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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.
Ceiling elements in Revit are similar to floors. They are horizontal planes set at a certain height above the finished floor, and can even include layers of material under construction, just like floors can. You could choose from any common types, like 2x4 ceiling grids or drywall ceilings, or you can even create your own. The fastest way to create a ceiling is to use the Auto-Ceiling option. This automatically creates a ceiling from the surrounding walls that enclosed the space. In cases where you don't have surrounding walls, or if the walls don't exactly match the shape of the ceiling, you can sketch the ceiling using familiar sketch-based tools.
So I'm here in our office building project, the name of this file is called Ceilings, and I'm currently looking at the First Floor Plan. Now, I'm going to go right into the Ceiling tool and show you a common error that you'll see. Everyone makes this mistake as a beginner, so I'll go ahead and make it on purpose. I'm going to click Ceiling, I'm going to pick a point, and I get an error message. The reason is I'm working in a Floor Plan, and I just created a ceiling element, and it's above my head, so I can't see it. So what I'm going to do is get out of there.
I'll do undo with Ctrl+Z. What we need to do as a first step when you want to work on ceilings is actually go down in the Ceiling Plans and double-click that Level 1. This will be a much better place to create a ceiling. So let's go ahead and do it the right way now. So I'm going to click on the Ceiling tool, and before I actually pick any points this time, I'm going to take a look over here. I said there were a few different types. So the template includes a 2 x 2 ceiling grid and a 2 x 4 ceiling grid. I'm going to go ahead and choose a 2 x 4, verify my ceiling height at 8 feet.
That will work fine for the offices. And then I'm going to move my mouse over here, and you'll see I get the little no-can-do symbol out here. But as soon as I move my mouse into an enclosed space, because I have this tool on automatically, by default, this is going to automatically find those boundaries, find those surrounding walls, and create a ceiling for me with a single click. It doesn't get much easier than that. So I could just go into all of the offices, and just like that, I could create a bunch of ceilings. Now, I probably don't want a big, ugly 2 x 4 ceiling in the conference room, so I'm going to change my type to a drywall ceiling.
I'm even going to increase the ceiling height just a little bit. I think I can accommodate 9 feet. We'll go ahead and click in there. Maybe the restrooms also have a drywall ceiling, although I might not want it to be at 9 feet. I probably should have changed the height of that. Just so you can see all three, I'll put a 2 x 2 over here in the break room. All right. So what does that give us? That's all the easy rooms. Out here, we might have a ceiling as well, but this is a double height space, and this is doing something else, and really we need a ceiling here that might just match the underside of that floor.
We're not going to get away with doing Pick ceiling in that area. So we're going to do Sketch for that one. So I'm going to go to the Ceiling tool again, and this time, instead of clicking Automatic Ceiling, I'm going to do Sketch Ceiling. I'll get all my familiar sketch-based tools. I do want to verify the ceiling Height. I'm going to stick with my 8 feet, or actually, let's go ahead and make that 8' 6", just for a little variety there. I'm going to zoom in on this area, and I'll start with a rectangle, from right here to perhaps right about there.
Now, it's not really necessary for me to go around the columns. I mean, you could do that if you want to, but the ceiling plane will just intersect the columns, and it will look fine in the Ceiling Plan, so it's really not necessary to go to that degree of detail. But I might want to make a little jog right here to actually get out to the edge of this floor. I did that kind of by eye. So if we zoom in, you can see it's not quite right.
That's where my old friend, the Align tool, will come in, and allow me to get that to line up just perfectly. Then we'll go ahead and trim that up, do a Zoom Previous, and we'll trim that up, and we'll click Finish. So it's like any other sketch- based object, and there you have it; you've got that ceiling. The other thing that you want to know about ceilings is it did a pretty nice job of guessing how we wanted those grids to be oriented, but when you start putting lights in here, this orientation might not work for you.
You can easily shift the grid. You can rotate the grid. You can line them up with neighboring offices. So let's just say for the sake of argument that I want to move this entire grid half a tile. All you do is click a single line on the grid pattern. Go to your Move tool. I'm going to kind of click out here and just drag to 2 feet and then click again. That will actually shift the entire grid pattern. Now, I could do that repeatedly for all the other ceilings as well, or I could just go back to my friend, the Align tool, and then before I click this time, I'm going to check this box right here, Multiple Alignment, and that will allow me to make this my boundary edge and align several objects to it.
Now, you notice that it's got the little lock icons. If I actually clicked those, what will happen is if I come back later and move this, say 1' 6", it will actually move both rooms together. So sometimes you might actually want to lock that alignment - I'm going to undo that and bring it back - but you might want to actually undo that alignment if you want all of those rooms to move as a unit. The last thing I'd like to show you in this movie here with regard to ceilings, doesn't really have anything to do with the ceiling grid itself, but since we're talking about ceiling plans, we probably ought to get some light fixtures in here.
That's just simply adding a component. So the procedure is exactly like other components that we've added elsewhere in the training series when we added toilet fixtures, and when we added equipment, and so on. I probably don't have any good light fixtures to choose from in this file. Well, I guess I'm wrong. There we are. There are some light fixtures in here. But just in case, if you don't see the ones that you want, all you have to do, remember, is click Load Family, and go load them in from the library. So these came from the out-of -the-box library right here.
I'm going to go ahead and just choose a 2 x 4 fixture. And you see how it actually is hosted to ceilings. So you couldn't place it freestanding out here. It won't allow that. The only thing it doesn't really do very nicely is it doesn't line up perfectly with the grid. So what I usually do is just sort of drop it anywhere, and then I'll zoom in on that room, and I'll use my Align tool to get it lined up. I want to turn off Multiple Alignment this time, and to get it lined up.
You don't need to lock that, because it will automatically stay attached to the ceiling. So once I've got it in position correctly for one of them, I can go to my Copy tool, choose Multiple, and then begin copying it around the space. Now, again, in here, you say, oh, well, that doesn't work so well. The whole assembly will move together as a unit. So the grid will move, all the light fixtures will move, and then finally you could select all of these light fixtures together and copy those down into the other offices.
So the first one is a little challenging because it doesn't automatically snap and you have to align it, but then after that it goes pretty quickly, because you can just use copy, and move, and rotate, and so on.
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