Architect Special Interest Group June 2017 (pm)


In this session, we looked at bringing customized dimensions into a project from another file and at how to work with wall heights, including how to modify or remove wall peaks.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:09    We started by looking at the Dimension Tool. It is easy enough to use the Arch dimension standard to create a dimension. However, maybe you created your own standard dimension on a past project—how do you find that dimension standard and bring it into your current project? While you’re in the Dimension Tool set, go to the Tool bar, click on the Dimension Standard (“Dim Std”) pop-up menu, select Custom Dimensions, and click on the Import button. The dialog box that opens will show the files that have dimension standards in them; clicking on a file will show a list of the dimension standards in that file. You can create many different dimension standards. One creative one is to create a standard that turns a dimension into a joist symbol.
  • 05:06     Users wonder why it is difficult sometimes for them to change the heights of walls. In Vectorworks, there are several options for controlling the top and bottom elevations of walls. The top elevation of a wall is called the Top Bound, and the bottom elevation is called the Bottom Bound. You have several choices when you set the reference point for the Top Bound (where the top of the wall is measured from); it could be the Layer Elevation, the Layer Wall Height or, if you’re using stories, one of several reference points in Stories (e.g., Ceiling, Slab [Story Above], Roof). We left Stories for another discussion but covered using Layer Elevation or Layer Wall Height. It can be confusing for some when using Layer Wall Height as the Top Bound and the Top Offset is equal to zero; but, you simply have to remember that the Top Bound is the point that you’re measuring from. Although the most basic reference point to use is Layer Elevation, it is not efficient. There are benefits to using Layer Elevation as the Bottom Bound and Layer Wall Height as the Top Bound. First, using Layer Wall Height as the Top Bound allows you to update the height of all walls on a design layer by changing the Wall Height setting of that layer. Second, using Layer Wall Height as the Top Bound for most of your walls allows you save the Layer Elevation for particular walls that you don’t want a universal update to affect (e.g., a glass balustrade, edges, fences). Top Bound is a reference level that you measure the wall from. It’s simply important for you to remember that there are several ways that you can choose to control your wall heights, depending on your project needs. Though wall heights sounds easy, there is some subtlety to it.
  • 19:50    Next, we looked at changing the height of a wall when walls are stepped or have an irregular shape. Using Automatic Working Planes can render this an easy task. We already had a wall in the model that we wanted to change. With the help of Automatic Working Planes, I drew a stepped shape above the wall with my Polyline Tool. I extruded the shape to give it depth; then, using the AEC > Fit Walls to Objects command, I constrained the top of the wall to my extruded object on Design Layer-1 (ideally, you should place your object on a different layer from your wall). This technique was a very quick way to modify the top peak of our wall. If you don’t like your wall peak modifications, you don’t have to use the Delete Vertex Mode of the Reshape Tool to one-by-one remove the extra wall vertices. There’s a much easier way! Beneath Fit Walls to Objects… in the AEC menu is the Delete Wall Peaks command. With this command you can easily remove the top and/or bottom peaks of your selected wall, reinstating your wall back to its original shape. In addition, using this command gives you a square wall and a true wall height.
  • 29:40    To avoid confusion, it is crucial to be consistent. If you use the Layer Wall Height for some of your general walls, then use it for all of them. The Top Offset setting can give you additional flexibility. For example, if you want your interior walls to be a certain height below your exterior walls, you can use the Top Offset for that. Again, if the Top Bound of all your walls is measured relative to the Layer Wall Height and you change the Wall Height setting for that design layer, both your exterior and interior walls will update, with your interior walls retaining the specified Top Offset from the exterior walls. Inconsistency can cause some walls to update while others don’t, leaving you puzzled as to the reason why.

Architect June 2017 pm

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