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About Lesson

This chapter will be entirely devoted to walls, and for the beginning I will concentrate on the elements that belong to the so-called. to the basic family (Basic Wall Family). Before moving on to something more specific, I would like to remind you of the basic principles of working in Revit. Can you believe that all the walls we have drawn so far belong to the same family? This is true, because what makes individual walls different (thickness, complexity of structure, etc.) does not represent the characteristics of the family, but of individual types. To make it clearer to you how they differ, I need to remind you of the basic hierarchy that applies to all elements in Revit. So, categories are at the top, families are below them, and types are in third place. What we have not mentioned so far is the fact that there are two types of families, where the first group includes the so-called components (which can be freely created and added) while the other consists of system elements such as walls, roofs, ceilings, etc. You will surely be surprised if I tell you that system families are immutable, although at first glance it does not seem so. Admittedly, these changes can be made at a lower level, so we come to the conclusion that it is possible to use a practically unlimited number of different types of walls, all of which belong to the same family.

It’s time to move from theory to practice, and for this purpose I have already prepared a suitable example because I would like to show you how you can create a completely new type of wall. As a basis, I will use the partition wall that separates the two sanitary blocks, because I would like it to be significantly wider and to have a slot in it through which all the necessary installations can be passed. Before that, I will definitely check if there is a suitable solution within the Basic Walls family, but as you can see for yourself, there really isn’t a wall that has the required characteristics among the offered types.

Since I have already selected the appropriate element, I can immediately start the Edit Type option and open a new frame by selecting the button next to the Structure item. Among other things, this table also contains data representing the thickness of the wall (Structure), so it won’t be difficult for me to increase it to 200 mm and close all the frames with two clicks. As you can see, the element I chose became much wider, but this change was automatically reflected on the entire series of partition walls, which does not suit me at all. So I will use the Undo function to undo this operation and go back to the previous state.

In order to be able to change only one element, it is necessary that as soon as the parameter box appears on the screen, I click on the Duplicate button and thus use the existing values. Since this wall should also contain a space for installations, I will call it the Plumbing Wall and complete this part of the job with OK.

In my case, on the left side, you can see how this wall looks in the drawing, and if this is not the case for you, click the Preview button and display an additional frame. I will take the opportunity to improve this view a little more and to that end, first click on the Edit button and then by moving the right edge, I will enlarge the segment in which the text information is located. In addition, it is possible to display the entire wall in a plan  or section by selecting the appropriate option. If you choose the first option, you will have the opportunity to clearly see all the layers, where the core representing the construction will be highlighted with green lines (Core Boundary). I prefer that the section through the wall is shown in the Preview section, so I will choose the second option (Section) from this menu and enter a significantly smaller value in the field called Sample Height, 500 mm. If I press Enter after that, the displayed segment will become much shorter and this can be corrected very easily. It is enough to open the auxiliary menu by pressing the right mouse button and select the Zoom To Fit option from it. After that, the entire element will be displayed on a much larger scale, which allows me to clearly see its structure. In addition, if I select one of the layers from the table, it will automatically be highlighted in blue, which makes it much easier to navigate.

Before I make any changes, I’d like to explain what the items on the right represent. As you can guess, the most important segment of each wall is its core, which in this case is marked with the number 3 and is located in the middle of the table. The first and last row indicate the surface layers in the form of gypsum boards, and they differ from the core in that you can easily remove them. To this end, it is enough to highlight the appropriate layer and click the Delete button. I already mentioned that this operation cannot be performed on the core, because as soon as you select this layer, the Delete button will become unavailable.

On the other hand, you can create new layers at any time. To that end, it’s enough to click the Insert button and I’ll take the opportunity to immediately add two new layers. Despite the fact that two new items will appear on the table, the graphic representation of the wall will not undergo any changes. This is quite logical, because the new layers do not have thickness for now, because this parameter is automatically set to zero. This means that I am expected to determine their true thickness and I will try to transfer to the third layer all the parameters that apply to the existing core. As you can see, it currently has a constructive role (Structure), is composed of metal elements (Metal Stud Layer) and has a thickness of exactly 90 mm.

