The drawing tool puts forward a user-friendly platform for architects and engineers to draw their early-stage models within cove.tool. It also enables users to bring in their geometries directly from other 3D modeling programs such as Rhino, Revit, SketchUp, etc., and make changes to them inside cove.tool.

This article presents a step-by-step guide to model a building using different drawing tool commands.

Step 1

The first step is to navigate to the drawing tool page. In order to do so, you can click on the "Go to Drawing Tool" button on the "Geometry Page".

By clicking on the drawing tool button, you will be directed to the drawing tool page. This page contains a complete set of commands that helps both professional and amateur modelers to easily create their geometry. You can read more about different sections of the interface and all the available commands within the drawing tool here.

Step 2

The second step is to choose a modeling approach. There are two ways to draw geometry inside the drawing tool. Option 1 is to begin massing with building object commands, such as Wall, Window, & more. Option 2 is to start drawing using primitive lines and extrusion commands, which you can later convert to a building. This article will illustrate both approaches.


Step 3

To model with building objects, first, you need to select the floor on which you will want to start modeling. All the floors available within the project can be viewed in the properties panel on the right-hand side of the page. Here you can also add new floors, change the floor-to-floor height and opacity of each floor underlay.

Also, you can insert an existing floor plan, or other images you would like to trace to start massing your model.

Currently, PNG and Jpg formats are accepted and in the near future users can insert DWG and PDF files as well. The PDF format can be saved as an image and inserted into the tool. To add an image, first, open the catalog and then select the camera item on the catalog. Place it on the desired spot on the viewport, and click on the "Upload Image" button on the properties panel. Select the image and hit open. You can move the image by simply dragging it and rotating the image using the blue bar. To change the dimension of the image, use the width and height inputs on the properties box.

Step 4

Now let's start drawing. Select the wall command from the menu bar and start drawing walls on the Grid area. The tool recognizes the interior from exterior walls so general wall command should be used for drawing interior and exterior walls. Note that the length of the walls appears next to the wall object at the time of drawing which helps users to draw in scale. Also, a red grid-snapping guide will appear while drawing walls to restrict cursor movement to specific directions.

Note: Drawing overlapping walls can cause failure in load calculation with loadmodeling tool and inaccurate area inputs for energy simulation on the baseline energy page. Drawing tool indicates the overlapping walls by changing the color of drawn lines to a reddish hue when intersecting lines are within 3 degrees of the origin's x-axis.

Step 5

Drawing enclosed spaces with wall objects automatically create floors, roofs, and rooms. Therefore, no roof and floor buttons are available in the design toolbar. Each room is assigned default properties based on its use type. Room properties such as name, number, color, texture, and template can be specified by the users on the properties panel for the selected rooms. Inputs for room properties such as occupants load, cooling set-point and setback, heating setpoint and setback, and supply air system are pulled out from location-specific energy codes.

Step 6

After setting up initial wall objects, users can start adding windows, doors, and wall openings in 2D view. Different types of doors and windows can be selected from the catalog prior to placing these objects. To change the height and width of windows, doors, and openings, you need to first draw them and then change the width and height of the selected object on the properties panel. Flipping the doors and windows is also available within the properties panel.

Step 7

After placing the windows with desired dimensions, you can add shading devices such as fins and overhangs. Shading devices have a significant impact on the buildings' energy consumption and thus important to be considered in the model. To add fins and overhangs to each window and door, you can select the object and from the properties panel specify the number and depth of the shading devices.

Option 2.

Step 3

Another method to model is by using lines and extrusion commands. you can first draw the 2D plan of the building with primitive lines and then extrude them to the desired height to create volumes. When done with schematic geometry and form, you can click on the "convert to building" button to turn the extrusion to actual building elements. Note that this button will create walls, roofs, and floors out of the extrusion and users still need to manually add windows, openings, doors, and shading devices to the model.


Drawing tool will save your changes every 5 minutes by default. However, there is a small save icon on the bottom of the page, by clicking on which you can save your changes. Make sure to use this feature to update your file. Also, a small colored dot along with a text description show the status of your save. A red circle means "unsaved changes detected", a yellow circle shows the " saving" process and a blue circle means that the "changes saved". Note that there should be at least 10 seconds interval between each save unless you get the message "Please wait until saving again".

One Last Step

After finishing the modeling process, you can click on the "export" button on the application menu and export your model to the 3D analysis page for further analyses.

Happy Modeling!

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