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What would be the best way to make a facade like this?

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    What would be the best way to make a facade like this?


    I am trying to make a facade for a building that at first glance seems simple, but when I get down to it, I can't seem to figure out what is the correct way to make it. I have a building form extruded from an autocad layout and by the looks of the attached image, I thought it would be a simple case of making grid lines and using curtain based panel families. However, there are multiple types of panels with different uv grid definitions and different projections from the building surface. I can make the panels quite easily, including the one with the louvered panel with two orientations of the louvers (family attached).

    The only way I can think of is to make a different surface for each continuous uv grid using surfaces and cutting holes using voids. When I do it in sketchup, it is amazingly simple using the push and pull tool. I can then easily import it into Revit, but then I lose all the relationships between levels and grids.

    I will greatly appreciate any thoughts on how to best do this facade.

    Thank you
    Attached Files

    I've not opened your attachments but am curious about the issues you say you're encountering seeing as, going by the picture alone, it's a fairly simple set of curtain panel family types you need to create.

    In terms of curtain wall grids, my advice (presuming you've not already employed thiis method) would be to first define a number of curtain wall types, then embed them within panel sections of a larger "blank" curtain wall type - and, since the panelling is (thankfully) "banded" not work with one wall entire floor-to-parapet, but with seperate wall instances at each level/panel-type change.

    As for the corner-wrapping "L" shaped (in plan) panels, they'll need to be accomodated by the use of a reduced-run of return wall, or more simply by the use of empty (system) panels.


      Hi Snowyweston,

      thank you for the reply. I hadn't thought of making nested panels and then loading them, but in this case that would not be possible because each set of panels has different start and end level. In some parts, they run continuous from the top of the building to the bottom, some start in the middle and end in the middle and all have different dimensions.

      The issue I am having with this is that the curtain walls contain patches of different surface division patterns. I know that in Revit, we can divide the surface into custom surface divisions using surface intersects, but they have a limitation; the intersects have to cross the edge of the surface. As a result, making closed loops as required in this particular case is not possible.

      So, my first workaround for this was that I made the building mass and used the buildling surface for the main curtain panels. Then for the remaining curtain panels, I made voids in the surface and replaced them with a separate plane where I could make independent surface divisions. This brought me to another problem. These voids cut into the mass and changed the resulting shapes of the floor through massing.

      So, I finally did it as follows:
      (1) Made the building mass.
      (2) Made an exterior skin with a little offset from the building face so the voids would cut the skin and not the main mass.
      (3) For the closed loops, I cut the additional skin using voids.
      (4) Made new, independent skins in alignment with the voids and gave them the required surface divisions.

      So, I manage to get what I wanted, but my issue with this solution is that for a simple curtain wall, such as this, I had to make multiple layers, while my common sense or at least my wish says that there has to be a simpler way. I actually find it ridiculous that I am not able to use the surface of the building mass for the complete panel system and have to make at least 2 other surface layers and multiple voids.

      I was almost tempted to make the surface in Sketchup and import it, but then voted against it because I would have lostthe parametric capability of Revit.

      Having said all that, I guess my question becomes, is this the most efficient way possible in Revit or is there a better way?

      Thank you for your help.


        I wouldnt even be bothering with the Mass Editor, for that form. That entire thing can be done with the regular Curtain Wall tools, and just having different mullions and panels for the different types of geometry for each *box.* Me personally, i wouldnt even nest Curtain Walls in to other curtain walls. I would just start modeling it, and swapping out mullions and panels. No mass, no Divided surface, no intersects, no custom panels.
        Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
        @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email


          Originally posted by viratmanchanda View Post
          ...... is this the most efficient way possible in Revit or is there a better way?
          As Snowy and Aaron have said, just use the curtain wall tool, combined with different curtain panel types. No need to use the mass template, or the generic adaptive template in this case. The form of the building is very basic, all straight angles, and the curtain walls are simple, all with straight angles. Masses and adaptive templates make sense when the form of the building or the geometry of the panels have a a kind of geometry that cannot be modeled with the generic tools. But, for this building, I think you are over-complicating the task.
          Freelance BIM Provider at Autodesk Services Marketplace | Linkedin


            Thank you so much guys. I was really over thinking it. I went the Curtain Panel Route and was able to do almost all that I needed.

            My apologies to Snowy. When I read your post, and you mentioned custom curtain panel, in my head, I read it as Custom Curtain Panel Pattern Based. So I completely missed what you were saying to me. After I read Aaron's and Alfredo's posts, I read your post again and realised what you were saying to me.

            Snowy said: As for the corner-wrapping "L" shaped (in plan) panels, they'll need to be accommodated by the use of a reduced-run of return wall, or more simply by the use of empty (system) panels.

            I would appreciate some more clarity on this one. The way I understand it is that I should align the ends of the wall such that the panel edges meet. There would be some overlap of the edge panels, but that is something I would have to live with. Is that correct? Also, I did not understand what you meant by the use of empty system panel as a solution to that.

            Once again, many thanks.
            Last edited by viratmanchanda; March 31, 2015, 12:29 PM.


              Seeing as you appear to be having a bit of a time, and I had some spare...

              Rough n' ready - note the 2 types of "L" curtain wall panels - they're not parametric in anyway, (at a minimum I'd give the return run a length control and put their handing action in the same family)

              Note how I've showed the 3 different configs of how they can/might interact with neighbouring (system) solid & empty panels.

              Hope this helps
              Attached Files


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