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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.
Curtain wall is our third type of wall system family. Curtain walls are the most complex, in that they can vary in any direction, and they can even form complex patterns within the structure using grids, mullions, and panels. In this movie, we'll get you started with the essentials of the curtain wall object and in the next movie we'll get a little deeper into the whole curtain wall mullion grid panel thing. I want to jump right in by drawing a curtain wall and discussing it. Let's remember that the curtain wall is a wall. So we use the Wall tool to access it, and if I open up the Type Selector, Basic Wall was at the top of course, gray bar, and like any other object in Revit, the family is listed with the gray bar.
So here is Curtain Wall, and this template that we started with actually includes three types. I am going to use the Storefront for this example, because it's the one that has the most interesting stuff going on in it by default. So I am going to just draw a simple little segment. So when I pre-highlight the curtain wall, you'll get this sort of little I shape to it. That's actually the whole curtain wall itself. So that's if you want to select the actual curtain wall and then modify it in the Properties palette or something like that, you look for that sort of I-shaped dash line. Otherwise, you'll notice that this curtain wall has several internal mullions, and if you press the Tab key, you can even reach in there and get the panels as well.
So there's actually a lot going on. If you select the curtain wall and drag these little handles at the end, you are going to actually see that instead of just stretching out the spacing, at some point it will actually add another mullion. So there's some rules built into this curtain wall that we are going to take a look at. So if I select it and I edit its type, you are going to see that there is a Vertical Grid Pattern and a Horizontal Grid Pattern. The Vertical Grid Pattern is set to a Maximum Spacing of 5' 0".
So it might not always be 5', but it will never be more than 5'. Then in the vertical direction, it's actually set to a Fixed Distance of 8' 0". So that mean that it's always 8', and if there's any left over, they just sort of leave that at the top. While we are here, just real quickly down here at the bottom, you can see that there is a variety of settings for mullions and in this case they are all set to the same 2.5"x5" mullion, which we are seeing here very clearly in a section cut. Now, before I move on from the curtain wall that we have here onscreen, let's take a quick look at it in 3D and I'll do that here on the QAT by going to the default 3D View.
Let's go ahead and spin the view around and then zoom in, like so. There you can see very clearly the 8' spacing that we were just looking at for this curtain wall. If I highlight it in this view, instead of the little long thin dashed I shape, we get more of a dashed box shape. So it's the same thing though. If you select it, you are actually selecting the entire curtain wall. I am going to delete that, go back to the floor plan, and I want to show you one of the neat feature of this particular curtain wall.
The Storefront is still selected on my Type Selector. If you draw it right on top of another wall, it will actually embed itself in that wall. I'll show you that again. Draw it right on top of another wall. It will actually embed itself in the wall. Now, like doors and windows and other walls, there's also a little flip here, so you notice the glass is on the inside. I can easily remedy that by flipping it over to the outside. So the setting that controls this embedding behavior was also part of the type, and that's right here at the top, this little check box: Automatically Embed.
So when that's turned on in the Type, the wall will embed itself and actually cut a hole in the other wall. So if we look at 3D, we can see that a little bit more clearly, because you can see it has actually made a hole in the wall, kind of like a door or window would. Now, I am going to go to an Elevation View. Let's go to the North Elevation, zoom in, and I am going to select the curtain wall. I might need to use my Tab key. With this little shape handle here, I am going to drag it up and snap it to that level line right here.
That gives me much more glass on that facade, a little bit more light in the stairwell, and you can see again the 8' spacing is being repeated, and what I mentioned about the top is the leftover all occurs at the top. So again, that's all being controlled by the Type parameters. Now, this is a little tight right here. Maybe that's not quite so nice. So let's look at one other feature that we can do here. On the Ribbon, when the curtain wall is selected, we can actually click this Edit Profile button. We can actually do this for any wall, not just the curtain wall.
We'll do it here for the curtain wall. When you do that, you are in a Sketch mode and you get a sketched rectangle for the default shape of the curtain wall itself. But I can modify the shape now using any of my standard drawing tools. In this case, I am going to use Pick Lines, as this is going to be the easiest way to do this. I am going to set an Offset of, I don't know, about 5' 0", and I am going to highlight the edge of the roof eave. And by doing that, you'll see a dashed line appear down below it, and I am going to click. I have that sketch line and I'll trim it up and I can change the shape of the curtain wall, like so.
When I click Finish, you'll see it adjust and it automatically adjusts any of the mullions and the grids and the panels and so forth to fit the new shape. So that's not too bad, right? Let's take a look at that in 3D. See the final result. So let's draw one more curtain wall. I am going to zoom back out to the front of the building and it might be nice to put a curtain wall in this location instead of the single door. So I am going to select the door, press the Delete key, and delete it. But for this curtain wall, I want to have a little bit more control over the design.
I mean, the Storefront is fine with the whole 5x8 spacing, but I'd rather set up my own grid pattern. So I am going to choose just the generic Curtain Wall type and draw it the same way that I did the other one, along here. But this time I am going to get a little warning, and it says highlighted walls overlap and one of them might be ignored, and at the very end of it says something about cutting geometry. So what they are telling us there is we need to use this tool right here, the Cut Geometry tool, to actually manually embed the one curtain wall within the other.
Now, why do we need to do that? Well, if we click Edit Type, this one, Curtain Wall, rather than Storefront, that's the type we are using, is not set to Automatically Embed. So that's why I have to use the Cut tool, tell Revit which wall I want to cut, and then tell it which wall I want to do the cutting with. So now that embeds the wall. So that gets us set up for the next movie and what we'll do is make a custom design on the front here to give us a nicer entrance to the building.
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