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Username: Mike Kelly Book: Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 Essentials: AUTODESK OFFICIAL TRAINING GUIDE. No part of any chapter or book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission for reprints and excerpts from the publisher of the book or chapter. Redistribution or other use that violates the fair use privilege under U.S. copyright laws (see 17 USC107) or that otherwise violates these Terms of Service is strictly prohibited. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of U.S. Federal and Massachusetts laws.

Working with Parts, Parameters, and Properties

So far you've been getting familiar with sketching various configurations for generic stairs, ramps, and railings. Now let's dig a little deeper to explore the properties of these three system families so you'll know how they affect these families. We'll begin with stairs.

Stair Parameters

Start by creating a section through the U-Shaped in our Revit file. The Section tool can be found in the QAT toolbar or in the View tab. Open the section by double-clicking the blue section head. Adjust the section so that you can see the full flight of stairs. Select the stair and take a look at the instance parameters in the Properties palette. These are essentially self-explanatory and deal with the stair materiality, nosing overhang, and some other basic stair properties. You can try adjusting some of them to visualize the changes here in section. Next, look at the type properties. With the stair still selected, click Edit Type to open the Type Properties dialog box for the stairs, shown in Figure 5.24. Let's step through some of the key ones and explain what you need to do to change them. FIGURE 5.24 The stair type properties


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Extend Below Base Extend Below Base will continue the structure of the Stringer below the base level of the stair. Set the value to 1-0 [30 cm] and the results should be easy to see in section. Monolithic Stairs Checking the Monolithic Stairs option will activate the next two options. They don't apply for this particular stair since we're only going up one level. For more information on Monolithic stairs, review the section Creating the Generic Railing, earlier in this chapter. Function The Function option allows you to designate the stair as an interior or exterior type. It doesn't change the geometry in any way; it's more of a scheduling function. Break Symbol The Break Symbol option controls the graphic break line. If checked, the condition on the right of Figure 5.25 is shown. If unchecked, the break symbol disappears and it is represented as a single line. FIGURE 5.25 Break Symbol option

Text Size and Text Font The Text Size and Text Font options refer to the UP or DOWN text. (This reports the direction of the stair.) Material and Finishes The Material and Finishes options control the shaded and rendered material assignments for the stairs.


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Treads Figure 5.26 indicates the corresponding dimensions from the Treads section. The Nosing Profile (if applied) is associated to the front of the tread, but can also be associated to either side, or even all three sides. FIGURE 5.26 Changing stair nosings

Risers The Risers function allows you to control the absence or presence of a riser, as well as what type (straight or slanted). Extending the tread under the riser will result in the image on the left of Figure 5.27, whereas extending the riser behind the tread will result in the image on the right. FIGURE 5.27 Extending the riser location

Stringers Stringer properties control the properties of both left and right stringers. Stringer Height is the depth of the stringer as measured from edge to parallel edge (Figure 5.28). FIGURE 5.28 Stringer Height


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Stair Carriages Stair Carriages are simply the structural framing that supports the treads and landings. Carriage Heights Carriage Heights are dimensional clearances between the carriage to the treads and landings.

Ramp Parameters
As with stairs, the type parameters of ramps contain most of the information you'll need to set the rules of the ramp. To view the properties, follow these steps: 1. Create a section of the first ramp in the same way you created the section of the stair. 2. Open the section and select the ramp. 3. Select Type Properties from the Properties palette. The dialog box shown in Figure 5.29 appears. FIGURE 5.29 Type Properties for the ramp


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We're most concerned with two values. The first is Maximum Incline Length. This value determines the maximum continuous length that will be allowed before you have to create a landing. The second value is Ramp Max Slope, and it is expressed as a rise-to-run ratio or percentage based on your project settings.

