Custom Slope and Elevation Grading Family

Typically, when grading a site, an engineer or landscape architect will specify new spot elevations based on desired slopes and existing spot elevations. Grading is mainly just drawing lines across various areas and interpolating spot elevations based on slopes.

While Revit’s current hardscape and Topography tools are not ideal for grading a landscape, it does have the capability to calculate slopes and spot elevations for you. All you need is a custom family with some parameters and formulas set up the right way.

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Grading Plans, Part 2: The True Spot Elevation

The actual Spot Elevation tool (on the Annotation ribbon), is most useful when providing spots for a Floor/ Hardscape. As mentioned in Part 1, a Generic Annotation might be better for annotating Topo, but if a Hardscape has accurate elevations, then the Spot Elevation is quicker and more effective.

Like many things in Revit, the main hurdle to using the Spot Elevation is simply getting the graphics to behave as desired. After some tweaking, this is what my Spot looks like:

grading02_instance parameters

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Grading Plans, Part 1: Generic Annotations

One of the most versatile families in Revit is the Generic grading01_symbolAnnotation (this is the same as the Symbol, on the Annotation ribbon). It is commonly used to create symbol-like families, such as keynotes, north arrows, graphic scales, and stamps. But it can also be used to generically annotate a drawing/ view.

In typical Revit standards and best-practices, it is almost always preferable to use a Tag, since a Tag pulls actual information from the object. Generic Annotations are better than just “dumb” Text, but unlike Tags, they will not update if any information about the annotated object changes.

Grading plans are one of the few exceptions to using Tags. Continue reading

Hardscape, Part 2: Modify Sub Elements

As discussed in Part 1, Floors are one of the better options for creating hardscape in Revit, especially when using the Modify Sub Elements tool. This is often the best method when creating hardscapes with new grading/ spot elevations (there is a different workflow for re-create an existing hardscape area).

So, starting out, I have a (flat) floor, drawn at Sea Level. I also have a Topo here, just for reference. Continue reading