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June 03, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

Working with volumetric massing in the early phases of a new project benefits all parties involved, like designers, developers, planners. It helps convey the key ideas behind the design intent and better understand the relationships between the new building, the site, and immediate built environment. Wouldn’t it be handy to be able to build your project on the finalized and agreed upon volumes of the future building? In the third part of this Revit Massing series, we’re going to discuss how you can continue modeling from the conceptual massing stage right through to detailed design and also be able to coordinate it with other consultants involved in the project.

In the previous articles, we talked about the difference between an in-place mass and a mass family and how to create a conceptual mass family in Revit. Part III here will focus on how to generate Revit elements based on an existing in-place mass family. Before we proceed, let’s recap the main difference between two mass types in Revit.

In-Place Massing (in project)

Massing & Site > In-Place Mass
Conceptual Massing Environment (outside project)

Revit > File > New > Conceptual Mass

May 27, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

Designing roofs in Revit can pose certain difficulties particularly for users less familiar with roof modeling tools. Creating exact roof geometry and size for a new build or modeling an existing roof to given dimensions is not always straightforward. If we follow some key principles, however, we can model quite a few roofs simply by using Revit's ‘Roof by Footprint’ tool. For more complex roof profile shapes, ‘Roof by Extrusion’ is typically used, which we will cover in future articles. Other ways of creating roofs are 3D massing using the ‘Roof by Face’ tool, which allows you to come up with a greater variety of complex roof designs, and In-Place Massing or Mass Families, which allows you to design irregular roofs and tensile roof structures.

For now, we’ll focus on some of the more common roof types used for small-scale residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

To create a simple hip roof with the ‘Roof by Footprint’ tool, follow the steps below.

  1. Have your perimeter walls and levels ready
  2. In Architecture tab select Roof – Roof by Footprint tool and choose desired roof type
  3. Choose a relevant level for a bottom face of the roof
  4. Use Pick Walls tools and hover over a wall – press tab to select all joined perimeter walls
  5. Define roof parameters like overhangs, slopes, offset from level, rafter cut
  6. Finish the roof by exiting roof editor
May 19, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

In previous articles we have discussed how to create an In-Place Mass and Mass family and shown how to efficiently generate Revit elements upon massing. Now we’re going to take it one step further and demonstrate how to begin with a project concept and finish off with fully framed elements and drawings in less than 30 minutes using AGACAD’s Wood Framing Wall and Metal Framing Wall BIM Solutions.

At the outset, it’s important to set out your massing accordingly. The more details you have, the better. Sizing and number of levels is a good place to start sculpting volumes. Generally, volumetric massing is widely accepted as a primary means of early stage building design. Using mass blocks to define a building’s future shape, size, space quality, and design features is a standard method of tackling a new project at the conceptual design stage. Revit has a great tool for massing at a detailed level, i.e. a fixing (fastener) or a detail that is part of a larger assembly. It also works great with large-scale massing, i.e. clusters of buildings or an entire masterplan.

Ok, let’s do it. From concept to framing to drawings in under 30 minutes.

April 21, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

Roof design in Revit®, whether steel or timber, poses certain difficulties to this day. It’s a process requiring high precision from the designing, drawing, and manufacturing points of view. On top of that, mistakes can easily sweep into the project at any stage. The continual advancement of modeling software brings much-needed speed and efficiency for architects and structural engineers. But how can we ensure smooth sailing right from the concept stage through to technical documentation and manufacturing? The key in every BIM or standalone project is to lay a solid foundation, i.e. to produce a rigid geometry using proper modeling techniques and have sufficient understanding of Revit’s functionality.

In the case of roof design, it’s important to model the roof in line with native Revit rules and constraints. For example, modeling a roof by picking already-existing walls is the best way to go (if possible – sometimes it's not).

April 21, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

Last week we discussed key differences between in-place massing and conceptual mass families (see Revit Massing, Part I). Now let’s take a closer look at how to create a conceptual mass family and load it into your Revit model.

Creating conceptual mass families means that the mass is external to the project. It uses the same tools to create the mass family, which is then saved and loaded into the project.

In-Place Massing (in project)

Massing & Site > In-Place Mass
Conceptual Massing Environment (outside project)

Revit > File > New > Conceptual Mass
April 16, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

Volumetric massing has been widely accepted as a primary means of early-stage building design. Using mass blocks to define a building’s future shape, size, space quality and design features is a standard method of tackling a new project at the conceptual design stage. Real-life massing models are a great way to solve problems relating to volumes of a stand-alone building or an entire masterplan. As one of the most important architectural design considerations, massing can influence our perception of a building significantly. But how can the subtle sense of space be translated to the computer screen and still be convincing?

