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Up and Running with Revit
Illustration by Richard Downs
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Working with walls


From:

Up and Running with Revit

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Working with walls

In this movie, I would like to introduce you to Walls. Walls are perhaps the most basic element of any building so what makes sense for us to spend a little time here learning how to use the wall tool. I made a file called Walls, and this is just a saved version of the Column Grid layout that we created in the previous movie. We are going to look at laying of walls in two ways in this movie. We are going to lay them up very precisely relative to the column grid. And we're also going to lay them out in a little bit more of a sketch fashion, just so you can compare and contrast the two techniques. Now, there's no one right or wrong to do it, so you can certainly focus on the technique that works best for you. So I'm currently in the Level 1 floor plan and the Wall tool is located here on the Architecture tab.

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Up and Running with Revit
3h 58m Beginner Jun 20, 2013

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Autodesk Revit is one of the most popular building information modeling (BIM), solutions today. This course covers the differences between the various editions of Revit and shows architects and engineers who are new to the software how to use them. Learn how to choose a template; set up the basic levels, grids, and dimensions; and start adding walls, doors, and windows to your model. Author Paul F. Aubin also shows how to create views and documentation that clearly communicate your plans, import files from other CAD programs, and produce construction documents.

Note: The techniques shown in this course will work with any version of Revit, but due to backwards compatibility issues, the exercise files for this course will only work with Revit 2014. Unfortunately, we cannot downsave the files. Please see a Revit 2013 course for usable files.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the different editions of Revit
  • Setting up levels and grids
  • Adding doors and windows
  • Loading families
  • Working with 3D views
  • Dimensioning a plan
  • Adding a schedule view
  • Importing CAD files
  • Linking to another Revit file
  • Creating sheets
  • Plotting a set of documents
  • Generating a cloud rendering
Subjects:
Architecture BIM CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit LT Revit MEP
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Working with walls

In this movie, I would like to introduce you to Walls. Walls are perhaps the most basic element of any building so what makes sense for us to spend a little time here learning how to use the wall tool. I made a file called Walls, and this is just a saved version of the Column Grid layout that we created in the previous movie. We are going to look at laying of walls in two ways in this movie. We are going to lay them up very precisely relative to the column grid. And we're also going to lay them out in a little bit more of a sketch fashion, just so you can compare and contrast the two techniques. Now, there's no one right or wrong to do it, so you can certainly focus on the technique that works best for you. So I'm currently in the Level 1 floor plan and the Wall tool is located here on the Architecture tab.

Now, you can just click the top half of this button, but if you happen to click the bottom half and this fly-out opens up, just make sure that you're choosing Wall Architectural. When you do, there's lots of options that become available and we don't want to necessarily get hung up on every single option, but there are a few that we want to take a look at. The first is, right here on the Properties palate there is a drop-down list at the top and this is probably the most important setting, because you need to establish what kind of wall you're creating. Revit calls this a Type, so what type of wall we want.

Because that wall type actually will configure several of the other settings for for you. So if you change types, it might mess up all the other settings. So always do the type first. And the type that I want to use in this case is just a generic 12-inch wall. For the purposes of this model, we're just going to stick with generic walls, which are just really basic walls. If you want more detailed walls, you can look at some of the examples that we cover in the Revit Essential Training here in the lynda.com library. So I've got generic 12-inch wall, that's my basic wall. And the next thing I want to consider is its height. Now, notice that we're setting the height here, but next to that it says unconnected.

If you click that drop down for unconnected. It turns out that there's a list of all your floor levels there. Now, in the previous movie we laid out the floor levels, and so here we can actually start to assign the height of the walls to match one of the heights of those levels. So I wanted to match the height at the parapet, so I'm going to choose that from the list. The next thing I want to consider is the location line. You can draw the walls from their center line or from their faces. I'm going to draw the exterior walls first, and I think for the exterior walls, it makes a certain amount of sense to use the finish face exterior. That means whatever point I locate for that wall will stay put at the exterior face of the wall.

And then later, if we thicken the wall or make it thinner, the exterior face will stay where it is and it will get thicker or thinner relative to that. If I start clicking on screen right now, it will draw directly relative to that finished face exterior. Let me click a start point right here and then zoom in a little bit right where my mouse is. And notice that we're drawing by that face of the wall. Now, if I start this way, I'm drawing somewhat randomly. So, what I'm going to do is press Escape just one time. Make sure you do not press more than once. If you press more than once, it will cancel you all the way out of the command, you'll have to start all the settings over again. But if you press just one time, it just cancels that current wall, but keeps me in the Wall command.

Notice that over here I have an Offset feature. Well with this feature, I can put in any number I want, I'm going to put in 2 feet and press Enter. Now, the way this works is wherever you click Now, your wall will actually draw two feet away from that, and to be more precise, the finish face exterior of the wall is two feet away from the points I click. So let me escape again one time so I don't cancel all the way out of the command, just the one time.

