Levels from Excel

This tutorial explores how you can translate levels from Rhino to Revit via Excel. While this may be overkill for smaller projects, it may prove to be useful for high rise towers which were initially conceived within Grasshopper.

Step 1: Generate levels in Grasshopper

The first step is to generate a series of level names and elevations within Rhino/Grasshopper. The example below uses a series component to create the number of levels in the project. This list is then multiplied by the typical floor-to-floor height to get the elevations. If you’re building has atypical floor-to-floor heights, extract the Z-coordinates of the defining geometry which represents the levels. Next, we’ll use the concatenate component to name the levels. Both the elevations (number) and level names (string) can then be flattened and fed into the Lunchbox ‘ExcelWrite’ component.

Step 2: Export to Excel

Depending on which ExcelWrite Component you use, you will need to modify the definition. If you use the legacy component, you’ll need to ensure Excel is open first before activating the Boolean button (or toggle). Using this method, you can set the WriteHeading input to ‘False’ and the RowStart to ‘0’.

Grasshopper_Levels_1800x900

If you use the new ExcelWrite component, you’ll likely need to use the Path Mapper component to change the data structure as shown below. The new component doesn’t require Excel to be open before activating the Boolean button (or toggle), but you will need to define the file path. This component will always export headings.

Both options should create an Excel file which looks something like this. The only difference will be whether the headings are exported or not.

Excel_Levels_1800x600

Step 3: Import using Dynamo

Finally, we’ll use Dynamo to read the excel spreadsheet using the ‘Levels.FromExcel‘ node found in the Parametric Monkey Dynamo package. Simply wire up a File Path node and two input nodes which represent the column numbers to read for the level name and elevation values. Remember that like most scripting software, Dynamo starts counting from 0, not 1. So column A (level name) is 0, while column B (elevation) is 1.

Revit_Levels_1800x800

Ideally, you just want to run the Dynamo script once. If you run it multiple times, Dynamo won’t modify the existing levels but will create new levels which will be problematic.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.