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Looking at topography and phasing

From: Phasing and Design Options in Revit

Video: Looking at topography and phasing

In this movie I'd like to talk about topography and specifically how it behaves with phasing. So topography has a little bit of a special behavior when it comes to phasing, and there is a grading tool specifically for topography that works with the phasing as well. So let's take a look at that. So I am in a file here called Phasing Topography, and I'm in a 3D view set to an Existing Phase, you can see it down here, it's just 3D exist and the Phase for this view is currently set to Existing. Now this is going to be important because the first thing I want to show you is the grading tool, and you'll find out on the Massing & Site tab and the current phase is important because if you use the Grading tool, Graded Region specifically, what it will do is it will actually demolish the topography that you have on screen, and it will create a new topography in the current phase.

Looking at topography and phasing

In this movie I'd like to talk about topography and specifically how it behaves with phasing. So topography has a little bit of a special behavior when it comes to phasing, and there is a grading tool specifically for topography that works with the phasing as well. So let's take a look at that. So I am in a file here called Phasing Topography, and I'm in a 3D view set to an Existing Phase, you can see it down here, it's just 3D exist and the Phase for this view is currently set to Existing. Now this is going to be important because the first thing I want to show you is the grading tool, and you'll find out on the Massing & Site tab and the current phase is important because if you use the Grading tool, Graded Region specifically, what it will do is it will actually demolish the topography that you have on screen, and it will create a new topography in the current phase.

So starting here in this 3D existing phase is probably not a good idea because I would be demolishing and creating in the same phase. So typically what you want to do is make sure that you've got a view set to the next phase, and I have one here actually for each of the phases in this model, so I am going to go to this 3D (Phase 1). And there is already a topography here, and I wanted to show you the result and then I'll do another one to show you the step. But you can see here sort of dashed in that this was the existing topography that got demolished here in Phase 1 and then the new grading happens over here.

So in the course of your project you might want to grade the site and do some cut and fill or what have you, it helps accommodate that workflow, but it does it by actually using the phasing tools, demolishing the existence topography and creating a new one. The other part of topography that has to do with phasing is the building pads, and now these don't behave quite as nicely with phasing as we would probably like them to. I want to talk about that first, before I demonstrate Graded Region because the two are actually going to kind of work together here to be the solution that we're after.

So if I move my mouse over here, you can see I have a building pad right here, and that was the existing building. And it's got the normal phasing parameters that you would expect that was created in the existing phase, and it's not being demolished. The trouble is when you do a building pad, it doesn't really properly behave, even though it has the two phasing settings, it doesn't really properly behave graphically the way you would expect. Let me show you what I mean by that. I am going to go to a building pad here, and I'm going to create just a simple rectangular pad over here, and I'll finish that.

Now because I was in the Phase 1 New, it inherited that phase, so I am going to actually drop that back to Existing. Now I am going to create another one, and I'll make it another shape just to help us remember which one is which. I'll leave that one set to the Phase 1 New, and I'm going to create one more, and I'll make that one round, and I'm going to change that one to Phase 2 New construction and finish it.

So here is the part that's a little bizarre. Even though that building pad hasn't been built yet, it's already cutting the terrain so that's a little bit of a problem. What we need to do is actually treat our topography similar to how we treated rooms, and that is we're going to want to have a topography for each phase. The demonstration of the Graded Region is actually going to solve both problems. It's going to allow us to actually grade our topography if we need to do that and it's going to turn out to be the solution for how to deal with these strange behavior of the building pads.

So I am going to jump forward in time here to Phase 2 construction, and I'm going to demonstrate the Graded Region. So the reason that I like this tool for this solution is because of this dialog here. What happens when you click Graded Region is it says, you know, to Select your toposurface you want to grade, and it can do one of two things here. It can either duplicate the existing total surface exactly and then you can just simply modify it, or it will create a brand-new one that just matches the perimeter. So if you're going to come in and bulldoze the whole site and completely re-grade the whole site, you would choose this option.

But if all you're going to do is re-grade a small area, then you probably want this option. That's what I am going to choose in this case. And so it will create a new topography, and if we look at it, we can see that the Phase created is now set to Phase 2 New. Now at this point, I'm in the Edit mode, you can see Edit Surface here, and I could start moving points around to, you know, change the grading, so if I wanted to, you know, sort of just start manipulating the form of this site here, and I am just doing a few points just to kind of give you an idea, you could see that I am only modifying the portion of the site that needed to change.

But more importantly, when I'm all done with this, and I click Finish, the idea that I have this separate topography here means that when I go back to Phase 1, it's going to behave more correctly, because the building pads will associate themselves with that latest phase. Now you may be noticing that they disappeared over here, so I do have to go back and sort of reestablish which phases these belong to. You could see that one went to Phase 2, I can set it back to Phase 1, and this one went also to Phase 2, I can set it back to Existing.

And now if we go back in time here, there is Phase 1, and I just see the two, notice the round one is no longer interacting. That's because they're interacting with this grade, which was set to Phase 1 and Demolished in Phase 2. You see what the Grading tool did? It actually demolished this surface in this phase and then of course if I go back to Existing, same thing, we have only the one pad here now. So I actually have three toposurfaces in this model, one assigned to each phase. So it turns out that even though it's a little bit more effort to set it up that way, it turns out that that's really the best solution to help you manage not only your toposurface objects, but your building pads.

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Phasing and Design Options in Revit

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Paul F. Aubin
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