- [Instructor] This chapter's going to be focused on walls, and in this video I want to focus specifically on the basic wall family and its types. So the first thing that I want to point out is just a couple concepts here that I want to make sure are clear. Would it surprise you to find that all of the walls that we've created so far have been part of the same family? It's true, all the walls, whether they were a single layer concrete wall or a complex wall assembly with brick and studs and so forth have all been part of the same family. What we're actually seeing when we see those different wall assemblies is type properties.
So, to help you understand the reason why this is so, let me remind you of the basic Revit element hierarchy. We talked about this in a previous video, but remember that every element has a category, a family, and a type. What we haven't really talked about yet is that families actually come in two different varieties, so the category determines which variety you're going to get. So some categories allow you to create families which we refer to as component families, and these can be created by you, they can be edited, they can be completely customized, and they must be loaded into a project in order to be used.
But the other kind of family is what we refer to as a system family. Now, these are built into the system by Revit, they're already there, and you cannot edit these families. Now that includes walls, and roofs, and floors, and stairs, and a variety of other categories as well, and again, you might find that surprising because we've already seen lots of varieties of walls and it certainly feels like we can edit them, but just keep in mind that what we're editing is actually at the type level. So what we're going to do right now is we're going to switch over to Revit and I'm going to look at an example of not only modifying, but creating our own custom wall type.
So again, it's not a custom wall family that we're going to be creating, it's going to be a wall type. So I'm going to select this wall right here. Now, this wall happens to be separating the two toilet rooms, and right now it doesn't really look thick enough to house any of the plumbing that would be required in that location. Now if I have the wall selected and I take you over to the Properties palate and we open up the list, you can see what we were just talking about. Here's the basic wall family, and here's all the types beneath that family. Notice there's lots of different types with several different configurations.
So just because one is stud, and one is brick, and one is block, that doesn't mean that they're different families, they're all the same basic wall family. All it means to be a basic wall family is that you've got one or more layers of material sandwiched together, and that's what we're going to look at right now as we go to Edit Type. So let's click the Edit Type button here, and I'll go to edit structure, and you might get excited and you want to immediately make a change here, and I put in something like 200 and click OK. Trouble with that is, I forgot a very crucial step first.
So notice how all the walls in the model just changed, and that's probably not the effect that you had in mind, so I'm going to undo that. So what you want to do instead when you go into Edit Type is start off by duplicating that type. So I'm going to do Duplicate, and I'm going to call this plumbing wall and click OK. Now over here on the left hand side of the screen you might notice that I'm seeing a preview of my wall, and down at the bottom of the screen there's a Preview button that controls that. So if your dialog looks like this, just click this Preview button and you'll get this nice little preview here.
But I'm actually going to customize that preview right now, let's click the Edit Structure button, and then adjust where this assembly window is, you can even make it a little bit wider so that you can read all of these values a little bit more clearly, and it's possible to see this preview either as a floor plan or as a section. Now in the floor plan it has these nice bright green lines there that kind of indicate where the core boundaries of this wall are. Now remember that when we talked about the core of a wall we said that the core of the wall is kind of the part of the wall that's holding it up, and then you can optionally have finishes on either side of the wall, exterior or interior, so that's kind of what those green lines represent.
Now I personally prefer the section preview, and I'm going to show you why. I'm going to choose the section preview there, and then over here you've got a sample height field that you can use to adjust how tall that preview is, so I'm going to change that to just 500 millimeters and press Enter. You'll see this thing get significantly shorter. I'm going to right click anywhere in the preview and choose Zoom To Fit, so now I can actually see what's going on with this preview. Now here's why I like the section preview better. Notice when you select a layer in the list, it actually highlights that corresponding layer in the preview.
So I just think that's a little bit more interactive and that's why I prefer the section preview, but you're welcome to work in the plan preview if you prefer. All right, so let's kind of go through each of the settings here to kind of understand what's going on. All of the work that we're going to do is going to happen in the core, so we want to create a plumbing wall assembly. So the drywall finish on either side is still appropriate for this plumbing assembly, but in the core I want to add a second stud and an air gap in between the two studs to allow space for the plumbing.
Now, notice that a wall doesn't need exterior or interior finishes at all. In other words, the Delete button is lit up here and I could actually remove the drywall if it wasn't necessary, but notice that I cannot remove the final layer in the core. Well, turns out we're not worried about that 'cause we don't actually want to remove that layer. What we want to do instead is use the Insert button here, and click it twice to create two new layers. So just start by selecting the existing structure layer and then click Insert twice. Now, initially nothing will change in the preview because layer three and layer four, our two new layers, are both zero thickness.
