Simply entering a house in the computer to show the people wishing to build, how their dream house would actually look like. This idea - as fascinating as it is - will only work if both aspects, EASY and QUICK can be taken literally.
As a master carpenter or timber construction engineer you will certainly not sit in front of the computer every day and the demand for new construction, extensions, alterations and renovations alternates depending on the season. Therefore, a software, whose operation you need to relearn each time you use it, won't work for you any better than "highly scientific" programs that only yield results after days and days of work.
Unlike CAD, Vi Plan does not focus on complex construction design, but on simple and easy-to-learn plaintext input. Vi Plan is based on specifications stored in the system. Those include the floor heights and slab thicknesses and the most common wall thicknesses, window and door sizes.
Therefore, you will start working with a system that is immediately fully operational. Of course you can adjust the individual values to your individual needs with a few clicks. In-house details, such as the offset of the house to the base plate or the exact positioning of the purlins can be entered by you.
Creating the basic structure of the house
By simply entering the length and width of the house, selecting the desired wall thickness and determining the number of floors, you will create the base structure of the house in less than a minute.
Automatically dimensioned floor plans of all stories, the dimensioned sections, all views and the 3D view of the building are at your immediate disposal.
If you want to design a house with a non-rectangular base structure, you can resort to a variety of other shapes such as angular houses, 3- or 4-gabled houses, duplexes, semi-detached, double-detached or offset row houses, etc. Creating these house types only takes up an insignificantly longer amount of time.
In addition to the basement, the house can be designed with up to 5 floors (including the attic) and be up to 110 feet tall.
Dynamic component templates - complex building structures
Even complex building structures should be planned easily and quickly. With this ambition in mind, we developed wizards = dynamic component templates, which relieve you of this task.
Using the wizards is quite simple. Choose the desired item from the plaintext menu, for example a bay window or extensions. Then select the desired basic shape, for example, rectangular, enter the size and determine its position on the house. The dynamic component template then takes over the construction. You also define in the plain text menu, which floors are supposed to have the building component in question and you specify the desired roof shape and design. The dynamic component template (DCT) automatically checks whether the defined gable is structurally possible. Planning errors such as gables exceeding the length of the ridge are thus avoided.
The temporal advantage from using the component templates is obvious. Planning, e.g. an individual sunroom is limited to selecting the template and entering the corresponding measurements. The planning itself incl. the adaptation of the roof, creating the base plate and the segmentation of the glazing is taken over by component template. Therefore, the sunroom is planned in 1-2 minutes.
There are also dynamic building components for carports, canopies, corner coggings, log house construction and timber frame construction. Guided by the wizards, you are able to e.g. perform the segmentation of a house within a very short time - naturally based on details such as beam cross section, main and secondary grid, door jambs etc. that can be adjusted
Due to our 30 years of experience, we have integrated a set of dynamic component templates in Vi plan, with the ambition to automate more than 90% of the conventional building elements used for single-family homes. By repeatedly using the same dynamic component templates, you are capable of creating sophisticated plans easily, quickly and effectively.
Since dynamic component templates are planning automations, you can also change the basic house structure without any wizards. The easiest way to plan a completely customized ground plan shape using the function "projections and recesses" is effected by a plain text input of the desired dimensions. All you need is a few minutes. The ceilings will be automatically adjusted when you change the exterior walls, so you do not have to worry about them.
The roof structures also can be fully customized. Besides a variety of roof shapes and designs, the focus also lies on completing this task within a short period of time. Features such as “roof according to floor plan” will enable you to plan complex roof landscapes within minutes. Side gables, shed roofs and dormers can be as easiliy positioned.
From the very beginning, the building contractors themselves and their sales staff were relied on as skillful Vi plan users. With only a few entries, interior walls, stairs and balconies are placed, building components are positioned and rooms are defined. To facilitate this, hot keys such as "E" for corner and "L" for the length can be used.
6 hotkeys serve to operate about 75% of the functions. This facilitates both the first steps, as well as working with the system in between longer time periods. The integration of standard Windows functions, such as "Ctrl + C" and "Ctrl + V" for copy and paste, facilitate the job even more.
