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.