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OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 8 (v10.08.00.44)

The OpenBuildings product team is pleased to announce the availability of OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 8 (v10.08.00.44) through the Bentley CONNECT Center, Software Downloads portal, or the desktop CONNECTION Client.

This release includes language and regional dataset support for eight (8) language count  - Czech, Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian, and includes seventeen (17) regional datasets - Australia, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, ISO19650, 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 15.1. Please refer to the "What's New Highlights" section below for some of the product updates and enhancements.

GenerativeComponents, Update 8 (v10.08.00.40) is available as a companion feature. This computational design platform can easily be included as part of any deployment of OpenBuildings Designer.

OpenBuildingsTm Station Designer CONNECT Edition - This release also introduces OpenBuildings Station Designer as a new companion feature during installation. 

Watch the video to experience the powerful new capabilities that OpenBuildings CONNECT Edition Update 8 has to offer.

What's New Highlights for OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition, Update 8 (v10.08.00.44) 

  • Flyover Overhaul - OpenBuildings Designer Update 8 unifies all element Flyover settings for all disciplines into a single dialog, letting you define your own flyovers using DataGroup and Element properties.
    • Define which properties you wish to see based on the element type over which the cursor is hovering
    • Change rounding on values
    • Include, hide, or change the labels on each property
    • Deploy the flyover settings as part of a workspace or dataset
  • Overhaul of the Ribbon layout
    • General Changes
      • The 'Workflow' was broken into two parts:
        • Building Design for Architectural and Structural disciplines
        • Building Systems Design for Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing disciplines
      • The standard Modify tab was removed. The commands that were on it were moved next to their related placement command.
      • The Contextual Placement tab still exists, but it only contains commands related to placement of that element type. As before, 'reset' returns you to the ribbon tab from which you launched the current command.
      • The Contextual Selection Modify tab still exists but is only active when element types that can use it are selected, such as Curtain Walls and MicroStation Tables.
      • Many commands from the Drawing Production tab were separated to a dedicated 'Drawing' tab, which is intended for 2D drafting tasks, such as detailing work.
      • The Analysis tab was split into 'Analysis' and 'Collaborate' tabs, to help make the commands on them more easily discoverable.
      • Keyboard shortcuts across the ribbon were revised to be closer to Positional Mapping.
    • Mechanical and Plumbing Workflow
      • The Mechanical tab was broken into separate 'Mechanical' and 'Plumbing' tabs, allowing more commands to be exposed and to allow the modification commands to be on the same tab as the placement commands.
      • The Place Duct command and Place Duct Accessory commands were split into individual commands for rectangular, round, and oval duct shapes.
    • Architectural and Structural Workflow
      • The Forms tab was moved from the MicroStation Modeling Workflow to the Building Design Workflow.
      • The architectural and structural Modify commands were moved from the Modify tab to their respective discipline tabs.
    • The Popup Menu
      • The popup menu (accessed by pressing Space Bar) was completely revised. Every button on it has a single key shortcut and is mapped in the same order as the keyboard keys, so the top-left is Space-1 and bottom right is Space-M. The most commonly used discipline commands, drawing commands, and modification commands were included.
      • There are different popup menus for the Building Design workflow and Building Systems Design workflow.
  • Updating Datasets - The installer for OpenBuildings Designer Update 8 includes new options relating to existing datasets that are already installed. You have following Dataset Update options:
    • Upgrade with Backup - Creates a backup of the existing dataset, then adds new files and updates files that have changed.
    • No Action - Does not change the existing dataset.
    • Fresh Install with Backup - Creates a backup of the existing dataset, then installs a new, clean dataset
    • Fresh Install- Deletes the existing dataset, then installs a new, clean dataset.
  •  ISO19650 Dataset - OpenBuildings Designer Update 8 includes a new dataset ISO19650 Dataset. This dataset has been developed as a result of the transition of the UK BIM national standards to the new UK BIM Framework incorporating the BS EN ISO19650 standard. It also aligns to the ISO13567 standard for level naming and incorporates the latest Uniclass tables updated in April 2020.

 Architectural Updates

  • Curtain Walls - Enhancements:
    • Multi-segment curtain walls / Corner Mullions
      • When placing a curtain wall, you can place as many segments as you want to form a Multi-Segment curtain wall.
      • Each segment has the same height and mullion spacing.
      • A parametric corner mullion is added at each corner.
    • Side Offset at placement time - At placement time, you can place a curtain wall offset from its placement line (which is useful placing it relative to grid lines).
  • Stairs - Enhancements:
    • Custom Stair landings - After a stair is placed, you can modify the shape of the landing(s) on that stair. The modification is similar to how Modify Railing works, with a grip handle located at the middle of each segment. Pressing Ctrl will toggle between a straight and arc segment.
    • Resymbolization Changes - There are several improvements to how stairs are resymbolized in drawings, including:
      • Control the distance of the stair numbers from the edge of the stair.
      • Control the size of the gap in the break line.
      • Turn off center line of stair.
    • Winder/spiral Geometry Changes
      • Enhanced control of the walk line location, which can now be centered or placed some distance from the edge of the stair.
      • Control over the minimum stair size at the inside of the curved stair.
    • Equal Stair Run option - There is a new placement option for stairs which sets the stairs to have equal runs. This allows stairs to be placed with less-precise mouse clicks and, in some cases, fewer clicks.

