Make sure you have the things listed below before starting:
- Trimble Connect cloud version
- One Click LCA account and license with Business features to be able to import data
- Adding the extension may not always work in Microsoft Edge, we recommend using Google Chrome until this has been resolved.
How do you set up the Trimble Connect integration?
Open your project and install the plugin
First, navigate to the 'Explorer' section. Then upload your file and open the model in 3D view.
How to export quantities with the One Click LCA extension
After the extension is installed, you can open it and click on the button “Send to One Click LCA”. This should export the material bill from the whole model that is visible in 3D and open One Click LCA application in a new tab.
Important note: If new One Click LCA tab is not opening when you click on the button “Send to One Click LCA”, check if your browser blocks the new tab! In this case, you need to give the permission.
The extension will export everything that is present in the model and you can export data from only one model at a time.
In the new tab, you can either import the data to one of your projects - if you have access to a license for One Click LCA - or in another case, you can send the data to another One Click LCA user.
When importing quantities to One Click LCA, you can overwrite, merge or update previously imported data. This can be decided in the One Click LCA that the plugin opens.
Export settings and best practices for models exported from different BIM software
Export settings define the quantity type that will be used by One Click LCA in the import process for walls and floors (including slabs) in order to map automatically the imported data to environmental profiles and calculate the impacts. This means that using a more appropriate unit in the Export settings can lead to higher number of automated mappings and also more accurate calculations.
Additionally, in the Mapping step, One Click LCA will also show to the user only environmental profiles that allow the same unit as the one that is being used.
In any case, the plugin will try to export multiple quantity types for each material, and users can switch from one quantity type to another in the Mapping step of the import process. This will change the environmental profiles that appear as available mappings.
Recommendations for each option in the Export Settings are made so that the user have the optimal experience during the data import process and avoid potential mistakes.
Using Area as the quantity type enables typically the user to map imported objects directly to public or private constructions (datapoints that represent assemblies and systems), while volume can be more optimal for mapping individual imported materials, such as concrete and steel.
Please note that for Revit models, Trimble Connect reads only the whole objects, and does not show the detailed material breakdown.
As a result, it is suggested in these cases to use the area definitions and map the whole objects to public and private constructions.
More specifically, it is recommended to import Revit models to Trimble Connect using the relevant Trimble Connect Add-in, as in this case the user can also import the desired area definition (“Face area” of elements).
You can ensure that an ifc file has been imported with that plugin when it appears in Models tab on Trimble Connect as a .rvt file. This way, the parameter groups Trimble Connect Identity Data and Trimble Connect Quantity Data will appear, and they are expected to include the desired definitions, including Net Surface Area.
In combination with this, it recommended to use the 2nd option in Export settings in the plugin which will prioritize the area as the default unit for walls and floors and this will enable you to map easily these elements to constructions (as they typically have surface area as a unit).
If the Area can’t be exported, then the extension will export the Volume instead for affected elements.
Tekla models that are imported to Trimble Connect, typically do not include the desired surface area definition, so it is recommended to use Option 1 in export settings (default option). This will export the volumes for all elements as default units, which in any case can be practical as typically Tekla models include structural materials for which volume can make more sense.
For Tekla-based models it is possible to use also the area of the elements in the import process as long as the models are imported as ifc files. Quantity type can be adjusted either though the Export Settings or in the Mapping step for each material group.
However, please mind that Areas in these cases are calculated indirectly by the extension by first identifying the potential thickness for each element, and as expected this entails some uncertainty. Thickness is also demonstrated in the generated excel files, so it can be reviewed in these files.
Tekla-based models that are imported with the Trimble Connect extension and appear as .tekla models, often do not carry the desired parameters that enable the indirect calculation of thickness and area.
If users select option 2 in export settings, and Area can not be calculated for a material, the quantity type will switch to Volume in that case.
Archicad and other ifc files
Currently it is not possible to access the detailed material breakdown of Revit and Archicad files, so all building parts can be treated exclusively as whole objects.
Unlikely to Revit, Archicad does not export by default the face area of elements (or at least it is not appearing in Trimble Connect) and as a result it is not possible to map these elements to constructions (assemblies) which are commonly having “face area” as a unit. As a result, it is not recommended to use Trimble Connect plugin in these cases, but it is recommended to use instead the direct excel export from the original software.
Potential work around: If users are able to export desired area definitions for whole objects from the original software and import it to Trimble Connect, it can be potentially arranged with One Click LCA development team that the extension will read the specific value. For more guidance on this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.