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gbXML export add-on (for free from Cadimage)

In late December, 2014 there was a discussion on LinkedIn about how to export from ArchiCAD to a gbXML file. A long time ago Encina (now part of Cadimage) sold an add-on, but there was hardly a trace or reference to the Add-on anywhere on Cadimage’s website. So, short of buying EcoDesigner Star, the original commenter wanted to know if there was any other solution.

I didn’t have an answer, but I also wasn’t satisfied with not knowing what happened to the old Encina gbXML Add-on. So I e-mailed someone I know at Cadimage and asked—fortunately I’d just been e-mailing Cadimage about the recent post I did in conjunction with them. You know, this one about language usage. Anyways the point here is, if you don’t know, ASK. The ArchiCAD community is awesome. Everyone worth talking to is happy to hear from another passionate user and help if they can. Whether that person is part of Graphisoft, a local distributor, a third party developer, a fellow user, a trainer, a student, a blogger…everyone wants to help.


Anyways it turns out Cadimage has a (very) late holiday gift for us all. If you’ve been following the thread on LinkedIn, you might have already gotten this gift: as of now the gbXML Add-on for ArchiCAD 18 (and 16 and 17) is available for free on Cadimage’s website. Here’s the link.

Go get it. It’s free.

Let me write that again.

Cadimage is giving us all the gbXML Add-on for ArchiCAD for free.

As a bonus the Add-On includes an automated Zone Placement command that works really well. I could see that as being very useful, even if you aren’t using it for the intended purpose of exporting a gbXML file.

Even if you don’t care about gbXML

Read the Product Overview and Modeling Tips. The few pages of images and text are a perfect example of how to explain an add-on and also teach someone about modeling. Recently on BIM Engine I wrote about different kinds of ArchiCAD models and about how much you should model. The modeling tips Cadimage shares on how to maximize the benefits of the gbXML add-on fit into those discussions perfectly. Their advice runs counter to some things you’ve probably been told by experts (including me), but their advice is absolutely right. If you are modeling so that you can export to gbXML, then there are some things you should and shouldn’t do. It’s a great case study for all the things I’ve been writing about recently.


What is gbXML?

“The Green Building XML (gbXML) open schema helps facilitate the transfer of building properties stored in 3D building information models (BIM) to engineering analysis tools.” (from gbXML.org)

For more details, click here. But in simple terms, gbXML is the file type you need to get your building information from ArchiCAD to a number of energy modeling software. And I believe gbXML is of interest for Passivhaus designers as well, but I’m sure you guys will correct me if I’m wrong! In other words, gbXML is a great file type for working within an OpenBIM environment. Or is that OpenBEM? Are we there yet?

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  • February 20, 2015

    Thanks Jared, this is great.

  • February 22, 2015


    Tanks Mr.Jared, this was very necessary for me .

  • February 22, 2015

    Thanks for writing this article Jared. We held off making gbXML widely available for some time so that we could work on making it even better. We hope it’s something your readers (and the rest of the community) find really helpful!

  • March 10, 2015


    As alway, Jared. Thank you. I have been endeavoring to find a way around the fact that EcoDesigner Star was pulled because of bugs and human error – apparently! I am hoping this Cadimage download you have shared will open a few energy evaluation doors.

  • October 18, 2016

    Any new about GBXML cadimage plugin for AC20 ?

    • October 31, 2016

      We didn’t re-produce our gbXML plugin for AC20 as the gbXML export is built-in to ARCHICAD now.
      If that isn’t working out for you though, then I could get you a build of ours if that’s of any help.

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