Autodesk Revit conceptual massing tools provide great versatility for generating masses of any shape and size. Revit’s massing tool is often a starting point for projects of any size. The architect first works at refining a mass of one or multiple buildings before going into detail. In the case of creating a mass from scratch, Revit offers a great tool – In-Place Mass.

April 15, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

Autodesk® Revit® massing is a powerful tool for generating masses that works at any scale, whether you’re at the conceptual level of a building, at the detailed level refining the fixings and furniture, or working on an entire masterplan. To be able to use this tool to your advantage you should know a couple of techniques. There are two basic workflows for creating masses: create the massing within the project itself (In-Place Massing) or create it in a separate conceptual mass family, which is then loaded into the project. Here's a brief comparison of these approaches.

In-Place Massing is carried out directly inside the project environment.

  • Allows you to see the rest of the project context, which is useful when designing at an early stage
  • The most straightforward approach and works well when the building volumes are not too complex
  • Good for preliminary sketching of forms and is the recommended approach for early stage design and for conceptual building studies

On the other hand, a Conceptual Mass Family is built in the ‘conceptual massing environment’, outside of the project environment.

  • Iterations of the family can be placed as needed around the site.
  • The family can be loaded into multiple Revit models.
  • Different team members can work on the different versions of the family.
  • Better for developing and refining a building mass. The separate environment has additional visibility of 3D levels and reference planes which makes more complex parametric modeling easier.
In-Place Massing (in project)

Massing & Site > In-Place Mass
Conceptual Massing Environment (outside project)

Revit > File > New > Conceptual Mass

We'll go into more detail on conceptual mass families in a separate article. For now, let’s look at In-Place Massing more in-depth.

March 27, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

Challenges posed by poor Revit model management ultimately affect all parties involved in the project-handling and BIM processes. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with various tools and techniques that can bring your modelling and coordination to the next level. In previous articles we discussed Revit’s Inbuilt Warning System and Audit Tool and helpful modelling techniques. In part III we’ll look at what makes models sluggish and some additional tools for Revit model management.

Larger Revit models often get clunky with excessive modelling, inappropriate LOD, or improper modelling techniques. Here’s a list of things that slow models down:

  • Number of warnings — and severity
  • File size, amount of annotation, and complex geometry
  • Hardware – workstation, servers and network (underperforming hardware)
  • Irrational model structure
March 19, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

Autodesk Revit Fatal Error Screen | AGACAD

Project success largely depends on thorough BIM model management. The response from industry professionals has made it clear that regular model maintenance can help improve efficiency, reduce loading time, and minimize time spent chasing loose ends. In part I we discussed how to keep good model health in check using Revit's Inbuilt Warning System and Audit Tool. In part II we’ll look at other no-less important aspects of model management and efficiency.

Helpful Revit Modelling Techniques

To make the most out of collaboration-enabled projects, each team member should be familiar with the following modelling techniques to help reduce unnecessary clutter in Revit project files.

March 12, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

How many times have you faced pure frustration when a BIM model went on loading perpetually? Or when opening a model or when processing a not-too-complicated task has left you waiting and staring at the screen at the expense of your precious time? This unnecessary and wasteful practice is too often commonplace in the office of anyone working in BIM principles and generally handling large Autodesk® Revit® models. Time is scarce and issues like this aren’t fully appreciated when they appear. They are often overlooked and mistaken for poor performance of a workstation.

To fully understand why this is happening and what can be done to improve model performance, we need to address the core of the issue: regular model maintenance and staff training to model, draw, and manage information to a set out standard. Firstly, we should understand that Revit is controlled by rules and relationships that form the basis of all work. If they aren’t followed accordingly, things can get very messy. To keep good health in check and avoid the mess as much as possible, there are tools and techniques at your disposal.

Inbuilt Revit Warning System

Warnings protect the integrity of the model and your data. Not all warnings affect performance; less serious ones are only there to inform the user. When confronted with 1000’s of warnings in a file, you need a strategy for resolving them timely. Best practice is to have a plan for how warnings will be taken on board and resolved by the team prior to labor-intensive modelling. Make priorities: performance, accuracy, documentation. Warnings typically peak before deadlines and some types of warnings are more common at different phases of the project. It is important to learn which warnings have a significant impact on model performance and need to be rectified.

Types of warning messages:

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