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OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 7 (v10.07.00.105)

The OpenBuildings product team is pleased to announce the availability of OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 7 (v10.07.00.105) through the Bentley CONNECT Center, Software Downloads portal, or the desktop CONNECTION Client.

This release includes language and regional dataset support for two new countries, Russia and the Czech Republic, bringing its total language count to eight (8) - Czech, Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian, and includes sixteen (16) regional datasets - Australia, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Neutral Metric, New Zealand, Russian, Singapore, Spain, Swedish, United Kingdom, United States (Imperial and Metric).

This version incorporates several new productivity enhancements and user-requested fixes. It also includes updates from MicroStation CONNECT Edition Update 14. Please refer to the "What's New Highlights" section below for some of the product updates and enhancements.

GenerativeComponents, Update 7 (v10.07.00.124) is available as a companion feature. This computational design platform can easily be included as part of any deployment of OpenBuildings Designer.

OpenSiteTm Designer CONNECT Edition 2020 Release 2 ( - This release also introduces OpenSite Designer as a new companion application during installation. OpenSite Designer is a new application that employs an open modeling environment for the project delivery of site design projects from concept to completion. The application provides complete detailed design capabilities for rapid site modeling and analysis, earthwork optimization and quantification, drainage and underground utility design, automated project deliverables, and more. OpenSite Designer is currently only available in English.

Update via CONNECTION Client:

If you have OpenBuildings Station Designer CONNECT Edition already installed on your computer, you can incrementally download and install OpenBuildings Station Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 7 from the CONNECTION Client. It will replace any earlier versions of the product. Sign into the CONNECTION Client to view and apply your Application updates. If needed, please refer to the CONNECTION Client help for more information on installing the update. 

If you have a version of AECOsim Building Designer CONNECT Edition installed on your computer, then OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 6 will be advertised as an update from the CONNECTION Client. However, if you are transitioning 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 6, 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.

Important installation requirements and notices are found in the Readme.

Updating Dataset:

Please remember that upgrading OpenBuildings 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 backup 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 7 (v10.07.00.105)

A good overview of some of the new features mentioned below are available in this three-minute video.

General Updates:

Discontinued Windows 7 Compatibility

Microsoft Windows 7 will enter its End of Life and ended mainstream support as of January 14, 2020. Microsoft will no longer offer patches and security updates for Windows 7. Therefore, OpenBuildings products released after this date will no longer be certified or claim compatibility with Window 7.

Physically Based Rendering (PBR)

OpenBuildings now supports Physically Based Rendering (PBR). PBR method of rendering accurately represents a material's surface based on its interactions with light. You can create more realistic looking materials that work well in all lighting environments.

• Revit 2020 RFA update

When RFA files are brought into OpenBuildings Designer, the RFA Interpreter creates catalog entries that represent each type defined in the RFA and stores the mapping settings that are used for each RFA file. In other words, the properties contained in each RFA and their values are stored in a catalog entry, and the RFA is interpreted each time it is placed into a new DGN. OpenBuildings now supports Revit 2020-format RFA content via the 'Bentley RFA Interpreter Wizard' and place cell tool.

• iTwin Synchronizer (Technology Preview)

The iTwin Synchronizer is used to synchronize changes made in a DGN to an iModel on the iModelHub. This tool launches the iTwin Synchronizer desktop application, which is a cloud-based design collaboration tool. Project collaboration between team members who are spread out geographically or in different teams and from different disciplines, using varied design applications, is made possible by the iTwin Synchronizer.

Parametric Cell Features (Technology Preview)

In the OpenBuildings > Building Design workflow, you will notice a new ribbon bar group called 'Parametric Cell Features'. ( Note - the Constraints Tab on the ribbon bar is only shown when the active model property Can Be placed as Cell = True. Within the new 'Parametric Cell Features' ribbon bar group, you will find capabilities to define Named Presentation, Multiple Placement Points and Perforators for Parametric Cells. These replace similar capabilities found within our legacy Compound Cells, Frame Builder and Parametric Cell Studio (PCS) used to create user-defined parametric content.

