Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding stacked walls


Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

with Paul F. Aubin

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Video: Understanding stacked walls

As we've already discussed, walls are a system family, and system family just means that it's built into the system and it has fixed parameters. Now, there are three wall families; there's the basic wall, the stacked wall, and the curtain wall. We looked at the basic wall in the previous movie, and as you recall, it's a basic wall because it has the same material throughout its construction. If you look at it horizontally or vertically, you are going to see the same set of layers. A stack wall is slightly more complex because while it's the same material along its length, it actually varies along its height.
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  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 14m 43s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      6m 55s
  3. 54m 44s
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      1m 19s
    2. Exploring the Recent Files window and the application menu
      5m 20s
    3. Using the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      7m 12s
    4. Understanding context ribbons
      4m 43s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      8m 31s
    6. Using the Project Browser
      5m 34s
    7. Navigating views: Zooming, panning, and rotating
      5m 57s
    8. The basics of selecting and modifying
      9m 49s
    9. Accessing Revit options
      6m 19s
  4. 47m 6s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multi-user project with worksharing
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 33s
    4. Adding levels
      7m 40s
    5. Adding grids
      6m 23s
    6. Refining a layout with temporary dimensions
      6m 58s
    7. Adding columns
      7m 34s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Adding walls
      8m 48s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 24s
    3. Exploring wall properties and types
      7m 37s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 27s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Using wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 59s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 49s
    5. Creating a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 16s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      6m 0s
    11. Understanding file formats
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    4. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    5. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    6. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    7. Adding openings
      8m 33s
    8. Working with stairs
      8m 4s
    9. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    10. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    11. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 20s
  8. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 18s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      8m 12s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      8m 17s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      10m 59s
    5. Creating wall sweeps and reveals
      6m 26s
    6. Exploring model lines
      4m 22s
  9. 47m 40s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      6m 13s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 7s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      5m 21s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
  10. 21m 28s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 0s
  11. 33m 13s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 55s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      8m 8s
  12. 58m 40s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 6s
    3. Adding symbols
      4m 42s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      8m 31s
    6. Adding detail components
      8m 52s
    7. Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically
      7m 43s
    8. Adding filled and masking regions
      7m 26s
  13. 41m 29s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      7m 52s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      4m 40s
  14. 38m 48s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      5m 24s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 39s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  15. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

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Watch the Online Video Course Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
10h 27m Beginner Aug 02, 2012

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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.

Topics include:
  • Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
  • Adding levels, grids, and columns to set up a project
  • Creating building layouts with walls, doors, and windows
  • Modifying wall types and properties
  • Working with DWG files and CAD inserts
  • Adding rooms
  • Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
  • Using cutaway views
  • Generating schedules and tags
  • Adding callouts such as text and symbols
  • Understanding families
  • Outputting files, including DWF and PDF files
Revit Architecture
Paul F. Aubin

Understanding stacked walls

As we've already discussed, walls are a system family, and system family just means that it's built into the system and it has fixed parameters. Now, there are three wall families; there's the basic wall, the stacked wall, and the curtain wall. We looked at the basic wall in the previous movie, and as you recall, it's a basic wall because it has the same material throughout its construction. If you look at it horizontally or vertically, you are going to see the same set of layers. A stack wall is slightly more complex because while it's the same material along its length, it actually varies along its height.

Now, all it takes to create a stack wall is to simply take two or more basic walls and literally stack them up on top of one another. So, in this movie we're going to look at the stacked walls, and we'll address curtain walls in a later movie. So I have here a file called Stacked Walls, and it's just a simple file and we are going to use it to demonstrate how the Stacked Walls feature works. Now, most of the work is going to take place down here on the Project Browser. So, if I go to the Project Browser and I scroll to the bottom, we'll have a Families branch. I'm going to expand that.

And beneath that branch, you'll see all the various categories in the system. I'll go down and I'll locate the Walls category and expand it, and then finally, I'm going to expand the Basic Wall category. Now, even though we're talking about the stacked wall here in this movie, we are going to start by looking at three basic walls that I've created and included in this file. Each of them begins with the letters R-E-T for Revit Essential Training. You'll find that that's a pretty common best practice that firms like to do. They use their initials or some other designation at the start of each name of anything they've customized so that members of the firm will know where the customized objects are and which ones they want to use.

So it's a pretty typical thing to do. So, the first one I'm going to show you is the RET_Foundation -14-inch Concrete. So, I'm going to right-click on that and choose Type Properties. Now, that will load up the Type Properties dialog that we've seen before, and there's really nothing special about this wall. If we click on the Edit Structure button, you can see that it's nothing more than a 14-inch-thick layer of concrete. So this is by far the simplest of the three. So I'm going to cancel out of here, click OK. And the next one I want to look at is the one at the top here, RET_Exterior - Brick on CMU.

