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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Custom Curtain Wall, pt 0: setup

In this thread there was a question about how to create a curtain wall without mullions, but with a gap between the panels. This is quite similar to a project which I once had, where the panels needed to have an overlap.

Actually, the entire OOTB Curtain Wall system is flawed when it comes to the Joints from panels with mulions. You either have too little (read no) gaps when removing the Mullions all together or to wide (read: entire mullion with) gaps, see image 1. But, with the OOTB content, it’s not possible to create Panels like they’re going to be build.

So, me and my big mouth once told the Curtain Wall Guru here at RFO, Dave Jones, that creating a custom panel with offsets to address this issue was fairly easy to make. Then I realized that I had also promised him once to show I did my CW detailing native in Revit. And since I never got back to him on that, I figured that this is just as good a time to live up to my word as any.
With this in mind I will be looking at a multiple parts weblog. Here’s the index for now (be aware, if I find myself in posts with excessive length I might cut them in more pieces):

  1. Creating custom Panel geometry.
  2. Creating custom Mullion profiles.
  3. Assigning Detail Components to the Panels and Mullions.
  4. Setting up useable schedules and tags
  5. Using Adaptive Components for non-rectangular panels

I think this a rather comprehensive list but if anyone is missing anything, I’d be more than happy to comply. Keep in mind though, this is about the “normal” use of Curtain Walls. I’m not talking about Massing, Divided Surfaces and all that stuff… That’s all covered by the infamous Zach Krohn and his weblog Buildz…

First off, let’s set some basic groundrules for Family Creation. I always use those, and I will always do so whenever I write a blogpost like this:

In Family Creation Shared Parameters are used by default. Only in exceptional cases (parameters needed solely for calculations) I use Project Parameters. Why? Number of reasons, not impotant now.

Shared Parameters are grouped by their category in the SP-file. Not by Family or usage. But by category. Why? Number of reasons, not impotant now.

When creating Families, there’s a set workmethod:

  • Draw the desired geometry layout in Reference Planes and/or Reference Lines
  • Dimension Refplanes / Reflines
  • Add parameters to dimensions
  • Flex parameters and check if they don’t break
  • Add geometry and immediately assign it to a subcategory
  • Add more parameters to define geometry and add data.

In Family Creation, parameters are placed in one of the following views:

  • Plan View, Level 1
  • Elevation View, Exterior
  • Elevation View, Left.


The above groundrules are set now so I don’t have to answer any questions about them. I can go into the method deeper, but that would be for another time. Right now, let’s just get on with it.


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