Linking a Building to A Site Model



There can be a real challenge linking a building to a site. Site plans are normally drawn with North straight up the page, building plans are normally drawn so that they are orthogonal on the page which doesn’t match the orientation of the project on site.

Site plans are often drawn at a different scale to the floor plans – so if you do try to see the site plan together with the building, they do not line up and they are different sizes.


Then there’s the 3D elevation problem. You need to create site models with the correct elevation, otherwise they won’t work properly. But we tend to draw buildings with the story starting at zero.


This means that when you try to line up the house on the site and plan, they are still not coordinated in elevation.

There are two options that I have used. The first option is the one that I cover in my Vectorworks Architect course, and that is to use a Design Layer Viewport.

The concept of the design layer viewport is that allows you to link together layers from one part of the drawing onto the site plan. Because it’s a design layer viewport you can still use the object info pallet to choose what layers or classes are visible on your design layer viewport.

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7 thoughts on “Linking a Building to A Site Model

  1. I have had the same experience trying to open the ‘Design Layer Viewport’ file. Message that appears says, “This file is damaged. It will open with as much dates possible,” but caused Vectorworks 2016 to hang.

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