I'm going to right-click it and go to its Type Properties. And this time, what I want to do is down here for view, we can actually change the View Direction from a Floor Plan to a Section, and that will make it a little bit more obvious what we're seeing here in this particular wall type. I'm going to choose Edit Structure again. And we have all our various layers: here is our Brick Finish layer, here's our Air Gap, here is our Rigid Insulation, there's a Membrane, and then finally, the Concrete Structure. If you click over here in the Preview, you can actually zoom in here.

So, I'm going to roll my wheel, and there's this additional component right here: there's the soldier course brick, and that's actually controlled here under Sweeps. Now we're going to talk about Sweeps in a later movie, so I'm not to going to get into the details of it right now. Let me go ahead and OK out of here two times without making any changes. And then the final one is the one here in the middle, Exterior - Brick Parapet. Look at its Type Properties. We're in the section cut. It also has a sweep at the top and as you can see, [00:03:1 6.13] it's got three wythes of brick and an air gap here in the middle.

So what we're going to do now--let me cancel out of there--is we are going to come down here to the Stacked Wall family beneath Walls, expand it. And every family has to have at least one type. So you'll see here that there's already a type here in this project. This is just the generic one that comes with the template. I want to duplicate this and customize it so we can build our own stacked wall. So I'm going to right- click on that and duplicate it. That's going to create Exterior - Brick Over CMU Metal Stud 2. So I'm going to select that, right- click again, and rename it. And I'll do RET, for Revit Essential Training, underscore, and I'll just call this Exterior Wall, and press Enter.

I'm going to right-click that again and go to its Type Properties. That takes us to a similar Type Properties, but as you can see it's a little bit simpler. When you click the Edit Structure button over here, all you really have to do now is tell it which walls you want to stack up. Now I'm going to move the dialog over here a little bit and I'm going to widen it up so that I can get a better look at the names right here, so I can make adjustment here to these column widths in order to read the names a little bit better. Now, I'm going to start at the bottom with my lowermost wall here, and that wall, I want to use my RET_ Foundation - 14 inch Concrete, so I'm going to choose that there.

Now it shifts a little bit, and let's not worry about that yet. We'll come back and fix that in a few minutes. But I want to just get the walls established first. The next one up in the stack is going to be the RET - Brick on CMU, and then I'm going to click the Insert button. That will create one above it. And again, it looks a little weird over here because it's using the same wall type again, and I am going to change that one to the Brick Parapet. We clearly need to make a few adjustments.

So let's look at the Height column next. Each component can have its own height. One of the components will have a variable height, and the others will all have a fixed height. So, we've got a three-component wall. That means two of them have a fixed height. So, I'm going to start with those. All right! So I'm going to select my parapet wall at the top, and I'm going to come over here to the Height column and I'm going to just make that 3 feet instead of what it was defaulting to. Now, for my component down at the bottom, I'm going to click there and I'm going to make that 4 feet. Now, you'll see the component in the middle is the variable one.

That leaves us having to deal with these alignment issues. So, if I click over here and I zoom in a little bit, obviously we've got a problem there, and then if we pan down here, I'm just using my wheel mouse, you can see that this one shifted a little bit here. [00:06:00.0 4] I'm going to stay zoomed in on this one right here. We have a few different ways we could deal with this. We could certainly come in and calculate the offsets and try and fix it that way by shifting the walls laterally. Before you use the offsets, it's a good idea to look here at the Location Line choices.

Whatever you choose here is where these offsets will be measured from. So if we can find a better common edge that we can use, it might save us a little bit of trouble in calculating the offsets. And in this case, I think the most logical choice to measure the offsets from is the exterior face of the core. When I choose that, you're going to see it shift a little bit right here, but notice that the brick now lines up nicely with the CMU. Now, I'm going to roll my wheel to zoom back out, and it didn't really solve the problem down here, but at least now I only have to shift the offset in one of the walls instead of both of them.

Now, if you do the math and you make the calculation, it turns out that 6 3/8th of an inch here for the offset will do the trick, and it will shift this wall over and line it up where it needs to go. You can use a positive number or a negative number in that Offset field. So, we'll just scan everything and make sure we're satisfied with it, zoom back out over here. It looks pretty good. Let's click OK, OK again, and now all that remains is to apply that new wall type to the model. So, I'm going to highlight one of my walls, press the Tab key, and click-- that's our chain selection--open up the type selector list here, scroll down, and there is my new RET_Exterior Wall.

I'll choose that, and then I'll deselect so we can see what we've got, and you can see that it applies our new stacked wall type to all of the walls. So, creating a stacked wall involves having two or more basic walls that you want to stack on top of one another, either use existing walls that you already have in your library or you can create them from scratch. And then you simply create a stacked wall, assemble the parts on top of one another, and fix any offsets for any lateral shifts that you need to do and then apply the wall to your model.

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