Developing GDL-scripted building components to optimise offsite manufacture with Passivhaus architecture

Project Details


A series of simple building components has been developed using the parametric GDL (Geometric Description Language) objecting language in Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD BIM software. The scripted building elements are roof, wall and floor panels from the partner factory called Weissenseer Holz-System-Bau (WHSB) based in Austria. The components have been created to be used in both the 3D and 2D project views within the ArchiCAD platform.

The key objective of this study was the development of building components using the parametric GDL objecting language in Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD BIM software. The components will enable building designers to immediately calculate cost, LCA (kg CO2e) and work within transport dimensions and structural engineering parameters. All this can be stored within the code of the BIM components.

Key findings

The completion of this study has demonstrated the possibilities of using parametric objects during the architectural design process. A series of comprehensive and flexible components has been created; allowing access to valuable data and statistics needed for the creation of intelligent building design.

The project has illustrated the benefits of using parametric building components during the architectural design process. Although the potential of intelligent components has been demonstrated, further study would aid the future development of the component system.

Such additions to the scripting as adding more optional elements to the parameters list or the implementation of more interaction with other building components, such as windows and doors, would greatly enhance the power of the objects when used in a design platform.

Using uniquely designed parametric components as a method of design has great potential for expansion across a range of companies and technical drawing software providers. With the growing demand for BIM packages, software developers offer a wide range of possibilities to aid intelligent building design and analysis. Such components would benefit companies during the implementation of new components not included as default options during the design process.
Short titlePassivhaus
Effective start/end date1/01/1131/12/13


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