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Brian H

Split Level Stories

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Is there a way to create a split level building with mid-stories? I have a building that has to have separate floor heights to work on a sloping site. When I try to create a mid-story I get an error message that "The Story Elevations is invalid. Layer planes in the story vertically overlap layer planes in "First Floor". How would one go about this?

Thanks-Brian

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How would one go about this?

Being creative and use the normal levels for defining your stories, then add 'normal' levels and levels for the mid-story. So the split-level will be part of the normal story, but has his own levels/layers. You can begin by drawing a section and deciding from to where the stories go, and decide the levels you need.

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You are not required to use Stories in your setup at all. Just leave them blank. For this specific reason I have yet to adopt their use. Just set your Layer Z-Base and Wall Heights independently in the Organization Dialogue.

Joe

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Admittedly I haven't explored all the advantages and disadvantages of the use of Stories. My initial investigations hit on the split-level difficulties and it appeared then that the time spent to create work arounds and put those work arounds to use outweighed their advantage. I would be very curious to hear what advantages I'm missing out on by not employing their use in my modeling and construction documents and just using the layer settings.

I'm sure I will be taking another hard look at Stories as I transition my office to VW2013.

Joe

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I would be very curious to hear what advantages I'm missing out on by not employing their use in my modeling and construction documents and just using the layer settings.

If you know the levels before you begin and they never change, then you'll only miss the pleasure of setting objects levels and Heights fast and fluid without calculating. If they change, then you'll miss the ability to just change the level type height and see all changing accordingly.

It can be hard to set up, but once done, it's easier to work with.

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My understanding is with a split level or mezzanine, the only hard part would be to base those design layers (which would include floors, ceilings, wall heights, etc.) as an offset elevation height of a Story (as in the adjacent lower floor level). Once this inconvenience is done, then it would be easier to work with.

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If they change, then you'll miss the ability to just change the level type height and see all changing accordingly.

Just about all of the tools I use that I desire to link to a height setting get that height from the Layer, not a Story.

(walls, columns, stairs, etc) So if I change a floor to floor height by adjusting a layer height I am still seeing all those linked objects shift accordingly.

My understanding is with a split level or mezzanine, the only hard part would be to base those design layers (which would include floors, ceilings, wall heights, etc.) as an offset elevation height of a Story (as in the adjacent lower floor level). Once this inconvenience is done, then it would be easier to work with.

So one advantage is being able to adjust the first floor plate height and see all the floors above it move up or down accordingly without having to adjust those layer z-bases. But can the walls within a story extend up past the height of the floor above and extend into the story above? If I remember correctly this was not possible yet is common in split-level homes.

Joe

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But can the walls within a story extend up past the height of the floor above and extend into the story above? If I remember correctly this was not possible yet is common in split-level homes.

Yes they can but they will only show on the layer they were created in Top/plan view.

Method 1:

One way to solve this could be to divide the building/floors that overlap up into half Stories however this includes quite some double drafting and extra class control (typically for showing windows and doors correctly in 3D vs Plan).

Method 2:

Or you could use wall and slab offsets and try to get the split-level plans to look right on SLs using several superimposed and correctly masked Plan SLVPs (again to get windows and doors etc to be correctly represented.)

I have actually used both methods to show an attic DL plan including the correct part of the roof DL.

Edited by Vincent C

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Or the simple method 3, that doesn't require special things, other than extra level types:

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=8001&filename=Split level stories.png

ps: picture is simplified and the solution depends on the situation, therefore, it's best to first draw your problem and then decide your stories on it.

Edited by DWorks

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Just about all of the tools I use that I desire to link to a height setting get that height from the Layer, not a Story.

(walls, columns, stairs, etc) So if I change a floor to floor height by adjusting a layer height I am still seeing all those linked objects shift accordingly.

What if you change your slab total thickness?

Using stories is just more flexible because you can have more levels to choose from for each object, and you can draw objects on layers and have their height/level be linked to the level of another layer.

Edited by DWorks

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What if you change your slab total thickness?

Using stories is just more flexible because you can have more levels to choose from for each object, and you can draw objects on layers and have their height/level be linked to the level of another layer.

I'll admit I'm getting closer and your diagram is helpful but I'm not quite sold and I'm not sure I will be until I actually put it to practical use.

To answer your question about the slab thickness....I just open the Organization Dialog Box and modify some Layer Elevation numbers accordingly. Everything adjusts as needed from the one dialog.

