Lunch & Learn Topics

Outlined below is the Ascent books available for reference / study, I’ve numbered the books for reference only they don’t need to be done in any particular order.  Having said that it would probably be a good idea to at least work through the FUNDAMENTALS books first.

This is the outline I intend to follow for the Lunch & Learn sessions.  I thought it would be helpful to post this so that you’ll know what we’ll cover in the event you miss a session due to other commitments.  By the way I don’t intend to do all the hosting, I’ll be asking others to take a turn as well.

The Thumbs up markers indicate topics covered.

The Star marker indicates the next topic.

These books are available to take home, but please bring them back the next day.  Sue was kind enough to make a sign out sheet for the books so please feel free to stop by and say hi & snag a copy.

Book 1:  Ascent Revit Architecture 2011 FUNDAMENTALS

  1. BIM in Revit Architecture Thumbs up
    1. Building Information Modeling
    2. Overview of RAC Interface
    3. RAC Terminology
    4. Starting Revit Projects
    5. Viewing Commands
  2. Basic Drawing & Editing Tools Thumbs up
    1. General Drawing Tools
    2. Editing Revit Elements
    3. Basic Modifying Tools
  3. Datum Elements  Thumbs up
    1. Setting Up Levels
    2. Importing CAD Files
    3. Structural Grids
    4. Adding Columns
  4. Drawing & Modifying Walls Thumbs up
    1. Drawing & Modifying Walls
    2. Helpful Editing Tools
  5. Doors & Windows Thumbs up
    1. Adding Doors & Windows
    2. Loading From the Library
    3. Creating Additional Sizes
  6. Curtain Walls Thumbs up
    1. Creating Curtain Walls
    2. Adding Curtain Wall Grids
    3. Working With Panels
    4. Mullions
  7. Creating Views Thumbs up
    1. Duplicating Views
    2. Callouts
    3. Setting Up View Display
    4. Creating Elevations
    5. Creating Sections
  8. Floors Thumbs up
    1. Creating Floors
    2. Shaft openings
    3. Sloped Floors
  9. Components Thumbs up
    1. Adding Components
  10. Reflected Ceiling Plans Thumbs up
    1. Creating Ceilings
    2. Ceiling Soffits
    3. Adding Ceiling Fixtures
  11. Roofs Thumbs up
    1. Creating Roofs
    2. Roof by Footprint
    3. Reference & Work Planes
    4. Roof by Extrusion
    5. Cleaning Wall/Roof Intersections
  12. Vertical Circulation Thumbs up
    1. Standard & Custom Stairs
    2. Ramps
    3. Railings
  13. Construction Documents Star
    1. Setting Up Sheets
    2. Modifying Views on Sheets
    3. Printing Sheets
  14. Annotating Construction Documents
    1. Dimensions
    2. Text
    3. Detail Lines & Symbols
    4. Legends
  15. Tags & Schedules
    1. Adding Tags
    2. Schedules
  16. Detailing in Revit Architecture
    1. Setting Up Detail Views
    2. Creating Details
    3. Annotating
    4. Keynoting
    5. Patterning


  1. Worksets
    1. Introduction
  2. Additional Tools
    1. Curtain Wall Types & Automatic Grids
    2. Annotating Dependant Views
    3. Enhancing Views
    4. Creating Dormers
    5. Revision Tracking
    6. Creating Schedules
    7. Creating a Repeating Detail

Book 2:  Ascent Revit Architecture 2011 CONCEPTUAL DESIGN & VISUALIZATON

  1. Massing Studies
    1. Overview
    2. Placing Mass Elements
    3. Conceptual Massing
    4. Setting Work Planes
    5. Mass Forms
    6. Dynamic Editing
    7. From Massing to Building
  2. Space Planning & Area Analysis
    1. Space Planning
    2. Area Analysis
    3. Colour Schemes
  3. Visualization
    1. Perspectives
    2. Walkthroughs
    3. Solar Studies
  4. Rendering
    1. Basics
    2. Lighting
    3. Enhancing Renders
  5. Conceptual Mass Families
    1. Conceptual Mass Families

