Managing wall types within an architectural project is a vital Construction Documentation process. Each wall type must be tracked so that all parties know the layer build-up and any performance requirements such as fire or acoustic ratings. This tutorial describes how this process can be managed by automatically renaming wall types using Dynamo.
Historically, architects have codified their Construction Documentation as a means to increase flexibility, efficiency and consistency. Within Revit, this is achieved through several means, including tags and keynotes. The codes provide a link between the drawing and the full description in the specification. For example, ‘CONC-1’ may denote ‘Class 2 concrete finish, acid-etched’. Whereas ‘PB-1′ may denote ’13 mm impact-resistant high-density plasterboard’. To further complicate things, codes are often nested into other codes, so for example, ‘P1’ (Partition Type 1) might be comprised of PB-1 (Plasterboard type 1), INS-1 (insulation type 1), etc.
The problem with this method is two-fold. Firstly it requires that a schedule be maintained to keep track of the various codes used and ensure no duplication. This schedule is sometimes referred to as a ‘technical reference sheet’ or ‘T-Sheet’. Secondly, it becomes difficult to remember what each code means without repeatedly jumping back and forth between the drawing and the schedule/specification.
Parametric Monkey has developed the ‘Rename Wall Types‘ tool available as part of our Dynamo Package Development service to help address this problem. The graph can be run within Dynamo Player and will rename wall types based on the wall build-up. Depending on your naming convention, there are two possible options.
Option 1 – Simplified
Before running the graph, the user must ensure all wall types have accurate wall assemblies, including layers, functions and materials defined. The graph then extracts the following data:
- Wall Type keynote, e.g. ‘W01’;
- Each layer in the wall assembly and its associated material keynote, e.g. ‘CONC-01’, ‘AIR’, ‘CONC-03’, etc.; and
- The overall thickness of the wall, e.g. ‘264mm’.
The graph then renames the wall type using these values and sequence. For example, ‘W01_CONC-01_AIR_CONC-03_PB-02_264mm’.
Option 2 – Advanced
The more advanced version of the graph is similar to Option 1 but includes a prefix based on the wall’s function. That is if it is a finished wall (finish layer on both sides), a lining wall (finish layer on one side), or a raw wall (no finish). Again, before running the graph, the user must ensure all wall types have accurate wall assemblies, including layers, functions and materials defined.
- Define the raw wall abbreviation prefix, e.g. ‘RW’.
- Define the lining wall abbreviation prefix, e.g. ‘LW’.
- Define the finished wall abbreviation prefix, e.g. ‘FW’.
- Press Play to run the graph.
The graph collects all wall types in the project. If no material is defined or the materials is set to <By Category>, the graph will exclude the wall type. Next, the graph determines if there are wall layers outside of the ‘Core Boundary’ zone to determine its classification. Note that the graph will consider all wall layers outside of the Core Boundary a finished layer regardless of its ‘Function’ (such as Membrane, Thermal/Air Layer, Finish, etc.). If the material has no Keynote (or Mark) value, the graph will rename the wall type, but the material is returned separately for manual modification.
When documenting, architects have historically used codes as a means to increase flexibility, efficiency and consistency. However, with the emergence of automated routines, such as those afforded by Dynamo, it is possible to improve legibility and reduce human error. To find out more about our Dynamo Package Development service, drop us a line and discover how we can automate your Revit workflows.