How do you handle HVAC and/or plumbing plans?

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cbe's picture
How do you handle HVAC and/or plumbing plans?

Over at splash I see a lot of people don't have to supply HVAC and/or plumbing layouts with their plans.  My projects aren't big enough to include a mechanical engineer.  In ACAD, I have always just drawn a 2D plan over the existing floorplan for both HVAC & Plumbing.  The local permit office doesn't require much detail.  For plumbing we just have to show the main drain direction and where everything will tie in from each fixtures.  The HVAC plan only has to show the airhandler location, return air location, ducts, and register location.  I also have to noted that bathroom and kitchen vents must vent outside the home.  Pretty simple stuff, but I am hoping I can tackle this in Softplan.  I would love to eventually shelve ACAD all together.

- Cory

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Custom Drawing Modes

SoftPlan comes with 5 custom modes that you can modify to your requirements. You will find them listed at the bottom of the modes list.

You can rename the modes. For instance you might name one Plumbing and another HVAC. For each mode you can define various visibility settings. So depending on what you want to show in your custom mode you can turn those items on and turn the other items off. For instance you may want to turn the visibility for Rods and Shelves, Symbols, certain layers, etc. off and turn certain layers on. As long as those layers are only visible in the custom mode then they are not visible in the other modes.

Notes can also be visible only in the mode they were drawn in or in all modes. When you edit a note you will see a checkbox for "Visible in all modes". If it is checked then the note is visible in all modes. If unchecked then it is only visible in the mode where it was drawn. Additionally, you can assign layers to notes and control their visibility that way.

To rename your custom modes go to File--> System Options--> System Options--> Custom Drawing Modes and select the name you want to change. Note that this will only affect new drawings. If you want to change this for a drawing that has already been created you would go to File--> Drawing Options--> Drawing Options--> Custom Drawing Modes.

To set the visibility settings for a mode go to File--> System Options--> System Options--> Mode Visibilities. From there you can turn things off or on to create your custom mode. As with the custom mode names you would go to the Drawing Options version for a drawing that has already been created.

You can rename Layers to whatever you want also. So you might want a layer named Plumbing and another HVAC. Place your items on the appropriate layer and have those layers turned on in your custom mode.

Layers can be renamed at File--> System Options--> System Options--> Layer Setup. And again go to the Drawing Options version for a drawing that has already been created.

So basically after you get your modes and layers set up it is about the same procedure as ACAD. Switch to the appropriate mode, draw your items and give them the appropriate layers. You can either draw them in and then change the layers or designate the layer before you draw them by selecting the layer name first. You change the current layer by selecting the "Default Layer" at the top of the screen, next to "Default Building Option", and select the appropriate layer.

By the way, your message indicates that I had edited it. I didn't change any of the content. For some reason your post ended up on the front page as if it were a tutorial or article. I need to track down why that happened.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of

cbe's picture
Thanks once again, Bill!

Thanks once again, Bill!  This helps a lot.