Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Apply a new finish to a wall using join geometry., part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Instructor] I had a client come to me recently and ask what was the best way that I recommended to apply a new finish to an existing building? So they had a project where they were skinning the building with some new Dryvit material, in most cases, and wanted to know what I thought was a good way to do that in Revit, and they were starting, of course, with an existing Revit model. If you run into that similar situation and you've got an existing model, then I think the best approach is to actually create a really thin wall that represents just the new finish, and apply that, literally, to the exterior of the model.
So let me go ahead and walk through that process with you here, so I've got this existing model. And you know, let's say that we're in that same situation. You know, we've got this brick facade right now, but the client wants to skin it with something new. They want to add some stucco or some Dryvit or something else to modernize the look of the building. So the first thing I'm gonna do is just select all of the geometry in a 3D view. In 3D, you can be sure that you're getting the whole model. So I think it's good to start with a 3D view here. And also, if necessary, make sure you unhide any hidden categories.
What I like to do here is, actually, use the Revit phasing feature here because I think that's a little bit more representative of what's really gonna be happening. This is an existing building, and to this existing building I'm applying a new finish. I want to change the Phase Created, but at the moment it won't let me do that. Notice that it's grayed out on Properties. So we've got a little clue here onscreen in these little pushpins, any dependent element, you can't change its phase independent of its host.
So there's three main objects that fall into this category. Curtain walls, so I couldn't change the phasing of the mullions or the nested curtain panels independent of the curtain wall itself. I couldn't change the supports or the landings of a stair independent of the stair object. And I couldn't change the handrail elements independent of the railing itself, in the case of a railing element. So we have two of those three conditions right here. So the easiest thing to do is just go to the Filter button here and look at the list of categories and uncheck anything that's dependent on a parent category.
So if you look here under Railings, right below that we have Top Rails, uncheck that. And then if you go down to Stairs, below that we have Landings, Runs, and Supports. You want to uncheck each of those. Now, we don't have any curtain walls, so we're not seeing any curtain wall mullions or any curtain panels, so we don't have to uncheck those. But now, when I click OK, notice that the Phase Created parameter is available to edit. And I want to take all of this selected geometry and move it to the existing phase. Now, after that's complete, if you deselect everything, your whole model will turn this kind of light gray color.
So that's how Revit indicates that it's now existing construction. So once I've done that, the next work might be easier to do in a floor plan, so I'll simply go to my Level One floor plan to get started. And I'm gonna zoom in here near the front of the building to begin work here. I want to create a brand-new wall type, and that brand-new wall type is gonna represent just the new finish material, this Dryvit or this stucco that we want to apply. So I'll go to the Wall command, and it defaults to whatever wall we used last, in this case, 300-millimeter concrete.
But I want to choose something that's a little bit closer to the Dryvit I want to create and duplicate from that. So this 90-millimeter brick is a good starting point 'cause it's just got a single finish material in it that I can easily change. So let's choose that one and then immediately go to Edit Type. Here I want to Duplicate and give this type a new name. Now, it's currently 90 millimeters thick, that's a little thicker than we want. So let's go with 25, which is about an inch.
And then, instead of Brick Two, I'm gonna change this to Dryvit, or you can choose stucco, or whatever you want to call this. So I'm calling it Generic 25-millimeter Dryvit, and I'll click OK. Now, you can widen this box a little to make it a little bit easier to read, and then click the Edit Structure button. And here you're gonna see that it's currently using Brick Common and it's 90 millimeters thick. So we need to change that to 25 as well. Instead of Brick Common, I want to click in there and click this small little browse button to open up the material browser.
And then, here in the material browser, I want to search for and see if I have a material that's close to what I want, so if you search for EIFS, it will bring up a single Exterior Installation Finish System material that we can use as the material here. Now if you want, you can just use it directly and click OK. I'm going to actually duplicate it and make a few changes because, if the whole point of this project is to apply a new finish to the exterior of the building, I might want to take a little time to actually create a material that's representative of what I'm after.
So I'll right-click this and duplicate it, and then I'll change the name here. Instead of one, I'm just gonna add the word Tan at the end. And that should kind of imply what I'm gonna do to this. I'm gonna change its color, you can see it's kinda this dull gray right now. Once I've done that, I'll come over here to the Appearance tab. You could set the color directly on Graphics, but I like to do it on Appearance because Appearance controls anything you render. And then, if you check a box on Graphics, it'll also feed to that as well.
So you can have Appearance control both things, which is what I'm gonna do. Now, this is super important. Your information might be collapsed down here. You can expand it open, and what you'll see is there's a asset here called Gray. And at the moment, that Gray asset is being used by both of these materials. So if you don't want changes you make to Gray to apply to both of these materials, it's real important that you click this little button right here and duplicate that asset first. That'll duplicate it and apply it to the current material.
Let's give it a better name, instead of Gray, I'll call it Tan, and then I'll come down here for the color and choose something that's a little closer to what I'm looking for. So you can choose any color you like. So I'm gonna use kind of like a light tan color right there. And that'll apply that color right there. Now, if we go back to Graphics, it's still using that gray. If you check the Use Render Appearance check box, then it will read the color from the other tab and apply it here, notice that only this one changed to gray, not this one.
That's because you duplicated the asset. So if you forget to do that when you change it, and check that box, they will both turn tan. So, really important that you remember to duplicate the asset first. Last thing I'm gonna do in here is apply a pattern to the surface, so I'm just gonna use a really simple stipple pattern right there and click OK. So now, I've chosen Sand, it'll apply that sort of stipple pattern to the surface. So let me click OK there, that takes me back to the wall assembly, we click OK again, and one more time, and now we've completed the creation of this new wall type.
