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How do you use Revit for basic building modelling?

Here, we give you straightforward, step-by-step instructions that will help you use Revit for basic building modelling.

In this article, we’ll give you easy-to-follow instructions on basic building modelling in Revit, by Dr. Ico Broekhuizen.

Revit software

If you do not have Autodesk Revit, you can download a free trial version or a free student version through their website.

Revit instructions

  1. Open Revit and open a new project. Do not use a project template. Select the units (metric or imperial) you want to use.
  2. To add a building, go to the Architecture tab > Component > Model-in-Place. Select the “Generic model category”. Provide a name for the model, e.g. “City hall” so you can recognise it later on.
  3. In the drawing tools that appear, select “extrusion”. In the menu that appears to the right you can switch between different drawing tools, e.g. straight lines, rectangles and curves. Draw the footprint of the building you want to model, making sure the lines form a closed loop. Enter the height of the building in the “depth” entry box. Press the green check mark twice to finish editing.
  4. In the 3D view (View > 3D) you will see the new building. If you select the building you can also use the arrows to edit it further. Keep repeating the steps above for all your buildings.

Revit tips and tricks

  • If you are working with an existing urban area you can import a background map, image or CAD drawing to make it easier to model the existing buildings. This is done through the “Insert” tab. After importing, use the measurement tools (Annotate tab) to check that the scale is correct, i.e. that the buildings will have the correct dimensions.
  • Be careful to avoid small gaps between adjacent buildings. These will cause problems in the wind simulation. For more complex building shapes, it is best to build these like a wedding cake, so without any sides of the buildings touching. However, you can stack parts of buildings on top of each other.
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