Named Presentations (Technology Preview)
When developing building components using Parametric Cells, a simple projection may not be sufficient in a plan, elevation, or section and may require a different representation and/or graphical symbols. The Named Presentations feature allows you to define what geometry is visible in each view, allowing you to have different representations and/or graphical symbols in each view to accommodate your graphic standards and/or notation requirements.

Placement Points (Technology Preview)
When placing building components using Parametric Cells, a single origin for placement is often insufficient and does not align with how you need to place components most efficiently. The Placement Points feature allows you to predefine multiple 'named' placement points within the parametric cell, which you can select during placement. Placement points can be defined as an associated point on the element, a point in space, at the center of a face, or at the centroid of an element.

Perforators (Technology Preview)
Building Components often can be placed within other host or target elements which require a cut-out, relief, or rough opening to accommodate the building component. The Perforator feature allows you to create 'named' perforators from parametric solids in your parametric cell that acts as a cutting element on a target element.

Architectural Updates:

• Curtain Walls Enhancements

New Edit Curtain Wall System command
This new tool allows the modification of all properties of an entire curtain wall, such as changing mullion spacing, mullion profiles, or panel type after the curtain wall has been placed.

Repeated spacing patterns in curtain walls
This new set of properties allows the definition of a grid pattern with more than one spacing value, for example, spaced 4'-0", 2'-0, 1'-0", and 2'-0". The values can be fixed distances or proportional values to fill the space available

Define which mullion is continuous
Previously, the vertical mullions were always continuous. Now there is an option to control which mullion direction has continuous members and whether the frame is continuous.

Dynamic View resymbolization for line weights
Previous versions of OBD showed curtain walls in all one line weight and color. In Update 7, it will show them in the line weights and colors defined in their Part & Family definitions.

Rotate Curtain Wall grid orientation
This new feature lets you rotate the curtain wall axes after it was placed. While this might be most useful to control the rotation of curtain walls placed "By Shape", it is also useful for creating curtain walls that have mullions that are not completely vertical.

Interface added for multiple panel selection tool
The ability to select multiple Curtain Wall Panels was added in Update 6. In Update 7, a user interface was added to make the options more discoverable.

Sense Distance added to properties
The Sense Distance property controls how close a curtain wall must be to a wall in order to cut through it. That value was previously hard-coded.

• Stairs Enhancements

Control direction of stair when removing a landing
The tool to remove a landing on stairs that had a turn to them previously did not offer any control over which direction the resulting stair would run. Update 7 adds a new step to the command, which asks for an input for the direction of the stair.

Support for extended stair construction to allow for finished floor thickness
Two new properties, one for the upper floor and one for the lower floor, allow for a finished floor thickness. This extends the stair structure while modifying the height of just the top/bottom riser element.

Support for slab construction on landings
Update 6 supported slab treads. Update 7 allows for slabs to be added to landings as well.

Structural Updates:

• Next generation of Structural Elements for OpenBuildings:

Update 7 introduces the next generation of structural elements, which will allow OpenBuildings to extend and improve its structural capabilities. This new structural element offers a direct DGN integration and interoperability with Bentley's ProStructures solution for advanced structural detailing and fabrication.

Upgrading to the Next generation of Structural Elements:

In order to take advantage of the new Structural elements, any existing Legacy Structural elements will need to be upgraded (This is supported by an 'Upgrade Wizard' to assist you through the process). In Update 7, this upgrade is still optional but as future updates are released the update will become more required as we phase out legacy support. Once you upgraded to the new structural elements, the good news is the tools and the operation of those tools remain very consistent to what you are already used to and know today. There should be minimum disruption to your establish workflows and should not require any retraining. This biggest change to the user will be interacting with the new section definitions, which are the same section definitions delivered with ProStructures. The ProStructures section definitions provide a greater level of detail and accuracy necessary for structural detailing and should be a welcome addition to OpenBuildings and improving continuity across Bentley solutions and with structural analytics.

