How to create detailed schedules for our project?
What is a schedule?
Schedules are the tabular representations of the information derived from your building model.
This information is usually about your building elements, components, and other architectural parts, and we frequently need to list these. For example, we need to visualize the rooms, arranged in a table format, where we want to see how many doors and windows are placed in the project, what type they are, or what the material of the walls, slabs on each level or in the whole building are. Creating construction documents is more accurate and much faster using Schedules.
Let’s create a room schedule in which we can represent the rooms of the project on each level. From the Ribbon Bar / Documentation tab / Schedules group, choose the Define schedule.
First, select the discipline in the Schedule dialog. This is how we determine that we want to create a schedule from architectural, interior design or environmental/outdoor elements.
From the Types, select an element from which we would like to create the schedule.
Let’s select the Architectural Elements from the Discipline list, then Room and Area from the Types.
The program has a default schedule for each type that can be customized, our current schedule is called now Room and area schedule. The parameter options of the current schedule can be found in the middle of the dialog, from which custom Cchedules can be build up. These properties are found in the program by default.
Hide schedule columns
If we do not need a certain parameter in the Schedule, it is not necessary to delete it, we can just turn off its visibility. Under the Visible header, click on the bracket with a tick in it - this will turn the column's visibility off. In this case, the hidden parameter will not be visible in the Schedule, although it will still be a part of it: for example, the schedule can be ordered according to this parameter at placement, even if we can't see it.
Creating a new schedule
To create a new schedule (schedule template), click New, and then type in the name of the Schedule. In the middle of this dialog, we find the the general properties, calculated values and the main groups of the BIM parameters. Select one of the properties or quantities you want to work with.
Let's continue by adding parameters to the Schedule from the list below.
Select a parameter, click on the button next to it (the one with the arrow pointing right). When you do, the parameter appears in the table on the right side as part of the Schedule Template.
From the General Properties category we choose Floor, Roon name, Room number, and the materials of the room. Click on the category of another parameter, select the Calculated Values category and add the Gross Area from the list below.
The table on the right now shows the contents of our new Schedule. Here we can move the parameters up or down in the list or we can even delete them.
The parameters can be renamed, too. Click on the Gross Area field on the right and change its name to Area.
Summary column meaning
Some Schedule parameters can be summarized to keep your Schedule concise. When a parameter cannot be summarized, this field cannot be activated. Where the table allows, click on the box marked with a checkmark in the summary column and turn it off / on. When turned on, the sum of the given values in the table can be displayed, eg. all gross areas of the rooms on the same level.
To close the window and save the Schedule, click the OK button.
The new Schedule appears in the Project Navigator under the Schedule category, under Room and area subcategory.
Paste schedule template into another project
If you want to use the new Schedule on your computer for all other projects, right-click on it in the Project Navigator, then select Save as global from the appearing menu. From now on, this Schedule will be available in the program for further use. Of course, this only means transferring the Schedule Template, it does not carry the data of your current project on. Instead, in any new projects, the Schedule will list the elements of that particular project.
It is good practice to first place the Schedule in the drawing with the desired formatting, because when you select the Save as global command, the program saves the formatting settings as well, which had been set up before the schedule was placed.
Export schedule for another user
The Schedule Template can be saved into an XML file, and this serves two purposes: we can use the Schedule Template in another project, without making it available for every project, and also we can send it to another user.
In the Project Navigator, right-click on the name of the schedule and then click on Export. You can also find the same function by clicking on the Export button in the Schedule Creation dialog.
In the Save As dialog, enter the file name, and then click on the Save button.
What happens if you want to use a Schedule that had been created by a colleague and sent to you as a template file?
In the Schedule creation dialog, click on the Import button. Then, select the XML file you want to import, and then click on the OK button. The imported Schedule template appears in the program.
There are two locations from where you can place a Schedule. One option is to use the Ribbon Bar / Documentation tab / Schedules group / Placing Schedule command. The other option is to select the schedule from the Project Navigator under the Schedule subcategory and simply drag it to the drawing.
The Schedule Formatting dialog provides multilevel sorting and grouping options. The content of the Schedule can be arranged in several ways: you can add headers, footers, and grand totals to the Schedule. If we have been using design phases during work, we can display the Schedule based on the the phases as well.
If the Itemize every instance option is in off mode, then doors, windows and other items of the same size will be summarized in the same row.
Click on the OK button at the bottom of the dialog and place the schedule on the floor plan.
There are fields in the Schedule that you can edit. Whether a field is editable or not depends on the type of the Schedule. The currently editable parameter is indicated by fields marked with blue. Click on the Schedule, then simply click into the blue field and edit the contents.
Updating a Schedule
Schedules can be created and placed at any time during the design process. If the project changes in a way that affect the data of the schedule, the table is updated automatically.
The automatic update can be customized by using the Ribbon Bar / Documentation tab / Schedules group / Schedule automatic update command.
The automatic update of schedules can be time consuming for large models, and should only be turned on if the project justifies it.
Schedule cell editing
The Schedules that we place are tabular representations of the model information of the project, so the schedules always reflect the changes in the model.
This is also true the other way round: by clicking into the cells of the placed Schedule, the content of the cells can be edited and the modification will be visible immediately on the given element.
Clicking on the magnifying glass icon at the beginning of each row, the program displays the given element on the floor plan.
All fields, with the blue markers over them, can be edited by clicking into the schedule.
Schedule in a separate window
It is possible to open the schedule in a separate window. This is especially useful if we have two monitors - one can have the model on it, while the other has the Schedule shown.
From the Ribbon Bar / Documentation tab/ Schedules group, select the Display schedule in window command. You can also edit the available fields in this view.
Saving the Schedule into an Excel table
To open or save the placed schedule in an Excel table, select Ribbon Bar / Documentation tab / Schedule group / Save to Excel command and click on the schedule on the drawing that you want to display in Excel.
This command is also available from another location: click on the schedule with the right mouse button and select Save to Excel from the appearing menu.
If you are interested in this function in more detail, watch our free tutorial videos on the subject.