Submitted For
Module 3 - Points to Ponder
Created By
Glenn Katz
Your Name
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?

Topography is important because it helps in achieving the desired look and feel for a building’s design. It can affect the design on several ways. For example if we did a design with out considering the terrain for a given site, we could face several issues. Some of the floors might be below the ground and might not get proper light we expected or drainage could be an issue or the building would experience more loads than expected. Some doors might not open or windows might not be functional at all.The foundation to be selected depend on the topography and soil condition of that surface. So we might have chosen improper type for our site. The building layout and construction also depends on the topography of the site. It could be very hard in terms of budget and time to build our model in the existing terrain perhaps it could be impractical.

When designing a project...

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

I think it would be easier if the building adapt to a terrain from cost point of view like excavation and fill. However, this could increase stress from the environmental loads so we'll need retaining walls to resist this additional force. Other issues like drainage, access to site, light, view… etc should also be kept in mind while adapting the terrain for the building.

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 didn't vertically?
  • What were the advantages or reasons for non-vertical stacking?

Stacking would simplify the design as well as construction process. As we have seen in class, stacking would help us to build multistory building by just coping and pasting elements from the first floor to selected level, it is was also easier to keep elements aligned throughout the building. Just as the design process, construction would also be easier if things are in the same place in the story.

The  advantage of non stacking could be  functionality of the building if the building is mixed (serves as residential on top floors and for business in the lower, it will have different requirement from users point of view so the deign will be different for lower floor and upper floors. Non stacking could also essential if we want to create a unique shape and we care  about the  aesthetic of the building.


Capital Gate, also known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi

The Lotus Temple — New Delhi, India

St. Basil’s Cathedral — Moscow, Russia

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?

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?