The next step is to begin drawing some walls. Now, I want to draw these walls right out here on the exterior face of the existing wall, and I want to make sure that the wall is being built to the exterior. So first thing is, the Location Line is currently set to Finish Face Exterior, and I think in this case, Finish Face Interior seems a little more appropriate. In other words, the face of the existing wall will be the interior face of the new wall. The new wall's thickness will go to the outside.
I'm going to click anywhere on the surface of this wall. Now, you can even start right here at the endpoint if you want to. Start to draw over in this direction. Now, there's a pretty good chance that when you do that, the wall is actually going to be overlapping the existing wall instead of going to the outside. Now, let's say that you didn't notice that and you went all the way across. And furthermore, let's say that you went right to this endpoint right here, which might seem logical, and you click. So, two things are gonna happen that are a little bit undesirable here.
The first thing is, you'll get this warning that tells you you have two walls overlapping, and the two walls will highlight in orange to indicate that. And then, notice where the wall went to. It automatically snapped to the middle of the existing exterior wall, which is a little too far. We wanted it to stop on the outside. So let's click the Modify tool, and click anywhere to dismiss that warning. And if you zoom in, maybe over here by this doorway, you can sort of see what's happening. You can see that this wall is right on top of that wall. But this is where you might want to toggle Thin Lines, just to get a better look at that.
So here's the exterior wall, and here's the new one, you might need your Tab key to select it, that we have on top, there's a flip grip right there. And if you click it, because we chose Finish Face Interior, it should flip and move it to the outside, which, by the way, will fix the warning that we just saw. So that takes care of that, but how do we prevent that going forward? Well, I'm gonna leave Thin Lines on for just a little bit longer, zoom in on the entryway here, and draw a couple more walls.
So this time, I'm going to start here instead of trying to snap here. If I snap here, it's gonna snap to the inside of the wall again. Just pull back a little bit from that exterior corner, and start right there, and start to draw. And you can already see that it's gonna give me that same warning again as it sits right on top of that existing exterior wall. Just tap your space bar and that will flip it proactively before you click. Now I'll click here at this endpoint, here at this endpoint, and again, instead of going to here where it'll try and snap, I'll just stop short.
I'll press Escape one time to disconnect the chain. Do another one right here, and pull this all the way to the endpoint here. But before I click, tap the space bar to flip it to the outside, click, and I'll just go that far for now. So you can see that outside corners will work just fine when you snap to the endpoints, it's those inside corners where it'll try and join up with the existing wall. I'm going to turn Thin Lines back off again and kinda zoom in right here, because notice that the wall is going right across the window.
Like, it's totally ignoring that window opening. So if I turn Thin Lines off, that's even more acute, right? Because you're seeing this big, bold wall. And in fact, the line types are so bold that you can't even see the thickness of the Dryvit anymore because it's got a bold line on either side. The solution to both problems, the fact that it's covering the window and the fact that you've got a bold line on each side, is Join Geometry. So all I have to do is go to Modify, click the Join Geometry tool.
I'll select this existing exterior wall and then the new one that I just drew. And notice that it removes the overlapping bold line here. That shared edge now becomes an interior line. And we only get the bold line in the exterior. More importantly, or as important, it now cut the hole for the window, and so, that single window object is cutting through both walls. Now, you will need to continue joining each of these, and in some cases, you'll even need to join it to more than one wall to get the complete effect.
But another really important thing that you're hopefully noticing here is, joining the geometry does not affect the phasing. This wall on the interior is still an existing construction wall, and this wall on the exterior is still new construction. So we're still benefiting from phasing, but now, graphically everything is representing correctly. Now, as far as these corners back over here that we left gaps in, just use your Trim and Extend to clean that up. Go to your Join Geometry, and join anything that still needs to be joined.
And it will start to clean up those conditions. So again, it will take a little bit of work to do this, but as you move your way around the plan, you will kind of see what's left to continue doing. If we go to a 3D view, you can see very clearly what's starting to happen as we begin wrapping this building in this new material. In the case here, where we have something different going on with another wall, you might still have to take this wall and edit its profile in order to accommodate that.
You can see it's only seeing the doorway there, and not the bigger opening there. So there are some things you'll have to do manually. But one really cool thing is, at the moment, these walls are only going up one story tall. If that wall goes all the way up to the full height of the building, when I choose that upper level, it's already joined to that exterior wall, which means that all the doors and windows will cut through that exterior finish. And what I like best about this technique is, we are staying true to the way that Revit prefers that we do things, and that is to build it in Revit the way it will actually be in real life.
So we've got our existing building, we've assigned it to existing. We're skinning it with a new material, and we're merging those materials together so that graphically everything represents properly, and of course, you would build your new stucco or your new drywall around the existing openings. You wouldn't cover over them. So all of that kind of gets taken care of for us, simply by adding these new materials directly on the exterior surface of the wall. So you may run into a few situations where, like I said, this front area where you have to customize it, but for the most part, you should be able to fairly quickly skin this entire building in this new material with very little effort.
So I welcome you to keep going around the rest of the building and kinda get a sense for how this technique works. And the next time you need to do a project similar to this, you now have a very effective technique to accomplish that.
Notes: The exercise files included with this course can be opened in the latest version of Revit. If you are using an older version, some files may be incompatible. Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.