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Most buildings have columns in at least some locations, whether your project has one column or hundreds, the process to add them is fairly simple. Revit includes two types of columns, it includes architectural columns and structural columns. We can find those on the Architecture tab, on the Column button, here is Structural Column button and the Architectural Column button. Typically an architectural column is used to represent either a column wrap or a rough placement column that will then later be replaced by the structural engineer.
A Structural Column is typically used to actually represent material that's really holding up the building. So let's start with the architectural columns and take a look and then we'll see how that ties in later with the structural columns. So I'm going to choose the Column Architectural command, and let's take a look at a few of the settings before we get started here. Like many other commands, that takes me to my Modify tab, Place Column. I've got some settings here on my Options Bar and I've got some additional settings here on the Properties palette, so let's take a look at a few of these.
Usually you want to start by looking at the Type Selector. So in this case, this particular template that we started our project from includes three sizes: a 24x24, 18x18, and 18x24. So I'm going to stick with the default, 24x24. There's a few other settings here, we're going to talk about Room Bounding in a much later movie, but Moves with Grids is a setting that we definitely want to make sure is selected, because that will take advantage of these column grids that we have placed in our file. Now if you watched the previous movie, we laid out all the column grids and positioned them and now we're going to take advantage of those as the locations for our columns.
Now you don't have to place your columns on grids, you can place them freestanding in space with a simple click. But if you place them at the intersection of two column grids, those will highlight and I'm going to click the Modify tool and cancel out of there, select this grid line and move it, and what you'll notice is that moves the column along with it. So I'm going to undo that with Ctrl+Z, I'm going to select these two columns and delete them, and that's the basic behavior that we're looking for.
So let me return to my Column tool, go to Column Architectural, and let me point out one last thing before we place all these columns. Here on the Options Bar we can actually control the height of these columns as we're placing them. The default is the height, but we can also do the depth in terms of a structural column, and the default behavior is to go up to Level 2. Now if you look at my Project Browser I'm working in a floor plan called Level 1, so my column is going to start at Level 1, and it's going to go up to Level 2.
But if I wanted to, I could make them go up to the Low Roof or up to the High Roof. I could even make them unconnected, which would make this setting available and I could type in a manual height for these columns, but in this case I want to make sure they're going up to Level 2, the level up above, and then let me just zoom in slightly here, and it's as simple as highlighting the intersection of the nearby column grids and clicking. Let me zoom in even closer and show you one other really nice benefit of working with architectural columns.
They will automatically sense the presence of nearby walls and merge in to the wall material. As I place these columns, you're going to see them merge in and marry with that wall material, making a very nice clean presentation to the view. So let me just continue all the way around the file here, and let me click the Modify tool to finish the command. So I now have an architectural column at each grid location, and once again those grids are controlling the position of all those columns, so later if we need to make any kind of a change we can do so with confidence knowing that all the columns are going to go along with any change we make to the grids, let me do Ctrl+Z to undo that.
Like I said, these represent the column wrap or the enclosure that's surrounding the column, but typically there's going to be some sort of structural steel or some other structural material within those columns. So if I go to the Column tool and choose the Structural Column, these are going to behave in much the same way. If we look at the choices that we have available on the Options Bar, Properties palette, and ribbon, we have a lot of similar choices. We have our dropdown here on the Type Selector which gives me two different size columns, I can create a W10x33 or a W10x49.
We could certainly create other sizes if we wanted to, we would have to load in a different family to do that, I'm going to talk about loading families in a later movie, so for now we're just to work with the two sizes that are here by default. The Structural Material is listed here and there is some connection information, and so forth. So slightly different settings, I have a little bit more to do with structural usage, but otherwise similar behaviors. We have the Height parameter here, where we're designating the height and up to Level 2, just like we saw with the architectural columns.
Now what I want to point out here, the one really unique feature of structural columns that's really handy is, the multiple Placement options here on the ribbon. We can either place structural columns at the location of the architectural columns or we can place them at the intersections of the grids. Now in this case, we get almost the same result in both cases, I want to use the At Columns feature in this case, I'm going to click that. I can make a Window Selection around my entire plan, and before I let go, notice that it's only highlighting architectural columns, so this feature is built-in to only sense where the location of the architectural columns are, and when I finish that selection, you will see a piece of steel ghosted in at each of those locations.
If I'm satisfied with that selection I can use this green Finish check box right here, click that, and finish the selection, and place the remaining columns. Now if I prefer, I can use this At Grids feature and the way this works is, when you select grid lines it finds the intersections between those grid lines and will place columns at each of those intersections, and again if I click Finish I will get a column in each of those locations.
Now I'm going to cancel out of the command, and I'll show you one last thing here. If I select the structural columns, they have direction, if we zoom in a little bit, because of the eye shape they can either go vertically or horizontally, we didn't really have to worry about that with the architectural columns because they were square. You can quickly rotate the columns along their own center point simply by tapping the spacebar, so if I tap the spacebar on my keyboard you're going to see those columns rotate in 90 degree increments.
So that's a really handy way to control the orientation of those columns. In this movie we looked at both architectural and structural columns. Typically the structural columns are going to be used for the actual structural material, what's physically holding up the building. The presence of architectural columns is optional, it can be used as column wrap enclosures or they can actually be used as temporary stand-in locations for the columns that are later replaced by your structural engineer. The exact workflow is a matter for the team to decide but both columns share the behavior that they are attached to the column grid and if the column grid lines move it takes the columns along with it.
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