• Support for user-defined and parametric section definition with the Next generation of Structural Elements:

One of the benefits of this new structural element is that is supports the creation of user-defined defined sections and those section definitions can be parametrically driven through parametric variation. No more do you have to wait for programmatic sections to be added to the product. New section definitions are at your discretion and defined by your requirements.

• New Steel Plate Tool

If you are taking advantage of the New Structural Elements, you will also see the introduction of a new Steel Plate type and tools, with three placement methods that take into consideration context and productivity. The placement methods provide for the typical base plate, End Plate (to join two structural members) and free form plate placement. There is also a tool available to add flanges to the plate to form bent plate.

• New searchable Structural Section Picker

With the introduction of new section definitions, there is also a new structural section picker. This new dialog allows you to browse through all the loaded steel databases, filter them to only show a certain shape type (such as rod, I-beam, or C-channel), or search for the name of a specific shape you need (such as UB20025). These options can "stack", so you first select a C-channel, then search for "100' to find all 100-mm C-channels.

• Wizard to add required files to the Dataset

The first time you open a WorkSet from OpenBuildings Designer Update 6 in Update 7, OpenBuildings Designer will need to add some files into your WorkSet in order to run properly. This wizard helps guide you through the process, picking which locale-based files you would like to be loaded and active in your WorkSet. If you change your mind, you can always make changes In the new "Load Steel Section Libraries" dialog on the backstage.

• Wizard to upgrade Projects or Files

The first time you open a file or WorkSet in OpenBuildings Designer Update 7, you will be asked whether you want to upgrade the current WorkSet and, depending on your choice, whether you want to upgrade the current model. If you prefer not to upgrade, you can choose the option not to upgrade your WorkSet now and pick "Upgrade" either from the ribbon or from the backstage later.

• New GenerativeComponents Structural Member Node

To align with the next generation of structural elements, a new corresponding 'Structural Member' node is available

Mechanical Updates:

  • Assembly Builder (New Tool):
    • Functionality to place multiple components that constitute a common assembly, select those elements, and save them as a single named item for repeatable placement (ie: sink trap)
    • Created assembly libraries can be saved to typical locations (Organization, Workspace, or WorkSet levels). User can name saved assemblies according to their own personal or company convention.
    • Once placed, assembly characteristics are dropped, leaving only individually connected elements
    • Assemblies can be composed of available equipment, fittings and linear elements available in OpenBuildings Designer
    • Assemblies can be created using elements from any discipline within OpenBuildings Designer (i.e.: Architectural, Structural, Mechanical, or Electrical)
    • For Mechanical pipe and duct assemblies, a transition will be placed to make up for any change in connection size between previously placed elements and the assembly to be attached.
    • User has the capability to toggle between open ended mechanical connection points on the assembly to define connection point
    • User can rotate the assembly to the correct orientation.

Known Issue in Assembly Builder:

While assemblies are placed in a single action they revert to individual components upon placement for reporting and quantification. It is possible to select compound walls for inclusion in an assembly but, when placed, these compound elements are broken down into individual layers that contribute to the compound wall. This issue will be addressed in Update 8. Until then we do not recommend including compound walls in assemblies.

