Friday, May 30, 2008

Trane Trace 700 GBXML Integration

The import gbXML (Green Building XML) feature will import data into a TRACE 700 project file based on building dimensional information exported from a CAD drawing. The CAD software must have the capability of generating a XML file that meets the Green Building XML requirements such as AutoCAD MEP.

The generated TRACE file will have the rooms defined (floors, walls, windows, etc). Note that users have the option of selecting what data to import from the CAD model into TRACE. The user will then need to define the template information for the file (internal load information, construction types and ventilation airflows) to refine the room inputs. After running the simulation, output information from the TRACE program can be exported back to the CAD model (space airflows, heat/cooling loads, etc.).

The gbXML standard is in the process of being accepted by most CAD vendors. Autodesk and Bentley will likely be the first two vendors to use this feature. The import has been implemented in TRACE for a few years now (leading the industry) and the export functionality is available in version 4.1.5 or greater.

C.D.S. has completed similar development with VariTrane Duct Designer. VDD can now import files using ddXML. Analysis can then be performed on the duct design and sizing/pressure detail information can be returned directly to the CAD model through an export feature in the program. For additional information on VariTrane Duct Designer or ddXML call the C.D.S. support center at 608-787-3926 or e-mail at: . For additional information specific to gbXML go to .

Exporting gbXML data from AutoCAD MEP

1. Open the drawing file in the AutoCAD MEP in this case.

Note: Verify that the latest version of AutoCAD MEP is installed before beginning this process. Autodesk products are updated with Live Update, which downloads patches to your product using Communication Center. Users can use Live Update to check for updates when a web connection is established. If a product patch is available, notification of its availability is received on the AutoCAD status bar, and the patch can be either downloaded directly from an Autodesk server or modified first before being copied to users' workstations.

2. Go to the File drop down menu and select Export to gbXML.

3. Select the location to export the gbXML data to, the number of zones to export, input the building type and zip code, then press the Start button to begin the export process.

4. When finished, press the Close button and exit out of AutoCAD MEP.

5. Using Windows Explorer, place the gbXML export file into the TRACE 700 Projects directory, typically this will be C:\CDS\TRACE700\Projects.

Importing gbXML data in TRACE 700

1. Open TRACE 700 and start a new file. This can be done by going to the File drop down menu, clicking on New, then TRACE 700, then entering a name for the file, and clicking on Open.

Note: Verify that the latest version of TRACE 700 is installed before beginning this process. Updates can be downloaded by going to the Help drop down menu, selecting Trane on the Web, and choosing Check for Updates or visiting the Download Center at

2. Go to the File drop down menu and select Import gbxml…

3. Navigate to the .xml file that was created during the export from AutoCAD MEP and click on Open.

Note: If errors occur during the import process please install the latest MSXML from Microsoft from;EN-US;sp

4. Select the desired information to import from the gbXML file and click OK.

5. Note any error messages that occur during the import process and click OK. Make sure to verify the inputs that relate to the error messages in TRACE input file. In this case, ventilation airflows were input in two ways in the CAD file, therefore one of the methods was selected to be used in the import.

7. Verify/refine the inputs in Create Rooms and/or use Templates to make changes in mass (see How to Use Templates.doc for details on how templates work).

Note: Due to the gbXML import, the vast majority of inputs for Create Rooms will have been filled out during the import process. Also, note that 75+ percent of the time that it takes to input a file is typically spent in Create Rooms and the gbXML import can reduce this time by more than two thirds.

8. Add additional details to the airside systems in Create Airside Systems.

Note: For details on how to model different airside systems, please refer to the TRACE 700 Modeling Guide.

9. Reassign the rooms to the refined systems in Assign Rooms to Systems (see the document Zoning in TRACE.doc for details on how to zone rooms in TRACE). From this point on, the TRACE project file will function as a typical TRACE 700 file.

Note: For details on creating cooling and heating plants please refer to the TRACE 700 Modeling Guide.

Note: For details on inputting utility rate information see How to Create Utility Rates.doc.

