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OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 5 (v10.05.00.49)

The OpenBuildings product team is pleased to announce the availability of OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 5 (v10.05.00.49) through the Bentley CONNECT Center, Software Downloads portal or the desktop CONNECTION Client. OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 5 is the next version for AECOsim Building Designer  and reflects the recent brand transition from AECOsim to OpenBuildings.
The product is available in six (6) languages - Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) and includes fourteen (14) regional datasets - Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Neutral Metric, New Zealand, Swedish, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States (Imperial and  Metric).  This version incorporates several new productivity enhancements as well as user requested fixes. It also includes updates from MicroStation CONNECT Edition Update 12. Please refer to the "What's New Highlights" section below for some of the product updates and enhancements.
GenerativeComponents, Update 5 (v10.05.00.77) is available as a companion feature. This computation design platform can easily be included as part of any deployment of OpenBuildings Designer.
Update via CONNECTION Client: (Not Recommended for this Update)

If you have AECOsim Building Designer CONNECT Edition already installed on your computer, then OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 5 will be advertised as an update from the CONNECTION Client. However, in the transition from AECOsim Building Designer to OpenBuildings Designer it is recommend that you first uninstall AECOsim Building Designer and then install OpenBuildings Designer. If you proceed with the update, It will replace any earlier versions of the product, but the root directories ..\Program Files\Bentley\AECOSim CONNECT Edition and ..\ProgramData\Bentley\AECOsim CONNECT Edition will remain branded AECOsim instead of OpenBuildings. Please see the following wiki for more information about making the transition from AECOsim Building Designer to OpenBuildings Designer -> Installation options for OpenBuildings Designer.

Download from the CONNECT Center > Software Downloads: (Recommended)

If you would like the full installation of OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition Update 5, please follow these steps to download it from Fulfillment Center:

  • Sign in to
  • At the top of the page click on [SUPPORT]
  • On the ‘At Your Service’ page, in the section ‘Manage Your Licenses’, click on [GO TO CONNECT CENTER]
  • On the ‘Enterprise Portal’ page, in the section ‘Support Service & Administration Resources’, click on [Software Downloads]
  • On the “Software Downloads’ page, filter the available products by the Brand 'OpenBuildings' and then on the ‘OpenBuildings Designer’ tile click on [Get Software]
  • Filter the available Version by ‘’ and then click on [Download] to download the software

Software Downloads  can also be accessed through the desktop CONNECTION Client. Open the CONNECTION Client from the system tray and click on [CONNECTION Center]. Scroll down to the ‘My Services’ section and click on the [Software Downloads] tile. 

Once you are ready to install OpenBuildings Designer, please see the following wiki for more information about making the transition from AECOsim Building Designer to OpenBuildings Designer -> Installation options for OpenBuildings Designer.

 Important installation requirements and notices are found in the Readme.

Updating Dataset:

Please remember that upgrading AECOsim Building Designer from one version to the next,  does NOT upgrade the dataset. Datasets are not automatically upgraded to preserve project fidelity or any customizations. It is recommended that you make copies of your current dataset and allow the upgrade installer to install fresh and current versions of the datasets that can be used as an aid to upgrade any custom versions. Each dataset includes a version to version migration outline for additions, deletions and significant changes.

What's New Highlights for OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 5 (v10.05.00.49)

 • Rebranding from AECOsim to OpenBuildingsTm

Since brand is an integral part of the application identity, rebranding AECOsim Building Designer to OpenBuildings Designer results in several changes to the default installation directories, registry entries, executables and many other aspect of the application. References to either 'AECOsim' or 'AECOsim Building Designer' were replaced with 'OpenBuildings' or 'OpenBuildings Designer'. References to 'Building Designer' may remain and also may just be referred to as 'Designer'. The OpenBuildings rebranding does not impact or change the Building Information Modeling feature set available in the product, and is both the next update release and successor to AECOsim Building Designer Update 4. AECOsim Building Designer CE and  OpenBuildings Designer CE cannot coexist on the same computer, as they share the same application ID.

 • Curtain Wall Tool (Enhancements)

Parametric Cell Integration - The curtain wall tool now supports Parametric Cells in panels. The most common use cases are for doors and louvers.
Place Curtain Wall by Shape - Non-rectangular curtain walls can now be constructed by creating a shape element in your drawing or by selecting an existing shape element. Once placed, the outline shape can be manipulated further. The Place Curtain Wall Placement ribbon is enhanced with a new Place By > From Shape and Delete Path options. These options work together when placing curtain walls by shape. 
Move Curtain Wall Origin - Added as an accessory to the place curtain wall by shape, a new Move Axes option is added to the Modify selected ribbon. This option allows you to move the curtain wall origin after the curtain wall is defined. For example, on a non-rectangular-shaped curtain wall where you want the origin moved to the center or to a specific corner. 
DataGroup System - Curtain walls support relationships with other base elements such as walls, and works with schedules, reports and export features. 
Energy Simulation - Curtain walls data can now be processed during the creation and export of the Analytical Space Model (ASM). 