Regardless of the fact that the appropriate parameter (Structure) has already been selected for the function of the third layer, I would like to show you the other possibilities as well. So I’m going to click on this arrow and it’s going to open a menu that has six options. As you can see, the first five items are marked with serial numbers, while the last option (Membrane Layer) does not have any marking. These numbers indicate the priority the order in which the corresponding layers are connected. In short, this means that at the junction of two walls, their cores will have the absolute priority in connection, while other layers can also have interruptions. I already have the appropriate parameter selected for all three layers, so I can go to the next column and define the material from which this part of the wall is made. Since I decided to apply the metal structure there, I will select the existing description with one stroke and press the Control + C keys to transfer it to the Clipboard. After that, I just need to go back to the appropriate field and insert this data into it. This can of course be achieved by using the Paste function, and its shortcut is the Control + V key combination. I can repeat the same thing for the data related to the thickness of the layer and it will automatically be reflected in the drawing located in the left half of the frame. This means that the third and fifth layers will be displayed in the same way, although only one of them can have the status of the basic construction (Structural Material). Since this information is important only for static analysis, I will not deal with this problem in detail, but I will simply click on one of these fields and in this way select the layer that will play the role of the structure in the construction sense.

It’s high time to focus on the layer in the middle, which means that I must first determine its function. Since it is an empty space, I will select the third option (Thermal/Air Layer) from this menu and immediately go to the next column. Its content can be determined indirectly, so for that purpose I will click on this small icon, which will result in the opening of a completely new frame. As you can see, it shows different materials, so I will take the opportunity to explain in more detail how they are applied. Regardless of the fact that it does not fit my project, I will choose brick as a material because it has a recognizable structure. To that end, it is enough to enter the appropriate name (Brick) in the field at the top of the frame and press Enter. At that point, only one item will appear in the list, so it won’t be difficult for me to show you its features. One of them refers to the color (Shading Color) and it will be used as soon as you activate the so-called. Shading Mode, mode in which all elements of the 3D model are rendered opaque and filled with the appropriate color. If you decide to display the entire model from the side – in the form of a facade, a pattern that faithfully imitates a brick wall will be visible on it. For all other situations, if there is a plan or section on the screen, the pattern found in this section will be used to hatch the walls.

A special category is the photo-realistic display, and if you want to check how your wall will look in the so-called In render mode, go to the Appearance section and zoom in on the attached illustration. If you want this material to have appropriate physical characteristics, you can define them in the next section (Physical). This is not the case for me, so I will immediately go ahead and select the Thermal option to display parameters related to insulation properties. As you can see, this segment is complete, which makes it much easier to create a mechanical project, calculation of heating and ventilation.

Before I go any further, I’m going to go back to the second section (Graphics) and clear the search results in one go. After that, it will not be difficult for me to choose the material I need from the list, and in this case it is air. There are no additional parameters for it, because it has no color, texture or physical characteristics, but it has insulating properties, which can be easily checked by selecting the Thermal option. Now that everything is in place, I can click the OK button and go back to the previous frame.

At this moment, I am only expected to determine the thickness of the air layer, and for that purpose I will enter 100 mm in this field and thus finally form a new type of wall. Its characteristics can be clearly seen in the Preview section, and if it turns out that the drawing has escaped a little outside its boundaries, simply apply the drag technique and display the entire section. Before I close this frame, I would like to draw your attention to its upper half, because there is information about the total width of the wall (Total thickness), as well as the coefficient related to its insulating properties (Resistance).

Now that I’ve completed all the settings in this way, it’s time to close all the boxes and check what I’ve achieved. As you can see, the partition wall has become much wider, but there are still no layers visible on it. That will not change even if I enlarge some detail, because the entire drawing is shown in the so-called simplified mode (Coarse Level Of Detail). To change that, I’ll look for the appropriate icon at the bottom of the frame and, with one click, bring up a menu with options that allow me to specify the level of detail I want. In other words, if I choose Medium or Fine, all the layers that make up the individual walls will appear on the screen, which means that I will be able to see how they come together. In this case, there is a clear continuity between individual structural elements, while the empty space is completely separated.

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