Step-by-Step: Revit Tutorial / Basic Building Shell + Floors

This tutorial assumes that you have a basic building design sketched out and ready to model in Revit. The tutorial also assumes that you have some approximate knowledge about the site contours immediately adjacent to the building.

1. Create a New Project using the Architectural Template.

revit_03_01

2. Sketch the plan of exterior walls. On the Ribbon: Architecture > Build > Wall (or type WA). On the Properties Palette, choose a wall type. You can always change this later, so you might begin by choosing Basic Wall — Generic — 6″. On the Options Bar, for Location Line, choose Finish Face: Exterior. Make sure the Chain option is selected. Click point by point, proceeding counterclockwise around the plan, until the sketch is complete. Click esc to end the command.

3. Make any adjustments for unique walls. For example, if one wall is thicker than most, select it (using the Modify tool) and choose a different wall type from the Type Selector (at the top of the Properties Palette). If you want to create a completely unique wall type, click Edit Type in the Properties Palette. In the Type Properties dialog box, click Duplicate. Give the new wall type a name (such as Generic — 18″). Under Type Parameters, click the Edit button next to the Structure parameter. Change the Thickness to 18″. Click OK. Finally, click OK to exit the Type Properties dialog box.

4. Specify the project’s geographic location. On the Ribbon: Manage > Project Location > Location. For example, you can define the location by the Default City List and choose Fargo, ND. (Specifying the location will help to ensure cast shadows are accurately generated in renderings.)

5. In the Project Browser, under Floor Plans, double-click on Site.

6. Construct a toposurface. On the Ribbon: Massing & Site > Model Site > Toposurface. Next, on the Ribbon: Modify | Edit Surface > Tools > Place Point. Click in the modeling window to set four points in an approximate rectangle around the perimeter of the building. As you set each point, on the Options Bar, give each point a unique elevation. (We’ll edit this later.) On the Ribbon: Modify | Edit Surface > Surface, click the green check mark to complete the toposurface.

7. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the 3D View tool to switch to the default 3D view.

8. Construct a Building Pad. On the Ribbon: Massing & Site > Model Site > Building Pad. Next, on the Ribbon: Modify | Create Pad Boundary > Draw, choose the Boundary Line option, then the Pick Walls tool. In turn, click on each of the exterior walls of the building. On the Ribbon: Modify | Create Pad Boundary > Mode, click the green check mark to complete the Building Pad.

9. Edit the toposurface. In the Project Browser, under Elevations, double-click on East. Click on the toposurface. On the Ribbon: Modify | Topography > Surface, click Edit Surface. In the modeling window, move the toposurface points to approximate the slope of the site. When done editing, on the Ribbon: Modify | Edit Surface > Surface, click the green check mark.

10. Add Levels. Still in the East elevation view, add levels corresponding to various floors in your building. On the Ribbon: Architecture > Datum > Level, or type LL. Click to place levels.

11. In the Project Browser, under Floor Plans, double-click on Level 1.

12. Add two building sections. Choose the Section tool from the Quick Access Toolbar.

13. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the 3D View tool to switch to the default 3D view.

14. Adjust wall heights. Draw a window around the model. In the Properties Palette, in the Properties Filter dropdown (which should read Common), select Walls. Under Constraints, for Top Constraint, set the height of the walls. Click Apply.

15. In the Project Browser, under Floor Plans, double-click on Level 2.

16. Add a Floor. On the Ribbon: Architecture > Build > Floor. In the Properties Palette, choose a floor type corresponding to your preference (for example: Generic — 12″). Next, on the Ribbon: Modify | Create Floor Boundary > Draw, choose Boundary Line and the Pick Walls tool. In turn, click the walls which bound your floor. Next, on the Ribbon, Modify | Create Floor Boundary > Mode, click the green check mark to complete the sketch. NOTE: If you are prompted with a warning message about overlapping geometry, click Yes to join. Or, if you see a message about closed loops, this means you need to click Continue to trim or extend lines to make a complete boundary. There are a set of tools on the Modify panel for making changes. Remember to click the green check mark to complete the sketch.

17. In the Project Browser, under Sections, double-click on either section drawing. Verify the position of the floor relative to the level.

18. Copy the floors. Invoke the Copy tool (Modify > Modify > Copy, or type CO). Next, click on the floor you wish to copy. Press Enter to complete the selection.Then, click on a start point and a destination point. Repeat until all floors are copied.

19. Add a Roof. The process for adding a roof is very similar to the process for adding a floor. Begin by creating a new Level for the roof: double-click on the East Elevation view. Choose Architecture > Datum > Level (or type LL). Once placed, double-click on the name of the new Level and rename it as Roof. When prompted to rename corresponding views, choose Yes.

20. In the Project Browser, double-click on the Roof level Floor Plan view.

21. On the Ribbon: Architecture > Build > Roof (Roof by Footprint). In the Properties palette, choose an appropriate roof type (e. g., Basic Roof — Generic 12″). Next, in the Ribbon: Modify | Create Roof Footprint, choose Boundary Line and use either the Pick Lines tool, or any of the Draw tools, to draw the footprint of the roof.* When finished, click the green check mark.

* 21a (OPTIONAL). If you want to make a flat roof, make sure that the “Defines slope” check box in the Options Bar is checked “off” before you start drawing the roof footprint. Alternatively, you can go ahead and construct a pitched roof, and then change its slope to 0/12.

22. Double-click on a building section view to check the position of the roof. Note that by default, flat roofs will appear with their bottom surface flush with the level. To adjust this: click on the roof to select it; then in the Properties palette, under Constraints, enter a negative number in the Base Offset From Level. (The negative number should be equal to the depth of the roof.) Press Enter or click Apply.

23. The basic building shell is complete.

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