Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a custom basic wall type, part of Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training.
We've seen many different kinds of walls so far in this course, some were generic walls showing only one layer of material; some show brick, or steel studs, or drywall, or even concrete. Would you be surprised to learn that all of these walls belong to the same family? Walls are a system family, and all of the walls mentioned here are part of the basic wall system family. System families are built into the system. They're built into Revit. Most major building components are actually system families. This includes walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, and a variety of other objects.
This means you and I cannot change the system family itself. We cannot rename it, we can't delete it, or we can't add a new one; however, we can manipulate the family types for any system family. So when we have one wall made out of brick and another one made out of concrete, they both belong to the basic wall family, but they're two different types. So in this movie we're going to explore how to make our own type of basic wall. And so I'm in a file here called Basic Walls, and I'm going to zoom in on the toilet room area right here.
And I want to start off by showing you that each of the walls that we have here in the file are actually basic walls. So if I highlight this exterior wall, you can see the tooltip says that it's Basic Wall: Exterior - Brick on Metal Stud. If I highlight this one, it says that it's Basic Wall: Interior 4 7/8" Partitioned. So you notice that both of them are basic walls. This one here in the center is also Basic Wall 4 7/8" Partitioned; in fact, most of these are that wall type.
So what I want to do here is I'm looking at this thin little wall here and I'm thinking that's a little too insubstantial for a wet wall between those plumbing fixtures, so I need something with a little bit more thickness and room to run all the plumbing. So what I'm going to do is create my own custom wall type to use in that location. So I select the wall and over here on the Properties palette I'm going to click the Edit Type button. Now when I do that, that will bring up the Type Properties dialog, and we've actually been here before. And what I want to caution you on is make sure that you don't dive right in and start making edits.
For example, suppose I went to edit here and I'm going to do something that will be really noticeable. I'm going to change the thickness of this component here to 2 feet. I'm going to click OK. And I'll click OK in any error messages that appear, and one more time. And that's probably not quite the modification that I had in mind. It's pretty dramatic and unless I'm going for the medieval-castle look, it's probably not quite what I had intended. So I'm going to undo that. You can click the Undo button up here or go to Ctrl+Z. And I'm going to re-select this wall and go to Edit Type. And so what you always want to make sure that you do first is that you duplicate that wall before you start making changes, so let's do that.
And most firms have some sort of an office standard for naming, so I encourage you to follow whatever that standard is in your own company. For this example I'm just simply going to use a descriptive name, so I'm going to call it Plumbing Wall, click OK. And then where I really want to focus my attention is in the structure of the wall because that's where all the components take place. So I'm going to click Edit structure button. We've been in here before, but I want to kind of recap a lot of the settings here now. So the first thing I'm going to do is down here at the bottom, I'm going to click the Preview button. The Preview button is a really handy tool because it allows me to see a graphical preview of the structure of the wall.
Now over here we have our layers. So each component of the wall is actually considered a layer. You recall that we have an exterior side. We have an interior side. Now it might be a little easier to read these layers if I move this dialog over a little and widen it up, like so. Believe it or not, this is actually a new feature here in 2013, and one that I personally am quite pleased about. Now we've got our core boundary here and as you may recall, the core boundary is just simply the separation between the structural part of the wall and the nonstructural part of the wall, So what's holding up the wall versus the finishes that are applied to either side.
Now in this case layer 3 is our only core component. That's the only component that's in the core, and then we have layer 1 and 5 which are on the outside of the core. Now if you look at the preview over here, these green lines indicate the core boundary, so that's a nice graphical way of seeing that. Now what I want to do is add a couple of layers to this wall. I want an additional metal stud layer and then I want an airspace between the two metal studs. So I'm going to select layer 3 and click Insert. When you select the layer and you insert, the new layer goes above the one that you had selected.
