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Thoughts on the improvements in SpacePlanner
by Robert Klaschka - 19 May 2010

Space planning in Bentley Architecture has seen a number of improvements in the last two years, however at my office we haven't yet started to use these tools. The talk was a useful refresher and covered the broad work flow. This product, which I understand comes from a facilities management tool that was acquired by is starting to look quite promising. There is a powerful importer from a spreadsheet which brings and creates spaces based on programme area. These are then arranged into the a building plan.

This functionality has been around for a long time, however the really powerful tool that has recently been added is to this feature set is the a new tool which adds walls based on the spaces layout. Whilst initially a little obscure, this tool performs one very valuable function, to associate the spaces to the wall. This effectively makes the translation from space planning mode to a conventionally flooded associative spaces that you need as the design develops.

This is a big step forwards for the functionality of spaces and in many ways finally provides the whole round trip from a briefing space schedule through planning, and on to building mode, with the detailed space schedule output.

As with the rest of the datagroup system, there is still no live link out to spreadsheets at either end of the process so there is room for improvement, but the new linking functionality is another must have feature.