Saturday, June 21, 2008

Managing Columns in Revit Structure

A fellow AUGI member recently responded to a post that wanted help finding missing columns in the graphical column schedule (GCS). For a column to show up in the GCS it must occur at the intersection of two grids (keep in mind that RST 2009 permits off grid columns now though). You also need to be careful when placing/copy/pasting etc because a column may not "learn" which grid intersection it is supposed to live on.

Paul Andersen with Graef, Anhalt, Schloemer & Associates, Inc. has been using RST for quite some time now and his advice I feel is worthy of harvesting and sharing it here too! Here is what he wrote:

I'll just throw out a couple of tips that may help boost your confidence in the GCS or at least help you verify that all of the columns are accounted for.

On most projects I will typically create a grid plan and a 3D column view that I can leverage to verify the accuracy of the GCS.

Grid Plan

The grid plan is simply a duplicate of your base level plan with the top and cut plane of the view range set above the uppermost extents of your building and the bottom and view depth set to unlimited or an offset below the lowermost extents of your building. In the VV dialog toggle off all of the categories in the model tab except for the Structural Columns. In the annotation tab turn off all of the categories except for the Grid and possibly the Dimensions depending on your preference.

3D Column View

This is simply a 3D view that has all of the model categories toggled off in the VV dialog except for the Structural Columns.

Putting These Views to Work

Once you have generated the GCS that you are going to place on your construction documents and formatted it as you wish do the following: Window select all of the columns in the GCS. Go to the Grid Plan and/or the 3D Column View. Select the Temporary Hide/Isolate Tool (Sunglasses) and choose Hide Element. What you are left with at this point is a view that will display any columns currently not accounted for in the GCS. Repeat as necessary until you have all columns scheduled. I will typically verify the GCS in this manor prior to every submittal.

As a side note: the grid plan is also very useful for selecting whole column assemblies (top to bottom) with a quick window selection for the purpose of moving, copying or deleting.

He also shares a little about the effectiveness of the GCS at this time.

While the GCS is still missing some functionality that I'd really like to have (ability to add lines, symbols, text, sections, callouts and dimensions, user defined fields for base plate, anchor bolts, and other notes/information, more control over grouping, and the ability to report shared coordinates for the levels to name a few ) the ability to generate and maintain a schedule of this type with a few minutes and a couple of clicks as opposed to the hours it used to take to generate and maintain I think you'll still come out ahead even working through some of the frustrating hiccups that tend to arise throughout a typical project.

Thanks to Paul for sharing his wisdom!


Anonymous said...

RST 2009 allows off grid columns to be placed on a GCS now. Check it out.

Steve said...

Yes indeed! Tis true!