The information below shows a method for creating a space catalog that matches a project program. It assumes that you are using a shared Site Dataset for the majority of your Datagroup Catalogs like walls, doors, plumbing fixtures, etc., but because your project types vary you want the Space Catalog information to be controlled on a per project basis to match individual project programs.
This information is useful even if you are set up with separate datasets for every project and not a shared site dataset just skip the first part and move to Modifying the Space Catalog Items.
To create a project specific Space Catalog that matches your project program you must move the space catalog xml file into your project dataset. The default location for the delivered Space Catalog xml is in the application dataset, ArchDatasetNcsUS, in the datagroupcatalogs folder with the file name, us_ncs_spaces.xml. Copy this file to your project dataset into a datagroupcatalogs folder. Depending on your folder setup probably something like:
P:/ProjectName/dataset\datagroupcatalogs (where P:/ is the projects drive).
Note: The Datagroup Catalog will generate duplicate catalog item errors if it finds more than one instance of a Catalog Item, so you cannot create duplicate Catalog Items in the site datagroup catalog and the project datagroup catalog. I prefer to remove the Space Catalog (us_ncs_spaces.xml) from the shared Site Dataset and put one in all the Project Datasets.
Once you have moved the xml file you will need to add the project folder location to the variable DG_CATALOGS_PATH so that the Datagroup Explorer will find it. This should probably be done in the project configuration file for each project. (There are other ways to do it, but that is another topic). This should look something like this:
Note: For additional information on the datagroup system and setting configuration variables see Bentley Architecture Dataset Overview.
Now, you can open Bentley Architecture (be sure to set the proper project workspace in the Microstation Manager).
To modify the Space Catalog Type that you just installed in your project folder open the Datagroup Catalog Editor (Architecture Tasks > Schedules and Reports > Edit Catalogs).
Scroll down to the Catalog Type Space and hilite it by clicking on it. You can then rename, delete or add from the list of spaces in the right window. These are called Catalog Items.
Keep in mind that these Catalog Items are what will show up in your Create Space dialog as Space Types, therefore they should not be individual room names but something more like departments that match your project program. i.e. in a program for a Hotel these might be Food & Beverage, Banquet & Meeting, etc. Room Names will be input as the Label when the space is placed.
Now expand the Space Catalog Type by double clicking on it.
You should have a list of the Catalog Items (or Space Types) on the right, you can modify any of the default attributes of each Space Type by clicking in the Value field.
For instance, I like to leave the value for Label and Label2 blank since this represents a Room Name that the user will put in when creating the space, but I fill in the Department with the same name as the Catalog Item (Space Type) so that once the user selects the Space Type the Department is automatically filled in. I also recommend filling in the Ceiling Height with a default value (the user can modify this value as necessary when placing the Space) because it is important that spaces have a height in order to be recognized by the Architectural Rules when placing space annotation. You may also consider pre-defining other information, for instance if the Storage areas will always have the same wall and floor finishes this information could be input here so that it is automatically filled in when a user creates a space with Space Type: Storage. If the Editable box is checked it can always be modified by the user during placement. If you want to hide any of the attributes from users simply check the Hidden box.
Now that the Datagroup Catalog information is set up you will need to create corresponding Families and Parts.
Again, this information assumes that you are using a shared site dataset for Families and Parts, but want to create project specific Families and Parts to correspond with your Space Catalog in the Datagroup Catalog system.
If you are already using a project dataset for Families and Parts skip to Adding Families and Parts.
First you must have a project folder for Project Dataset Parts. Depending on your folder setup probably something like:
P:/ProjectName/dataset/part (where P:/ is the projects drive).
Second you need to be sure the variable TFDIR_PART points to this folder. Again, this should probably be done in the project configuration file for each project.
Note: For additional information on the Families and Parts and setting configuration variables see Bentley Architecture Dataset Overview.
To add new families and parts in your project folder open the Dataset Explorer. (Project Management > Family and Parts > Single Parts)
Under Parts > By Families select your project dataset part folder. Right click in the right window and select New.
Name your new Families and Part xml file, I used Space.xml, but the name is not critical. The new file will display in the right window. If you expand the project dataset Folder you will see the new xml file under it.
If you click on the xml file you can add new Families to the xml file by right clicking in the right window and selecting New.
I created a Family for each building type or use in my project. Since the Family and Part will be used to determine the symbology, particularly the color fill or render of different spaces, I wanted to differentiate between parts that may have the same department name like Administration but belong to different buildings or uses and therefore need a different color assigned to them. Consider the naming of these Families as well, the family pull down sorts alphabetically, not by xml file, so to get all your Space Families to sort together they will all have to start with similar characters. The delivered Space Families all start with 0_Area_###, so I chose this as well, but followed it with the building type name so it would be obvious to all users.
Now, to create a new Part I recommend scrolling down to the site dataset folder and expanding the xml file us_ncs_spaces.xml. Select any Family, then highlite one of the Parts from the right dialog window, right click and select copy. Scroll back up to a Space Family that you created, right click in the right dialog window and select paste. Now you can edit any of the properties of the new Part to customize it to your project.
Note: It is important that you have a Part name which matches each Catalog Item (Space Type) in the Datagroup Explorer, although they don't all have to exist in one Family and can exist in multiple Families.
Tip: If you are not planning to use the delivered Space Families and Parts I would simply remove the xml file us_ncs_spaces.xml from your dataset parts folder, as it will reduce the number of families in your pull down.
To place a space using your new space definitions open the Create Space Dialog (Architecture Tasks > Floors > Create Space). The pull down under Space Type should include all the catalog items you created. On the Families/Parts pull down set the Family to one of the new families you set up.
As you select a new Space Type from the pull down the Part should automatically change to match the Space Type. (I had to test this several times to catch all my typos, but it does work).
Tip: The file arch_roles.cfg located in the main dataset folder controls which Family is set by default when the Create Space tool is selected.
Tip: If you want to change the order of the Space Types in the pull down (they display in the order they were input) you can actually open the us_ncs_spaces.xml file in notepad and cut and paste the items to change the order, just watch the syntax of the file.