While Revit Architecture allows all manner of material and design changes, by default it groups all walls into one of three types: basic, curtain, and stacked. The basic type has no inherently special properties to start with and is simply a set of layered materials. You can see how to create a custom basic wall type in Revit Architecture 2015 with this online video.
In this movie we're going to create our own custom wall type. Now, let's start by talking about wall types and wall families in general. Would you be surprised to learn that all of the walls that we've used so far throughout all the movies in this course have been part of the same family? All the walls we've used whether they were brick walls, or stud walls, or concrete walls, are part of the basic wall family. The basic wall family is a built-in family that Revit calls a system family. Now there's lots of different system families that we'll be using in our projects.
Walls are system families, floors, roofs, stairs. These are all system families. A system family is a family that's built into the system and cannot be changed by the end user. When you say that, sometimes people are a little surprised, because they think well, I've made modifications to walls, right? Or I've made modifications to floors, so what do you mean by that? . Well, we're not actually changing the family when we modify one of these object types. What we're actually changing is the type. So walls actually have only three wall families.
There's a basic wall family, there's a curtain wall family, and there's a stacked wall family. And we're going to look at each of those throughout the course of this chapter. In this movie, we're going to focus on the basic wall family. I'm in a project called Basic Walls, and I'll zoom in here on the middle of the plan, and I'm going to highlight one of the walls that already exists in this file, out toward the exterior. Now you're going to see a tool tip appear on screen and after a few seconds it will disappear. But if we look down at the status bar we see that same message appear and it says walls, which is the category.
Then there's a colon, then it says basic wall, that's the name of the family, and then another colon, and it says exterior brick on metal stud. And we'll talk about the last piece the R54 in a few moments. If I hover over a different wall, I'll see a similar message, walls, basic wall, and now it says, interior four and seven eighths. So notice its basic wall in both cases. And in fact, if I highlighted over any wall in this project, they're all going to be basic walls. Because all the walls so far in this project are just using the basic wall family, but they might have different types.
And so again that's where we're going to focus our attention. So I'm going to select this wall here between the two toilet rooms, and you'll notice that it's a little bit thin right now. And there's probably not enough room for any of the plumbing in that wall and we're going to create a new kind of wall for that plumbing wall situation. Now, I'm going to do that by using the tool here on the Properties Palette. So, there's the name again, interior four and seven eights partition on the type selector, and right beneath that is the Edit Type button. Now we've been in this dialog before, but let's look at it in a little bit more detail right now.
The first thing is I want to make it a little bit easier to see what we're doing, so I'm going to click this small Preview button down here. Now the next thing that I want to do is look at the structure of this wall or how this wall is constructed. And I do that by clicking this Edit button here next to Structure. Now what I want to caution you on is don't immediately dive in and start making changes here. If I click in the thickness column for example, next to one of the layers. And put in another value. I'm going to put in two feet, I'm going to click OK, I might get an error message, I click OK for that, and then OK one more time.
And naturally what you going to see is that the change on screen is probably not what I had in mind. Notice that several walls got really thick, and unless I'm going for the medieval castle look, this is probably not what my intention was. So I'm going to come up here and choose my Undo button, and return those back to the original size and let's start again. I'm going to select that wall, click Edit Type, and this time before I go to Edit Structure, I'm going to click the Duplicate button. So this is really important that you always remember to do this, this way you're creating a new type instead of modifying the one that's existing.
Now, most firms will use some sort of a prefix in front of the name, usually the initials of the girm. In this case I'll use RET for Revit Essential Training. And then I'll just call this a plumbing wall. Now when I click Edit, and let's go ahead and widen this dialog just to make it a little easier to read the columns. Now when I click Edit and we look at the different layers that are in here, any changes that I make only apply to this new wall type that I'm creating. Now up here at the top, the total thickness is currently four and seven eighths. That's the total of the various numbers you see here.
Now, there are actually three layers that are actual physical components. We have a finished layer drywall here, a stud layer, and then another drywall here, and then we have these two non-physical layers, the core boundaries. Now, you'll see here that they have thickness of zero in both cases. Every basic wall has really three zones. There's the core, which has all of the sort of structural components of the wall, and then potentially one or two finishes. You'll have an exterior finish and an interior finish. You are required to have something in the core, but you're not required to have something in the finishes.
