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Controlling Level Reference in Linked File

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    Controlling Level Reference in Linked File

    This is a bit complicated, so bear with me while I try to explain. I have a series of identical buildings on a site (10 in total), and what I've done is made 1 building file and am linking 10 instances of it into a site file with accurate topo and other site elements. In the site file, I've set the survey point to the real world usgs of 5298'-0" and the project base point to 5198'-0" so that my "Site Plan" level reads as 100'-0" when set to usgs 5298'-0". In the building file, I've set the survey point to 100'-0" and left the base point at 0'-0" so the "Level 1" level reads as 100'-0" when set at 100'-0".

    The site slopes, not a considerable amount, a couple of feet from east to west, but each building on the site is set with it's "Level 1" slightly different from its neighbors. So Building A's "Level 1" might be 5280'-0" but Building B's "Level 1" might be at 5280'-3 1/2" and so on. I've copy/monitored the "Level 1" levels from each instance of the building file (so that I can control them in 2D space - the site file is the one in which all of my documentation will take place) and they reference the site file's coordinates for their elevation. For instance the level "BLDG A Level 1" either displays usgs 5280'-0" or project 100'-0" and "BLDG B Level 1" either displays usgs 5280'-3 1/2" or 100'-3 1/2" and so on.

    My question is, is there are a way to have a copy/monitored level reference the survey point for the file it's copied into and the base point for the file it's copied out of? So that even though all 10 buildings have different usgs elevations their "BLDG X Level 1" level can all display 100'-0"? Does that make sense? From what I can tell this isn't possible, but it would certainly help us with our documentation process to be able to make plans and elevations that read with each building at it's own 100 level, but can also be accurately located in real world usgs coordinates in other views.

    Since they are all different instances of the same file, I can't have that file acquire coordinates from the site file, because they would all be different for each instance. Should I just make 10 building files and link them all in individually? That seems like a lot of extra work if the buildings are to be otherwise identical. Should I split my documents into the different files and just print all of the site related sheets from the site file and of the sheets that I want to read at 100'-0" from the building file? There's got to be a way to override a level and have it reference a base point from a linked file.

    I dont know the answer to your question sorry but if that was my project I'd produce the building documents from the building file and the site documents in the site file.
    Interested what others have to say, Steve!!??
    There are no stupid questions, only stupid people


      We ended up figuring out a little cheat hack involving global parameters. It's not perfect but it reports live and adjusts if the building's vertical location ends up changing later on in the project, which they usually do.

      What we did do was make a new level head family that instead of displaying the elevation displays the elevation minus an "elevation offset" shared parameter that is then later set to equal a global parameter based on the actual dimensioned offset of the link instance in the site file.

      There might be a better way to do it involving link saved positions, but I couldn't figure a way to get a parameter to report the z location of a named position. If anyone has experience with reporting coordinates and reporting them into a global parameter, that would be amazing.


        You should be using the project base point as the elevation base for your levels if you want them to all show level 1=100'-0". You will need a different shared coordinate system for each building that will record both it's location on the site, as well as actual elevation and rotation. I believe the documentation will need to happen in the building file, not the site file, for this to work, but that's usually preferred anyway unless there is much more sitework than building work. Annotation through linked files is not a fun process.


          Yes, if they buildings are all truly identical, model AND document the one building one time, in one file. In the site file where your site plan is shown, set the elevation of each link instance, and then place spot elevations in a plan view of each building's lower floor level. It shouldn't be too difficult. I would NOT be copying a level datum line into the site file from each building link instance.


            I would do that with one building file (all documentation for the building done in there), with 11 named places: 1 set to 100', and one for each buildings elevation on site.

            Wouldn't mess with project base at all. I have a rule that no one moved project base.

            Site file... Sure, I'd drop a level in for each building. Doesn't matter much, as I wouldn't do much in the site plan file, aside from site wide plots.

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

            Aaron Maller
            Parallax Team, Inc.
            Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
            @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email


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