How to customize Mechanical & Plumbing Plan Symbols in AECOsim Building Designer

In this post I am describing the steps needed to customize the 2D Plan Symbols for HVAC, LPG or Plumbing elements.

In AECOsim, there are several elements “dynamically” created, who are not based on fixed or static cells. These elements are created based on parameters, so the dimensions could be completely different from one each object to another, independently of the objects will do the same functionality. This is meaning that, when the user create a plan and these elements are affected, the 2D symbol created is showing the “real” element cutted. We will explore here how to use a different customized 2D symbol for these elements.

To explain it better, I will take one as an example, a “Floor Drain”, specifically the one called “Floor Through”.

These are the whole steps I will follow:

1 - Select the option “Place Floor Through” from the “Plumbing Design” task group


2 - Place 2 instances of the elements, using different dimensions for each one of them:


3 - Create a Floor Plan. You will see how each Drain Floor have a different symbol, matching the real dimensions of each one.


4 - Now, you can customize the Mechanical Drawing Representation from the drawing. Open the model with the drawing you created in the previous step.

Select one of the elements in the section, do right click and select the option “Set Reference Presentation”


5 - Go to the “Mechanical” tab. We will create a new rule clicking on “Attach New Rule”


6 - Define the criteria based on the Datagroup Catalog Item and Element you want to apply the rule. Then, click on “Create New Rule”.



7 - Define a name for the rule, and assign a Plan Symbol Cell and Scale for the element.

This is the library & cell used in the sample:

8 - On the “Apply Drawing Rules” dialog, select the rule just created and click on “Add to View” button. Then, click “Close” to go back to the “Reference Presentation” dialog.


9 - Confirm the Rule is included, with the right selection criteria. I recommend move the rule to the top, in order not to be override with another Family/Part rule.

Click on “Accept Changes and then Push to Saved View” button.

 10 - The two Floor Drains will appear with the same “custom” 2D symbol, on both drawing and sheet.