In addition, the conventional sizes of the building components used in timber construction are already entered into the system for you, as are a wide range of stairs and chimneys, as well as a complete room design program. You can make changes and additions at any time.
If, for example, they intend to equip the planned window with bars or if the builder-owner is suddenly interested in outside blinds, sliding shutters or pilaster surrounds - all these changes will be implemented with a few clicks. Remodeling all external walls of the house, for example due to the requirements of energy saving regulations, is possible with exactly 6 clicks. Extending the house in direction of the roof ridge can be done in a minute.
Walls and building elements can be moved with the mouse or shifted via measurement input and additional floors can be inserted
Subsequent changes to the roof, e.g. roof pitch, knee wall, roof overhang, etc. are no challenge for you. The procedure is simple and transparent. The user is already familiar with the hot keys and the dimensioning is adjusted automatically here as well.
Creating an appealing presentation of the house within a very short time is ambition as well as reality with Vi Plan. Thanks to hundreds of templates, which you can combine and change arbitrarily, you will be able to create presentations in less than 5 minutes.
Of course you can create designs that are a 100 percent customized. The 3D ground model allows you to plan complex property settings such as hillside situations within minutes.
This includes roads, paths, property boundaries, car parking spaces and the entire exterior design of the property with fences, trees, ponds and bushes. You can also insert real photos directly in the 3D view, giving your visualization an even more natural appearance.
Whether a plant should protrude into the picture or a hedge optimizes the transition between ground and background - thanks to hundreds of included images, there are hardly any limits to designing. At the same time, the images provide your visualization a more natural appearance.
If you want to inspire your clients, simply take a picture of their building site and present their future dream house directly on their actual property. The effort is absolutely manageable and it certainly is another argument for you as the right partner for building.
Dozens of material combinations are available to find a matching plastering color for the roof covering. This way, a "classic" look - white plaster, red roof – turns into Mediterranean style with one click. Here, too, every detail can be defined individually. The templates "only" serve to quickly and effectively get the desired result.
Time-optimized planning is also paramount when furnishing the house. Complete furnishing sets, e.g. for kitchens, significantly reduce the time required for sampling. A kitchen can be fully furnished with one click and then easily adapted to the respective room layout.
The perfect presentation of the house is made possible by a variety of different representation options for floor plans and views in combination with extensive customization options. In addition, it is possible to display these representations in various image formats and resolutions optimized for both an online presentation, as well as for a construction sign printout.
Living space calculation and enclosed space
As a result, you do not only have the perfect presentation of your design, but also the calculation of the living space and the enclosed space as an output option. The floor space calculation can be configured according to company specific requirements. This way, the default deduction values for e.g. plaster and staircases can be set. Of course, you can incorporate your logo in the output.
The building application
If a house is sold, the preliminary planning is simply continued to be used for the building proposal and further detailed according to the requirements. It is irrelevant, whether you do it in your own company or resort to external architects. It is important that the building proposal is created in Vi Plan and that exactly those plans are used for further calculation and for transferal (3 D) to the construction design.
Thanks to the option of reusing the preliminary planning, only little effort is required to create a building proposal. For this, numerous 2D drawing and design features are available. Whether detail dimensioning, height indications or irrigation and drainage planning, Vi Plan has the necessary tools to realize the required detailing based on layers.
Frequently needed details are designed once or simply read in as DXF or DWG files and stored as a sketch block. After that, they are available for all designs.
The site map is imported and the house then positioned in it according to the specifications. Vi Plan is an important tool especially for large-scale printouts. You simply resort to already supplied and / or self-created templates that e.g. arrange all floor plans, views, sections, the site plan and the necessary regulatory details on DIN A0.
You can use the hotkeys such as “C” for corner and “L” for length used in the preliminary planning for the building proposal as well.
For operating Vi Plan it is irrelevant whether walls or openings are designed or detailed construction is performed by means of lines or polygons. The operation is always the same. Although construction functions such as trimming lines, parallel or perpendicular drawing, just like the intersection determination of lines are standard in Vi Plan, consequent use of the 6 main hotkeys – also in the building application – saves a considerable amount of time