Module 3

Andrea Coto
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?

It is important to consider modeling a project while projecting a toposurface because the visual representation of such model will provide more accuracy and reliability. On this note, all stakeholders will be able to have a better idea on the terrain conditions, so there are no surprises by the time when crews arrive to the site. This helps very much to minimize costs when the project starts and to plan all activities required to prepare the terrain, for example: excavation and/or fillings. The aspects that are the most affected by the terrain features might include: foundations, ground level or lower level walls, and other features to be added on the level closer to the terrain such as parking, etc.

When designing a project...

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

The answer to this question really depends on various factors, for example budget, time, safety, etc. However, for the most part, I believe the building should adapt to the terrain and the topographic conditions of the job site, but it is important to note that in many cases, changes can be made to adapt certain features to the building. There are also some cases, for example, when building near a cliff or in other similar condition, where the terrain cannot be modified, so there is the need to be stricter about modeling based on a safety standard.

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?

There are various advantages of stacking the levels of a multi-story building vertically such as the design and building processes become faster, there is an easier visual understanding of what is happening on each of the floors, and these designs might provide less cost in maintenance after the construction. An interesting example of a building that did not use this technique is the “Bioinnova building” from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Culiacan, Mexico. Some of the advantages for non-vertical stacking might include: different architectural features used on each of the floors, each floor might have a different purpose, etc.


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?