Module 3 - Design Project Brief:
Shopping mall - Revision Ideas

Module 3 - Design Project Brief: Shopping mall - Revision Ideas


In this assignment you’ll design a new multi-story building and then document and present your proposed design using Autodesk Revit.

Your task is to design and model a 2-story commercial building that will be built in a small town near San Francisco. Your retail and commercial building will be a 2-story structure with a rooftop. A well-designed, comfortable, and enjoyable place to shop, eat, and meet up with friends would result from your design strategy and features.

Design Program

Your proposed design for the shopping mall should provide the following:

  • The total area for the retail spaces should be around 4500 – 4800 SF. Think first about the number of retail spaces your building will have and their size based on their retail store. This area could be distributed as you wish to get the most yearly rent from your building. (Area based on six retail spaces of 20x40ft)
  • A rooftop where you will design a restaurant. This is the heart of your building, where people will gather to eat, be entertained, and hang out.
  • Don’t forget to add bathrooms with a toilet, vanity/lavatory sink, and shower for the use of customers and employees.
  • Another room can be used as an office for the building manager. This should also be able to function as a guest room - using a convertible sofa, a futon, a pull-down wall bed (Murphy bed), padded benches, or some other creative strategy.
  • Storage space (at least 10’ x 10’). It’s where the maintenance department will store equipment and personal items. Consider adding locker cabinets for the employees.
  • A parking area for six cars (about 60’x60’). This could be a fully-enclosed garage (with walls and roof) or a covered carport (roof, possibly a partial wall, but not fully enclosed).

Inspiration Images

Your clients have provided examples of some of their favorite commercial buildings to help explain their design aesthetic/preferred style and inspire your design work. These include:


Your design does not have to look like any of these examples, but use them as inspiration and think about the qualities of the spaces in these homes and how it will possible to incorporate them in your design.

Construction Planning / Methods

Some issues to keep in mind when designing on a hillside site:

  • To accommodate the hillside site, the lower level will probably need to be at least partially below grade. A good strategy to use in these cases is a partial or walk-out basement – below grade at the uphill side, but open to the site at the downhill side.
  • The lower level floor can be a simple concrete slab (or pad) placed directly on the site. Again, we’ll use a thick slab – that’s a little thicker than absolutely necessary for the loads, but the extra thickness will add some thermal mass to help capture heat and maintain an even temperature.
  • The lower level walls will need to be concrete up to the height of the grade. The concrete walls will holdback the earth and can be waterproofed. Above the grade level, the walls can be light frame wooden construction.
  • At the upper level, the walls should be 2x6 light frame wooden construction. Using 2x6 studs (actually 1.5” x 5.5”) will allow us to provide R-19 insulation, which will be better for the temperature extremes.
  • The roof 2x10 or 2x12 wooden rafters depending on the span. We’re going with a larger size here due to the snow loads that will encountered in the winter months. Again, the structural soundness of your choices will ultimately be checked by one of our engineers. These are really just starting assumptions to facilitate your early design.

Getting Started

Use this Revit project file (.RVT) as the starting point for your work:

This project contains some standard wall, door, window, floor, and roof types to help you get started.  You can use these pre-loaded types or customize them as desired --  feel free to define or load additional types and elements into your model as needed.

Note: As you search for Revit component families to add to your building model to illustrate your design concept and add context, be sure to check out the choices available in the Revit Library or download them from websites, such as or manufacturer sites.

What’s Expected

  1. Illustrate your proposed design using a building model that the includes basic building elements for a multi-story design:
    1. walls
    2. doors and windows
    3. floor
    4. roof
    5. stairs and railings
  2. Add furniture and fixture objects to your building model to help create context and illustrate the scale of the rooms and the building. It’d be nice to add elements representing:
    1. plumbing fixtures
    2. furniture (check the Revit library and online sites like to see what’s readily-available)
    3. cabinetry – for this preliminary design proposal, a great time-saving strategy to consider is:
      1. Not spending the time to do a detailed cabinet design and place individual cabinet components.
      2. Rather, creating quick In-Place models of your cabinets by extruding some basic cabinet profiles and outlines up from the floor.
      3. In practice, after the initial design concept is accepted, you can go back add the detail to the cabinets in the next design phase.
  3. Place views of your building model on the provided sheets to “tell the story” of your proposed design:
    1. floor plan
    2. roof plan (can also be used as a site plan if you show the topography)
    3. exterior elevations (all sides)
    4. one or two building sections showing the vertical relationships between all the levels and the site
    5. a ground level camera view showing your favorite exterior view your design
    6. an interior camera view showing your central meeting space/lounge/living room

Some tips for placing views:

  • You’ll probably need to crop your views to fit them neatly on the sheets.
  • Leave the scale of the plan, elevation, and section views set to ¼”=1’-0. Although the views may seem small relative to the size of the sheet, this is a standard scale that is typically used for plotting and submitting design documents -- so, easily recognized and understood.
  • Add additional D-size (36” x 24”) sheets as needed to place all the views that you’d like to share.

Sharing Your Project

Please follow the instructions in the Canvas assignment to upload your building model to your folder on Autodesk Construction Cloud (BIM 360) and create a new post sharing your project on this linked Notion page.

Module 3 - Design Project Submissions: Play, Stay, or Pay

Points to Ponder / Wrap-Up Questions

Please also share your comments on 3 of the Points to Ponder questions listed below in a new posting on this linked Notion page.

Module 3 - Points to Ponder