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Revit OpEd: Survey Point - Post 2

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    Revit OpEd: Survey Point - Post 2

    Yesterday I ended the post with a list of next steps that I'd take to create a relationship between my building project file(s) and the Master Site file. I started another pair of projects that I'm calling Tiny House A and B (inspired by Sean's Tiny House project). I can start a project with or without site context. Revit's bias is making the project easy to document, forget about True North initially. It is trivial to resolve that in the Master Site file once it is ready, regardless if it is created before or after the tiny house models are started.

    Here's how far I took the design of Tiny House A before I decided to work out its location on site.


    I closed Tiny House A's project file. I opened up my Master Site file and linked Tiny House A using positioning: Auto - Origin to Origin. The choice for positioning at this stage really doesn't matter since I'm going to move the file to another part of the site anyway; have to pick something so I just let the default option reign. In the following image you can see Tiny House A's origin is sitting on top of Master Site's origin, marked by the Project Base Point icon.


    Now its time to move Tiny House A into position. I moved it and then aligned it with the East boundary. Then I was careful to put it at 8'-0" from that boundary. I then made sure the closest corner (wall) of the house to the North boundary was also at 8'-0". Being fussy about this isn't particularly important, I'm just being fussy.


    Now I want to make sure the house is at an appropriate ground floor elevation. I created a section view so I could see the site's contours and the floor of the house. I can see here that the house is buried under a fair bit of the site.


    I decided that raising the house to 22'-0" feels good. I used the Move tool, and typed 22 into the temporary listening dimension that appeared.


    I think I'm ready to deal with Tiny House B now. It's really just another project file saved with a new name. I was too lazy to make another design. If this was a real project I'd wouldn't be able to get away with that. I decided that this house has to be no closer than 8'-0" to the North boundary but I've also made the North end of the house parallel to the boundary.

    I learned while reading the development's covenant and zoning requirements that these houses can't be closer than 15'-0 to one another. I decided to put Tiny House B 18'-0" from A. I heard that A's owner is a drummer so those extra three feet might help keep B's sanity. I also decided that the ground floor elevation for B should be 20'-0", a little bit lower than A.


    Now that I'm satisfied with the positions of Tiny House A and B I'm ready to use Publish Coordinates. This tool will PUSH the site orientation information to each house's project file. Revit will use this information to shift the house's Shared Coordinate system to align with the Shared Coordinate system of Master Site. In yesterday's post, the Master Site was manipulated to be in alignment with a linked DWG file's WCS (the World Coordinate System in AutoCAD to be precise) through the use of the Acquire Coordinates tool.


    When you successfully select a linked file to Publish Coordinates the Location Weather and Site dialog appears. This give us an opportunity to provide a meaningful name for the location we're creating for that model. I clicked Rename... and typed Tiny House A Location 1.

    It's significant to appreciate that I could now create a copy Tiny House A in Master Site and place this copy in another location. I could then use Publish Coordinates on this copy which would allow me to use Duplicate... and use another name like Tiny House A Location 2. In the Tiny House A project file I can now choose between these two named locations and make one of them current. Revit will reorient everything to show the building correctly for this location, all without really changing anything in the model. It's pretty clever and powerful; actually doing it is something I'll save for another post.
    I used Publish Coordinates again but on Tiny House B and used the name Tiny House B Location 1 when the dialog appeared. I'm ready to return to work on my Tiny House A design. I clicked Save so I can close the Master Site project. The following dialog appears twice, once for Tiny House A and the second time for B. This is confirming that I want to commit the location and shared coordinate changes I made during Publish Coordinates. I clicked Save each time (2x), the top option in the list.

    It is necessary to make sure others are not working on the Tiny House A or B now. The Save will fail is someone is working on them. Just ask them to close the project for a minute. When worksharing is involved the same is true but it is a bit more forgiving. Either way, if an error message appears you need to ask others to stop working on these files briefly; they need to Save and close them. Once the Save is completed they can get back to work.
    When I open Tiny House A I find that the Site plan is oriented to True North. I changed the Orientation parameter to True North earlier (noted in the image at the beginning). All plan views in the stock templates are assigned to Project North, including the Site view. Changing it meant that I'd see the results of using Publish Coordinates immediately, or at least as soon as I bother to open the Site view. The reality of this is that the project is NOT altered materially, no physical change to any geometry, it is just oriented correctly based on my actions in Master Site. This trivializes the task of re-positioning a building on site, if that becomes necessary.


    Taking things a little further, each Level type has a Type Parameter called Elevation Base. It can be assigned to either Project Base Point or Survey Point. When I change this to Survey Point I find that the levels are reporting elevation values based on how much I raised Tiny House A in the Master Site file.


    Now I've decided I want to be able to see Tiny House B here too, for context, but while working on Tiny House A. I linked Tiny House B into Tiny House A using positioning: Auto - By Shared Coordinates. This is possible because I used Publish Coordinates, from within Master Site, on both Tiny House A and B. Their shared understanding of their position in Master Site makes it possible to link either file into the other using Auto - By Shared Coordinates and they land in the correct spot relative to each other.


    I can also link Master Site into either Tiny House A or B and use Auto - By Shared Coordinates too. They all understand their relationship to each other because of Publish Coordinates and the work I did in Master Site to put them into the proper context with each other. Here is Tiny House A, with Tiny House B linked in. I also created a Toposurface and Building Pads for each house in the Master Site file, then I returned to Tiny House A so I could link Master Site in using Auto - By Shared Coordinates as well.


    A Few Notes
    • Master Site is in CHARGE of positioning
    • Only move models in Master Site
    • Do not move linked models when viewed in other related project files
    • Acquire Coordinates created the relationship between Survey and Master Site
    • Publish Coordinates created the relationship between Master Site and Tiny House A and B
    • Respect this order and it is easy to maintain
    • It is technically possible to manipulate the relationship in either direction, DON'T.
    • You must Resist the temptation!


    Multi-Discipline Comments:
    • Trades link the Tiny House A and B models into their projects using Auto - Origin to Origin, nothing else.
    • Do NOT start work without a preliminary model of the Tiny House. If you do, be prepared to move your work into alignment manually.
    • It is only necessary to use Acquire Coordinates on Tiny House A or B (whichever house you are design for in your project file)
    • It is only necessary to use Acquire Coordinates IF there is an expectation that your data must align in 3D party software like Navisworks
    • The Tiny House projects will link your models using Auto - Origin to Origin too



    Click here to view the entire blog post.

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