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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.
Once you have your basic geometry in place - like walls, floors, and roofs - you will begin the steady process of refining your model as the design progresses. In many cases, you will find that you need to cut holes in some of these other items, like simple passageways, or shafts for stairs, or shafts for elevators and equipment, or even skylights for dormers and roofs. In some cases, it might be easiest to just edit the sketch to represent that penetration. In other cases, you will want to create an opening object. Now, an opening object, there is a few different kinds that Revit includes, and they're basically all the same in the sense that they're all these void objects.
And a void object you sketch in a very similar way to a solid object. The difference is the void interacts with a solid object and actually cuts the hole in the host solid object. So let's go ahead and take a look. Here I'm in my condominium project. This file that I have onscreen is called Shaft, and we're looking at the elevator shaft in Section view, and you can see the problem that I have right here. If I move my mouse into the space, tap my Tab key there for a moment, and highlight the floor, the floor is actually passed right through the elevator shaft on all three levels.
Now, one option would certainly be that I could select the floor, go ahead and click on it. I could do Edit Boundary. That would take me to Sketch mode. Now, I want to point out one thing if I were to do that. Because I am in Section, Revit would actually ask me to switch to a floor plan, just because you can't edit the sketch directly in Section, you'd actually have to go to a Floor Plan view and look down on the sketch. I am going to cancel out of here, because this wouldn't be a very practical way to handle the problem I have, because I would have to edit three separate sketches. Furthermore, if the shape of the elevator core changes, I would have to go back later and edit three separate sketches.
So a more efficient way to do it is to create a shaft opening, which would automatically cut through all of the parallel floors in one shot, with one object. So let's go ahead and take a look at that. To create a shaft, I do need to work in Plan. So I am going to go to my Level 1 Floor Plan, and I will zoom in on the elevator core. Actually, I didn't like the way I drew the shaft. I wanted to do it to the outside of the walls in retrospect, so now I get that opportunity. On the Home tab, over here on the Opening panel, you can see that we have several different types of openings we can create, and we are going to go with the shaft opening for this example.
Now, when I click on that, we are in a typical sketch mode. The model grays out. We've got a lot of similar tools that we've seen before. And while I could use Pick Walls, for this example I am actually going to just sketch the shape that I want, just using a rectangle, just to show you an alternative. So I am going to go over here and snap to this end point, and I'll come over here, and notice that Revit will find the end point, even though it's more of an apparent end point right there and snap right there. As soon as I draw the sketch, you will see these little lock icons appear.
Now, it's not necessary that you click these, but sometimes it can be a pretty good idea, because if the shape of the shaft should change, the walls should move around, these locks will actually allow the sketch to adjust according to the new locations of the walls they're locked to. The only downside of that is sometimes it can generate error messages if Revit is unable to continue to maintain the relationship. The worst-case scenario there is you have to click a button that says Remove Constraints. So it won't delete your whole object or ruin your model; it will just mean that you will have to go back and fix it manually.
Not that big of a deal. So I am going to go ahead and click Finish, and let's take a look at what we've got. So I am going to switch back over here to my Section view. You can see the shaft is selected and highlighted, and it's kind of in the middle of the building. So I need to adjust it slightly, and I will do that with these little grip handles, like so, and I want to make sure that it's tall enough to cut through the entire elevator. Now, at the moment, you're like, yeah, but it's covering up everything. That only appears that way when you have the shaft selected.
As soon as I deselect it by clicking somewhere else, you can see how everything is now very nice and clean. That shaft is cutting through all of the horizontal objects in its way. It didn't cut through the walls. So it totally ignored the walls. So the walls are nice and clean, going vertically up, showing us a nice clean shaft, but it did cut through all of my floor slabs in one shot. So let's take a look at another example, a similar example. I have another file here called Dormer. Now, this kind of an opening is designed specifically to cut through roofs, to create dormer openings.
So we can see that tool right here. I am going to zoom in a little bit, get a better look. Now, the dormer structure I've created is nothing more than just a simple roof and three walls. There is not anything special about that. There is no dormer object. And I want to do a little bit of cleanup before we get started with the dormer opening. The problem I have here is this roof just kind of intersects this roof, but they don't clean up very nice. So we are going to go to the Modify tab, and I want to use this Join/Unjoin Roof, but if you look at the picture here, you can see it's going to require me to click the back edge of the roof, and I can't see that right now.
It's back there somewhere. So let me temporarily change this view to Wireframe. That will reveal that back edge. Then I will click this tool, select that back edge, and then click anywhere on this plane. You see how it highlights the front plane that's facing me. That will actually cut the entire back off that roof and make it match the slope of this current roof. Now, everything looks terrible. So let's go back to Hidden Line, and we've got a little problem there with our walls. I am going to jump to my roof plan, just real quick, to clean that up.
I can do that with these little grips, easily enough; just drag them down. Return to my 3D view, and that's all nice and clean. The next step that I need to do is actually cut the hole in the roof right now, because you will see that there's no hole here in the roof. So that's going to be the dormer opening. So we will go to the Home tab. We will click on Dormer. The first thing that it will ask me to do is to select the roof that I want to actually cut, and that's going to be this roof right here. That puts me in Sketch mode, and then I can begin selecting the objects that I want to generate the sketch from.
So I am going to select the roof and then the walls that make up my dormer, like so. Now that one, you can see it kind of went to the inside face of the wall. So all I have to do is just click the little flip grip, and that will flip it around. I use my Trim tool, like we've done with other sketches, clean things up, and then go ahead and click Finish. Now, when I do, unfortunately, I have generated an error. I want you to see this error, because you're going to see these inevitably in your own work in Revit. So these do occur.
Definitely read them. Try and understand what they're telling you. What Revit is telling us here is that this roof can no longer join to this vertical wall down here. Now, why is that? Well, the roof has somewhat of an overhang, and what's probably happening is this opening is overlapping where that top of that wall is. Now, the only choice I have here is to unjoin the elements. I don't really have any remedy other than that. Now, the opening is cut in the roof, and that's all fine, but let's go fix the problem that we were just alerted to.
So the best way to do that is going to be to go take a look at the section, and let's zoom in on the problem area. And as you can see, this wall kind of overlaps slightly with that wall, and then the hole kind of cuts right there. So that's really what caused the whole problem. So really, the simplest solution would be to actually select this wall and move it so that it no longer intersects the other wall. And I'll do that by just taking this Temporary Dimension and maybe making that 3' 10''.
No, I've got to go a little bit more. Let's do 3' 9'', and, like so. That should take care of that, and now I should be able to select this wall and reattach it to the roof without any trouble. If you don't like the amount of overhang, you can go back and edit that sketch and take care of that. That's all there is to it. Notice that the dormer has updated itself when we moved that wall.
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