Structural Updates

  • New Cut Structural Shape command
    • Update 7 included several commands from ProStructures for cutting holes/openings in structural members. OpenBuildings Designer Update 8 merges those commands into a single command that sets the working plane, cuts the shape, then sets the working plane back. Cut Openings created with this command can be moved just like any other feature cut created in OpenBuildings Designer.
  • Modify Multiple Column Heights
    • The height of a column is now accessible from the Property Panel, allowing users to select multiple columns at the same time and change their height.
  • Structural Shape Improvements

                OpenBuildings Designer Update 7 introduced a new type of structural element that uses the shape libraries included with ProStructures. A drawback of this was that existing XML-format libraries no longer                    worked with the new tools. To correct this issue, Update 8 includes two new functions:

    • The structural placement tools can now read rectangular directly from XML format.
    • A utility to upgrade shape catalogs to the MDB format used for ProStructures shapes.
  • Tapered concrete Improvements
    • OpenBuildings Designer Update 8 has upgraded the Tapered Concrete command to create ProStructures compatible elements, like tapered steel is. Update 7 was still creating legacy elements for tapered concrete shapes.
  • Upgrade Utility Changes
    • There is a new option to hide shapes that have already been mapped, making it easier to see how many are left to be selected.
    • A new check box has been added to make sure the user has reviewed the mappings that were set as a default. While they are set to look for shapes that have exact matches between their names, it is still a good idea to review them before upgrading your project.
  • Plate Placement
    • The plate tools now have options to place them by top, middle or bottom face.
  • Place Framing Between
    • The Place Framing tools have a new option to control which line of the support elements to use.
  • Material control
    • The OpenBuildings Designer DataGroup material property pulls its allowable list from ProStructures so the values of the two match.
  • Quantification
    • The Quantification tool now supports the new ProStructures-compatible structural elements.
    • Graphic column schedules now support ProStructures-compatible structural elements.

Mechanical Updates

  • Connect Ducts/Pipes Tool (Enhanced Tool)
    • Enhancements will be made available in Update 8 to upgrade the capability of the Connect Ducts/Pipes tool, which is used to automatically complete network path connections between HVAC and plumbing components. This upgrade allows the user to access all available fitting components provided in the application compared to the limited options previously available. The new Connect tool provides a stand-alone dialog box which provides:
      • New dialog that allows the user to select Duct shape to be used.
      • Fitting type which now includes all elbows, taps & take-offs, tee's, wye's, double take-offs, crosses, and ogee fittings. Multiple types of these fittings are available including new fittings like drop cheek tee's, drop cheek crosses, nested fittings, and new elbow configurations.
      • Preview has been added with a visual aid to inform the number and sequence of the order and selections needed to make the connections using any particular fitting type.
      • Piping connections have their own tab in the dialog and new. fittings have been added including twin elbow h-branch wye and lateral wye.
      • Previous version of the Connect tool was integrated with the autofitting preferences, this new tool has been separated from that limitation to provide the user quick access to any fitting type.
      • Some fitting types have limitations based on positioning, angle and eccentricity. In these cases, the connection may fail but a user message is available in Message Center to alert the user and provide reason for failure.
  • Unidirectional Bypass
    • An enhancement has been added to the Bypass tool to allow for unidirectional offsets to a pipe or duct run in order to avoid collisions with other components. Previously the tool looked to return the system back to starting elevation after bypassing the interference, now the user can set the tool to return or apply a singular bypass and then maintain the elevation change applied.
  • Angle Stops
    • Angle stops allow the user to turn on and pre-define sticky points at up to 5 increments between 0-90 ° to assist in placing ductwork or piping more accurately. These can be set using the autofitting preferences for either HVAC or Plumbing disciplines. Along with the sticky point there will be a visual reference line indicating that the defined angle has been reached as well as a dynamic representation of the routed system.
  • Rotation of fittings
    • During placement of individual fittings, the ability to rotate the orientation has been developed for Update 8. For Rectangular and flat oval fitting rotation will occur in 90° increments and the fitting will re-size to match connection dimensions. For round components user will be able to freely rotate the fitting to any angle, accu-draw is enabled to lock angle to desired location.
  • Placement and Insertion point enhancements for fittings
    • The dependency of the "RI" key-in command has been removed in Update 8, user can insert a fitting and slide the component anywhere on a linear element (duct or pipe).
    • During insertion and sliding of a fitting along a linear element the insertion point has been changed to the center of the branch line (end 3) to enhance the capability to accurately place the component.
  • Maintain fitting size aspect
    • When Match size is toggled this enhancement will adjust the parameters of a re-sized fitting to maintain similar sizes of aligned ends on the component to match connection size, branch ends on tees or crosses maintain default size (transition sizes not affected). This maintains an eccentric characteristic which is easier to adjust for the user.
  • Array tool enhancements
    • Place as Array has been added to the ribbon as its own button, rather than the previous split button making it available for all components that can be used with this feature.
    • New components added to be used for array:
      • Floor drains
      • Roof drains
    • Support has been method for new placement methods:
      • Select Element : supports space, ceiling grids, free forms and slabs
      • Dynamic option:
        • Orthogonal- cursor movement defines extent of rows/columns for component placement
        • Rotated - similar function to orthogonal, but allows angled placement dynamically
  • Multipipe placement enhancements
    • New enhancements have been added to increase the usability of this feature, including:
      • User can select either open end of multiple pipes to re-start placement