 • Stairs

Stairs are further improved to ease scope of custom and specialized design: 
Spiral and Winder Stairs - Spiral and Winder Stairs are added to the available stair configurations to meet the requirements of constructing stairs associating with specialized building elements. 
2D Drawing Compliance - Stairs representation in 2D drawing comply with China drafting standards, where: 

On placement (lower) floor – shows the stair assembly up to cut plane (optional, show outline of stair assembly above) 
On floor above placement floor – shows the treads that are above the cut line of the floor below 
For multiple views of floor below – uses a fixed distance from upper floor, set on the stair element

 • Component Center Integration

DataGroup System - Components Center can now be accessed from the Catalog Editor. This gives you a simplified way of creating catalog items from a master component, typically a parametric cell picked from a grouping  in Components Center and then distribute it to project team members for use in the  design. 
RFA Interpreter - Components Center can now be accessed directly from inside the RFA Interpreter Wizard to browse RFA components available  and create a new parametric catalog item from the selected RFA.

 • Pipe System Sizing (Technology Preview)

A new Pipe System Sizing utility lets you resize and rebuild supply service water piping networks to maximize system performance and efficiency. The resizing algorithms determine K values, checks velocity rates, effects of friction and determines critical path to optimize the sizing of pipes to system outlets. The Pipe System Sizing utility allows you to perform design modifications by adjusting and locking pipe dimensions, defining materials and setting system parameters to be considered during calculations.

 • Autofitting Preferences

Autofitting Preferences are extended to plumbing systems in a new Plumbing Autofitting Preferences dialog. These preferences are applied by default when placing plumbing fittings and routing pipe. The user can pre-set certain fitting types and parameters, for example an elbow with a 1.5 Radius to Diameter ratio and have them place as such during auto-routing. These options are available for multiple fittings to be set and are also considered during Join and Hook-Up routines.

 • Compound Annotation for Mechanical and Plumbing.

Define Custom Label (Mechanical Drawing Rules Dialog) - The new interface for adding attributes, such as System ID, in Mechanical drawing rules is provided to combine multiple label attributes as a single custom label. The new dialog is used to construct custom composite mechanical annotations by defining the format and appearance of custom labels attributed to a given mechanical rule.

 • Assign System ID Dialog

Enhanced the Assign System ID workflow to meet the China Metro requirements; where the 'Air type' is named as "System Type", and when using the System Type enables generating system ID string with count and suffix added for system number.

 • Automatic Placement of End Caps

End caps can be automatically added to the terminal of the last duct automatically during 3D duct/pipe placement similar to the workflow in single line routing. Upon continuation of the routing the end cap will be removed and replaced by the next component in the route. This is an optional setting that can toggled on/off in the Mechanical Preferences.

 • New Mechanical Components and Enhance Routing

Mechanical components were enhanced to improve routing and their properties were restructured to better adhere to the catalog system. The following new components were added to provide more routing options for constructing HVAC/Plumbing systems:

• Curtain Fire Damper fittings in round, rectangular, and oval shapes 
• Chimney Caps in round and rectangular shapes 
• Rectangular Compound Offset Elbow and Z Elbow 
• Tappable End Caps allow for connection on any shape 
• Fire Department Connections: Running Trap, Wye Without Elbow on End, Cleanout, Cap, Outside Fire Dept Connection, Victaulic® Hub Type Connection 
• Two Piece Branch similar to the existing 3 piece branch 
• Victaulic® Rigid Coupling to join carbon steel and/or stainless steel pipes, restricts axial or angular movement 
• Fittings added to duct accessories: Angle Throat Tee, Drop Cheek Cross/Tee/Wye, Radius Throat Square Heel Cross, Square Heel Wye, Variable Angle Wye
• Intake Hood - developed for use as a China Cap for Exhaust and Intake pipes

 • Component Part Mapping Utility

The previous PAZ and BXC Part Mapping Utilities' "search and replace" functions are combined and enhanced in a new Component Part Mapping utility, which lets you map any invalid parts in PAZ, BXC, and CEL files to parts and families in your active dataset. The new utility features include:

• Displays selected files 
• Removes duplicate file selections 
• Scan folder and dataset options 
• Settings for handling units, including changing units

Added Validation - The Component Part Mapping utility searches for validation issues on current part and family assignments.

