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Best Method for modelling Facade (Curtain Wall)

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    Best Method for modelling Facade (Curtain Wall)

    We will be progressing from cad drawings to Revit in a few weeks and I've been playing around with how to best model the facade as quickly and accurately as possible.

    I think I have 2-3 options of how best to model this but I can't decide which is most suited and perhaps I'm missing another way of achieving the same end result.

    The facade consist of stone cladding panel and curtain wall glazing. The main vertical/horizontal stone has the curtain panels set back by about 5-600mm and some of the CW has a stone band around it. I have some screen grabs below of a full height typical bay below from cad, 2x images from a mock up model I was using to explore both mothods and another showing the gap between the vertical/horizontal mullions.

    The 2 immediate options for me were
    1. Main elements made up of horizontal/vertical mullions with the infill panel set to a curtain system for the glass and perimeter mullions.
    2. Create a panel family which has the front and 2x sides (vertical or horizontal) modelled with nested famlies.
    3. Maybe a hybrid of both? Maybe a wall with custom window families (to have stone wrap on jambs)?

    Few problems I ran into for both methods:
    Method 1: The stone "cill" element of the mullion (horizontal) will be slopped and thus the vertical mullion stops short of meeting the horizontal panel, it extrudes between grid lines.
    Very quick to make up the main elements of the facade as I only have to setout the centre lines for all horizontal/vertical stone.
    Mullions break at junctions and are either vertical or horizontal, I can't have a square segment at junctions (that I'm aware of)
    Method 2: More involving and not as easy to manage the families if someone isn't familiar with the editor, I have them modelled using a few shared nested panels as they are all very similar.
    Requires 2x grid lines for all of the horizontal/vertical stone which in turn is means more grid lines to control.
    Grid lines need to be broken at intersections depending on the stone continuing vertically or horizontally, but it does allow me to have a square panel and all intersections
    Method 3: Custom window families will be very time consuming to build as there is no office window I can adapt and I'd want them to be flexible enough to be easily adaptable should they change.

    Anyone experience of a similar facade construction, what approach of modelling did you take?
    Attached Files

    #2
    Originally posted by Jozi View Post
    We will be progressing from cad drawings to Revit in a few weeks and I've been playing around with how to best model the facade as quickly and accurately as possible.
    LOL! what you need is the infamous Easy Button Seriously, reading through your post I'm rather confused about exactly what you are trying to achieve with each of your proposed options. My first thought is that you are overthinking this. Given that I look only at the facade elevation that you posted I would model this with Generic Models for stone panels with curtain walls in the rough openings that are created by those panels. The curtain walls themselves seem to have protruding fins, intermittent vertical mullions, etc. All easily done with standard Revit curtain wall. I posted a 3D screen shot the other day in another thread of a project that I'm working on that has terracotta panels with curtain wall infills that is very similar in scope. Terracotta panels are prox 152mm outboard from main curtain wall face then there is a perimeter and vertical fin system that flushes out with the face of panel. I did that with two curtain wall systems, one on top of the other with profiles built to be offset from the curtain wall center line. In that I have all of the basic panel GM families and the curtain wall parametric profiles created I could probably model your facade in the elevation in about 10 to 15 minutes. Easy Peasy!

    If you need me to run down my screen shot of the curtain wall project let me know and I'll go find it (or just create another one)
    Last edited by Dave Jones; October 4, 2017, 03:34 PM. Reason: added verbiage
    I'm retired, if you don't like it, go around!

    Comment


      #3
      This isn't as much my bread & butter as it's Dave's, but I work these type of facades up all the time, and do it very, very differently* to Dave.


      *Not a mullion in sight.... each and every module gets modelled - so a bit of your #2 & #3, only without the worry.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by snowyweston View Post
        This isn't as much my bread & butter as it's Dave's, but I work these type of facades up all the time, and do it very, very differently* to Dave.


        *Not a mullion in sight.... each and every module gets modelled - so a bit of your #2 & #3, only without the worry.
        certainly nothing wrong with "different than Dave". I'm old and stuck in my ways If you had the time I'd enjoy a screen shot of one of your facade projects! I'm always up for learning new ways to do what I do...
        I'm retired, if you don't like it, go around!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Dave Jones View Post
          If you had the time I'd enjoy a screen shot of one of your facade projects!
          If/when any of our projects get out of NDA I'll have a scratch about...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Dave Jones View Post
            LOL! what you need is the infamous Easy Button
            The cad is from before my time, I only started a week ago with these guys. I am probably over thinking it, it's how my brain works (especially when I've had little to do but get familiar with a new project).

            I started out with a mullion profile for the main grids, the infill panels (glass + fins & mullions) is easy enough using standard CW elements. When I progressed the horizontal mullion to suit the sill detail (sloped cill) I noticed that the vertical mullion doesn't meet the front of the stone that sloped down. Which lead me to creating a few generic model panels.

