Detail Components in the Landscape

In Revit, the Detail Component is an interesting combination of Model and Annotation elements. It is a loadable 2D Family, but unlike a Generic Annotation (which is based on the View scale and will always be the same size on a Sheet), a Detail Component is based on an actual, physical size. But though it is sized according to the model, it is still a detail/ annotation item and so (like Detail Lines) they only exist in the view that they are placed.

Since they are based around actual dimensions, they are endlessly adaptable and can be made highly parametric. Like all other model-based families, they have a Keynote Parameter, which can be used to Tag the element based on a predefined Keynote Database. And since 2014, they have also been schedulable as Detail Items.


Architects tend to use them primarily for Section Details, but there are several other ways that you can use Detail Components in the landscape.

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Scaleable Landscape Families

As a general rule, Revit does not let you scale families. If you stop and think about it, not being about to scale families does make sense. Most family objects, such as chairs and walls, would never simply be “scaled” up (or down) in the real world.

scaleable_rootball exampleBut in the landscape the rules are a little different. Plants, rocks, and other natural objects are more useful when scaleable. Planting families have this built-in, by default, with the Height parameter. But what about other families or nested planting families, like a rootball?

Even though families can’t be scaled with the scale tool, with the right framework and parameters they can still be made scaleable. Continue reading