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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.
Floor levels are one of the primary organizational and structural constructs in Revit project. In this movie we'll explore how to add and manipulate the levels in our project. Now levels are one of those datum elements, if you recall a few movies back in an earlier chapter where we were talking about the different buckets that objects fell in. Levels and grids, which we're going to look at in the next movie, these are datum elements. And a datum element is just an organizational element that establishes some known location in your project, and with levels those known locations are heights above zero.
So we're looking at a floor plan right now, I'm in a project called Levels and this is actually just a copy of the project that we created in the last movie. And this floor plan is established at a particular height. Now you can't see the height when you're in a Floor Plan view, and in fact you really can't do any manipulation to the level when you're in a Floor Plan view. So what we need to do is use our Elevations over here and open up an Elevation. And I've prepared this East Elevation to show us the levels. All I really did was shorten the extent of these levels so that we could zoom in a little bit more closely.
Each of the levels is represented here with this dashed line and this symbol at the end and they each have a name and a height. So as I said, the levels are a horizontal datum, think of it as a thin sheet of paper cutting through your building at a particular height. And so here's Level 1 and that's at zero and then there's a few levels in the negative direction, top of Footing and bottom of Footing, and then there is one up here called roof at 12 foot 8. Now when you select these levels they have lots of small controls and grips that appear on them. They have these little open circles at either end, and you can use those to actually change the extent of the level.
And notice that when I do that, it actually controlled the ones down below as well, that's because of this little lock icon here. So you can stretch any one of these endpoints and they'll all stretch together as a unit, which makes it pretty handy particular on a building where you have lots of levels. You've got a height that you can control here with this dimension or right here. You've got a name and then you've got this little graphical symbol here. Now down here you can see there is a small little elbow on this level, and when I click on it, there's a few small grid points here, that I can drag to make this a little bit more legible.
Notice that it doesn't have any impact on the height. The height of the level is here where this dashed line is, that's where the negative six feet occurs, and you could see here with this dimension, it's 1 foot away from its neighbor. But this is just for the graphical symbol to make things appear a little bit more legibly. So these were all the levels that were already here in the project, but the building that I want to create needs a few additional levels. Now how do you decide? Well when you're setting up your project, this is one of the first tasks that you want to do. And what I typically tell people is, if you've got a button on the elevator, you should put a level there.
Now you could have levels for other things, clearly there isn't a button on the elevator for top and bottom of footing, so you can clearly have levels for other horizontal measurement points as well, other datums that are important to you. But having one for every actual occupied floor level is a pretty good idea. And so I need a Level 2 in this building so I'll start with that one. If I go to the Architecture tab, over here toward the right-hand side on the Datum panel, you're going to see the Level button. Now if you look at the tooltip that appears when I hover over the tool here, you could see that it says the word Level, that's the name of the command, and in parentheses it says LL, that's actually the keyboard shortcut for this command.
Now the way this works is I could either click this button or without clicking the button I can just type the letters LL on my keyboard, either way I'm going to be running that command. So be on the lookout for those tooltips because they'll tell you the keyboard shortcuts and often that's a faster way to issue the command. Now notice that when I move my mouse over here, when it lines up with the endpoints of the neighboring levels, it'll snap to it. You see that little dashed line there? It wants to snap to that. So I'm going to click and start to drag and when it gets to this other end it'll snap again, and click.
I just sort of eyeballed that in, it came in at about 10 foot 2, but I'd really like this level to be at 10 feet. So I'm just going to put my mouse right on top of this dimensional text and click and that will make that editable text, and then I'm just going to type in 10. This is going to be interpreted as 10 feet by Revit, the default unit in an imperial project if you're working in the United States is feet. So when I press Enter it will interpret that as 10 feet 0 inches. So that's my Level 2, that's my second floor of the building.
Now I'm going to hold in my wheel, drag a little bit, make another level up here somewhere, again snap it at both ends, it came in at 19 8, and I'm going to put in 20, press Enter, and this is going to be a second roof. My building actually is going to have two roofs, there's going to be a lower roof and an upper roof. So currently this one is just called roof, and this one came in as Level 3. So Revit just guesses at the name. Now I'm still in the Level command, so what I want to do is get out of that Level command and show you that it's really easy for us to rename those two levels that we need.
But before I get out of the command, let me just point out the color of this Level symbol and compare it to the color of this Level symbol. This one is a nice bright blue and this one is black. Notice that when I press Escape and get out of the command, that one turns blue as well. Now what that's telling us is, if you look over here on the Project Browser, it automatically created floor plans and ceiling plans, you can see there is a Level 2 and a Level 3 floor plan and ceiling plan for each of those new levels. Now notice here it says Level 2, Level 3, watch what happens now, I've also got roof here.
I'm going to select of this one. Click right on the word roof, put my cursor at the start of that name and I'm going to change it to Low Roof. When I press Enter, I'll get a message that pops up on screen and Revit will ask me, do I want to rename the corresponding views? It's talking about this view right here that's called Roof in this case. So I'm going to say Yes and you'll see the name there changed to Low Roof. I'm going to do it again, click on Level 3, click right on there, call this High Roof, press Enter, say Yes again and now it will create High Roof here and there's also this ceiling plan called High Roof, it renamed that.
Now it turns out that I probably don't need a ceiling plan on the Roof Level, so I can simply select that view in Project Browser, press the Delete key on my keyboard and it will remove that unneeded view. So you don't actually have to have a view in each location for each level, but it will create one for you automatically and you can simply delete it if you don't want it. Let me zoom out a little bit here, those are my completed levels. I could make whatever adjustments I want to make, I could add the little elbow using this tiny little squiggle right here to make that a little bit more legible and then all that would remain is to save my project and move on to the next step.
So one of the first tasks that you want to do in creating a new project is to set up the levels. Nearly all of the elements in a Revit project have some association to one or more of levels in your project, so their importance can't be overstated. You don't have to get all of the levels perfect on the first try, but typically you'll want to set at least the basic ones early on so that you have a good framework for your project. Remember, if there's a button on the elevator, you want to create a level for it.
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