Modeling Walls with Floors

There are several downsides to modeling walls in a more complex landscape, including:

  • Sloped walls can only be created via profile editing, which is a fairly imprecise method
    • Landscape framework of design and layout tend to want to control where these happen in plan, so doing this in profile is often counter-intuitive
  • If you have sloped walls that also curve, profile editing isn’t even an option

A solution that I commonly use for both of these issues is to use Floors.

Floors are one of the most flexible modeling elements in Revit. And especially earlier in the modeling process, it can be very useful to use Floors to model a wide range of elements, including walls, stairs, boulders, etc.

Here is a basic sloped and curved wall, created from a Floor.

Here it is what it looks like in elevation- it has a sloping top and bottom. And the structure is set to 36″ thick.

If you want the bottom to be flat, and not sloped, there are a couple ways to achieve that. First, you could set the structure to be variable.

However, the downside to this method is that you become much more tied to a Level, which is not typically how I like to work unless there is already a strong association to a building level (such as on a Roof Terrace or similar).

There is also a funny relationship to the thickness, offset, and Level. In this example the Floor thickness is 12″, which then actually extends below Level 1, even though offset is set to 0.

Another option, is to use the Floor more like a wall coping (and top host) for an actual Wall below it. However, I have found that Revit consistently will give the following join error:

To avoid this error, you must offset the coping (Floor) boundary out so that it does not share the exact same edge as the Wall below. On the left is an offset version and on the right is the aligned version.

The one on the right looks fine, until you check the 3d view, where you will see the problem.

Admittedly, the additional offset is a bit of a nuisance. However, there are a few upsides to using actual Walls:

  • Wall bases can be more easily controlled (flat or hosted to a different, sloped floor)
  • Walls will show up in your wall schedules
  • Other disciplines (ie: architects), may find it easier to navigate your model if walls are actual walls

And, if you dislike the coping, you can hide it with a filter, workset, or any other method that strikes your fancy.


2 thoughts on “Modeling Walls with Floors

  1. Yes, I have done that when I needed to model curved granite kerbs for a spiral stair, and it was so much easier and precise, plus, it works as a host for handrails.

  2. Interesting approach, but if we want to extract the wall area it will compute not the vertical sides, but the horizontal top plane in which the floor sketch was drawn, resulting in misscalculation of quantities. Other than this, I think its a good workaroun. Thanks !

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