Even in your example you still may have to do this because you might raise the height of Story 1 a couple feet while desiring to keep Subfloor 1 and Subfloor 2 in place. In this instance you are modifying Layer Elevations in much the same way are you not? Like I said, I may need to just put it to practical use.

Certainly the more stories you have the more important it will be to use them. I don't think I would even question their use in buildings with 10+ stories but in simple 2-3 story residential construction (which is the bulk of our work) I'm still not sure they add much to the process.

Joe

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To answer your question about the slab thickness....I just open the Organization Dialog Box and modify some Layer Elevation numbers accordingly. Everything adjusts as needed from the one dialog.

I don't know how you set up your layers, but my floor layer is set to the height of the floor finish. Walls begin from the top of the construction floor, so -x from the finish. When you don't use stories, you have to tell each wall to -x from the bottom. When changing the thickness of the floor finish, You'll have to manually change the offset for each wall. With stories, you can just change those levels and the walls will move accordingly.

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I don't know how you set up your layers, but my floor layer is set to the height of the floor finish. Walls begin from the top of the construction floor, so -x from the finish. When you don't use stories, you have to tell each wall to -x from the bottom. When changing the thickness of the floor finish, You'll have to manually change the offset for each wall. With stories, you can just change those levels and the walls will move accordingly.

We set the walls to begin at the subfloor, not finish floor, as to avoid finishes extending beneath the interior stud walls in detail building sections. The floor slab datum is the top of subfloor. The wall heights are set to the plate heights, not the floor to floor heights. They get their value from the Wall Height setting assigned to the Layer they are on. I set the exterior sheathing and siding components (not the framing) to extend down past the floor slab to the Plate Height (Wall Height Setting) of the floor layer below.

If I need to add 2" to my floor thickness my Layer Elevation (plate height) below doesn't change, I add 2" to my Layer Elevation to all the floor layers above. The actual heights of my walls don't change at all. If I need to modify a plate height then I modify the Wall Height setting for the Layer as needed. All this happens in one dialog box. I guess one item outside of the Organization Dialog box also needing adjustment would be the height of the sheathing and siding components that overlap the floor slab. This is saved inside the Wall Style and is a set value and not a value linked to a layer height. That, however, is just a single point of control for all the exterior walls unless there is a lot of variety in the design with regard to floor thickness and plate heights.

One improvement I'll throw out there is to allow us to offset the wall components to bound floor slabs similar to how we offset slab components from bound walls. In this way my components that overlap the floor slab would be set automatically by the floor thickness the wall is bound to.

Joe

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I don't know how you set up your layers, but my floor layer is set to the height of the floor finish. Walls begin from the top of the construction floor, so -x from the finish. When you don't use stories, you have to tell each wall to -x from the bottom. When changing the thickness of the floor finish, You'll have to manually change the offset for each wall. With stories, you can just change those levels and the walls will move accordingly.

We set the walls to begin at the subfloor, not finish floor, as to avoid finishes extending beneath the interior stud walls in detail building sections. The floor slab datum is the top of subfloor. The wall heights are set to the plate heights, not the floor to floor heights. They get their value from the Wall Height setting assigned to the Layer they are on. I set the exterior sheathing and siding components (not the framing) to extend down past the floor slab to the Plate Height (Wall Height Setting) of the floor layer below.

If I need to add 2" to my floor thickness my Layer Elevation (plate height) below doesn't change, I add 2" to my Layer Elevation to all the floor layers above. The actual heights of my walls don't change at all. If I need to modify a plate height then I modify the Wall Height setting for the Layer as needed. All this happens in one dialog box. I guess one item outside of the Organization Dialog box also needing adjustment would be the height of the sheathing and siding components that overlap the floor slab. This is saved inside the Wall Style and is a set value and not a value linked to a layer height. That, however, is just a single point of control for all the exterior walls unless there is a lot of variety in the design with regard to floor thickness and plate heights.

One improvement I'll throw out there is to allow us to offset the wall components to bound floor slabs similar to how we offset slab components from bound walls. In this way my components that overlap the floor slab would be set automatically by the floor thickness the wall is bound to.

Joe

So you actually use different layers to define the different level types? Then you have what stories do, except that you can't choose on which layer you draw things, and that's the benefit of stories: you can draw your walls on one of the layers of a story and bound them to the level of another layer. That's easier to work with in regard to the stack order in plan view.

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