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Revit: Tips and tricks

In this video, Dr. Ico Broekhuizen gives some tips and tricks to keep in mind when using Revit to model urban areas.
Hi, in this video, I’ll be going over a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when you are working on your model in Revit. First of all, quite often you will have access, if you’re working with an existing area, to some drawings that already show all of the buildings or at least the footprints of the buildings. If you want to import these, you simply go to the insert tab and then the import CAD button and you can import your DWG file and adjust the units if necessary.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to, when you’re drawing extrusions, you’re able to simply trace all the lines that are already there and copy the buildings in that way. It is also possible to pick the existing lines from the drawings when drawing the extrusion in Autodesk. But I would be very careful doing this as it may- as it means that any small mistakes that may be present in the drawing that you already have will also show up in your model.
When creating a model of a slightly more complex building block consisting of different buildings, it is very important that you avoid having any small gaps in the buildings, and these might be so small that you don’t even see them yourself. But they will quite often cause all kinds of problems in the wind simulation later on. For example, in this model here, this building block on the left, has a number of blocks that are standing right next to each other. And if you are very careful and make sure that the walls line up perfectly, this won’t cause any issues. But it’s quite easy to make a small mistake somewhere, which will cause problems with the wind simulation.
It’s usually safer to build the building like shown in this block here. So here we - just have this step in the model - we have one block that covers the entire ground floor and then we only have blocks standing on top of that. And it’s much easier when you’re stacking these buildings like that to make sure that the the bottom of one block matches up with the top of another. That is to make sure that the sides are touching perfectly. So it’s best to build these more complex building blocks up like a giant wedding cake where you are just stacking them on top of each other rather than standing right next to each other.
It’s also good to keep in mind that we don’t need to include every single small detail in this model of the buildings because there’s quite often a lot of small features in the buildings that won’t really affect the wind or the shadows that much. And including all of them will make it much more difficult in particularly for the wind simulation later on. For example, in this building here, you can see it in this model, we have like these very small sections of the wall that are specified individually. But this won’t really affect the wind meter, at least not in reality. So it’s much better to just draw a straight line here for the entire length of the wall.
And the same applies, for example, in this building, this entire wall here is as good as just one long straight section, so we can just simplify that a little bit in the model and save ourselves a lot of headache later on in the wind analysis.
Finally, when you want to really make sure you have accurate results for your wind analysis, it is important that your model includes not only the buildings directly adjacent to the area that you’re working with, but also the buildings that are a little further away because they will determine already what the wind looks like arriving into your study area. So in this model here, just as an example, if you are particularly interested in this area here in the middle, the buildings close to that, we will model in quite a lot of detail. And then the building blocks further away we will also add to the model, but here we don’t need to add so many of the details.
So you can make these models very quickly, making sure that the streets are aligned properly and that the streets are roughly the right size. But you can ignore all of the details in these building blocks.

In this video, Dr. Ico Broekhuizen gives some tips and tricks to keep in mind when using Revit to model urban areas.

  • Keep the model simple: ignore small features and avoid narrow gaps between buildings.
  • When creating buildings consisting of multiple elements or blocks, it is best to only stack these vertically. Avoid blocks standing next to each other: it is easy to get small gaps between them by accident. Such small gaps create problems with the wind simulation later on.
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