Working with different building types in one building can be a little tricky, but cove.tool makes it easy with your plugin and building template workflow. Preparing a Sketchup model for a mixed-use project is best done from two separate files, but this article provides a workflow to export geometry to two different building types from one Sketchup model.

Before We Begin

Make sure you have installed the latest SketchUp Plugin from our app store or the Extension Warehouse inside SketchUp and have followed the model preparation guides in our main article on using the SketchUp Plugin.

Written Workflow

The process for exporting geometry from Sketchup relies on two things,

  1. The assigned project selection by its name, and...

  2. the cove.tool layers that are created, but more explicitly it relies on the name of those layers.

When you click on export our plugin takes any geometry on those explicitly named cove.tool layers and assigns them to the building elements in your cove.tool project.

For a mixed-use project, the project names are given a suffix at the end based on the building type.

The two project names will appear in the project list as shown in the example below. For example, "Sketchup_Example_JE - Education" and "Sketchup_Example_JE - Office." In this walkthrough, we will use an example project with two buildings types, Education and Office.

cove.tool project list inside the SketchUp plug-in

Geometry for each building type will need to be exported to each cove.tool project separately. The export process is the same for each but will need some layer coordination along with the appropriate project selected. The following steps walk through a process for setting up a mixed-use building for two building types and exporting the associated geometry to each project.

Step 1 - Customize the cove.tool layers

When you click on the icon to create cove.tool layer they are organized as shown below.

Sketchup layers for a single bulding type.

Make one set of cove.tool layers, and add the suffix of building type one to the end. Then make another set of cove.tool layers and add the suffix of building type two. The resulting layer structure should look like the example below.

Sketchup layers for mixed-use building

Step 2 - Assign Geometry

Assign the geometry for each building type to the appropriate layer named for that building type. Do this for all building types that will be exported to the project.

SketchUp layer assignment for an Education building type:

SketchUp layer assignment for an Office building type:

Step 3 - Export geometry for building type 1

Click on the project selection icon and select the cove.tool project specific to the first building type you'd like to export. For this example, the Education portion will be first as shown below.

cove.tool project list inside the SketchUp plug-in

Now, delete all of the suffixes you added for the Education layers from the layer name. Leave the layer name as the original cove.tool name, as shown below. Ensure that there are no spaces at the end of the layer name and hide the other cove.tool layers as shown here.

Once set up as described above, click on the export button to export the currently visible geometry for the first building type selected.

Once the export has finished, rename the layer for the building type like before or undo until the name of each layers includes the building type as before.

Step 4 - Repeat step 3 to export geometry for the remaining building types.

  1. Click on the project selection icon and select the cove.tool project specific to the next building type you'd like to export.

  2. Delete all of the suffixes you added for the (building type) layers, leaving the layer name as the original cove.tool name, as shown above.

  3. Ensure that there are no spaces at the end of the layer name and hide the other cove.tool layers as shown above.

  4. Once set up as described above, click on the export button to export the currently visible geometry for the first building type selected.

  5. Once the export has finished, rename the layers for the building type like before or undo until the name of each layer includes the building type as before.

Step 5 - View your project online

Go back to cove.tool and refresh the browser page. You should now see the areas populated under the manual mode on the geometry page.

Click on the 3D Mode button at the top of the geometry page to activate your uploaded geometry. Then click on the "Go to Daylight" button at the bottom of the page or the sun icon along the left side of the page to view your building and its 3D Analysis.

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