Grasshopper for regular/everyday architecture

Hello, I’ve just started learning Grasshopper and was wondering how useful it might be with everyday/regular architecture work.

I see it’s potential with parametric design (obviously :sweat_smile:) but I’m wondering how I could apply the tool for everyday use.

I’m just thinking: Is there a way I could use it to position windows on my elevations so that I could later change both its size and position easily? Similarly for other elements as well? I’m also wondering about all the other ways we could potentially use Grasshopper. All ideas are welcome.

Also, by regular/everyday architecture I mean the predominant buildings that we see in our daily life. I don’t mean to demean them in any manner and I’m just using these words for the lack of finding any better communicable ones!

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You might have want to check VisualArq

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There are a lot of aspects to ‘everyday arch work’ the flow of people into a building, the amount of sun going through a window. GH can connect and distribute data and geometry in many forms.


What I have gotten into the habit of doing, is starting projects directly in grasshopper.

That way, if any changes are required, I don’t have to start from scratch, I can simply change my grasshopper code.

It takes a while to get used to. But once you get the hang of it, you might never go back to traditional modelling.

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Wow that must be quite difficult tho! Could please share with me the complexity of buildings you deal with?

(I’m learning Grasshopper right now and I want to understand what can be achieved with it. Or how I could personally use it for my designs).

Could you please elaborate on this? Are you referring to optimization of sorts? :thinking:

There are combinatorially explosive ways at looking a building, when you say “position windows on my elevations so that I could later change both its size and position easily” there are hundreds of variables if you take different perspectives, all which have a Data component.

To use grasshopper effectively you need to manage your Data in a way that is clear and concise in one aspect, but can be used other areas as well.

So if the geometry-data of a door opening is relevant to you in another aspect its needs to be accessible. This is what Revit, VisualArg does for you behind the scenes.

You can do this yourself in Gh by assigning UserData, Keys & Values to Rhino geometry. I prefer elefront, but human works great as do others.

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Not being an architect, and generally accountable only to myself, I always wonder how these large projects are documented in GH, especially when there are many users. I often have trouble understanding what I did a few weeks earlier, much less someone else.

UserData!! thats why Andrew came up with jSwan, to create and maintain the relationships as things get more complex.

a view is basically a plane, that can be stored at text, which then has related items, geometry, whatever and so on. In Rhino GH you define these relationships to what is relevant to you. If you are doing out of the box work, just use a predefined database (VA, Revit), if you want more you need to ‘roll your own’.


Probably a stupid question, but I assume you can reference actual Rhino objects, and not just their attributes. If that’s the case, where do they reside?

In various Rhino files, Elefront works through worksessions. If you’ve seen the Morpheus vid they show a data driven workflow. I’ve generated a few large projects (300-400 sheets of elevations, sections & plans using this method), which ended up being a little cumbersome, seeing as i was just figuring thing out. Working on getting more high-breed workflows now, with RiR.

I suppose, like a lot of things, these approaches don’t have any real meaning until circumstances force you to use them.

Could you give me a few examples please? (Say I’m working on desiging a simple building).

I use grasshopper all the time to quickly do tedious math like keeping track of areas.
This is usually as simple as referencing slab curves or faces of breps by layer (using the geometry pipeline), pulling the area from those faces or curves (by sorting the faces and selecting the lowermost one) and mathematically comparing them to a variety of program or zoning area requirements.

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Yes, even for a simple building. For example, you could start with the floor plan of the building. You can make the floor plan parametric, and then extrapolate it to every floor. That way, you will have control over the plan of the building, the height for each floor, number of floors, number of doors, number of windows, etc.

You are only limited by your imagination

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