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Stairs and References

Question

We're trying to split our BIM's floor plans into two separate files so one drafter can work on each.

Is there any way to make the stair tool work in this situation? IE, one stair placed on the Ground Floor file that is somehow linked to the First Floor file, or will we have to keep our floors in the same file?

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You will have to Reference in the floor plan one to another on their own Design Layers and set the heights to match. Then you will be able to have the stair use the Design Layer height you have set to generate the stair configuration and graphics.

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Still no solution for this? Surely someone else uses the stair tool in a large workgroup based BIM environment...

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So, I took a look at the Ellicott Heights example on NNA's website to see how they handled stairs in a WGR project.

http://www.nemetschek.net/bim/projects.php

It looks like they just fake it.

Each level is in an individual file and all levels are referenced together in a single, whole building file. The individual levels don't have any other levels referenced in for reference. The stairs have fixed heights (not set by levels) and are simply drawn as you want them to appear in 2d. This seems to result in duplicate stairs - NOT A GOOD BIM PRACTICE.

It seems like you could create a referencing scheme that wouldn't require faking it. I would think that you could:

1. Create a file for the first floor that included the slab- and floor- layers for the first floor as well as a "dummy" layer for the slab above

2. Draw the stair on the slab- layer of this file referencing the lower and upper slab layers for height.

3. Create a file for the second floor and reference the first floor slab layers in to display the stair.

I haven't tried this but it seems like it should work.

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It looks like they just fake it.

Each level is in an individual file and all levels are referenced together in a single, whole building file. The individual levels don't have any other levels referenced in for reference. The stairs have fixed heights (not set by levels) and are simply drawn as you want them to appear in 2d. This seems to result in duplicate stairs - NOT A GOOD BIM PRACTICE.

Bill,

I did NOT "fake it". Setting stair heights by layer elevation is an option, NOT a requirement. In the case of Ellicott Heights, many of the stairs are symbols, thus this functionality will NOT work. They are symbols because I could change them in one place and all instances would update.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that this is "not a good BIM practice". The model was created with the VW technology, functionality, and workflows, at hand with version 2008. There is a delicate balance between VW capability, project configuration and some derivative, subjective BIM ideology/expectation.

I don't see a problem with the stairs being "static" as the floor-to-floor height was set prior to their design and had remained the same. While the functionality is effective and useful, it is not imperative. I don't know where this is a "requirement" of BIM.

They are fully hybrid objects. 2D Graphically they are a "bit rough around the edges". But, they are 3D objects. In some cases, the floor contains stair configurations that have 2 landings before reaching the next floor. As such they graphically overlap. With more time I could address these 2D graphical issues.

This project was issued as an example of an early Design Development model/set as was stated as such in the description and white paper. It's intent was to describe a possible large-project, multi-file, multi-user workflow, using VW 2008.

I am currently working on updating the project for 2009. Some object have been replaced/updated, but generally it is to be the same.

My suggestion for then AND now, as a part of VW BIM "best practice", is NOT to use the set height by layer elevation functionality for stairs when creating a multi-story model where each floor/story is a referenced file.

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I did NOT "fake it". Setting stair heights by layer elevation is an option, NOT a requirement. In the case of Ellicott Heights, many of the stairs are symbols, thus this functionality will NOT work. They are symbols because I could change them in one place and all instances would update.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that this is "not a good BIM practice". The model was created with the VW technology, functionality, and workflows, at hand with version 2008. There is a delicate balance between VW capability, project configuration and some derivative, subjective BIM ideology/expectation.

I beg to disagree. The requirement for persistent GUIDs for all objects is anything but a subjective ideology or expectation here in the real world. Your use of symbols is simply due to poor software design. The fact that VW 2008 (and 2009) is not capable of good BIM practice, is a poor excuse.

OK. This is how I do it in my objects:

Each object has a "type" (prototype) parameter. A button in the OI makes all objects of that type similar to the selected one, so I can also change them in one place, that being the context. Simple, ain't it? One just have to design the software properly. In the trade we call this object-oriented approach.

Of course I have no use for the persistent GUIDs because NNA refuses to document the creation of IFC entities with VectorScript. (No, Charles Chandler's example at VectorLab does not work.) So, how about this: I gave NNA valuable expert advice on software design. Wouldn't it be fair to document the software (VS, that is) in exchange?

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Jeffrey, I genuinely meant no offense. I apologize for my choice of words. "...fake it..." was REALLY not meant to be derogatory.

I wasn't taking issue with the use of static heights for the stairs but rather that it looked like more than one stair PIO was used to represent a single, real-world stair. That seemed to break one of the basic tenants of BIM (at least in my opinion,) that each real-world object be represented by only one modeled object so that reliable information can be extracted from the model (number of stairs, number of risers, number of treads, LF of railing, etc.)

The graphic overlap that you mention in your post is what made me think that stair objects were being duplicated.

As long as there aren't any duplicate model objects for single real-world objects, I have no issue with the BIMness of the model.

My suggestion to set stair height by layer was simply meant to make the 2d component of the stair work without having to add any line work.

Would you simply draw over the model to get the appearance you need or do you have another recommendation?

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It seems like you could create a referencing scheme that wouldn't require faking it. I would think that you could:

1. Create a file for the first floor that included the slab- and floor- layers for the first floor as well as a "dummy" layer for the slab above

2. Draw the stair on the slab- layer of this file referencing the lower and upper slab layers for height.

3. Create a file for the second floor and reference the first floor slab layers in to display the stair.

As long as you reference both slab layers into the target drawing, this method works so far. Thanks Bill.

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Glad to hear it, highpass.

Of course, you need the lower plan layer because that's where the actual stair PIO is. Sorry I missed that.

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