Module 3 - Points to Ponder

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?

There are many reasons why it is important to accurately model the land features of the project. First, making sure the project model you are working on has its on-site conditions help other people within the project team or the owners of the project visualize and understand what is happening at the site. For example, with the model of the building and the corresponding terrain, the engineers can model and get an idea on how water runoff may flow through the property and potentially affect the building. Another reason why it is important to model the land features is that it will affect many of the calculations that the model might be a reference for. Calculations based on the energy aspect that Revit can determine is impacted by what the terrain looks like. Other aspects such as shade time, temperature of the home, sun time and forces the building faces are all dependent on the terrain. If the terrain causes the building to be partially buried, the temperature in the lower level will be cooler in comparison if it had been above grade, which can therefore change energy consumption calculations. If there are a significant number of tall trees, more shade time will be experienced by the house. These aspects are key to having an accurate model and construction considerations for project team and owners for their site specific project.

When designing a project...

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

I think ultimately it depends on the stakeholder, their goals and budget. If they want a building more within the terrain, the building can adapt to it, similar to the one seen in the example for this module. However, in general, when designing a project, you should adapt the terrain to the building. Accessibility to the building is really important to most stakeholders. Terrain that makes accessibility difficult can be slopes that cannot support wheelchair access or allow for easier walking paths. As a designer you also want to make sure that the terrain around the building cannot damage or destroy the building in the event of a storm, earthquake, landslide, etc. Making sure that the terrain is adapted to the forces caused by the building and its surrounding structures provided an overall safer environment around that 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 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?

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?

A case where it would be worthwhile to create a new custom component in Revit is when the stakeholders want a unique, one-of-a-kind feature within their structure. This could be something such as an extremely large bed, a conversation pit or a large art piece. The reason it would be important to create a new custom component for such items is because when you are modeling, you want to make sure you have a high level of accuracy for the final project and by creating these components, you can determine if your design has enough radial space, height or square footage for the unique piece to not only fit but to be functional for the stakeholders in the design. Common readily available components cannot capture the unique dimensions and aesthetics of those kind of items.