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Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course 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 plotting and exporting your drawings.
Curtain walls are the third and most complex form of the wall system family. Curtain walls can vary in any direction and even form complex patterns within their structure using a series of grids, mullions, and panels. In this movie, I'll get you started with the essentials of the Curtain Wall object, and then we'll dig a little deeper into the specifics of grids and mullions and panels in the next movie. So I am in a file here called the Curtain Wall. On the Architecture tab we are going to use the Wall tool again to access the Curtain Wall object. So remembering that the Curtain Wall object is just another wall family, then we actually use the Wall tool to access it. Just scroll down and you'll see the Curtain Wall object is listed here as the family, and then the template that we started which has three types: Curtain Wall, Exterior Glazing, and Storefront.
Feel free to explore each one, but in this movie I'm just going to look at the Storefront design because of the three, it's the most detailed. To start off with it, I am going draw it outside the building, maybe toward the back here, and I am just going to draw it at maybe about 20 feet long. Now let's start off looking at that in Plan view. I am going to zoom in, using my Zoom in Region command, and what you'll see right away is there is a repetition along the length of the wall. Now when you move your mouse near the curtain wall, you'll see a dashed line appear with two little sort of end caps, sort of like a long I shape.
That's the curtain wall itself. But if you press the Tab key, it's actually possible to reach into the curtain wall and highlight individual parts and pieces. So we've got mullions in both the horizontal and the vertical direction. We've got panels here representing glass panels in this particular case, and there's even some gridlines, which we can see right there as just a small line. Now we are going to talk about all these little parts and pieces as we go along, but let's take a look at this in another view.
I am going to go to our Default 3D View icon here in the Quick Access toolbar, the little birdhouse icon, and I'll use my View Cube to use the back axon here, so I just sort of spin the whole model around. And then we can actually hold down the Shift key and drag to orbit to a more favorable view if we like. And finally, I'll roll the wheel to zoom in a touch. Now what we'll notice in this direction is that in addition to the repetition we were seeing in plan, there is also some repetition running vertically as well.
Now here if you highlight the overall curtain wall, you get sort of a dashed box that appears around the entire thing, and then if you Tab, you can still reach in and see the individual pieces there. I move my mouse away here to kind of reset and I'll move it back again, and I am going to select the entire curtain wall. And I am going to use this little grip here at the top and just start to drag it up. Notice that at this point it's just stretching the top bay, but at some point, right about there, it will add a new bay. And then again if I continue to stretch, I'll get short bay at the top, and so on.
Contrast that to this behavior. If I grab this little grip down here at the bottom and start to drag it this way and let go, notice that I still get equally spaced base. If I make it shorter, it went to four, but they're still all equally spaced; if I go longer it went to six in this case, but they're still all equally spaced. So let's figure out what's causing that behavior. Like other walls, if you come over to the Properties palette, you have an Edit Type button. I am going to click on that. And the Curtain Wall type is controlled by a vertical and a horizontal grid pattern, and you can see the settings right here.
Now in the vertical direction, we have a Maximum Spacing, so the vertical lines of this Curtain Wall are a maximum of 5 feet apart. They can be less than 5 feet, but they can't be more, and that's why we're seeing equally spaced base. However, in the Horizontal direction, the horizontal lines are at fixed distance of 8 feet, and so that's why we're seeing a standard-size bay, a standard-sized bay, and then a shorter one at the top. So there's a dropdown here and if you wanted to, you could change the behavior to a variety of other choices: Minimum Spacing, Maximum Spacing, and so on.
So feel free to experiment with that on your own. I do encourage you, if do experiment, to remember to use the Duplicate option and create a copy of Storefront so that you can do your variations in a copy and not change the original. Now there are a few other settings here I want to point out to you. You notice we were getting mullions as we're building the curtain wall. That's all controlled down here. You can see there are actually six settings for this, so you can control what kind of mullion you get around the perimeter of the curtain wall, both left and right side, both top and bottom side, and then what kind of mullion you are going to get on the interior lines, both horizontally and vertically.
And then finally at the top, I want to show you this setting next: Automatically Embed. You can see here it's got a check mark in there, and it's easiest to show you that onscreen. So what I am going to do is OK out of here. This curtain wall here, I am going to delete it, and I'm going to return to my Level 1 Floor Plan, and I will zoom in over here on the stair area. Now, we've got a big blank wall right over here, and I'm going to go back to the Wall command, make sure Storefront is still selected, and I am going to highlight the centerline of the wall. Revit will do that automatically just by moving my mouse there.
I am going to click right about here and draw it out to maybe about there, 17 foot 6 in this case, but the exact distance is not terribly important, and click again. Notice how the curtain wall actually cut right into the wall and made a space for itself. And if we scroll down here and look at the North elevation and if I zoom in, you can see again that it went to the standard height, but we still have a curtain wall here. We could tab in. And this time if I change the height of this curtain wall, you'll see that it adjusts the hole in the wall.
You can kind of see here from highlighting the wall how there is a hole going all the way around. That's the Automatically Embed feature. So that's a pretty handy feature of the curtain wall. It's kind of nice. It makes the curtain wall behave almost like a door or a window. Now let's say that I did want this height to be taller like I've done here, let a little bit more light in the stairwell, but it does get a little tight in this location here. So I am going to show you one more feature that we can do that's actually not limited to just curtain walls. You can do this with any kind of wall, and that is you can highlight and then click.
You can select the Curtain Wall and then you can use this Edit Profile feature right here. Now when I do that, it's actually going to take me to Sketch mode for this curtain wall. So now what I'm sketching is actually the vertical shape of the wall. And I can use any of my standard shapes over here to make this modification. Now what I'm going to do is use this Pick Lines feature, because this is really handy. This allows you to select existing geometry and use that as the basis for the line you are drawing. Now if I just use that, it would put the line right here at the roof. I want to be parallel to the roof, so what I'll do instead is I'll put in a number over here in this Offset field--maybe about 5 feet ought to do the trick--and now notice that when I highlight the edge of the roof, it's actually giving me a dashed line 5 feet away.
I'll click, click my Modify tool to cancel, and now all I need to do is clean it up. So I'll just use my Trim command, and remember pick the side you want to keep. Don't pick it here because you'll get the wrong thing. Click here and then the side I want to keep, this side and this side, and that kind of knocks off that angled corner there. And when I click Finish, notice the way the curtain wall adjusts itself automatically and the mullions conform to the new shape, so that's a pretty handy little feature there. So this is just a quick overview of the curtain wall.
You can see that curtain walls are more complex wall objects. They contain a series of mullions and grids and panels, in this case we are looking at glass panels and aluminum mullions, but we can actually change that if we want to. You can customize the shape and behavior of the curtain wall, and so in the next movie, we'll take a look at some of those features that we can do. We can manipulate the grid lines and the mullions and we'll look at all of that. But using the type-based curtain walls that we've seen here, you can set up repetitive spacings so that you just simply draw out the curtain wall and you get the same standard spacing along the length and height of the curtain wall.
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