  • Multi-pipe Routing:
    • Tool will allow user to simultaneously place multiple plumbing pipes offset from one another either vertically or horizontally. By default, the maximum number of pipes that can be routed simultaneously is set to six, but this can be adjusted through a configuration variable.
    • New Develop Placement command lets user set individual pipe sizes, varying offsets, end types, manufacturers catalogs, insulation thickness, etc..
    • Pipes can be different Part/Family (e.g. Hot Water Heating-Supply/Hot Water Heating-Return/etc…)
    • Stretch pipe relations accordingly to retain offset distances
    • User can report and edit/modify these pipes as if placed separately
    • User sets a "drive pipe" (external pipe in user defined multi-pipe grouping) for grouping. This setting is retained for future routing. The drive pipe can be swapped as needed
    • Pipe catalog support
    • Tool allows placement by both newly defined pipes and selection of existing pipework
    • During placement, both direction and locations of secondary pipes can be defined using ribbon controls or key-in shortcuts to dynamically position them as required.
    • Users can restart Multi-Pipe routing from previously placed pipe rack
  • Connect Ducts/Pipes:
    • Updated placement dialog reflects new functionality and components available. The lone dialog previously available has been divided into dedicated dialogs for each discipline (HVAC and Plumbing)
    • Add updated fitting types to UI as well as new fitting types for HVAC:
      • Ogee
      • Take-off
      • Double take-off
      • Tap
      • Cross
    • Add updated fitting types to UI as well as new fitting types for Plumbing:
      • Elbows
      • Tees
        • Stub
        • Sanitary
        • Default
      • Cross
      • Wye
    • Allow option whether to use Autofitting Preferences
    • Create dialog to control limitations on Ogee connections. This allows the user (or fabricator) to set the metal sheet width that will be used to determine the maximum allowable length that can be created from that single sheet. For example, as the offset increases, total length of the fitting will decrease as the stretch out pattern is maintained by the size selected.
    • Tolerance setting has been removed from the dialog, allowing connections to be made without arbitrary limits.
    • Enhanced capability to connect different shaped ducts with Tee & Cross options
  • Mechanical Duct Sizing Enhancements:

Conversion of air flow parameters from m3/hr to l/s (Metric datasets)

  • Dynamic Views:

Pipe turndown symbol in single line to annotate up and/or down direction

  • Plumbing Pipe:

Pipe and fitting outer diameter of pipe reflected in model (3D Geometry)

Energy Simulator Updates

  • United Kingdom Part L SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) requirements:

All SBEM requirements and testing of models required for accreditation have been completed. Once OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition Update 7 has been released, the product will be submitted for accreditation to the appropriate governing bodies in England, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland.

Due to security protocols Bentley Systems does not deliver the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) software with install. In order to run Part L functionality successfully users will need to download the latest version of iSBEM_v5.6.a (through the UK’s National  Calculation Method  (UK NCM) at

  • Import of legacy Hevacomp models:

Users can import Hevacomp Design Database models and projects previously created in Hevacomp products for further development and investigation.

  • Room type mapping:

This capability allows mapping ASHRAE room types to the Part L room types so that the Part L calculation can proceed with minimal intervention required from the user.

  • ASHRAE 90.1 LEED requirement reports:
    • Users have the functionality to produce reports that contain all data required for LEED compliance reporting for the ASHRAE 90.1- Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
    • These reports reflect both the Energy Cost Budget (ECB) and the Performance Rating Method (Appendix G)

Known Issues In OpenBuildings Designer Update 7:

  • We recommend not sharing datasets with both Legacy and PS mode. Datasets function best when the projects using them are all using the same structural elements.
  • The new Assembly tool does not support compound walls. When placed, it drops them to their component slabs
  • ProjectWise Manage Configuration does not support Russian Characters used within configuration file \Dataset_RU\dataset.cfg. Those configuration variables that contain Russian characters will need to be external to the ProjectWise repository or converted into ProjectWise CSBs.
  • Even if you choose not to upgrade your existing structural elements, new steel elements placed with the stair tool, railing tool, and truss tool will use the new structural elements inside them.
  • If you are upgrading from AECOsim Building Designer v8i, we recommend running the Schema Upgrade Utility (found on Backstage > Utilities > Data Utilities > Upgrade) before upgrading your project to use the new Structural elements.

What’s New Highlights for GenerativeComponents Companion Feature CONNECT Edition Update 7 (

• Packager (replaces the GNT Manager)

The Packager is a new tool that lets the user manage GC packages, which are external files containing GNTs, global script functions, global variables, and (in the future) any new GC aspects that are suitable for inclusion.

• Operation

The new Operation node available in the ribbon or GC node palette provides an easy way for the user to discover and perform many kinds of calculations and functions, without having to learn GC’s expression language

• Value

The new Value node combines and replaces the Expression and Watch nodes. (Previous occurrences are updated automatically.)

• Global Values

A new tool that lets the user manage the script variables of the current GC session.

• Revised Computational Design ribbon

Node Types and Functions Groups are replaced with the Calculations and Packages Groups. The new tools Operation, Packager and Global Values are available.