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Sunday, 31 January 2010

1.4 - 2D drafting work for glass partitions

The final stage of the detail is to add the 2D work, annotation, dims, etc.

You have a range of tools to do the 2D work;

  • Drafting lines (lines and arcs)
  • Filled regions (hatches, can take advantage of using the boundary line as a line or invisible)
  • Masked region (solid white hatch effectively, can do lines or invisible lines)
  • Line work tool (to change the predefined lines on 3d objects that are cut or seen in elevation)
  • Edit cut profile (cutting back or extending a layer of a 3D system family object)
  • Detailed component (like a 2D block)
  • Insulation Tool (draws bat insulation)

If we look at the items remaining to be done in our detail, we can decide which of the above tools to use for each and plan a method of work.

Bottom Detail

  1. Bottom glazing channel (2D component)
  2. Shims (drafting lines)
  3. Gaskets (2D component or drafting lines (arcs))
  4. Extend glass panel down (Filled region)
  5. Hide mullion top line (Line work tool)
  6. Text, dims, tags etc.

Top Detail

  1. Top glazing channel (2D component)
  2. Wood blocking (drafting lines)
  3. Metal stud (2D component)
  4. Drywall on bottom edge of upper wall (2D component or filled region)
  5. Gaskets (2D component or drafting lines (arcs))
  6. Extend glass panel up into channel (Filled region)
  7. Hide bottom line of upper wall (Line work tool)
  8. Insulation (Insulation tool)
  9. Text, dims, tags etc.

Plan View

  1. Gaskets (2D component or drafting lines (arcs))
  2. Extend glass panel off wall (edit cut profile)
  3. Drywall for edge beside glass (2D component or filled region)
  4. Metal stud (2D component)
  5. Insulation (Insulation tool)

You might think that is still quite a lot of work(double work) but the main untold story is that everything is coordinated, your plans, sections & elevations are already coordinated for the main objects and you don't need to spend time checking they all match.

See video link below for tutorial.




Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Reloading video

Sorry, the 1st video i loaded up doesn't seem to load correctly through standard blogger video load, so i've loaded it up onto a video hosting site

1st video
Full height glass partition part 1 of 4

2nd video

Full height glass partiotions part 2 of 4

01.3 - Video 2 - Advanced Modeling for Full Height Glass Partitions

Now this will be shorter than the last post I hope. I'll talk about how to model angled bracing but first the reason why I do it. Often the bracing isn't modelled as it is easier and faster not to model it and not to think about it, but when services coordination falls on your lap you'll be happy that you did model the bracing. When you receive drawings or a model(if you're lucky enough) from the mechanical engineers they have place the duct runs in various locations, its then part of an architectural technicians job to see that the ducts fit within the ceiling space and any other possible clashes, this is where the bracing comes in. Generally the contractor is given a typical 2D section of the full height glass partition detail that shows the bracing in that view only, on all the plans it is never usually indicated on what side of the wall the bracing is to go on. Without this coordination to make sure the bracing is not on the side that would conflict with mechanical ducts it is likely to hit you in the face(from experience), some contractors will just put it up the most convenient place at the time then later to find out there is problem. Below a diagram that shows you what you want to happen and what you don't want.

The best way to avoid this is to actually model the bracing or space holder for the bracing which will help you either indicate what side it is on in some sort of plan view or issue a model section or 3D of the area to communicate the potential problem to the contractor before they start putting up the frame work.

Now to revit, to do this i create 2 revit families a generic model family and a line based generic model family. These 2 families will nearly be identical with the reference planes, parameters that is in each of them. We first make the generic model family and then load it into the line base family, this is because in the line based family we are going to use an array and the number in the array will be a formula based result depending on the length parameter. To do this as one family you will have problems arraying the geometry as the geometry will try to stick to the reference it was modelled on.

See video for the tutorial for details.

Full height glass partiotions part 2 of 4



Monday, 11 January 2010

01.2 Primary (Basic) Modelling of Full Height Glass Partitions

For viewers new to this blog, this is a continuing chapter on full height glass partitions. Please read earlier blogs to understand the method which I use to create this type of detail in revit. Also I'm considering buying video recording software and posting videos to cut down the length of the blog, there's a lot of text needed to explain quite simple tasks. Hopefully by the end of the month I'll have a video posted.