            I think I found your jpg (terracotta facade), did you create all the gridlines both horz/vert to make all the panels or is there an array in the panel family? My worry going this way is that someone less experienced comes along, moves a grid line (or adds one) and they don't understand what's going on and cause a mess. I can lock the module widths and constrain it back to grid lines etc

            Originally posted by Dave Jones View Post
            Terracotta panels are prox 152mm outboard from main curtain wall face then there is a perimeter and vertical fin system that flushes out with the face of panel.
            Are you using a second (independent) curtain wall or changing the panel to a nested curtain wall with the fin that finishes flush?

            Originally posted by snowyweston View Post
            *Not a mullion in sight.... each and every module gets modelled - so a bit of your #2 & #3, only without the worry.
            Do you use a panel with nested GM for the millions or use CW mullions and if the former why?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jozi View Post
              The cad is from before my time, I only started a week ago with these guys. I am probably over thinking it, it's how my brain works (especially when I've had little to do but get familiar with a new project).

              I started out with a mullion profile for the main grids, the infill panels (glass + fins & mullions) is easy enough using standard CW elements. When I progressed the horizontal mullion to suit the sill detail (sloped cill) I noticed that the vertical mullion doesn't meet the front of the stone that sloped down. Which lead me to creating a few generic model panels.

              I think I found your jpg (terracotta facade), did you create all the gridlines both horz/vert to make all the panels or is there an array in the panel family? My worry going this way is that someone less experienced comes along, moves a grid line (or adds one) and they don't understand what's going on and cause a mess. I can lock the module widths and constrain it back to grid lines etc


              Are you using a second (independent) curtain wall or changing the panel to a nested curtain wall with the fin that finishes flush?


              Do you use a panel with nested GM for the millions or use CW mullions and if the former why?
              I never lock anything curtain wall related to anything else. Bad mojo IMO. If you have inexperienced Revit users, teach them. I'm fortunate that I'm the only one here so when something screws up I know whom to spank

              there are always several ways to accomplish an "assembly" of curtain wall in Revit. I usually only use two, stacking systems and replacing curtain panels with other curtain panels the the other curtain panels could be door frames, doors, louvers, operable windows, whatever. Here's an interesting screen shot showing a simple curtain wall, sort of. The framing part is six different curtain walls stacked on top of each other to accomplish the proper interior and exterior fin joinery. The doors are in a door adaptor frame that has replaced a curtain panel. When the door adaptor frame arrives it has its own curtain panel and that panel is replaced by the doors. So, there are six stacked curtain wall assemblies and two nested curtain panels. Then I create filters for each curtain wall "layer" to be able to modify the curtain grids for different sizes and configurations and know which one I'm working on. Simple once you get it setup.

              I never use nested GMs for mullions because I don't see a need. I do use GMs for mullions, for instance corner mullions, where Revit historically struggles with joinery. I sometimes use GMs for things like sunshades or oversized fins of any type.

              HTH
              I'm retired, if you don't like it, go around!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jozi View Post
                Do you use a panel with nested GM for the millions or use CW mullions and if the former why?
                We have a CWP "rig" - that's empty in itself, but holds a nested (shared & swappable) GM family instance tied to the (host) CWP size (give or take some additional tolerance parameters) that's hosted to allow for independently adjustable X,Y & Z offsets - so that we can can-can panels in & out of the (CW) façade line, and left/right when we need to shift the module sideways, or up/down the façade.

                Our nested families themselves are then built using a dedicated, pre-rigged .rft that also allows us to "throw" the edges (mainly for mitring in all directions) - but are actually really simple to work with* as one needs only consider how the module should work (read: flex) geometrically.

                Yes, we end up with many types defined for said parent CWP, very quickly, but we do a LOT of precast work and it really informs DfMA. Articulated GRC panels take to the method well also. More planar, thinner, sheet-material work, (inc. GRC) can pose additional complications, like when a façade requires separate reveal side/soffit/sill panel elements, (when façade-facing panels aren't folded-in say) - and I wouldn't claim we've a fixed way for such at present.

                I appreciate the method might be a tad decadent for some - and I have previously employed far leaner workflows simply using an OOTB system CWP to "merely" vary types by designation (rather than geometry) for fabricators to then develop - but where I am now, we've found the method above, well worth the extra effort.




                *this whole rather-convoluted-sounding workflow has been developed to actually make things simpler for less experienced users - as hard as it might sound.



                To add;
                In terms of how we do our CW in project; we don't often overlay/offset multiple runs of wall per façade face, even when our panel arrangements get prickly - but then we mostly model our CW level-to-level (I'm loathed to say floor-to-floor, since CW grids seldom align 1:1 to FFLs) - and we stop-start runs of inline CW at a pattern change (say when encasing a pier or column with taller elements).

                We tried a 28 storey facade with one lone CW once, ground to parapet - but aside from turning the task of grid editing into one of sheer dread (not to mention terribly model-churny) we couldn't bulk-edit efficiently nor (automatically) get per-level schedules.


