Module 2 - Points to Ponder

Submitted For
Module 2 - Points to Ponder
Please share your comments on 3 of the following Points to Ponder questions. (Choose 3 of the 5 questions below.)

What are the primary goals of creating a building model? Who are the key stakeholders?

  • What do they need?
  • What do they care about most?

A good building model should aim to clearly display the proposed design to stakeholders. In this case, stakeholders can be individuals who are going to either occupy or construct the space. For those who are going to occupy a building, a model should provide viewers a sense of how the exterior of the building looks and where it is positioned in the terrain. For the interior, the layout and sizing of rooms should be apparent. Components can also be added so viewers can get a sense for the scale of each room, as well as what each space can be used for.

For those involved in construction, a building model should display all necessary dimensions of the building. Major structural components should be shown within the model, and specific materials should also be specified. From this information, a viewer can understand how to construct the proposed design.

How much detail should you include in your building model? How do you decide?

  • As you develop your initial design?
  • As you continue to iterate and develop on your design?
  • What are the key stages?
  • And how much detail should you include at each stage?

How much detail should you include about the composition (layers, materials, thicknesses) of your wall, floor, and roof assemblies at different stages of your design process?

  • Conceptual design
  • Preliminary design
  • Design development
  • Construction documentation

In most cases, the initial conceptual design should have little detail related to composition. In this stage, the general shape of rooms and the overall building should be the focus. If a designer has a specific material they want to implement, this can be reflected in the beginning design stage, however, I believe the layout, shape, and interaction between the spaces should be the main concern at this stage. Once the conceptual design is created, the preliminary design phase can serve as a time to add scale and dimension, and the exact details of structural components can be determined. This process can then evolve into design development where the materials of components are selected. Finally, construction documentation should be a comprehensive list of all major structural components. At this time, the layers, materials, and thicknesses of structural components should be finalized for the wall, floor, and roof systems. Designs should also be conveyed in detailed structural drawings, which clearly show how each component should be constructed.

Many door and window manufacturers provide Revit families for doors and windows that you can specify for your building design.

  • What is the advantage to manufacturers for providing these families? (it's not free to create and provide them...)
  • What is the benefit to you as the designer of using these manufacturer-provided families? Is there an advantage to using them versus the families provided in the Revit library?

By providing Revit families, manufacturers make it easier for their products to be implemented by designers, which from their perspective, hopefully leads to more sales. From the designer’s perspective, using manufacturer-provided families is a great way to ensure that their design can be constructed, as they know that there are real components which match their design. However, one downside to using manufacturer-provided families is that some design freedom is lost. Unlike Revit families, the dimensions of manufacturer-provided components cannot be modified.

What are the advantages of getting the Revit component families (for furniture, equipment, and fittings) directly from the manufacturer versus from an online sharing website like