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Thread: Exterior Wall Modeling

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    Exterior Wall Modeling

    Hey everyone, first time post here, so forgive me if this has already been discussed.

    Regarding modeling exterior walls, i've always just modeled it as one wall including interior finish to stud, substrate, and finish. But I keep on hearing from some folks that they model this as 2 separate walls. Wall 1 has an interior finish and stud, and Wall 2 has substrate and finish. Can't really see the immedate benefits of doing this as it seems it's more work having to join walls so windows and doors show up through Wall 2. Can anyone who's done the 2 wall method tell me the benefits? Want to keep an open mind to modeling, but this just seems like it's not worth it.

    Thanks!

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    The Moderator with No Imagination MPwuzhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuervo383 View Post
    Hey everyone, first time post here, so forgive me if this has already been discussed.

    Regarding modeling exterior walls, i've always just modeled it as one wall including interior finish to stud, substrate, and finish. But I keep on hearing from some folks that they model this as 2 separate walls. Wall 1 has an interior finish and stud, and Wall 2 has substrate and finish. Can't really see the immedate benefits of doing this as it seems it's more work having to join walls so windows and doors show up through Wall 2. Can anyone who's done the 2 wall method tell me the benefits? Want to keep an open mind to modeling, but this just seems like it's not worth it.

    Thanks!
    I use 3...The Exterior Finish is one....The structural wall is two and the interior finish is 3.

    Reasons...exterior joins up nicely....second structural wall join as it should and structural will like they don't have to copy paste walls....third the interior finish can stop above the ceiling and it also joins as it should room to room. Yeah, you have to join walls for the windows and doors, but it is better than having to play around with joinery everywhere.
    cganiere and Nurlan like this.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Do a search here, and you'll find it's been covered a number of times. Multiple walls is way better for a number of reasons.

    Sent from my Phablet. Please excuse typos... and bad ideas.

    Aaron Maller
    Director
    Parallax Team, Inc.

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    There are a lot of best practices that seem to take more time, and often do initially, but you have to give them a shot in order to see the benefits on the back end. The mutli-wall approach makes it a lot much easier to get wall sections correct without resorting to crappy workarounds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    As Twiceroads suggested, its been discussed multiple times.
    A quick overview of the general responses for you. (correct me if I get any of this wrong)

    - The heights of finishes are not the same as your "structural" elements as far as heights/depths of elements go. For example structure goes down to the footing and up to the slab over. The finish however will stop at the bottom slab level, or maybe slightly higher if you include a screed, and some tiles for example. Then It will probably also stop at ceiling level as there is no point putting an expensive painted finish above the ceiling where its hidden. This all has an impact on your costing, and on your volume calculations for materials etc which can all be extracted from revit.

    -For the structural team, working in a coordinated model it causes workflow issues. None of them are impossible to resolve but it complicates both of your lives for no benefit what-so-ever.

    -There is more benefit in modeling the elements as multiple pieces Exterior finish (1) / structure (2) / interior finish (3) than modeling it as 1 piece with all the substrates.

    There was a discussion on this fairly recently.

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    I switched to 2 walls ( Interior with sheetrock and sheething, exterior with air gap and exterior finish (is stone, no air gap for siding obviously)), and I've never looked back. I like it way more than messing with just one wall for all the reasons already stated. Plus, once you start doing it, it literally takes a minute to join the exterior and interior walls for opening purposes.

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karalon10 View Post
    -There is more benefit in modeling the elements as multiple pieces Exterior finish (1) / structure (2) / interior finish (3) than modeling it as 1 piece with all the substrates.
    I'm with you, right up to this point. For a pure construction model I'd be okay with the 3 for 1 approach but I personally don't think there's enough benefit for a design model... particularly when it's applied to interior walls

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    For the purposes of the conversation, i think its VERY beneficial to discern the differences between Substrates and Finishes.

    I dont separate out Substrates. Just finishes applied OVER substrates (that are thicker than paint). So if the interior finish of an exterior wall is just painted gyp, there are only two walls.
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    Agreed. When people differentiate structure from finish I ASSume they're talking about gypsum wallboard but it's good to clarify. Thanks!

    Yes, for separate finishes (i.e., anything with a measurable, tangible thickness -- not wall paper/coverings) modeling is the way to go. I still have people who insist on using Split Face and then complain when it inevitably vanishes!

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    You really have to know what your end goal is to make a proper decision. I really think it depends on type of construction. I recently did a test on a project with 2 phases that were almost identical both 6 story brick over airspace over insulation over sheathing over studs interior gyp. I did phase 1 with the multi wall approach, one wall for the exterior brick veneer and airspace, one for the sheathing and stud wall. Brick finish went full height(with various decorative bands, etc.) back up wall went slab to slab. On phase 2 I used a composite wall( all exterior finish air space, insulation etc. sheathing, studs and interior finish in one wall). After our GMP set and our engergy model it was determined the rigid insulation in the cavity was not going to benefit us so we could remove it and reduce the airspace. It took me only about 2 hours to update the Phase 2 model with the composite wall cause it had been modeled as revit is designed with floor slab edges to core, etc. the phase 1 model literally took 2 weeks. all the joining and unjoining, groups failing, slabs not updating etc. Because phase 1 the "back up wall" had to move out and since there were literally dozens of wall segments, they all had to be moved out to decrease the air gap. So anyway I'm a fan of composite walls, split horizontally as needed to change at structure after that experiment. Now is there a place for separate finish walls, absolutely. But you have to be aware of what happens when big changes occur. Note there is also a nasty issue (I've been told its fixed in 2017) where when you join two walls together you can't dimension to the line between the two. This cause numerous headaches for me. So the multi wall approach has many benefits(if they are needed on your project) but it has some significant draw backs if large scale design changes hit you late in the game.

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