Creating new components and types. When creating new components and/or types, you have two options: create one or make a copy of an existing component (SAVE AS).
Creating a copy can be useful for quickly creating a new type because it gives you a baseline.

Editing existing components and types. You can only edit types that have not been used to paint. Components and types that have been used to create types that have been painted with cannot be edited. You also cannot paint with types that exist in your project’s base canvas (depiction of existing land use). 

Once either a component or type is in use, you must SAVE AS (create a copy) to “edit” it. Editing a component that has been used to create a building or block type will have ripple effects, changing the attributes of any associated types

There are three ways to edit a type:

  • Modify the proportions (weights) of its constituent parts (components or types)
  • Edit the attributes of its constituent parts directly
  • A combination of these methods

Pay special attention when editing a component or type that has been used to build multiple types — this will affect the attributes of all its associated types.

Figure 1. Toolbar in upper right corner of component and types editor with SAVE, SAVE AS, RESET, and DELETE options

Creating a new component from scratch

To add a new component, Select the Components tab. Then click the button "Add New".

Components Editor 

You will now see the Components editor. All text and value boxes will be blank or zero, except for those that have defaults set in the Library Settings tab. It’s your job to fill them out! 

This walkthrough will go through each card in the components editor to help familiarize you with how to fill the cards out and show you a live example of a component.

Component name and key details

  • Component name. First, give your component a name. If it is a real world building, the name can be the address. If it’s a prototype, you can name it something like “Low-rise office building”.
  • Density. Set the component to “Low”, “Medium” or “High” density. This classification corresponds to Library Variables for square feet per employee assumptions specified in the Library Settings tab (variables can be edited there).
  • Land Use Category. Assign the component to one of UF’s ten major Land Use Categories. For example, a single-family home would be Residential, a grocery store would be Commercial, and apartments above ground floor retail would be Mixed Use.
  • Address (optional). If it is a real world building or park, include its address.
  • Description (optional). Provide a brief description

Components Summary

Nothing is editable in the summary — it is the result of the information you will fill out in the other cards. As you enter values, the summary numbers will be calculated to give you a high-level overview.

  • Floor area ratio (FAR). Ratio of total building floor area to total site area.
  • Residential density (net). Number of dwelling units per acre (excluding non-developable area).
  • Population density. Number of residents per acre.
  • Employment density (net). Number of employees per acre (excluding non-developable area).
  • Average gross floor area per employee. Occupied gross floor area (inclusive of passageways and lobbies) per employee.
  • Total parking. Count of total parking spaces.
  • Parking density. Parking spaces per 1000 square feet.

Site characteristics

Breakdown of site area into its major built form elements. These must sum to 100% of total land area.

  • Building footprint. The proportion/square footage that buildings comprise of the total site area.
  • Structured parking. The proportion/square footage that structure parking (above ground, non-surface lot) comprises of the total site area.
  • Surface parking. The proportion/square footage that surface parking comprises of the total site area.
  • Other hardscape. The proportion/square footage that non-building and non-parking hardscape comprises of the total site area.
  • Non-hardscape. The proportion/square footage that non-hardscape comprises of the total site area.
  • Irrigated. The proportion/square footage that irrigated area comprises of total non-hardscape area.
  • Non-irrigated. The proportion/square footage that non-irrigated area comprises of total non-hardscape area.

Building characteristics

The key characteristics specific to structures on site.

  • Total gross floor area - The total area for all floors.
  • Number of Floors -  The number of floors (stories) in the building.
  • Average Floor Height - The standard height per floor in the building.
  • Residential vs. Non-Residential - Total floor area dedicated to residential and non-residential uses for both gross and net area (excludes passageways and lobbies). Both residential and non-residential net area for both are subdivided in the two subsequent cards, “Residential net floor area” and “Non-residential net floor area”.
  • Below-ground area (not parking) - Square feet dedicated to non-parking area below ground.
  • Internal/Underground parking - Square feet dedicated to internal and underground parking (interdependent with Internal/Underground parking in the Parking card).

Residential net floor area

 In this card, you break down net residential floor area by type. First, you distribute the “Total net residential floor area” (displayed at the top of the card, but edited in the Building characteristics card) by type. You further specify either how many units that floor area comprises or the average square feet per unit. Setting one will automatically calculate the other.

Let’s walk through an example: Let’s say you are creating a single-family home component. In building characteristics, the gross and net proportions you specify translate to a total net residential floor area of 2,500 square feet. You distribute 2,000 of this to “Single-family detached”. You then specify that this is a single unit. The “Average ft2 per unit” will be calculated automatically. You distribute the remaining 500 square feet to an accessory unit. Here again, you would likely set the unit to one and the average square feet per unit would be calculated automatically. 

Let’s look at another example: Let’s say you want to create an apartment building component and your total net residential floor area is 10,000 square feet. You distribute all of this to “Multifamily”, typing 10,000 in the “Total ft2” box in the “Multifamily” row. You can then specify either the unit count or the average square feet per unit. Let’s say you know how big the units should be, but not how many units there should be. In the Avg ft2 per unit box, you type 500. The units are automatically calculated as 20. After review, let’s say that you want these to be two-bedroom apartments instead of one-bedroom apartments and you think there should be about 15 units. You could modify the 20 to 15, and the average square footage per unit would be automatically recalculated to 666.67.

Non-residential net floor area

In this card, you break down net commercial floor area by sector.
First, you distribute the “Total net commercial floor area” (displayed at the top of the card, but edited in the Building characteristics card) by sector. 

You do this by specifying the actual number of square feet per sector, the sector’s proportion of the total net floor area, or a mix of both. Once the floor area has been distributed, you have the option of editing the area dedicated to each subsector or accepting the default proportions set in the Library Settings tab.

To edit the subsectors of one of the employment sectors, select the edit icon. These will be populated with default proportions according to the Density classification you set at the top of the editor. The area (sqft) will be calculated automatically. You can edit either the area or the percent value. To the right, the number of square feet per employee is dynamically calculated as the product of your area/percent specifications.

Parking

This card is interdependent with both the site and building characteristic cards, defining the number of spaces for each type of parking. You can also edit the defaults for the square footage per space by type.

  • Surface. The number (and size per space) are directly tied to the Surface parking values set in the Site characteristics card. Editing one will modify the other.
  • Structured. Unlike surface parking, editing the number of spaces (and size per space) will not modify Structured parking in the Site characteristics card - structured parking will instead just grow in height (and density). This will be reflected in the Parking density displayed in the Components summary card.
  • Internal/Underground. Similar to surface parking, structured parking inside buildings and underground is directly tied to the “Internal/Underground parking” area set in the Building characteristics card.

Using an existing component to create a new one

Using an existing component to create a new component is like starting from scratch, with two important differences: 

  • All the values are already filled in, so you can edit just the ones you need to change.
  • Instead of using the SAVE button, you will use SAVE AS to create a copy.

Therefore, you can use the guide for the “Creating a component from scratch” to create a component from an existing one (see section above).

Editing an existing component

Components that have been used to create types that have been used to paint cannot be edited. 

Once a component or type is in use, you must SAVE AS (create a copy) to “edit” it. 

Editing a component that has been used to create a building or block type will have ripple effects, changing the attributes of any associated types on your canvas

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