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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.
In this lesson, we are going to talk about Levels. Levels are horizontal planes or horizontal datums that run through the building, and they actually represent the true floor levels of your building. What I usually like to tell people is if you've got a button on the elevator, then you need a level for it. So start with that guideline for the levels that you need in your project. You will certainly add other levels for other meaningful horizontal datum points, like the roof, or the bottom of the footing, and so on. You want at the very minimum the levels where people actually walk around. Now, I am in the Floor Plan view. I can't add or modify my levels in the Floor Plan view, so what I have to do is actually switch to a view like an Elevation.
So I am going to go over here to the East Elevation, and you can see that we have some starting levels that are already here in the project. So we are going to begin with these and make some modifications and then add to them. So the first thing I would like to do is just kind of talk about the level itself, and I am going to just click on this Roof Level here at the top to show you this. When I click on it, and select it, you'll see a series of icons appear attached to that level. On both ends you are going to see a small, little lock icon. You are going to see this small, little 3D indicator.
You are going to see this small, little open circle, and again, if I pause over any one of these, a little tooltip does appear, giving you some indication of what these controls will do. On this end, I have Parameters that I can edit, like the height of the level, the name of the level. There is a little squiggly control hidden away between those two parameters, and the tooltip there says, Add elbow. That's how this level here has the little jog in it, and actually it's still not terribly legible with the 5 feet, so I can actually further adjust it, like so.
But the way that that was done was I just clicked on the little squiggly, and that gave them the little elbow there; they being whoever built this template that we started with. If you want to remove an elbow, you just drag it back to horizontal, and it kind of snaps back and removes the little elbow grips that were previously there, here and here. If you want to rename a level, you just click on the text and you type in something else.
When you do that, Revit will offer to also rename for you any Floor Plan views that correspond to this level. So if I answer yes here and scroll over here in my Project browser, you'll notice that what used to be called Roof is now called Low Roof to match the name of the Level. You're not required to do that, but it's something that Revit offers to do for you. We can change the height of the level by just simply clicking on the text here, and if I type in a number, it will actually move it. I am going to keep it at 12' 8" actually, so I am going to do undo that with Ctrl+Z. What I want to do is actually add in two new levels here, for the starting point of my office building project.
So I am going to go to the Level tool, which is on the Home tab. So if you look on your Home tab and you look all the way over to the right, you should find the Level tool. You'll notice also from the tooltip that LL is the shortcut for Level, so you can type LL, if you prefer, to execute that command. Now, notice how when I move my cursor nearby the endpoints of the other levels, Rivet kind of offers to snap them to it. You get that little dashed line there. When I click, it will sort of snap right to it, and the same thing will happen at the other end, right here, like so.
That's a pretty good idea to do on both ends, because when you do that, these little lock icons appear, like we had before, and now they're all constrained to one another. And the reason that that's important is if you grab the little open circle that I pointed out a few minutes ago, and you drag it, it will actually drag all of the locked levels together in unison. So that keeps everything much neater and cleaner, and usually a pretty good idea. Now, if for whatever reason, you don't want this level to move with the others, you can unlock it and drag it, and it will drag independently. But as I said, most of the time, folks like to keep them nice and lined up.
I am going to adjust the height of my Level 2 to 10', and then I am going to pan down. I'm holding in my wheel and dragging to do that. Pan down slightly, and I'll add another level up above. I am going to adjust the height to 20 feet, and I am going to click on the name and call this High Roof, and I might want to spell that correctly.
In this project, we are going to actually - I have two roofs, so Low Roof and a High Roof, so we are going to go ahead and make that change there. So that's a little bit about adding levels and working with levels. Again, that's an early setup task that you are going to want to do. You are going to want a Level for every floor level on your building or every button on the elevator, if you want to think of it that way, and this gets you started with the basic framework upon which all of your building geometry will be referenced in your projects.
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