Book 3:  Ascent Revit Architecture 2011 COLLABORATION TOOLS

  1. Phasing & Design Options <===
    1. Project Phasing <===
    2. Design Options<===
  2. Groups & Links
    1. Using Groups
    2. Modifying Groups
    3. Linking Revit Files
    4. Links & Groups
    5. Visibility & Graphic Overrides in Linked View
  3. Importing & Exporting
    1. Importing Vector Files
    2. Modifying Imported Files
    3. Importing Raster Files
    4. Exporting Files
    5. Exporting for Energy Analysis
  4. Project Team Collaboration
    1. Introduction to Worksets
    2. Opening & Saving Workset Related Projects
    3. Working In Workset Related Projects
    4. Setting Up Worksets
    5. Best Practices for Worksets


  1. Multi-Discipline Coordination

Book 4:  Ascent Revit Architecture 2011 SITE & STRUCTURAL DESIGN

  1. Site Design
    1. Topo Surfaces
    2. Property Lines & Building Pads
    3. Modifying Topo Surfaces
    4. Site Components
    5. Shared Positioning
  2. Structural Tools
    1. Structural Basics
    2. Foundation Plans
    3. Framing Plans & Beams
    4. Framing Elevations & Braces
    5. Coordinating Across Disciplines

Book 5:  Ascent Revit Architecture 2011 BIM MANAGEMENT

  1. Creating Custom Templates
    1. Preparing Templates
    2. Pre-setting Annotation Styles
    3. Creating Titleblocks
    4. Creating Object Styles
    5. Materials & Fill Patterns
    6. View Templates
  2. Schedules
    1. Creating Schedules
    2. Material take-off Schedules
    3. Parameters & Calculated Values
  3. Custom Walls, Roofs & Sections
    1. Creating Custom Types
    2. Adding Sweeps
    3. Vertical Compound Walls
    4. Vertical Stacked Walls
  4. Family Concepts & Techniques
    1. Family Types
    2. The Parametric Framework
    3. Creating Family Elements
    4. Additional Tools
    5. Family Types
    6. Visibility Settings
    7. Overview
  5. Creating Specific Families
    1. Custom Doors & Windows
    2. In-Place Families
    3. Profiles
    4. Angled Cornice, Copings & Fascia
    5. Custom Railings
    6. Railings, Balusters & Panels
    7. Annotation Families
    8. Shared Parameters

Book 6:  Ascent Revit Structure 2011 FUNDAMENTALS (this is my personal copy, feel free to borrow it)

  1. Introduction to Revit Structure
    1. What is RST
    2. RST Projects
    3. RST Interface
    4. Viewing Tools
  2. Setting Up Levels & Grids
    1. Creating & Using Levels
    2. Grids
  3. Working with Views
    1. Elevations
    2. Sections
    3. Callouts
  4. Editing Elements
    1. Select Elements for Editing
    2. Temporary Dimensions
  5. Modify Commands
    1. Move & Copy
    2. Rotate
    3. Array
    4. Mirror
    5. Align
    6. Split
    7. Offset
    8. Trim & Extend
  6. Creating an Architectural Underlay
    1. Working with Underlays
    2. Importing & Linking CAD Files
    3. Linking Revit Projects
    4. Copying & Monitoring Elements
  7. Adding Columns & Walls
    1. Placing Columns
    2. Placing Slanted Columns
    3. Drawing & Modifying Walls
  8. Adding Foundations
    1. Strip Footings
    2. Step & Spread Footings
    3. Piers & Pilasters
    4. Structural Slabs
  9. Structural Reinforcement
    1. Structural Reinforcement
    2. Cover Depth
    3. Rebar
    4. Area Reinforcement
    5. Path Reinforcement
  10. Beams & Framing Systems
    1. Beams & Beam Systems
    2. Modifying Beams
    3. Labeling Framing
  11. Brace Frames
    1. Framing Elevations
    2. Adding Bracing
  12. Floors, Shafts & Stairs
    1. Floor Systems
    2. Shaft Openings
    3. Framing Shaft Openings
  13. Annotation
    1. Working with Text
    2. Dimensioning
  14. Detailing
    1. Setting Up Detail Views
    2. Creating Details
    3. Annotating
    4. Patterning
  15. Scheduling
    1. Column Schedules
    2. Other Schedules
    3. Legend Views
  16. Sheets & Revisions
    1. Creating Sheets
    2. Placing & Modifying Views on Sheets
    3. Adding Revisions
    4. Printing Sheets

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Typical per-unit-thickness R-values for material

From WikipediA

R-values per inch given in SI and Imperial units (Typical values are approximations, based on the average of available results. Ranges are marked with “–”. Clicking on SI column sorts by median value of range, clicking on Imperial column sorts by lowest value. Third column are real SI values that are not per inch. Based on the units, the two last columns should have a conversion factor of 5.71. In practice, the numbers will have been measured using different methods.)



