a component, it's highlighted in red in the 3D view:
When you select an issue in the Results view, you can see the issue description in the Info view. The issue description includes the dimensions of the previously mentioned blue area, and the location of the issue:
To view the results of the window clearance rule in the Results view, select the Clearance in Front of Windows rule in the Checking view:
Let's take a look at three different kinds of issues from the the window clearance rule results. First, select the Column too close to Window component category and investigate the issues in it. You can see that it includes several similar issues, where a column is too close to a window. This is acceptable because the architectural design of the building uses exposed internal columns - as the windows do not open internally, this is acceptable:
Next, select the Column, Wall, Window too close to Window component category, which includes two issues where a column, wall and a window are too close to a window. This is also an architectural solution, but it needs further investigation with the designer. The external window is blocked by the internal partition wall (and window), which bisect the panel and do not connect at a frame intersection. It might not be possible to build such a solution:
Third, select the Suspended Ceiling too close to Window component category, which has too issues. This issue requires further investigation to establish if the suspended ceiling is too low, if the windows are placed at the incorrect position in then wall, or if the windows heights are too tall:
The next step is to communicate the results of the check to the designers. Before that, however, you need to make a decision on the issues found in the model. You need to decide which issues are relevant and need to be communicated further. If you wish to communicate the issue further, you can create an issue slide. This automatically rejects the issue. Slides are automatically saved with the model, so you can go through all the checking results in this way.
Communicating the issues is important, for any issues found in checking must always be corrected in the authoring tool, not in Solibri.
Analysing the results:
To isolate an issue and investigate it further, you can create a section box around the relevant components. Right-click the issue in the Results view and select Section Box from the context menu:
For more information, see the article on sectioning.
If you wish to dig deeper into how the rule works, you can open the Parameters view. To add the view, click Views in the top-right corner and select Parameters. From there you can see in more detail how the rule operates, and how adjusting the rule parameters affects the checking results:
There are several ways to investigate and visualise checking results. For more articles on checking, see here.
Both the Door Clearance and the Window Clearance rules are based on the template #226 Free Area in Front of Components. If you wish to know more about how the usage of this rule template, check out the article.
The Get Started layout includes the Score view, which you can also use in the Score layout. Solibri Score offers you an easy way to better understand the scope of the quality assurance that has been performed on the project. For more information on Score, see here.