Unlike the fancy 3D cut section with all the components modelled in the previous blog, you will generally not model as detailed in a working model, there will be too many custom component and if your design changes it will take hours to update all the specially modelled components. There is however merit for having a separate mock-up file thats purpose is to model a part of your detail to get a great 3D cut section with all the components, it can be a model of only a few feet in length that show exactly what you want and you just take a jpeg image and copy it into your main file once your finished. At the end of the month I'll show you how I modelled the nice 3D view in my first post. For now we'll start off with general working model technique.

First we need to prep the file with a few levels. My preference is 'the more levels the better', but this is not every ones opinion, some people like simpler settings, but this is Revit Detail so we'll go the more detailed route. In effect we will setup 4 levels total, 2 will be Structural Slab Levels(SSL) and 2 will be Floor Finish Levels(FFL).
Normally in new build projects there is an allowance of 3" - 4" of floor finish zone but in this example I'll base it on more of a refurb project where we can only lay down a thin layer of floor finish on an existing slab, this is so that the thresholds with stairs and other parts of the building is kept to a minimum height. Our floor finish is only going to be 1/2" so the distance between our FFL(floor finish level) and SSL(structural slab level) will be pretty small.

The reason why i do the extra levels is because of the following Scenario;
- You only have the main levels (01 Level and 02 Level) 

- The top of the main 8" concrete slab is at the '01 level',
- Then you add a 1/2" of floor finish on top of that, ( you must set 'offsets from level' to + 1/2")
- You then enter in your ceiling at 8'-2" in revit.
- Conclusion, The ceiling will be 8'-2" above the main slab but the distance between the floor finish and the ceiling will be only (8'-1 1/2"), is this what you want? or do you want the gap between the floor finish and the ceiling to be the full 8'-2"?
- See below for a diagram to help explain the different options of levels.

Levels options

- By adding SSL and FFL levels we ease this problem without having to do too many 'offsets from level' instance settings. It also helps to do away with extra height calculations which for me is one of revits strongest features.

  1. Open your office revit template file,
  2. Enter into an elevation view to begin.
  3. You can adjust the existing levels in there or delete them and start fresh
  4. Make 4 levels and views
         (SSL 01 Level) at (-0' - 1/2"),
         (FFL 01 Level) at (0' - 0"),
         (SSL 02 Level) at (12- 5 1/2"),
         (FFL 02 Level) at (12' - 6"),
  5. You should create ceiling view types for both the FFL levels but not the SSL levels
    01 Level Ceiling Plan
    02 Level Ceiling Plan

Main Floor Slabs
  1. Go to the 'SSL 01 Level' plan view
  2. Select the floor tool and enter sketch mode
  3. Edit the floor properties
    - Select '8" Concrete Slab'
    - If you do not have this floor type, select Edit/New, then select duplicate, rename to (8" Concrete Slab)
    - Edit the buildup and make the floor thickness to 0' - 8" and the material 'concrete cast insitu'
    - Select 'ok' until out of the floor properties
  4. Now sketch a square floor about 40' x 40'
  5. Select 'finish sketch'
  6. At this point you should select the floor just drawn and hit ctrl + c to copy it to the clip board.
  7. Navigate to the 'modify' panel on the ribbon and select the 'paste aligned tool' 'select level by name' pick the 'SSL 02 Level' as the level.
  8. Enter a 3d view or draw a section and you'll now see 2 floors. This will give you a base to start with, we'll now draw the walls before drawing the floor finish.

Floor outline and properties

There are several combinations in which we could draw the wall configuration(the glass wall, the adjacent walls and the wall above the glass/ceiling) Below diagram explains the different options.