Railing Parameters
After stairs, railing parameters are probably the most unfamiliar part of Revit for new users, so let's investigate what the parameters control. Since many of these values don't do anything clearly noticeable for stand-along railings, we'll use the same U-Shaped stair that we used to understand important stair parameters. First, select the inner railing and click Edit Type in the Properties palette. Look at the Rail Structure and Baluster Placement fields. Rail Structure The Rail Structure option controls all the horizontal sweeps that are associated with a railing. A railing can have many, many horizontal sweeps. Balusters The balusters are any vertical elements, and they can be specified depending on location of use. The four options that Revit gives you are Start Post and End Post, Main Baluster Pattern, and Corner Post. Baluster Offset The Baluster Offset value controls all baluster positions to the left or right of the sketched line that creates the baluster. It's convenient to be able to move all the balusters to the left or right from this parameter. But another reason is that there are frequently conditions where the sketched line must reside on a host (like on stairs or a ramp). Yet the actual baluster geometry may need to reside on the stringer or beyond the edge of the ramp. Landing Height Adjustment The Landing Height Adjustment value raises or lowers the height of the railing based on the value given (and whether the box is checked). Figure 5.30 shows the unchecked result. FIGURE 5.30 No Landing Height Adjustment


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Figure 5.31 shows the checked result with a value of 1-0 [30 cm]. Notice that with the landing height adjustment selected, the railings have moved up in elevation. FIGURE 5.31 With Landing Height Adjustment


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Angled Joins With No Connector selected in the Angled Joins option, no vertical elements are added to maintain a continuous railing (Figure 5.32). This option affects angled joins (from a plan view) as seen with the inner railing, and either vertical or horizontal segments can be added. There are only two options: either add a vertical or horizontal segment or don't. Tangent Joins The outer railing illustrates a tangent join. Rail Connections Vertical or horizontal segments can be added to maintain a continuous railing. There are three options. The first option is Extend Rails To Meet (Figure 5.33). The second option is Add Vertical/Horizontal Segments to complete the connection (Figure 5.34). The third option is to choose No Connector between tangent joins (Figure 5.35). FIGURE 5.32 No Connector is selected for Angled Joins.


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FIGURE 5.33 Extend Rails to Meet

FIGURE 5.34 Add Vertical/Horizontal Segments

FIGURE 5.35 No Connectors

Trimmed conditions will create vertical cuts when rails can't be mitered, as shown in Figure 5.36. FIGURE 5.36 Trimmed railings


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But if Weld is selected, Revit will try to join the railings as close as possible to a mitered condition (Figure 5.37). FIGURE 5.37 Welded railings

If you would like to download the completed Revit file that was created during this chapter, you can download it from the book's companion web page. The file is named c05_Stairs_Ramps_Railings.rvt.

Just One More Thing

Keep in mind that what you start with can be quickly and easily swapped out with more complex configurations and designs later. The important thing during design is that you resolve what something is and where it is. Then after the initial design is approved you can return to your intent and begin to specifically resolve the details and how it will be assembled. Revit can be used to create incredibly complex and compelling stairs and railings! Creating these types of system families are discussed in depth in Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture by Krygiel, Read, and Vandezande (Sybex 2011). Again, don't get ahead of yourself. Concentrate on the basics. Once you have those down you'll be able to create far more detailed stairs, ramps, and railings. Stairs and railings can not only be architectural works of art, but equally creative in Revit if you really leverage the tools available. Below is an example of what you can create if you stretch the limits of the Stairs tool. Your stairs can be elegant and versatile. The image on the bottom left is a very creative use of the stair toolas an elevated railing system! The bollards hold up the track (which is the railing).


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THE ESSENTIALS AND BEYOND You can use the default Stairs, Railing, and Ramp tools to create the vast majority of your standard conditions during your early design processes. And since this is book is about getting started, we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. One day at a time! ADDITIONAL EXERCISES Try to create any of the stair configurations shown in the following graphics. Everything you need is the default file; you won't need to load any external content. Just create and modify new stair types.


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The stair in the first graphic is actually two separate stairs that share half a landing. But they appear to be a single stair that split at the landing. They're a combination of straight and curved sections. In some cases you'll need to sketch boundary and riser locations manually as well as reconfigure railing sketches.

The stair in the second graphic is two stairs that appear to come together to join into a single stair. You'll also need to create at least part of the boundary manually. And the width of the upper run is the same with as the lower runs, so you'll have to modify the width of the default boundary.


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