And move your mouse here by the grid intersection. Now, if you're not sure which one you're doing, you can zoom out a little bit. I want to be here on Grid Line 2 at the top. So the intersection between Grid Line 2 and column line A, I'm going to click right there. And start to move my mouse. So now if you measured from Grid Line A to the finished face exterior of that wall, that would be 2 feet. That's where that 2 foot offset is. Now, if your wall is going down instead of up, you can tap the space bar. Let me show you. If I tap the space bar, it flips down.

If I tap it again, it flips up. So make sure it's going up or away from the grid, in other words. I'm going to zoom or pan over to here, and snap to Grid Intersection A6. Then I'm going to turn the corner, and let me zoom out again. Come down here to D6, turn the corner again, and I'll come back here to Grid Line 2. Press Escape one time. And you can see that I've created three walls that are all offset exactly 2 feet away from the intersections of those grid lines. Now, I want to draw some of the interior walls. So, I'm going to change types.

So, make sure you're still in the Wall command. If you've canceled out just click the Wall tool again in the Architecture tab. And I'm going to use the drop down here and choose a thinner size. I'm going to choose generic 5 inch this time. That will reset many of the settings here. So, I want to verify my settings. Instead of unconnected, this time I want to go up to Level 2. So that's going to take this wall and it's going to go just up to the second level. I'm going to leave the wall center line as the location line this time, but over here, I want to set the offset back to 0. So I'm going to put in 0, press enter, and then I'm going to come down here and highlight the exterior wall at the bottom and Grid Line 4. And you'll notice that Revit says I'm going to get an intersection right there. And I'll click, pull this wall straight up. You can go at any angle you want.

But I want to make sure I'm going straight up until it intersects the opposite wall and click again. Now, if you zoom your mouse in on that location, you'll notice that Revit has automatically cleaned up the intersection between those two walls. So that's pretty nice. Now, I'm going to zoom back out. Now, you don't have to draw your walls relative to the grid lines at all. In fact, you can draw out the walls anywhere you like. So for the next few walls, I'm just going to rough them in by eye. And then later, we'll come back and move them around. So I'm going to come over here just a little to the left of Column Line 5. Click a point on the exterior wall.

Pull it straight down. The dimension will help me a little bit. I'll go about 18 feet, or so. Pull it over to the right about 22 feet, or so. And then come back up to the exterior wall. Notice how I didn't get caught up on exactly how far I was going, I just did it rough. I'm eyeballing or I'm sketching right now, and then later, I'll refine that sketch more precisely. Let me divide this space in two by just clicking between those two walls. Let's divide this space in two.

By clicking between those two walls. Over here, by Column Line B, we're going to enter the restaurant. So, I'm going to create a little vestibule here just by creating a little L-shaped wall configuration. This connection to the next wall Revit calls Chain. And you can see that up on the options bar because the chain check box is selected. To break the chain, press Escape once. Again, one time is important. That will break the chain but keep me in the Wall command, and then for my final wall, I'm going to come a little to the right of Grid Line 5, kind of pull down here just above grid line c, and then I'll go back and finish it over at Grid Line 4.

And that's going to be kind of the back of house area. I'm going to escape now, all the way out of the command. Either 2 Escapes or click the Modify tool. Either one will work. And, take a look at my final products here. Those are the basic walls that I need for the layout of the restaurant. They're not terribly precise, yet. But, one of the things that's very powerful about Revit, is if you later come in and select one of these walls. And move it, notice that all the other, walls will stay, connected, and associated with it. So, in the next movie we're going to learn how to do those kind of movements very precisely, so that we can control exactly the sizes of all those spaces. But before we leave this file, lets just take a look at how this thing looks in 3D. If you look up here on your Project browser, you'll notice that we've got a floor plans category, a ceiling plans and elevations but, we don't have a 3D category.

Up here on the toolbar, there's this small little doghouse icon. It looks like a little birdhouse or a doghouse. If you click that, that's the default 3D view. Notice that it takes us to a 3D isometric, and here on the project browser it created a new 3D views category and a new 3D view called just 3D. If you want to get a better look at how your model is shaping up here, hold your shift key down. And drag your wheel. So you're holding in both the Shift key and the wheel, and you can orbit and spin this model around. And now, you could see very clearly that our three exterior walls go the full height of the building, and all of our interior walls are set down at Level 2. So there's plenty more for us to do.

That's the basic process that's involved in laying out some walls. You can either lay out the walls very precisely relative to a column grid or some other geometry, or you can lay them out in a very rough fashion and then come back and modify them later. The choice is yours and it really depends on what you're trying to achieve.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Revit.


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Q: Will Revit 2014 files work in a previous version of Revit? Will the exercise files for this course work in Revit 2013?
A: Revit file formats are not backwards compatible. A new file format is introduced with each new release. Newer versions of Revit can open older version files without issue. However, files will be upgraded to the latest file format during the initial open. Once saved in the current version, there is no way to save them back to a previous version. Therefore, it is important to consider this issue carefully and discuss it with all project team members before beginning a project. For example, it is not possible for the architect to use a newer version of the software than the consulting engineers and vice-versa. All members of the team must collaborate using the same version/file format. This course was authored using Revit 2014. Therefore, its exercise files can be used with any flavor of Revit (Architecture, MEP, Structure, or LT) 2014 and later. Files cannot be opened with versions 2013 and prior.
 
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