You asked, we answered!

We have rounded up questions that the community has asked again and again into a simple step-by-step answer. These answers are illustrated with a screenshot or video so you can fully understand and use it as a guide to create anything you will need in ARK.

If you still have a question we haven’t answered yet, feel free to fill in one here:

Ark is compatible only with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

Ark is compatible with Computers only.

To Register:

Go to the Ark app (app.arkdesign.ai) with the Chrome browser

  • Click on Create Account
  • Fill all credentials
  • Verify your email address.

When inserting the shape dimensions in the left panel, ensure that every dimension line falls within the appropriate ranges provided by the app. If a dimension line exceeds the allowed range, it will turn red, indicating that you need to adjust the dimension line to fit within the specified range.

When designing the floor plan, please ensure that the floor shape fits within the lot size. If the floor shape exceeds the lot size, it will turn red, and you will need to adjust the shape dimensions in the left panel if you would like the building to be located within the lot boundaries.

No, for now, Ark can’t rotate the building shape. Therefore, when planning a new project, ensure that you rotate the building so that in an interior lot, the street wall is always at the bottom of the screen. For a corner lot, position the street corner at the bottom of the screen. In cases of 2 corner lots, the middle street wall should be at the bottom of the screen, and the middle portion of the planned U shape should also be at the bottom of the screen.

Ark was initially created to design multi-family buildings, and its most unique capability is designing the typical floor plan for residential floors. It can generate designs for more than 50 apartments with the desired unit mix according to your input. However, in response to demand, we can now create mixed-use projects with different uses, including commercial, community facilities, and we have even seen users hacking the system to create hotels, schools, single-family homes, and more.

  • Select the lot line
  • Click on the Split point (Mid-point)
  • Select the split point and move to create the shape

At the “Locate Typical” screen, you will create the typical floor template:

  • -Select the desired shape in the left panel.
  • -Set the shape dimensions within the permitted range. Ensure that all dimensions fall within the allowed range; otherwise, the app will not let you continue the process. You can edit the shape and dimensions later at the Floor Editor screen.
  • -Once all dimensions are within the range, click on “Apply Selected” and then click on “Next”.

At the “Core Selection” screen:

  • Click on the template of your choice.
  • Click on “Generate.”
  • At the “Schematic Section” screen, click on the pen tool to open the Floor Editor.
  • Move the walls to set the floor shape according to your desired design and lot conditions.

Ark primarily works with templates for multi-family buildings, focusing on medium to larger scale projects. However, many users attempt to create small-scale projects with different uses that were not intended for design with Ark. Therefore, whenever you try to set the shape, the system provides appropriate dimensions for medium-sized multi-family projects. You can try setting it to the minimum range and then adjust it to your preferred configuration after generating the building.

Ark was created to work on urban-scale projects with a limited 300′ elevation. If your input is a larger-scale project, the floorplate would be so small that it might not be visible under certain conditions.

  • On the lot editor screen, click on the Unassigned area or any other area.
  • Go to the left panel and change the Use (Commercial/Residential, etc.) and Type (Retail/Commercial Office, etc.).

To rename the area:

  • Select the assigned area.
  • Go to the left panel and insert the name of the area.

To create/build a new wall:

  • Click on the area; it will darken.
  • Select the wall tool symbol from the upper bar.
  • Create a wall from wall to wall. make sure that the new space is enclosed, otherwise, it will disappear.

-Create a wall from one wall to another. Ensure that the new space is enclosed; otherwise, it will disappear.

Ark cannot build just a wall; the app’s wall-building tool actually creates an enclosed space with the walls that you have constructed. When creating a new area, please ensure that the new wall is enclosed by other walls; otherwise, it may disappear.

  • On the Floor Editor screen, click on the Unassigned area or any other type of area.
  • Change the Use to Residential and the Type to Apartment in the left panel.
  • Click on Plan Apartment in the left panel.

Floor plan editor:

The feature calculates the number of legal rooms along the window walls and shows you the total number of rooms and the maximum available area.

Fill the Unit mix data as per the requirement by percentage and/or the number and type of units for every floor. Remember, the total number of rooms should not exceed the total number of available rooms; otherwise, it will not generate the plan.

We have different modes of editing apartment types and areas:

  • Select the wall and move it; the number of rooms will adjust automatically.
  • Select the room and remove it, then click on the Recalculate tool from the upper bar. It will calculate the number of rooms and adjust the apartment type automatically.
  • Press the Ctrl key, select multiple apartments, and click on the Merge apartment icon in the upper bar. It will merge the apartments.

Minimum Room Width and depth are inputs for determining the average minimum room dimensions. You can set these values on the “Core Selection” screen for the entire project. Alternatively, you can set them later in the process for every unit mix plan, where you can specify your desired minimum room dimensions.

The default average minimum room dimensions in the app are 110 inches width (along the window wall) by 120 inches depth. Ensure that your dimensions do not exceed the allowed range set by the app.

Go to the schematic section.

Select the floor.

In the left panel, change the floor height.

The unit mix works for every floor type separately.

The unit mix represents the number of each apartment type (1 bed/2 bed, etc.) and in Ark, it is calculated per floor for every floor type.

Floor-type refers to one or more floors that are identical. When you use the floor below layout, the system allows you to edit it for setbacks and design iterations so that the unaffected areas and units stay stacked to the floors below, thereby increasing design efficiency.

To add a new floor type:

  • Go to the schematic section screen.
  • Select the floor.
  • Click on the ‘+’ icon to add a new floor type.
  • Double-click on the new floor. To convert more floors to the new type, press (Ctrl + Select).
  • Specify the floor type (Rename) as needed.

To create setback:

  • Go to the floor editor of the new setback floor.
  • Move the wall inside to create the setback of the floor.
  • To move only a portion of the wall, split the wall and adjust it accordingly.

The deduction feature can be edited by clicking on the settings icon in the left panel and is applicable mostly for NYC. As Ark was initially created for NYC, the NYC zoning resolution allows deductions of eligible areas to be excluded from the building zoning area, thereby increasing the permitted floor area. If you are in NYC or in a metro area that uses deductions, you can calculate the deductions by percentage or square footage for every floor type. Once you have updated the deductions, you can save and close and then view your zoning area calculations in the area tables.

You technically cannot plan apartments in the cellar, as legal rooms require legal windows to comply with light and air regulations. The cellar floor is below ground level and therefore does not have default window walls. However, you can have areaways open below and plan your apartment windows manually by following these steps:

  • -Go to the cellar Floor Editor.
  • -Select outer walls and change the wall type to glass walls from the upper bar.
  • -Select the area.
  • -In the left panel, choose Use – Residential and Type – Apartments.
  • -Click on “Plan Apartment.”
  • -In the left panel, Insert your desired Unit Mix by percentage and/or by the number of apartments for each unit type.
  • -Click on “Generate Plan.”
  • Go to the Top-Right corner and click on the ‘Drop down’ button beside your email address.
  • Go to the export option and click on ‘Export to PDF’.
  • Go to the Top-Right corner and click on the ‘Drop down’ button just  beside your email address.
  • Go to the export option and click on ‘Export to Revit’.
  • Go to the Top Panel, click on the (+ Add) Icon and 
  • Add a Stair or any core component and drag it to the desired location on the layout.

Start creating optimized floor plans fast & efficiently with ARK

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