So sometimes you'll have a wall that doesn't have any finished layers. But in this case we have layers on all three conditions. What I'm going to do, is select my layer three which is my core material in this case, and then come down here and click the Insert button. Whatever layer you have selected when you insert, it will insert it above the one that's selected. So I get a new layer that's set to By Category and it currently has a zero thickness. I'm going to go ahead and put in a new thickness here. And there's a couple different formats that you can use here.
If you don't want to have to type any units, and you're working in imperial, you can do the feet first, zero, then a space, then the number of inches, then another space, and then I put any fractional inches next. So when I press Enter that will be interpreted as zero foot, three and five eighths. Now you could have also put 3.625 and then used the inch symbol, so any proper format will work here. So I know have these two layers and you'll notice here that they're two different materials. This one is a metal stud layer, but this one is set to By Category. So let's address that next. If I click in that By Category field, a small Browse button becomes available.
I'll click that. That opens up the Material Browser. And you could scroll through the list here, looking for the material you want. You could also type here in this Search field to try and find a material that's suitable. So, I'm just going to type the word stud in here. And you'll see that that will locate the metal stud layer. Click OK. And that turns out to be the same material that we're using for the layer down below. Now, over here in this structural column, you'll see there's a check mark next to the original layer, which is now layer four. If I change that to this layer here, notice that it unchecks the first one.
So only one layer can be structural at a time. And that's the layer that your structural engineer is going to be most concerned with, that he'll run his calculations on. Let's go ahead and select layer four. Click Insert again, and again because the new layer goes above the one you have selected, that new layer goes in between the two stud layers. Now, if you accidently had the wrong layer selected, you do have an Up and Down button here. And you can always shuffle them around. I'm going to click in here, put in 5.5 inches. That's just another way of typing in inches.
So, both are valid. You use whichever method you prefer. So, that's five and a half inches. Click in here, browse to a new material. I'm going to type the word air in the search fied. Notice I've got an air, air infiltration barrier, even the stud layer shows up as air. I'm going to choose air here, click OK. And then finally, for the function, this air layer isn't really holding anything up. So making that a structural layer is probably not the right choice, so when you open up this drop down list, you see that there are six built-in values here.
The first five have numbers next to them and those are priority numbers. So, structure has priority number one. It's the most important. All the way down to finish two, which has a priority five, the least important. And this will come into play when the layers join up with one another in neighboring intersecting walls. So in this case I'm going to chose a thermal air layer which gives it a priority number three. Let's click OK. Let's click OK again. And you'll see the wall get thicker in the floor plan, but you won't really see any of those internal components that we just created. So let's zoom in a little bit closer.
Come down here to the View Control Bar. Click this small pop-up here, and if you choose either Medium or Fine, that will display the internal components. And as you can see now, this existing wall at the exterior had a metal stud layer here. That joins up and cleans up with the two new metal stud layers that we've created, and we get a line here separating the air from the metal stud layer because it's a lower priority. So that's where those priorities and material numbers came into play. So if you want it to have a nice, clean intersection like this, you have to match both the priority number and the material to make that happen.
The last thing is, when we were hovering over the wall earlier, and looking at the tool tip, we saw that there was an R value at the very end. This wall currently says R74. This exterior wall says R54, where is that coming from? Well I'm going to select this wall one more time, go back to Edit Type and Edit again. When you choose materials here, they can automatically assign an R value to that material. Now that's actually handled here in the Material Browser over here on the Thermal tab, and it has these thermal properties.
Now, we're using the out-of-the-box template here. And the thermal properties are already assigned to the materials in this template. If you upgrade an old project from a few releases ago, it may or may not have that information assigned to it. So you might have to go in and modify those materials. So just keep that in mind. But if all of your materials have an R value assigned to them, then Revit will do the complete calculation. And then you can use that information later when you're doing energy analysis. So creating your own basic wall is a fairly easy process that involves simply editing the type and making a duplicate of some existing wall, and then establishing what layers you want that wall to contain.
A basic wall is nothing more than a series of layered materials that are sandwiched together to create an assembly. And all of the walls that we've used so far throughout our project have been basic wall families.
- What is BIM?
- Understanding Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views and tags
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Which versions of Revit should I use with this course?
A: This course is written for users of Revit Architecture 2015 and Revit LT 2015. Because Revit LT does not have all of the same features as Revit Architecture, some movies in this course will not be relevant for Revit LT. Additionally, there are some topics that are relevant in both versions, but the button layout or location of those tools are different. In those cases, the features and procedures for Revit Architecture are shown in the course.