OpenBuildings Energy Simulator Updates

  • Green Roofs
    • Green roofs can now be modelled for use in simulation, users can create these systems by including them as part of the construction make-up of roofing systems. This can be added through the Material Manager in Energy Simulator using the Vegetation category. 
  • Natural Ventilation
    • The option for Natural Ventilation has been enabled so the users can include natural ventilation in HVAC Manager which allows these objects to be included in the simulation of the project.
  • Daylighting- External Shading included when calculating internal light levels
    • The user now has the ability to add external shading features that will affect the internal calculations due to light transmittance.
    • Shading device affect will be considered in both exterior and interior glazing.
    • The effects of shading devices can be shown through shadow casting on visualizations and through calculated data results.

GenerativeComponents Companion Feature CONNECT Edition Update 8

  • C# Project Generator
    • This provides a major stepping-stone for users who want to start creating their own GC node types in Microsoft's Visual Studio Community Editor (or higher editor).Specifically, GC now includes a 'wizard' that generates the initial code of the user's Visual Studio project. Furthermore, GC pre-configures that project to match the user's environment, such as where Bentley's DLLs are located on their computer.
  • Support for file-browsing capability in user-authored nodes
    • A custom attribute, 'GCFileBrowser' is introduced, that lets a Visual Studio node author specify all the characteristics of the browser behavior that will be presented to the end user.
  • In the FunctionCall node, it’s now easy to convert a custom function to a named global function
    • One of the most-used aspects of the FunctionCall node is that the user can spontaneously create and manage a custom function. After having done so, the user may wish to re-use that same function in other parts of their GC model, and/or add it to a GC package. To do so, they must convert that custom function, which is associated with only one specific FunctionCall node, to a named global function, which is available in GC's Functions panel. However, that conversion process can be complicated task. Now, with a simple command, a custom function in any FunctionCall node can be converted to a named global function.
  • GC’s Console panel now supports textual zoom
    • There are now buttons at the bottom of the Console panel to increase and decrease the font size. These affects not just the text in the Console's output window, but the input text as well.
  • AutoFittingPreferences node
    • It defines autofitting preferences for Duct.RouteByPoints and Duct.BranchAtPoint techniques.
    • AutoFittingPreferences node has one technique - ByDefault, initial values corresponds to default values for Mechanical Autofitting Preferences.
  • New SketchGrid technique for Grid node
    • Allows user to create complex grid system using GC elements like lines, arcs, curves etc.
  • New GridSettings node is introduced
    • This node allows GC user to control OpenBuildings Designer grid system settings through GC script.
  • StructuralCoping node added for Structural Members coping options
    • Structural coping node leverage GC users to control OpenBuildings Designer Structural coping options through GC script.
  • Duct node
    • It allows to place ducts, HVAC devices and inline devices. Duct node has 5 specific techniques:
      • ByPoints - creates a linear duct by two points
      • RouteByPoints - by a set of points creates linear ducts and connects them with elbows
      • BranchAtPoint - adds a branch to a linear duct
      • Device - creates HVAC device
      • InlineDeviceAtPoint - creates an inline device

Known Issues in OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition Update 8

  • When a curtain wall is placed with Continuous Horizontal mullions or Continuous Frame, a corner mullion is not placed at that corner.
  • Before using Update 8, DataGroup Upgrade Utility must be run to make sure all new properties are used on elements.
  • It is recommended to use Pedestrian modeler prep workflow only with StationDesigner workspaces.
  • It is recommended to not share datasets with both Legacy and ProStructures mode. Datasets function best when the projects using them are all using the same structural elements.
  • The Assembly tool does not support compound walls. When placed, it drops them to their component walls.

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 8from 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 8 will be advertised as an update from the CONNECTION Client. However, if you are transitioning from AECOsim Building Designer to OpenBuildings Designer it is recommended 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 8, please follow these steps to download it from Fulfillment Center:

  • Sign in to
  • Scroll down to the ‘My Services’ section and click on the ‘Software Downloads’ tile
  • On the 'Software Downloads' page, filter the available products by the Brand 'OpenBuildings' and click on [Apply]
  • On the ‘OpenBuildings Designer’ tile click on [Get Software]
  • Filter the available Version by ‘’
  • Confirm your Language, Architecture, Deliverable Type and Subscription Entitlement settings and then click on [Apply]
  • Click [Download] 

Software Downloads can also be accessed through the desktop CONNECTION Client. Open the CONNECTION Client from the system tray and click on [CONNECT 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.