 • IFC4 Reference View

• IFC Profile Exports - path profiles
• Improved faceting of slabs with elliptical arcs and bsplines in base area

 • Energy Simulator

Summertime Temperatures - A new Summertime Temperatures tool is added to the Steady State Calculations. It is used to generate a report of peak temperatures for individual rooms or the entire building. 
Maxi Gain Calculation - Calculates the peak heat gain month for all included rooms and the coincident peak month for the group of rooms utilizing the CIBSE Heat Gain calculations.  
Calculate key ins - The key-in string for simulation calculations is revised from CALC to CALCULATE and the key-in strings following the Calculate key are now combined into a single phrase. The key-in options are provided with Calculate key-in to navigate the calculation settings dialog and to close and save reports. 
Fuel Factors - The revised Fuel Factor block in Building Economics Properties now includes a toolbar that allows fuel factors to be specified and stored for each fuel resource (electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil). The New button adds a new Fuel factor object, for each fuel resource. These fuel factors are used in simulation calculations utilizing EnergyPlus.
Source variable - The need to have a "Source Variable" for Cost Tariff, under "Cost charge simple" and "Cost Charge Block" in Building properties -- Economics section, is now resolved by defining a "Cost variable" using the New button on the newly added toolbar. This will be included into the Source Variable list in Cost Charge Block for selection. These Source Variables have been extended for use in simulation calculations utilizing EnergyPlus.
Simulation Reports - The newly added frequency simulation report can be found in the Simulation Results tab. The tree list includes "temperature frequency" reports, which support both graphical and tabulated results viewing. Simulation reports have also added tabulated and graphical reports for Heat Gain, Heat Loss and Maxi Gain (Heat gain over selected months).
Legacy Hevacomp Project Support – OpenBuildings Designer energy simulation extends support to legacy Hevacomp projects by allowing Hevacomp data to be imported and processed in energy simulation workflow. 
Support for Radiance Version 5.2 – OpenBuildings Designer energy simulation has updated to support the latest version of Radiance. Radiance is an Open Source suite of programs for the analysis and visualization of lighting in design. It employs advanced Monte Carlo ray-tracing with optimizations for complex building geometries and fenestration systems.

  • Structural Analytical modeling options are being discontinued

OpenBuildings Designer is discontinuing its native Structural Analytical modeling options in favor of Bentley's structural analysis software applications: RAM and STAAD. OpenBuildings Designer is integrated with these structural analysis applications via the Integrated Structural Model (ISM), which is designed to share structural engineering project information among modeling, analysis, design, drafting and detailing software applications.

 • New Configuration variables

BB_STRUCTURAL_FORM_PERFORATABLE_ENABLED (Undefined by default) - The VBA module rejectautoopening.mvba prevented structural forms from being cut inadvertently by the placement of architectural components. This VBA module was re-written as part of our efforts to transition away from VBA delivered applications. BB_STRUCTURAL_FORM_PERFORATABLE_ENABLED was added to allow users to cut structural members with components as needed.

What's New Highlights for GenerativeComponents Companion Feature CONNECT Edition Update 5 (v10.05.00.77):

 • Grid node enhancements

It is now possible to use the grid intersection points to place other GenerativeComponents nodes. The intersection points are available as a flat list or as arrays stacked by floors. Additionally, the following output properties have been added to the Grid node type as ICurve lists: HorizontalGridLines, VerticalGridLines, RadialGridLines, CircularGridArcs and ComplementCircularGridArcs.

 • Performance improvements

In addition to the performance improvement achieved in Update 4, some aspects of GenerativeComponents are now up to six times faster than before.

 • Generic text file and XML file facilities in GCScript

The GCScript language facilities for reading and writing the contents of files have been enhanced to work in a more general fashion. Two kinds of files are supported: Text files and XML files. They are implemented in several classes, with a base File class providing a number of general-purpose file-oriented functions. These functions are available from GenerativeComponents' Functions dialog and are revealed while scripting when typing the word "File" followed by a dot. The other classes are TextInputFile, TextOutputFile, XmlInputFile, XmlOutputFile, XmlElement, and XmlAttribute. Files must be closed after processing is complete.

 • Restored GenerativeComponents WCF interface

GenerativeComponents' WCF interface allows users to invoke GenerativeComponents from their own applications as a server application.