Wall configuration options

The 3rd option is in my opinion is the best as there is less components. This involves you setting your curtain wall type to 'automatically embed'. To set this

  1. Select the wall tool, then select a curtain wall type
  2. Edit the properties of the wall type, enter into type properties
  3. Under construction, the second option is automatically embed, tick this
  4. Select ok until out of the wall properties

Automatically Embed feature

Now you are ready to draw the walls. First we will place the adjacent wall that will host our glass wall.
  1. Enter the SSL 01 level
  2. Select the wall tool, Select a partition type (5/8" gyp. board either side of a 2-1/2" metal stud)
  3. Set the height to SSL 02 Level
  4. Draw wall in plan as per your design about 40' long
  5. Enter into a 3d view that can see the wall you've just drawn and the upper slab, if you need to turn on the section box in the 3d view to see the objects do so.
  6. Attach feature for wall and slab
  7. Select the wall and then on the ribbon panel select the 'Attach' option, then select 'top' and pick the upper slab in your 3d view. This is so your wall and slab are not clashing, it will also allow you to cut sections with minimal clean up.
  8. Below is a diagram that shows you a messy model and a clean model. It is important to keep the model clean to keep the amount of post production to a minimum.

Messy modelling / clean modeling

Now we will draw the curtain wall. I've set my curtain wall up so that it has a fixed panel distance of 4'-0". We will enter the FFL 01 level to draw this wall to show you a problem with modelling the adjacent wall down to the structural slab level. If you require it, set some reference planes to help you set out your glass wall
  1. Enter the 'FFL 01 Level' plan view
  2. Select wall tool, select curtain wall type (the special one that is set to automatically embed)
  3. Before you draw the wall set the height to unconnected height, enter 8'-2"
  4. Now draw the wall along the center line of the adjacent wall(inside the wall) about 20'(or 5 panels long), once you finish you'll see that the glass wall is now hosted by the adjacent wall.
  5. Move the adjacent wall and see how the glass wall moves with it.
This is all great, the glass wall is effectively like a window component, but with this comes some limitations, it means that the adjacent wall will wrap around all 4 sides of the glass wall including the bottom. If you now look at a section through the walls there will be a 1/2" tall by 3-3/4" wide wall underneath the glass wall, you don't know how annoying this is, it clashes with floor finishes and even appears in plan view if the view range is set to unlimited. To remove this, the best option is to set the bottom offset of the glass wall to -0'-1/2" and set the height to 8'-2 1/2" or draw the glass wall on the SSL level and set the height to 8'-2 1/2". You could also model an inplace family (void) and cut it from the wall(only advised in extreme circumstances). This problem occurs regularly if you model your project correctly ie. having the partition sitting on the structural slab and not on top of a floor finish, it will happen with doors and openings as well unless you model in the door families an extra void to cut the wall etc.. 

Part of partition wall under glass partition
Now I'm going to add a 1"x1" mullion to the bottom of the curtain wall.

  1. Enter into an elevation view facing your wall.
  2. On the home tab under 'build' select the 'mullion' tool
  3. Select or create '1" square', you can modify the 'Rectangular Mullion' to create this.
  4. Place the mouse cursor over the bottom of the curtain wall until the bottom line of the curtain wall highlights. Left click to place
  5. Now check your section to see that the mullion is sitting in the correct location, sometimes the glass panel and mullions have offsets place in their settings which puts them off centre, play with the mullion, glass panel and curtain wall settings until they align correctly.

Mullion placed at base of wall

Floor Finish

We'll Now draw the floor finish
  1. Enter the 'FFL 01 Level' plan view
  2. Select the floor tool from the home tab on the ribbon
  3. Select or create a 0'-1/2" floor finish type
  4. Now sketch your floor finish outline as per your design and when you reach the walls, trace the outline tight to the bottom mullion and adjacent partition wall.
  5. Repeat for floor finish on the other side of the wall

Floor sketch outline against wall

The final part of basic model

  1. Enter the '01 Level Ceiling Plan' ceiling plan view
  2. Select the ceiling tool from the home tab on the ribbon
  3. Select a ceiling type, the type in this case should be a gyp. board ceiling type but it could be another type depending on your design.
  4. Now sketch your ceiling outline as per your design. in this case unlike the floor finish your ceiling outline should only trace the outline of the adjacent partition wall not the inner glass wall.
  5. Repeat for ceiling on the other side of the wall

Ceiling sketch outline against wall

Conclusion of basic modelling
you've now drawn in the elements (1,2,3,4,5,6, 7 and 11) from the original 2D detail (01.1 analysis of glass wall partitions ). These are the main elements that will define your design and use the simplest of the revit tools. They will cover the bulk of the content for your plans, sections and elevation and will act as space holders for all the fine detail components that in theory would be inside some of these bigger objects.

