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Multi-Level Slabs

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Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but I use Vectorworks for machine design and I am now trying my hand at creating our next house. So I am in a bit of a deer in the headlights mode.

My next house concept uses multiple level slabs offset from the main floor (elevation = 0").

The question is, when I create the slab layer do I:

a. Create a separate layer for each slab level,

b. Create a single layer and offset the slabs?

After I do that, the walls will also need to be of different heights, but I think I can manually tweak that in the next level.


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If the walls are all on the same layer then it is probably better to create the slabs in their own single layer as well. You might want to create a Class for each, if you think you might need to segregate them later on (and you can always do this later). So when you create the various slabs you can make the adjustments based on their elevation relative to your 0 reference.

Comment/opinion on the design concept: In my opinion varied floor heights are fun to look at but are very annoying to walk on. It is really easy to trip. Since your floors are so close in height (one step or less) I wonder what your intent is here? Is it really needed for the design? Will the additional cost be worth it? Or might you be better off putting that money into some other aspect of the house?

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Great questions!

First, this is a Florida home, so the living levels need to be high enough to prevent water from being blown in.

This requires an elevation above grade, garage floor, and any patio.

I want a sunken living room, which is the curved section at the top.

The following rough draft cartoons should give you a feel for what I am trying to get to.

There is a loft that sits on top of the wooden posts that is accessible via the wooden staircase. The rest of the house is single level.

The roof will be a conventional hip-style roof that will overlap the dome. The dome is not visible from the street view. The purpose is to create an open-sky feeling in the main living area with a loft that is open so that you can look down into that area.

My previous house had a sunken living area and I like it. I did not find tripping an issue. The concept here is to lead the person into the home then a short step down that reveals the open ceiling of the living area.

We are both into esthetics of the living space and we are trying to create something that is not too far off the conventional home that still stimulates a little creative experience. Both of us are artists in our free time. The loft is going to be a studio of about 600 square feet.

Comments and suggestions are most welcome.


Another perspective...


Links are:



Edited by Loren42
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As for your question on the different slab heights: Create a story and the elevation types of the main heights (choose one of the heights as your main one.), and draw all how you would draw them normally. Then you just have to offset the objects where they are lower/higher.

You also can add elevation types instead of offsetting, this will let you change the height of the parts and the objects will follow, but you will get extra layers which can make the organization of your drawing a bit more difficult.

You can choose, but either method has one story.

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Forget about trying to use Vwks Stories. Just put everything on one layer and move each 3D element relative to "0" feet: plus or minus, up or down. Vwks should have a default setting for people such as yourself so you don't have to learn about "elevation types" and worry about this feature which serves certain users well and others not so much.


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