Air-entrained concrete[17]






Cellulose loose-fill[21]


Cellulose wet-spray[21]


Cementitious foam


Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam


Cotton batts (Blue Jean insulation)[20]


Extruded expanded polystyrene (XPS) high-density


Extruded expanded polystyrene (XPS) low-density


Fiberglass batts[19]


Fiberglass loose-fill[22]


Fiberglass rigid panel


Foil faced Polyurethane rigid panel (pentane expanded)

Foil-faced polyisocyanurate rigid panel (pentane expanded ) initial


Foil-faced polyisocyanurate rigid panel (pentane expanded) aged 5–10 years




Hardwood (most)[25]


High-density fiberglass batts


Home Foam[18]


Icynene loose-fill (pour fill)[16]


Icynene spray[16]


Molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) high-density


Molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) low-density


Open-cell polyurethane spray foam


Perlite loose-fill


Phenolic rigid panel


Phenolic spray foam


Polyethylene foam


Polyisocyanurate spray foam


Polystyrene board[15]


Polyurethane rigid panel (CFC/HCFC expanded) aged 5–10 years


Polyurethane rigid panel (CFC/HCFC expanded) initial


Polyurethane rigid panel (pentane expanded) aged 5–10 years


Polyurethane rigid panel (pentane expanded) initial


Poured concrete[15]


Rock and slag wool batts


Rock and slag wool loose-fill[22]


Silica aerogel




Softwood (most)[25]


Straw bale[24]


Thinsulate clothing insulation


Urea foam[15]


Urea-formaldehyde foam


Urea-formaldehyde panels


Vacuum insulated panel


Vermiculite loose-fill




Wood chips and other loose-fill wood products


Wood panels, such as sheathing


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Ontario Regional Area Municipal Portals

The Ontario government is responding to the varying needs of municipalities by initiating the Ontario Regional Area Municipal Portal (OnRAMP) project, designed to enhance online, regionally tailored information and support services.

OnRAMP has five portals covering the five regional areas of Ontario covered by the Ministry’s Municipal Services Offices. Find regional, time-sensitive information on land use planning, local governance, municipal finance, housing, emergency management, education and training, and advisory services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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SIP R-Values (Calculated R-Values)

The following information is from the Structural Insulated Panel Association

SIP Thickness 4 1/2” 6 1/2” 8 1/4” 10 1/4” 12 1/4”
EPS 14 21 28 35 42
XPS 20 30 38 48 58
Polyurethane * * * n/a n/a


*R-values vary between SIP manufacturers slightly

**Consult the panel manufacturer to obtain R-values


  • Calculated R-values for generic structural insulated panel (SIP), including 7/16” oriented strand board (OSB) on each side. The R-value of each OSB facing is R-0.55.
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is Type I per ASTM C578-11.
  • Extruded polystyrene (XPS) is Type IV – Type X per ASTM C578-11.
  • For polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, and extruded polystyrene, the tests must be done on samples that fully reflect the effect of aging on the product’s R-value. To age the sample, manufacturers must follow the procedure in paragraph 4.6.4 of GSA Specification HH–I–530A, or another reliable procedure.
  • R-Values may vary by manufacturer and will vary by actual SIP thickness. Please consult SIP manufacturers for individual product R-value information and SIP thicknesses available.
  • R-values do not include wall coverings (interior or exterior) and/or air film values.
  • All listed R-values are at mean temperature of 75° F.
  • For further explanation on SIP thermal performance and whole wall R-values, please see R-values in the Real World

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Mullion VS Mutton


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A mullion is a vertical structural element which divides adjacent window units. The primary purpose of the mullion is as a structural support to an arch or lintel above the window opening. Its secondary purpose may be as a rigid support to the glazing of the window…




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lamb, mutton, and hogget (UK, New Zealand and Australia)[1][2] are the meat of domestic sheep. The meat of a sheep in its first year is lamb; that of a juvenile sheep older than 1 year is hogget; and the meat of an adult sheep is mutton




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muntin…is a strip of wood or metal separating … panes of glass in a window.[1] Muntins are also called “glazing bars”, “muntin bars”, or “sash bars”…


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Using Revit for Fabrication Drawings

One of the things I found a little tricky with Revit is controlling the visibility of parts when doing a fabrication set of drawings, today I had a little breakthrough though, it’s simple really but it just eluded me.  The key is naming your inplace families correctly.  When I do a fabrication element I prefer to use inplace models as I find them easier to control to a fabrication level of accuracy (and it makes it harder for someone else to mess up on me!)  I’ll create an inplace family of one extrusion only as I want to be able to isolate individuals & like everything in Revit proper naming is key.