The next blog will be on advanced modelling components and will feature Angled Bracing 

Monday, 4 January 2010

01.1.1 Explanation of breaking down a detail

So I was thinking that i didn't explain in great detail about the method of breaking down a detail. First of all you don't require a full blown cad drawing, it can also be a quick sketch on butter paper or scrap paper etc. After you sketch your detail up you then work in with a simple 5 column table (which can also be a sketch).

1st step   - Draw detail and annotate it
2nd step - Mark a number beside each annotation on your sketch
3rd step  - Fill out table

Column 1 - #
This is the number that links the number on the table with the number on your detail.

Column 2 - Brief description
Write a brief description of the object

Column 3 - 2D/3D
Review the brief description and consider wheather you think you should model it or draft it. if the object will be seen in more than one view type it should probably be modeled.

Column 4 - Modeling type
Decide what revit tool you will use to create the proposed component, is it a floor or a wall or a custom generic model family, etc.

Column 5 - Family type
After you decide the method of modeiling then figure out what family type within that revit tool your going to use, this also help you decide if you need to create a new family that is not already in your model or template.

Friday, 1 January 2010

01.1 Analysis of full height glass partitions

I thought I'd start off with something simple and that has a nice mix of 3D & 2D. Full height glass partitions, initially they look quite simple to do but the more you look into the detail the more expanded the subject gets, in terms of components and interaction between components.

3D Section through full height Glazing & Section of head and base glazing channel

General work practice for this is to build a glass wall type or curtain wall type that goes up to the underside of the ceiling and accompanying this will be a 2D drafting view ‘typical wall type section’. This gives your model and plan quick definition and the 2D section gives the contractor detailed instructions. What it doesn’t do is indicate the possible clashes above the ceiling with lights & ducts crossing the wall or running parallel to the wall and clashing with the diagonal bracing that is holding the top glazing channel stiff in place. If we study the detail we can avoid these problem on site or in the field. Bear in mind that we only want to model the most important parts ,not all the part as this will bog down your model.

Typical practice, curtain wall to ceiling height and accompanying 2D section

So the next step is, when you look at the 2D section detail which part should be 3D modelled and which part should be 2D drafted. The easiest way of doing this is to break it down into a list of all the components. First examine the detail and identify the full object list, both 2D & 3D.

Note 1 - See chapter 01.3 Advanced modelling for details on bracing
Note 2 - Recommended host for door is #6 wall adjacent not #4 glass wall (curtain wall). See chapter 01.5 Extras for detail about door
Note 3 - For rendering purpose these could be modelled as a curtain wall mullion so that they appears in the rendering.
Note 4 - For students learning the top channel is always larger than the bottom channel, this is to allow the installer of the glass panels to tilt the glass panel, insert it in the top channel, then tilt or straighten it up and then drop it down into the bottom channel.

Note 5 - The shims are for levelling out, aligning vertical joints and rotation of the panel within the bottom channel. In some cases the floor is not level across the whole length of the bottom channel making the channel un-level which is not a good base for the glass to sit on; the shims sort this problem out.

In this case we need to model the partition above the glass and also the diagonal bracing along with the standard components. The method used to break down the detail can be used across all different types of detailing and will be regularly seen in future blogs.


Now that we know all the key ingredients of the detail we can move forward to the modelling stage. See the next post 01.2 - Primary (basic) modelling for details on the floors, walls & ceilings modelling techniques.

01.0 Introduction - Full height glass partitions

This chapter will be on full height glass partitions and will include the following sub-chapters

01.1 Analysis of full height glass partitions
01.2 Primary (basic) modelling
01.3 Advanced modelling
01.4 2D detail components
01.5 Extras (add on to the main detail) Doors & Glazing film
01.6 Render tips
01.7 Conclusion

00.0 Blog Introduction

Over the next 12 months I plan to write and explain how to develop your architectural details and model them in Revit. I’ll run through analysis of the detail, modelling the basics, modelling the advance parts, adding the 2D detail for final touch-ups and more. This is to help all new Revit users, students learning architecture and to develop the general knowledge base in the Revit community. The first 4 topics will be;

January    - 01 Full height glass partitions
February  - 02 Concrete basement wall, masonry external wall & floor junctions
March       - 03 Ceiling Details
April          - 04 Roof details and steel work members

All comments and tips are welcome!