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Advanced Modeling in Revit Architecture elaborates on the basics of core elements in Revit, such as walls, floors, roofs, and curtain walls, and digs into specialized features such as in-place families, adaptive components, and the massing environment. Author Paul F. Aubin guides designers into thinking both in and out of the box, through discovering and applying industry standard best practices, employing creative and sometimes unconventional techniques and procedures, and finding ways to make models serve multiple concurrent project goals.
Most jurisdictions have zoning requirements to define floor area ratios, height restrictions, natural lighting minimums and much more. One of the earliest tasks that a designer must do, therefore, is determine how closely their proposed design is achieving these program requirements and code requirements. In this movie, we'll take our massing study that we begun in the last few movies and begin performing a pro forma study to analyze how our design fares against these requirements. So what I have on screen is actually two files. I have the SAMOCA_V1 Family file.
This is a completed version of the massing study that we performed over the last few movies, and on the right-hand side I have Proforma.rvt, which is a project file, which we've seen before which includes the surrounding neighboring buildings. So what we're going to do is, starting over here in the Family file the SAMOCA V1, is we're going to make sure that's the active window and then come up here on the Ribbon and click Load into Project. And when I do that it will switch the active window and because it's a massing file, as it's prompted us in the past, it will remind us that in order to see this file, we need to enable the Show Mass mode.
So this message is probably not the first time you've seen this. We'll go ahead and click Close and accept that. And then the next challenge we run into is the sorry, you can't place this, and that's because up here on the Ribbon, the default Placement option is Place it on a Face. So if you wanted to place your building on the roof of the nearby buildings you'd have no problem, but to place it out here on the site, little bit more of an issue. So we're going to switch to the Place on Work Plane, and then verify that our Work Plane that we desire is chosen over here, so our Main Level will work just fine, and if you wanted to you could actually rotate it after placement.
We're not going to do that. And then you can see that we're able to place it wherever we want to go and it goes right about here. But to get that a little more fine- tuned I think it would be better for us to take a look in the Plane View rather than the 3D here. So I'm going to double-click the Main Level Floor Plan and let's go ahead and maximize this up. And as you can see we're only seeing the neighboring buildings but we're not actually seeing any of the site, so that image file that we had loaded in is not loaded into this particular project.
However, we can go to our Visibility/ Graphics VG, and scroll down and you'll notice that Topography is actually turned off in this view. So it's turned off in the Floor Plan and I'm just going to temporarily turn that on, click OK, and then you'll see my topo, which has the roads over here and over here, and that will make it possible for me to zoom in a little bit, and you know kind of fine-tune the placement of this building.
There are actually some Reference Planes there. So you look at those and you go, hmm okay, well, maybe we can make use of that. So you notice that there is a Reference Plane that's highlighting here and here. So what I'm going to do instead is I'm actually going to use my Align tool, because down the middle of this hexagon in the family file, we had two Reference Planes. So all I have to do is select this one, the Align tool, and select this Reference Plane as the reference for alignment, and then line that up with this Reference Plane, which is inside the SAMOCA file, and do the same thing in the other direction.
And there's one there and this one here. I want the one down the center. Actually it looks pretty close. Let me do this. Usually, it's a better idea to drag it over so you can make sure that you're getting the right one. So because we have one, two, three Reference Planes inside that file. I want to make sure I'm getting the one in the middle. So that's why I slid it over first. Okay, so now it's positioned pretty much centered on where I intended it.
You can kind of see now that this leading edge of the building kind of follows the line of the fronts of these houses, so that was kind of what the designer had in mind. The building sits here, we're going to enter the building from over here. So we're pretty good. So now I'm going to return back to my 3D View. So you'll notice that the mass is this transparent material that's just the default material that gets assigned to masses and that's actually going to be helpful in the next step because what we're going to do now is create what we call Mass Floors.
And Mass Floors are going to slice through the model at the heights of the floor levels and they are going to be this also transparent bluish color, but we will be able to see them through the building. So that's why having it be semitransparent like this is actually helpful. So I'm going to select the building, and then up here on the Ribbon I'm going to get Mass Floors. So I just click on that and the list of levels that are currently in my project will appear, and you'll notice that we've got the same levels here in the project that were in the original massing file.
And I want to create a floor at the Admin Level, the Main Level, the Second Level and even at the Roof Level because this little Tower element right here-- I can create kind of a floor right there at the bottom of the Tower, which is where the roof is. Now, if I wanted a floor at the top of the Tower I could choose that one too but I'm actually going to leave that one unchecked. I'm going to click OK, and you'll see this sort of bluish purple color planes that are cutting all the way through the building here, and let me go ahead and select it and hold my Shift key and drag my wheel and kind of orbit this little so you can see.
You see there, the little circular plane floating there and then this other one up in the upper level. So we've actually got these floors slicing through here at the various levels. You can go to the View tab, you can create a new Schedule and you can create a schedule from Mass Floors, then you go to Next, you add your fields and so forth. I'm going to cancel that because here in the file I've already created a Mass Floor Schedule for us and it's pretty simple.
If I just double-click it, you'll see there's just a Mark, a Floor Perimeter and a Floor Area. Now, the Mark is not filled in but you can see that the Perimeter and the Floor Area are coming automatically from those slices that we've just cut through and we can tell here at a glance how much square footage there is on each floor, and the total square footage for the entire proposed building. So we currently have about 268,000 square feet. So now we can take that number, go back to our designers, compare it against the zoning requirements, and so on, and make decisions about how that impacts the design.
So that's all there is to taking your mass model and bringing it into your project file, loading it in, selecting it, clicking on Create Mass Floors, do a quick schedule and you get a really good sense of how much square footage you're building is taking up on each of its floors. So one of the main benefits of creating massing models is they can allow us to quickly answer many early design questions in a very fluid way. Masses give us an overall sense of the building form, but do not burden us unnecessarily with the specifics of construction.
From these simple mass forms we can extract the square footage and compare those against the programmatic and building code requirements. We can also run basic energy analysis and that will be the subject of the next movie.
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