First create an inplace family, choose an appropriate category & name it (fig.1).  In this case I’m doing a canopy frame so I chose a generic model and called it canopy brace 1.  Model the element.  When copied the number will automatically increase.  Finish the inplace model and go to the project browser & rename the type to be a part number (fig.2).  I created a material take-off just to help me identify the individual parts, but it’s not necessary I just find it a good way to keep my parts organized.  By creating a unique material for the fabricated elements I can add a material comment and once that is done it is a simple matter of applying a filter to isolate them in the schedule.

Using a visibility graphics filter it is now an easy matter to control a view by a specific part name (fig.3).

01  fig.1

02  fig. 2

03  fig. 3

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Model Techniques

Entry Feature, Wall & Sign from CAD Reference


This is an outline of my method of creating an entry wall sign, you may model it differently this is just one method.  This post begins as an outline only & as we do the Lunch & Learn session I’ll add the sub-steps required but I thought I’d get it started in case anyone wants to take a shot at it early.  As with many other little model projects I thought this was straightforward but as I got into it I realized that it covers quite a bit of modelling techniques.

As this is a site specific family the only parametrics we’ll include are for the materials & the text, we won’t need to resize any of the elements.

The files for this are located:

X:\….Revit Library\Revit Lunch & Learn\Lessons\1. Modelling\Entry Feature, Wall Sign

  1. Start a new model using the appropriate template file.
  2. Setup a virtual model studio by importing & aligning all your CAD or other reference images.
  3. As this is a symmetrical design we’ll fully model half then mirror & join the other side.  Model one post & capital, remove the planar constraints.  Copy, rotate & adjust the height of the adjacent post.
  4. Model half the wall & cap.  Add the sign frame & a backing.
  5. Before the mirror operation we’ll add some parameters to control the materials.
  6. Mirror all the elements (not the sign of course).  Join the wall halves. Join the cap halves.
  7. Set the active work plane to the sign backing face & add the parametric 3D text.
  8. Remove CAD references & save final version.
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Autodesk 2012 Product Launch

Design more accurately with an intelligent 3D model. Improve collaboration and coordination across your design team. Perform integrated analysis earlier in the design process. Avoid clashes by completing interference detection before construction.

It all starts when you join the Autodesk Virtual Event.

Date: April 20, 2011
Time: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm PT

See how the newest Autodesk releases can help you create and deliver your most innovative work. Autodesk® Revit® 2012 software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) provides powerful tools for design, analysis, and documentation – enabling you to deliver more efficient buildings.

At the Autodesk Virtual Event, you attend sessions right from your desktop. These presentations will help you:

  • Better visualize your building before construction begins
  • Design, analyze, document, and deliver efficient and sustainable buildings
  • Improve communication and collaboration among all stakeholders

Don’t miss this chance to learn how the newest Autodesk releases can help you make amazing things happen, go to to register.

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Vasari for Solar Array Placements

The intent of Vasari is to create massing models.  These can be used for energy, solar / shade & floor area analysis & investigations.

Vasari is the mass model environment of Revit, don’t mistake it as a program other than Revit, it is Revit: it reads & saves .rvt, .rfa & .rte files.  It’s Revit’s modeling on ‘roids with energy & solar analysis added in.  If you can run Revit’s family editor or create in-place families you will feel right at home in Vasari.  In fact if you are comfortable using Max or AutoCAD to create 3D then you should be able to master Vasari very quickly.

At this point Vasari is a free stand alone exe file.  It reads & writes Revit files so be careful to not overwrite a project file!  You will want to create a copy of the .exe on your local machine rather that accessing it over a network.  When you start it up it provides a series of learning videos to help you get up to speed.

Note that when you open Vasari you will find yourself in a new in-place mass ready to start modelling as it is assumed that is why you started the program in the first place, depending on your project you may want to initially cancel that first mass model, this is ok.