Exporting gbXML data from TRACE 700

1. Open TRACE 700, open the project file (filename.trc), and calculate at least the design section.

2. Go to the file drop down menu and select Export gbxml…

3. Select the existing .xml file that was used during the import process

4. When the export is complete, the information for the rooms plus zones will have been exported to the xml file.

Importing gbXML data in AutoCAD MEP

1. Open AutoCAD MEP and open the drawing file.

2. Go to the File drop down menu and select Import from gbXML…

3. Select the xml file to import that data from and click on Open.

4. TRACE 700 calculation data should now be included with the drawing file.

GbXML Results Exported From TRACE 700

  • Room
    • Space Loads - These loads can be found in the space loads section of the Room Checksums Report.
    • Cooling Skylite Solar
    • Cooling Skylite Conduction
    • Cooling Roof Conduction
    • Cooling Glass Solar
    • Cooling Glass Conduction
    • Cooling Wall Conduction
    • Cooling Partition
    • Cooling Exposed Floor
    • Cooling Infiltration
    • Cooling Lights
    • Cooling People
    • Cooling Miscellaneous Equipment
    • Cooling Ceiling
    • Cooling Ventilation
    • Cooling Over-sizing
    • Total Cooling
    • Heating Skylite Solar
    • Heating Skylite Conduction
    • Heating Roof Conduction
    • Heating Glass Solar
    • Heating Glass Conduction
    • Heating Wall Conduction
    • Heating Partition
    • Heating Exposed Floor
    • Heating Infiltration
    • Heating Lights
    • Heating People
    • Heating Miscellaneous Equipment
    • Heating Ceiling
    • Heating Ventilation
    • Heating Over-sizing
    • Total Heating
    • Coil Loads – These values come from the System Component Selection Report.
    • Main Cooling Coil Tonnage (if main cooling coil is at the room level)
    • Auxiliary Cooling Coil Tonnage (if auxiliary coil is present in system)
    • Main Heating Coil Mbh (if main coil is at the room level)
    • Preheat Coil Mbh (if preheat coil is at the room level)
    • Reheat Coil Mbh (if reheat coil is at the room level)
    • Humidification Coil Mbh (if humidification coil is present in system)
    • Auxiliary Heating Coil Mbh ( if auxiliary coil is present in system)
    • Fan Airflow – These values come from the System Component Selection Report
    • Primary Fan (if fan is at the room level)
    • Auxiliary Fan (if system required)
    • Room Exhaust Fan (user specified)
    • Diffuser

Additional questions regarding TRACE 700, gbXML, Varitrane Duct Designer, and/or ddXML should be directed to the C.D.S. Support Center - or 608-787-3926.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Install Directory Differences Between Vista and XP

When you install an Autodesk program on Vista, the files are installed in a different location. Here are the differences between the two operating systems. If you are trying to tell a customer where to look for various autodesk files, this chart might help. This directory change is required for the software to be Vista compatible.

Windows XP

C:\Program Files\

C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Autodesk\

C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk\

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\

Windows VISTA

C:\Program Files\



You should replace with the name of each user that runs the product on this computer and replace and with the corresponding product information from the following list:

Friday, May 02, 2008

AutoCAD MEP 2009 ‐ Update a Panel Load Schedule Table Style

New in AutoCAD MEP 2009, you can create your own custom panel load schedule table style to match the layout of your company’s standard panel load schedule. First, create the custom table, and then create the panel load schedule table style from the table. When creating the custom table, insert placeholder field codes where the panel and circuit data would display. When the custom panel load schedule table style is used to generate a panel load schedule, the field codes are replaced with the panel and circuit values from the Circuit Manager.

The following field codes are available specifically for use in panel load schedule tables:
(Click on image to enlarge)

Toby Smith from Autodesk created a document that outlines the steps to alter the Distribution Board schedule (altering other styles would be similar). He hopes to get a white paper published that explains the concepts and steps in more detail. I hope this document steers you in the right direction.

It is currently not possible to have a user entry column in the Panel Load Schedule that won't get replaced during a schedule update. Autodesk is hoping to add a "Comments" column in Circuit Manager but they wern't able to implement it for the 2009 release. It's something they will consider for a future enhancement.

AutoCAD MEP 2009 ‐ Update a Panel Schedule Table Style

Save a copy of the existing panel load schedule table style drawing and/or copy the desired table to a new drawing. In this example, we have saved the existing style drawing to a new file called MyPanelSchedules.dwg and deleted the ones we didn’t want.

For this example, we will alter the Distribution Board schedule and change the Wire Size column to display Circuit Rating instead.

  1. Update the text in the column header to read "CIRCUIT RATING" [col I‐J‐K‐L, row 5]

  2. In the next row below, delete the "?CircWires" field then right‐click in the cell and select Insert Field…
  3. (Click on image to enlarge)

  4. In the Field category, select AEC Circuit and select Circuit Rating for the Field name. Click OK to insert the Field Code and then click OK if necessary to close the Text Formatting dialog box.
    Now that the table has been updated to appear how we want, the Table Style needs to be updated to reflect the changes.

  5. You can re‐use the existing table style or create a new one (recommended). To create a new table style, select Format > Table Style…or type TABLESTYLE at the command line. In the dialog box, click the New button

  6. Give the table style a meaningful name – in this example we used MyDistBoard then click Continue.

  7. In the next dialog box, click on the button to "Select table to start from":

  8. Select the proper table and the dialog box should be updated (the "Remove" button is highlighted and the preview window updates to show the table). The other settings should be left as they are.

  9. Click OK to close the dialog then click Close to exit the Table Style dialog. Save and close your drawing ‐ your new panel schedule is now ready to use.

  10. Test out the new schedule by inserting a panel into a drawing (you can also test out by using a drawing or EPD that already has a panel in it too). In this example, we have inserted panel "MDP". Click on Electrical > Panels > Panel Schedule…or type PANELSCHEDULEADD at the command line.

  11. In the dialog box, set the style location to the proper file (MyPanelSchedules.dwg in this example) and select the correct table style (MyDistBoard is the new one we just created).

  12. Click OK to insert the schedule. Verify that the schedule reflects the changes that were made to the Circuit Rating column.