Your Name
Jianqi Xue
Submitted For
Module 3 - Points to Ponder
Please share your comments on 3 of the following Points to Ponder questions. (Choose 3 of the questions below.)

Why is it important to accurately model the land features of your project site with a toposurface?

  • What aspects of a building design are most affected by the terrain features?

The land features have a great impact on a building design. It is one of the easiest ways to achieve some design goals by making use of the existent resources, such as natural light, solar radiation, views, and so on.

The topography gives designers the idea of how deep and how high the building could be, where the main entrances should be, and even the layout of the building. For example, designers tend to set the entrances on the south side where the snow may melt early in the winter. A southern balcony is more preferable as the natural light is much better. Also, to create an energy-efficient design, it is encouraged to take advantage of solar energy, wind energy, etc. Known the land features, it is helpful to build the right infrastructures.

When designing a project...

  • Should the building adapt to the terrain?
  • Or, should you adapt the terrain to the building?

It depends. When clients of a project have specific requirements for the design, such as shape, size, levels, layout, and so on, designers may not have the flexibility to adapt the building to the terrain. However, from the perspective of sustainability, adapting the building to the terrain is a better choice. It sometimes saves much time and costs on grading, land clearing, and excavation, given the great soil conditions on the site. But when the soil properties are not ideal, more actions, such as adding drainage, are needed. So, it is hard to determine which option is more efficient, sustainable, and economic. It is necessary to analyze the site to make a better decision.

What considerations affect a project team's decision-making when deciding the floor-to-floor height to use in a multi-story building?

  • From a real estate developer's perspective?
  • From a designer's perspective?
  • From an engineer's perspective?
  • From a builder's perspective?
  • From an owner's perspective?

What are the advantages of stacking the levels of a multi-story building vertically?

  • Can you share an interesting example of a building that doesn’t vertically stack (where the floor plates change their shaped radically between the floor levels)?
  • What were the advantages or reasons for non-vertical stacking?

Why do stairs follow specific proportions with a set relationship between the tread length and riser height?

  • How can building modeling help prevent the mistakes that often occur when designing and installing stairs?

The relationship between the tread length and riser height decides the comfort of people walking on it. If the ratio of riser height to tread length is too large, the stair will be too steep for people to walk on. If the ratio is too small, the stair will need a longer span, which wastes space and material. A building modeling clearly indicates the height of the stair and each step of it. It can be confusing to recognize a stair and its relationship with the floors and structure of the building only by reading 2D construction drawings. A construction manager can easily identify a stair by looking at a 3D building model, thus reducing the risk of misinterpreting the stair’s property from drawings. A designer can also use the 3D model to check if there’s any error aligning the stair with the main structure of the building.

Describe a case when it would be worthwhile to create a new custom component in Revit… How do you decide when customize versus using readily available components?