Monday, December 26, 2005

The Well Tempered Template

One of the key productivity drivers for power users with Revit is the Template file.

This is often an overlooked aspect of the program, since its easy to get excited with the bells and whistles aspects and undervalue the basics.

Revits set up is not difficult. Heres a suggested check list.

Based on one of the default templates, create and save a new template for your company.

Configure file locations: Settings >> Options >> File Locations. Tip __ Remember that you can add icons to your Revit dialogue boxes using the Library file locations.

Set up Units. Settings >> Project Units.

Configure Site Settings. Settings >> Site Settings. ( Contour intervals; Degrees; Poche Base. )
Set Detail Levels for Views.

Configure Line Styles and add any favorites. Delete one you don’t use. Settings >> Line Styles.

Configure Line Patterns and add any favorites. Delete one you don’t use. Settings >> Line Patterns.

Configure Fill Patterns ( Model & Drafting ) – Settings >> Fill Patterns. You may need to build or import your custom patterns.

Configure Materials. – Settings >> Materials.

Configure Object Styles ( Model & Annotation ) – Settings >> Object Styles.

Set up Wall Floor Roof and Ceiling types.

Load Model and Annotation Families. Review the existing families in the template ( if you based it an a default template ) and delete the ones you don’t need.

Configure Phasing. – Settings >> Phases. If you do a lot of renovation work, you could make a separate template , complete with views pre-set to display Existing, Demolished and New work.

Set up your default Levels. ( In elevation views )

Configure View Templates. ( View Templates can be a huge time saver ) View >> Save as View Template & View >> Apply View Templete.

Configure Dimension and Text Styles.

Set up View Tags. Settings >> View Tags.

Create your company titleblock sheets. – File >> New >> Titleblock. Import the titleblock and set up any sheets and sheet numbers that you need as a starter. File >> Load from Library >> Load Family.

On the drawing sheets, load any schedules that you wish to have pre-defined.

Configure Keyboard shortcuts. C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 8.1\Program\KeyboardShortcuts.txt. ( Print this out for your office reference )

The process of keeping your template file up to date is an important aspect of being really productive. You may have recently made a new material that you would use in many future projects, or a new family, or a new line style etc etc. Review your template regularly and keep it full of the good stuff that will save you lots of time hunting through old projects to find.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Last time we were up here on the roof, all our cares just seemed to drift right into space. Suddenly ,we get a reality check - what's wrong with this footprint roof - it's just not generating the roof shape we want or expect !

Well the problem stems from a feature that was introduced in Revit 7 that allowed adjoining sides of a footprint roof to have different eaves heights. A side effect of this new functionality was that roofs may not generate the shape you want.

Here's our floor plan.


Nothing particularly special there.

Here's the sketch of the proposed footprint roof.


And here's the roof generated from that sketch ( in Revit Building 8.1 )


The plan below shows the roof form , with clouds highlighting the junctions which don't conform to our required design.


This is what we were hoping to get.


Using this sketch as a base, we can generate the roof that we want.

First delete the old incorrect roof.

Now we need to analyze the geometry of the proposed roof. Looking at it, it would seem possible to create it as two pieces of roof.

We construct the first piece using pick walls and slope lines and then pick the sketch lines for the valleys, hips and ridges.

The first part of the roof now looks like this.


Now, we'll make the second part the same way.

Now we just need to use Join Geometry for the two parts, and here's the roof we wanted.


It's taken more effort than a " normal " footprint sketch, but in the end ...

On the roof, it's peaceful as can be

And there the world below can't bother me

Let me tell you now.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


On the roof, the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let's go up on the roof (up on the roof)

I really dont know why Revit keeps bringing up these old classics ! First it was Zeplin and now The Drifters are doing it !

In case you havent guessed, were going to be looking at Roofs in Revit.
Revits roofs can be wonderful things - fast and simple to model. They can also be a problem, if you dont know some of the trade secrets.

In this first article, were going to look at how roofs are created, or to be more precise, what rules does Revit apply. In a future article, well look at how to change the shape of a roof that doesnt match the geometry you expected.

One of the simplest and fastest ways to build a roof in Revit is Roof By Footprint.
Using this tool, Revit draws roofs based on the footprint of the outer edge and determines roof planes based on a slope parameter. The footprint sketch must contain a closed loop. Inner loops will define openings. All sounds simple and straightforward doesnt it ? Well, it is, but be aware of the process you use to create your roof.

Lets look at a roof with a 30° pitch drawn and a 500 mm overhang with different options.

Option 1 ( Fig 1 ) Roof drawn using Pick Wall, Truss and Extend to Core not checked.


Option 2 ( Fig 2 ) The same roof, same conditions , except that Extend to Core is selected. Note that the roof overhang is now measured from the core walls outer edge. The pitching point is located at the roof level and the outside face of the core wall.


Option 3 ( Fig 3 ) This time we changed the roof from truss to Rafter and unchecked extend to core. Note that the roof pitching point has moved to the intersection of the roof level with the inside face of the wall.


Option 4 ( Fig 4 ) Same as Option 3, except that Extend to Core has been selected. Note that the overhang is measured from the outer face of the core and the pitching point is on the outer face of the core.


So far we have seen the four possible combinations for constructing a Roof by Footprint using the Pick Wall method. The Pick Wall method is the one I recommend to use most of the time, for two reasons. First, the roof construction is what most users expect, since it uses a wall to define the roof pitching point. Second, if you move the wall in the design, the roof will move with it maintaining the same relationship to the wall. Hips and valleys will remain in place relative to the wall junctions if the walls are moved. If the roof sketch is modified, the hip will remain where it was and the roof eaves height will be changed.
Another thing, the Align eaves tool can be used to adjust the roof setout either by matching eaves heights or eaves overhangs if the roof was sketched by Pick walls.
This Align eaves tool can only use matching eaves heights if the roof was sketched by lines.

Lets have a look now at constructing the same roof using the Lines method.

Option 5 ( Fig 5 ) Same roof, same pitch, sketch using offset 500 mm. Note that you are no longer able to select Rafter or Truss, nor is there a choice for Extend to Core.


The most glaring difference is that the roof is now pitched from its outer edge, not from the wall.

So I hope that now Everything is all right up on the roo-oo-oof ).