                EDIT
                To caveat a laboured post:
                It's only appropriate that I should say/add our glazed (window & door) elements, and their respective framework, are handled as families nested in a rigged-CWP of their own (much like the GM-in-a-CWM method described above) rather than constructs of CW panel & mullion elements. Even when it's to be a CW IRL.
                Last edited by snowyweston; October 4, 2017, 08:51 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Dave Jones View Post
                  I never lock anything curtain wall related to anything else. Bad mojo IMO. If you have inexperienced Revit users, teach them. I'm fortunate that I'm the only one here so when something screws up I know whom to spank

                  there are always several ways to accomplish an "assembly" of curtain wall in Revit. I usually only use two, stacking systems and replacing curtain panels with other curtain panels the the other curtain panels could be door frames, doors, louvers, operable windows, whatever. Here's an interesting screen shot showing a simple curtain wall, sort of. The framing part is six different curtain walls stacked on top of each other to accomplish the proper interior and exterior fin joinery. The doors are in a door adaptor frame that has replaced a curtain panel. When the door adaptor frame arrives it has its own curtain panel and that panel is replaced by the doors. So, there are six stacked curtain wall assemblies and two nested curtain panels. Then I create filters for each curtain wall "layer" to be able to modify the curtain grids for different sizes and configurations and know which one I'm working on. Simple once you get it setup.

                  I never use nested GMs for mullions because I don't see a need. I do use GMs for mullions, for instance corner mullions, where Revit historically struggles with joinery. I sometimes use GMs for things like sunshades or oversized fins of any type.

                  HTH
                  I don't think the stacked approach will work here, I think I get why you would use it but I reckon it's overkill for our use as there will be (should be) a facade model from the stone guys created down the line.

                  Originally posted by snowyweston View Post
                  We have a CWP "rig" - that's empty in itself, but holds a nested (shared & swappable) GM family instance tied to the (host) CWP size (give or take some additional tolerance parameters) that's hosted to allow for independently adjustable X,Y & Z offsets - so that we can can-can panels in & out of the (CW) façade line, and left/right when we need to shift the module sideways, or up/down the façade.

                  Our nested families themselves are then built using a dedicated, pre-rigged .rft that also allows us to "throw" the edges (mainly for mitring in all directions) - but are actually really simple to work with* as one needs only consider how the module should work (read: flex) geometrically.

                  Yes, we end up with many types defined for said parent CWP, very quickly, but we do a LOT of precast work and it really informs DfMA. Articulated GRC panels take to the method well also. More planar, thinner, sheet-material work, (inc. GRC) can pose additional complications, like when a façade requires separate reveal side/soffit/sill panel elements, (when façade-facing panels aren't folded-in say) - and I wouldn't claim we've a fixed way for such at present.

                  I appreciate the method might be a tad decadent for some - and I have previously employed far leaner workflows simply using an OOTB system CWP to "merely" vary types by designation (rather than geometry) for fabricators to then develop - but where I am now, we've found the method above, well worth the extra effort.




                  *this whole rather-convoluted-sounding workflow has been developed to actually make things simpler for less experienced users - as hard as it might sound.



                  To add;
                  In terms of how we do our CW in project; we don't often overlay/offset multiple runs of wall per façade face, even when our panel arrangements get prickly - but then we mostly model our CW level-to-level (I'm loathed to say floor-to-floor, since CW grids seldom align 1:1 to FFLs) - and we stop-start runs of inline CW at a pattern change (say when encasing a pier or column with taller elements).

                  We tried a 28 storey facade with one lone CW once, ground to parapet - but aside from turning the task of grid editing into one of sheer dread (not to mention terribly model-churny) we couldn't bulk-edit efficiently nor (automatically) get per-level schedules.


                  EDIT
                  To caveat a laboured post:
                  It's only appropriate that I should say/add our glazed (window & door) elements, and their respective framework, are handled as families nested in a rigged-CWP of their own (much like the GM-in-a-CWM method described above) rather than constructs of CW panel & mullion elements. Even when it's to be a CW IRL.
                  From reading the above this sounds really complicated and the kind of thing I would need to see to understand properly! You do seem to have a system worked out which is something I would love to see here.

                  I'm leaning towards using curtain panels with nested stone GM families to creat the horizontal/vertical stone elements and using nested curtain systems for the glass & mullions to allow me some flexibility in positioning them relative to the curtain wall panel.

                  I think I have some working out of various panels and junctions to do to see how I should make the families cover as much as possible.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jozi View Post
                    I don't think the stacked approach will work here, I think I get why you would use it but I reckon it's overkill for our use as there will be (should be) a facade model from the stone guys created down the line.
                    the coolest thing about Revit is: there are always several different ways to accomplish the task at hand. Use the method that is comfortable for you, that works, is accurate, and modeled as it will be built. And you'll be in good stead when you are done. Btw, your additional information regarding someone else providing the stone facade model rather changes the original question that you asked.
                    I'm retired, if you don't like it, go around!

                    Comment

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