So notice that I get a new layer that's using the By Category material. It's 0 thickness and it went in above the structural layer. So what I want to do here is actually change the thickness of that layer to match the metal stud down below. Now I can type this manually if I want to. There is a bunch of ways we can do that. I can do 0 feet 3 inches 5/8ths of an inch, so I did 0, space, 3, space, 5/8. I'm going to enter that. You can also do 3.625 and use the Inch symbol, or you can use any combination really of the above.
But that gives me that second component that's at the same thickness and you could see it over here in the preview. Now over here in this far column it says Structural Material. This is a new feature in 2013 as well. We can say which of these stud materials is actually going to be the structural one. Now you can check one or the other, but only one component can actually be designated as the structural component, and your structural engineer would actually run his calculations from that component. So in this case I'm just going to leave the default one. Now in the Material column we get to designate what this component is actually made of. And By Category is more generic, so what I want to do is make this one match the Metal Stud layer below.
So I just simply click here and that makes a little Browse button appear, and I'm going to click on that. This will open up the Material Browser. Now, the Material Browser has a bunch of materials that are built into this file. All I want to do here is locate the Metal Stud layer and click OK. And you see it will apply that same material to the previous one. Now, let me direct your attention up here to some of this information here. Currently, our total thickness is 8 1/2 inches.
That's just the sum total of these four physical components. Obviously the core boundary is 0, so that's not part of the calculation. Beneath that we have the R value, the Resistance value of the wall, and the Thermal Mass. These two are new features here in 2013. In order to take advantage of these features, the materials that we choose from off the Material list have to have these thermal properties assigned to them. And because I'm using an out-of-the-box template that came with Revit 2013, I've got those values already assigned to my materials.
If you're upgrading a project from a previous release, those values might not be filled in and therefore this information might not be calculating. But this is really handy to have this information because if you later do energy analysis on your building model, you'll have all of that data at your fingertips, so it's a really nice feature here in 2013. Let's go ahead and select layer 4 and insert again. Remember, the layer you select, it gets inserted above that. And I'm going to change that material. And this one is going to be a miscellaneous airspace layer, so there it is right there. Select that.
I'm going to make the thickness of this 5 1/2 inches, so I can do 5, space, 1/2 inches, or I could do 5.5 inches. It's up to you. It's not a structural material. And then over here you'll see that all three of these layers I'll say that their function is structure. Now if you click there, that's a dropdown list. And what is included on that list is built into the system, so there are five numbered functions and a membrane layer. The numbered functions are in order of their importance, or their priority, so Structure has the most importance, so the most priority, and Finish 2 has the least.
Where this comes into play is when the two walls intersect one another and how the different layers in the two walls that are intersecting will interact with one another. So anything that you assign to structure will interrupt or pass through a layer that's a lower number. Well, in this case I don't want the air gap to have the same amount of priority as the structure, so I'm going to drop it down here to a Thermal/Air layer and that's going to give it a priority number 3. When I click OK, and OK again, you are going to see immediately that the wall increases in thickness.
Okay, so that's the first immediate effect that we see here. Now I'm going to go to the zoom here and I'm going to zoom in a little closer on this intersection. Because we're in a coarse level of detail, we're not seeing any of those internal components yet. But I can just come down here to the view control bar, click on the level of Detail pop-up and choose either Medium or Fine, and that will display all those internal components. So what you can see here is this is the metal stud layer of the exterior wall and that is joining in and cleaning up nicely with the metal stud layers of this intersecting wall, but the air gap has a line here because it has a lower priority. So that's where we witness what we just changed in the previous dialog.
Now the other thing that I want to point out from the previous dialog is, if you highlight an existing wall and look at the tooltip either onscreen or down at your status bar--remember that Walls is the category: Basic Wall, that's the family: Plumbing Wall. That's the type that we just named it, and then the final value says R42. That is actually telling you this R value that was calculated here at the top of the screen. So if your wall has an R value, you'll be able to tell what it is just by simply hovering over the wall.
So basic walls are built into the system. They are a system family. All walls are a part of a system family, and basic walls are just simply layered walls, walls with multiple layers of material. We can easily create our own layered walls by going to the Edit Type, duplicating, and then adding and modifying the layers that we need.
- 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