So if you want to see something change in the preview you can immediately change the thickness, but I'm going to be a little bit more systematic about how I do this. Layer five is the previous structure layer that was already in the wall assembly, and I want to essentially set up layer three to match layer five. So its function is structure, its layer is metal stud layer, and its thickness is 90 millimeters, and that's what I want for this layer as well. So let's start with the function. The function list is a built in list of functions, it includes five numbered functions and a membrane layer.
The numbers correspond to the priority of this layer, and what that has to do with is when two walls intersect one another the layers will decide which layer gets precedence over the others, based on their priorities. So two walls will come together and their structures will try to join up together with one another, because they have a priority one. Priority one is your highest priority. Then substrates will come next, and finally finishes last, so they go in the order of those numbers.
So you'll get seams and connections based on what those functions are set to. Now notice that layer three, in fact all of the layers in the core, are already set to structure, so that part is fine. Now, as far as the material goes, if you assign two different structure layers to different materials, then even though they will join up with one another you might still see a seam there because you have different materials. So what I want to do is actually take this metal stud layer here, and I'm going to select its name, do control C, and then I'll click where it says By Category here, select that, and do control V, and that's going to be the fastest way to make those two layers match the same material, and I can do the same thing with thickness.
Control C, control V, and when I click somewhere else you'll now see the preview adjust to match the new settings. So now layer three and layer five are identical to one another. The only thing you can't do is unfortunately you can't check both of them as a structural material, so you have to choose which one you want to indicate is structure, and that would tie back to the concerns of your structural engineer, and Revit only allows us one structural layer. So let's direct our attention to layer four right now, which is currently still at a thickness of zero.
So firstly, I don't want it to have structural characteristics, 'cause it's just an air space, so it obviously can't be considered structure. So what I'm going to do is open up the dropdown there and change it to a thermal air layer. Then I'll click over here in the Material column, and notice there's a small Browse button here. I can click that, and that will open up my material browser. Now let's take a moment and talk about the material browser window and what materials can do for us, and I'm going to choose a material that has some characteristics we can talk about.
So, you can actually search for any material you like here, so I'm going to search for brick, select it, and then let's go through each of these tabs here. On Graphics, there's a shading color. You're going to see that any time you have a view where you turn on shading. If you leave the view set to hidden line, the color won't display, but if you change it to shading it'll use this reddish color. If you look at this brick in elevation, it will render this brick surface pattern. If you slice through the brick in floor plan or section, it'll use this cut pattern here instead.
If you render the view then the settings on the Appearance tab will become visible, including potentially a photograph of bricks tiled across the surface. If your brick is structural and you want to give it load carrying characteristics, that would happen on the Physical tab. This particlar brick is a veneer, so it doesn't have any structural characteristics, so there's nothing on the Physical tab. However, the brick may impact the thermal characteristics of this wall assembly, and so when you look on the thermal tab you'll notice that there are several properties here that have to do with calculating the R value of the walls assembly, and that certainly might be interesting to your mechanical engineer.
So what I'm going to do is click back to the Graphics tab, click the little X here to clear the search, and right at the top of the list there is a material called Air. Now that seems a little bit more appropriate for the air gap that we're trying to build here, so let me choose that one. There is no color, there is no surface patterns, there's no appearance or physical characteristics, but there are some thermal characteristics, because if you add an air gap to a wall assembly that will provide some insulation value. So select Air, I'll click OK, and then for the thickness you just type in what you want it to be, so let's put in 100 right there.
What I press Enter, you'll see the preview adjust and you can actually click over here in the preview with your wheel and hold the wheel down and drag to pan it over so you can get a better look. Now if you look up at the top of the window, Revit calculated the total thickness of the wall and even the R value and thermal mass based on those thermal characteristics, so that's all potentially very useful information. Now, let's click OK and then OK again, and see the result. You'll see this wall grow in thickness and adjust the toilet rooms on both sides, and let's zoom in here near the top at this intersection and at the moment we're not really seeing anything, and that's because this particular view is set to coarse level of detail.
But you may recall from previous videos that we have a pop-up here where we can change the level of detail that's displaying in the view, and if we choose medium or fine it will show the layered assembly structure of any layered system family-like walls. So now you can see the two stud layers are coming in and intersecting the stud layer on the exterior wall and making nice, clean intersections, and the air gap, of course, is being interrupted with a seam right there, exactly as we would expect.
So by assigning the correct functions and materials to everything, we're getting the graphical display exactly like we need it. So creating a new wall assembly is as simple as duplicating an existing one and then modifying the layer structure to suit your design needs.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs and complex walls, adding rooms, and creating schedules. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawing so all the components are perfectly understood, and learn how to output sheets to PDF and AutoCAD.
- Understanding BIM and the Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF