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Details and building elevations

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I understand the levels of a building can be on their own design layer. Building elevations don't have their own layer or do they? Are elevations a snapshot shown via a viewport on sheet layers only? And construction details created on some layer. Or where are they best created a model layer? or a separate design layer? I've been slowly working thru the SBS 12.5 tutorial. I've had to go back several times to complete a task. So I not grasping VW as quickly as I would like.

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There's often no one way to work in VectorWorks, which can be both a burden and a saviour, but in answer to your queries, yes elevations will generally have their own Layer. If you're drawing it in 2D it'll be on its own Design Layer (in which case you might decide to draw all elevations on the one Design Layer). If it's derived from your model it will be a Section Viewport on a Sheet Layer (and you might decide to put all your elevations on this Sheet Layer). We tend to do buildings of a size that take up one A1 sheet per elevation. But even if they were smaller we would tend to create each one in 2D on a Design Layer of its own and then create Viewports to present them on a Sheet Layer in whichever way is most appropriate.

For details, again, there are many ways to organise them. Because we have multiple people working a on a project the first thing we do is create another file so someone can be working on details while others are working on something else. We Workgroup Reference the sections and plans into this new file, increase the scale to 1:10 and then actually trace over parts of the sections and plans to produce the details. Then we create Viewports of each detail. This allows us to easily co-ordinate our details with our sections while keeping them separate but not having to copy and paste.

VectorWorks can have a steep learning curve, almost purely, I think, because of its flexibility. Once you've grasped the principles though (and can keep office standards under hand) you'll be thankful of this aspect nearly every day.

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Thanks, I think mostly what is slowing me down is the jargon,terms,and particular naming of things. It took me awhile to understand what OIP was. duh.

I work solo so I would like to keep the construction details as part of the same file. Create the construction details on their own layer but sprinkle them throughout the drawing sheet set or have it own sheet, flexibility. Which would be via a detail viewport placement.

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There ya go, now you're getting the hang of it. ;)

By the way, I hate jargon too. It causes far more confusion than the time it saves. Sometimes, especially in professional industries, you can even put it down to people not actually wanting outsiders to understand.

One that really makes me laugh is when people actually say out loud A S A P, instead of "as soon as possible".

With regard to terms, there's no way around that. You just to get down and dirty with reference manuals and interface diagrams, etc.

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To add to the helpful info by Christiaan, my solo-practitioner approach works several ways. First method is, I have template files with standard details ready to go. Details reside and are edited in design layers. Sheet viewports for one or more details on the appropriate sheet layers - full sheet and/or sprinkled around. Elevation viewports pre-set to capture the cardinal exterior elevations, etc. etc.

2nd Method of work is an (8 1/2 x 11) file of master details. Kept up to date and editied in that file and workgroup referenced as needed into current project files. Sheet viewports used as above.

3rd method is to create section viewports on sheets containing details and scale up the section, crop the desired portion, and complete the detail using detailing items like cut wood, steel profiles, linear materials and other linework, dims, and notes.

The 3rd method lends itself to making details a bit self updating when changes occur and - when checking a file, helps you to see any problem with the detail (stuff out of place/aligned, etc.) and correct it. This is particularly helpful to keep custom details looking like the real condition designed. Avoids contractor and tradesman snickers, field and bidding questions, RFI replies, etc.

Some ideas for presenting details. Normally I "box" details on a dedicated sheet (e.g. foundation details) - industry standard approach. Some details become large and don't neatly fit in boxes and so I use custom crops using the polygon tool to isolate and keep the parts together for irregularly shaped details in the viewport(s).

When sprinkling details - e.g. say elevation detail vignettes on plan or elevation sheets or blow up details on section sheets, I often crop the detail, enclosing it with a circle or ellipse crop to call attention to the detail. Of course and pointer arrow too.

Exterior elevations are extremely rare as classic 2D in my office anymore. It is so easy to use viewports with selected layers & classes turned on to display elevation views. They can be annotated and enhanced using annotations. They also update automatically. Move window/ change door/ add a dormer, etc. - elevation is already up to date. Section viewports do interior, courtyard and oblique wall orthographic elevations. Especially important on custom kitchens, large multi-story buildings and complexes and detailed interiors. No need to go back and "fix" 2D views. The most recent strictly 2D elevation I used was a photo-montage pair showing what happens to an existing wall of a building. One was demolition instructions with circles and arrows and callouts. The other was the same photo overlaid with a viewport showing what changes were to be made.

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