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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It also covers navigating the Revit interface, modeling basic building features such as walls, doors and windows, working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs, annotating designs with dimensions and callouts, and adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
Most buildings have columns, in at least some locations. Even many houses have a column or two in the basement, or on the exterior portico. Whether your project has one column or hundreds, the process to add them is fairly simple. In this lesson, we'll look at adding columns to a project that has column grids, and we'll also look at how we can add columns freestanding without grids. There are actually two kinds of columns in Revit. There is an Architectural column and a Structural column. The process to add them is fairly similar. The use case for each is slightly different. The Architectural columns are typically intended for an architect to use for placement purposes and/or to be used more like a column wrap, or a finished column material, where the Structural columns are typically used for the actual structural material that's holding up the building.
So do you need to use both? No, you can use one or the other, but you certainly can use both together in the same project, if you want to. Both would be found here with the Column tool. If you click the dropdown portion of the button, you can see them both clearly listed: Structural Column and Architectural Column. Now I'm going to start this lesson with the Architectural column. Again, these tend to be graphically more simple. They don't tend to evoke material or structural capabilities; rather, they just mean to show that there is a post here, or a column here, and so forth.
Now, if you want add a freestanding column, it's as simple as just clicking. A column can go anywhere that it likes to go. Now I'm going to zoom in slightly here. If an Architectural column happens to intersect a wall, you're going to see that the column will actually merge into the wall material. So that's actually a really handy feature. I'm going to undo the placement of those previous two columns. Since we have a column grid here that was actually created in the Grids lesson, and I have fleshed it out a little bit and added a few of the missing grids, we're going to go ahead and place these columns relative to those gridlines.
Now let's talk about some of the options that appear before we actually place the real columns here. The first thing I'd like to talk about is this is our first command where we're seeing the Options bar in Revit. So that's this slot of space that appears here horizontally across the top of the screen. There are a few settings here: Rotate after placement, the Height of the column, Room Bounding, and so on. We'll talk about Room Bounding in a much later movie. Let's talk about Height right now. What this is going to show us is all the levels that are available in our project.
So we talked about levels in a previous movie, and we did talk about the importance of levels as our sort of horizontal datums running through the project. We're working on Level 1 right now, as you can see in the Project browser, the Level 1 floor plan. The default behavior for an Architectural column is for it to go up to Level 2. You can see grayed out next to it that that makes a 9-foot tall column, in this case. That behavior is what I want to accept. So I'm going to go ahead and choose that, but notice that I could take these columns and put them all the way up to either the Low Roof or the High Roof, if I wanted to.
I could even make them Unconnected, which would allow me to type in any height that I like. So I could make the columns 15 feet tall, 20 feet tall, whatever I need it to be. So pay attention to that setting right there. Over here on the Properties palette, we can do a couple of things. We can choose the size of column we're interested in. The template that we began this project with includes three different sizes: a 24" x 24" and 18" x 20" and 18" x 18". I'm going to go with the 24" x 24". And then this setting right here is a pretty nice setting. Because we're going to place the columns relative to column grids, this setting will actually keep them attached to the column grids.
I'm going to go ahead and place a few and show you how that setting behaves. Now notice when I put my mouse nearby the gridlines, Revit will automatically sense those and highlight them for me. So all I have to do is click, and that column is now attached to that grid intersection. So it's a pretty quick process of just sort of moving around the building and snapping to those column grid intersections to get these columns placed precisely at those locations and attaching them directly to those gridlines.
Now, once I've done that, to complete the command, like any command, I can click the Modify tool, or press Escape twice, and let's go ahead and see what that behavior that was on the Properties palette is all about. If I were to move this grid line, notice how that's going to take all the columns along with it. So that Attachment option that we had there, if that box is unchecked, the columns would stay behind. But with it checked, the column grid actually has control over the position of all the columns. And that's a first indication of sort of a constraint system in Revit.
We're going to see tons of examples of this throughout the software, but that's just our first example of that.
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