Solar Analysis of a Ground Mounted Solar Array

  1. In Revit
    1. Create a project file with a topo element & save.
  2. In Vasari
    1. Open the project file.  Don’t worry about the warning dialog about losing Revit functionality.  From the application menu, load the solar array family to be used
    2. Start a new mass and insert the solar model component deployed as required
    3. Finish the mass family
    4. On the analyze tab select solar radiation
    5. Set the sun study site location first
    6. Click theCapture button to select the mass faces to analyze & click it again to finish and analyze those faces
    7. Adjust the layout as required & save.
  3. Back in Revit
    1. Open the project file & ensure massing is turned on in the viewports
    2. Use the mass elements as locators to create any contract document required.
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How to Take Site pictures

The following is the summary guidelines from Autodesk Labs for taking site pictures.  Be sure to checkout their getting started guide as they include pictures…

Capturing the reality as-built for various purposes (renovation, energy analysis, add-ons design, etc…) is now becoming possible using your standard digital camera, thanks to advanced computer vision technologies developed by Autodesk, called “Camera Factory,” and now made available through “Project Photofly.” Project Photofly is a technology preview to automatically convert photographs shot around an object or a scene into “Photo Scenes” using the power of cloud computing.

This getting started page section is the Photo Guide, which will help you shoot the right pictures to successfully create Photo Scenes. Make sure to read these guidelines before using Project Photofly!

Which camera and lens can I use?

  • Use a standard digital camera, with a reasonably high resolution (5 million to 10 million pixels).
  • We recommend to use wide angle lenses (20, 24 or 28 mm) or higher for your project.

What are the basic shooting rules and constraints that I must know?

  • Shoot pictures of scenes or objects that have texture information and that show some spatial content (worst case scenario: a purely flat white wall for example).
  • Avoid very shiny objects under the sun, and transparent objects such as glasses.
  • Shoot your series of pictures around the object or the scene, with a lot of overlap.
  • Make sure to see your most important scene content from multiple viewpoints.
  • Do not crop the images.

How many Source Photos do I need to shoot?

  • More pictures is better than not enough.
  • Shoot at least 20 Source Photos for half a building (1 façade + 1 or 2 sides) for example.
  • Shoot at least 40 Source Photos if you turn around a complete building.

Should I rotate around the scene or should I pan in front of it?

  • Rotating around the scene is always better than panning in front of it.
  • If you really need to pan, make sure that you add side views of the scene as well, which will help the Camera Factory engine to understand the depth of your scene.

What should I do at corners when moving around a building?

  • More pictures is better than not enough, when you move from one face of a building to the next.

Can I zoom and add close-ups?

  • Wide view angles are much better than narrow ones.
  • Un-zoom as much as you can to capture the widest possible images, and keep these settings for the entire scene.
  • Preferably shoot your close-ups by getting closer rather than by zooming.
  • Consider a close-up as a sub-project that requires: a few pictures from several angles, sufficient depth and texture information in each picture.

Should I use the portrait or the landscape mode?

  • Make sure, before starting your shooting, to select the best possible mode between portrait or landscape, and keep it for the entire scene.

How can I capture long or tall buildings (Wide Angle Viewpoints technique)?

  • Use Wide Angle Viewpoints made of overlapping photos, to capture long or tall buildings when you don’t have enough room or/and when you cannot use a wide angle lens.
  • You can combine Wide Angle Viewpoints with normal views. For example, a series of Wide Angle Viewpoints can get the long façades of a building, while you will shoot a series of standard views to capture the continuity at the corners as explained here.
  • When shooting for a Wide Angle Viewpoint, make sure to create as much parallax as you can by holding your camera far from your rotation axis. This technique is just at the opposite of the standard rule for panoramic photography, which requires moving the camera around the nodal point to avoid overlap.

How can I schedule my shots?

  • Spending some time scheduling your shot might be very useful. It’s even more valid if you outsource the shooting to another photographer.
  • Use a Google Earth view of the location, and place your camera positions, taking into account the view angle of your lens.

What I should NOT do?

  • Avoid unwanted foregrounds and moving objects as much as possible.
    You can use the “Wide Angle Views” technique to get closer and potentially avoid such artifacts in your pictures.
  • Avoid un-textured and flat-only objects or scenes.
  • Shoot shiny objects under a cloudy sky preferably.

What I should NOT miss while on site?

  • Identify clear areas that you will use to set your scale and your reference coordinate system.
  • Measure a reference distance.
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