Reference Planes and Levels

Reference Planes and Levels

Reference planes are one of the most useful tools in Revit. The planes are represented in Revit as green dashed lines, and they will display in any view perpendicular to the reference plane. They don’t print in your drawing sheets, but they are handy as a tool to align elements that are coplanar. Think of them as levels and grids except that you don’t need to show them on your sheets

Revit Tutorials

In our example, it’s important to use reference planes as guides to help you create the masses in other views since the image you imported will only be visible in the imported view. Reference planes are like guidelines that can be seen across many views. They will be extremely helpful when you line up the sketch in the South elevation and then in the North elevation or plan view.

To begin, click the Home tab, and on the Work Plane panel, select the Ref Plane tool. Next, create reference lines that correspond with the edges of the sketch by tracing over the edges. The dimensions in Figure 2-7 have been added as a reference for you. You don’t need to add dimensions—just add the reference planes as shown. We also adjusted the scale of the view so that the level symbols are easy to read.

Figure 2-7: Dimensioned reference planes

Revit Tutorials

Now let’s add some levels to the sketch that will be useful for determining the limit of the three masses you’ll add:

1. Move Level 2 to 20′-0″ [6 m] by selecting the 10′-0″ [3 m] value and typing in the new elevation, as shown in Figure 2-8.

Figure 2-8: Enter the new elevation

Revit Tutorials

2. To add levels, select the Home tab and then choose the Level tool from the Datum panel. By clicking and dragging your cursor from left to right, you will create a level that also creates a corresponding floor plan. Place Level 3 at 35′-0″ [10 m].

Revit Tutorials

Using the Copy tool will not create a corresponding floor plan. Rather, it creates what Revit calls a reference level. Reference levels are not “hyperlinked” and show black instead of blue. Levels that have corresponding floor plan views are blue, and when you double-click the blue level marker they link to those associated views

3. You can also create levels by copying an existing level. To try this, use the Copy tool to create Levels 4–10, as shown in Figure 2-9. Start by selecting the level you wish to copy, and when the Modify tab appears at the top of the screen, click the Copy tool.

Figure 2-9: View vs. reference levels

Revit Tutorials

In Figure 2-9, Levels 1–3 have corresponding floor plan or level views, whereas Levels 4–10 are reference levels only. Reference levels can be turned into view levels, but during the design process (and later in documentation) you’ll find it helpful to create levels that don’t necessarily need to be views. Having 100 or more view levels would create a lot of clutter in Revit and your drawing set.

Now let’s create the rest of the levels, as shown in Figure 2-9, by arraying Level 10

Revit Tutorials

1. First, select Level 10. The Modify | Levels menu becomes active. Select the Array tool from the Modify panel.

2. Since Level 10 is at an elevation of 150′-0″ [45 m], you need to create an array with the options shown in Figure 2-10. These options can be adjusted in the Options Bar below the context menu. The Options Bar will dynamically change based on the tools you have selected

Figure 2-10: Array options

Revit Tutorials

3. Select the second Move To option in the Options Bar, and pick a location that is directly 12′-0″ [3.6 m] above Level 10. Change the value of the Number field to 55. Once you click to place the 5th level, the additional 55 levels at 12′-0″ [3.6 m] will be created, and your final level (Level 64) appears at 798′-0″ [243 m]. That’s pretty close to our goal of 800′-0″ [243 m]!

The final step before creating the mass is to add the sketched image to the East elevation and Level 1, which you’ll do in a moment. Before you add the final elevation, let’s discuss a change management tip. No design work is ever static (it’s always changing), so it’s important to understand how to keep up with those iterations in Revit. In this case, you want to be able to manage the ability to update the images in case the designer gives you some new sketches. Keep in mind that if the image changes in size or shape, you’d probably want all the images to change as well. Here is where groups come in handy. A group is similar to what in AutoCAD is called a block or in MicroStation, a cell. Groups are collections of Revit elements that you want to move or repeat as a single unit, but you want to have the ability to subdivide or “ungroup” if needed. Let’s explore a few uses for groups, and then add our final elevation

There are no comments yet, add one below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.