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Hardscape with slope to stair object no slope


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I am trying to use hardscape slabs and a stair to model an upper terrace and lower terrace joined with a flight of 5 stairs. The fall on the lower terrace has to be perpendicular to the stairs. How do I get the stairs or the hardscape to join or take account of the triangle of thin air this is creating?


The upper terrace sits on a retaining wall. How do I get the retaining wall to fit to the slope of the upper terrace?


Thanks in advance.

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Hi, Chickpea - Welcome to the forum!  It's very helpful for troubleshooting if you create a signature in forum Account Settings to display your Vectorworks version and a brief description of your hardware. Similar to my signature.


Can you post a screenshot or diagram of your terrace & stair?  or a vwx file with an example of the issues?

Answers depend on site conditions and what objects you are using for your retaining walls and stair.


Some guesses:

The "sliver of air" might be solved by editing the slabs or walls or stairs, or by adding filler objects, or by surrounding the terraces & stair with a grade limits site modifier. Hard to tell without an image.


The retaining wall has thickness and top offset controls in the Object Info Palette (OIP). And you should be able to add points (wall peaks) to top of wall to make it rise or fall.


Newer versions of VWX have more options and controls for retaining walls.


Here is a bit about creating and editing retaining walls from v2018 Help:



Lots of video out there if search Vectorworks Retaining Wall.  Lots of the older ones still apply.

And, some of these Getting Started guides might be useful:




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Thanks Benson, I've attempted a signature. 

Here are two quick screenshots - in a rush this morning.

You can see the triangle at the base of the steps.

I can't see where you could specify a fall for the treads on the stair tool.

How do I specify the stair 'slab'? Mortar bed/stone riser face/paver/in situ concrete/mesh etc?


Thanks in advance.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 07.15.48.png

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 07.16.56.png

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So, several things.  If the upper slab and lower slab edges are not parallel because different slopes, then the stair will have to adjust, eg an uneven riser at bottom or sloping tread at top and/or some subtle adjustment at each tread.  Much easier if the stair treads don't have to slope side to side!


Just an idea:

Stair can be drawn as vwx stair object with standard blank guts. This will create generic sections. Then use 2d tools in detail/section viewports to describe & specify the various structure materials.


But - If detailed modeling (ya know, BIM) is desired so that sections can be pulled directly, I suggest using the stair tool to create a Solid Stair (construction tab) with correct tread/riser count and size.  Then use that stair object in side view to draw/trace the profile of the treads & risers for extrusion and texture.  Then delete the source stair object.  Construction guts of the desired stair can be additional extrudes developed in side view from the tread arrangement.  Class the various extrudes for data extraction, texture & attributes.


My 2 cents.





Stair Air Wedge.png

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Chickpea The other side of this is that you are modeling the real situation and in the field you would either have to warp the slab or have a riser with variable height. To account for this you may have to have two hardscapes to make the warp or at some future point VW should add grips to hardscapes, just like walls, that allow for the user to twist a hardscape. Good job for a newcomer.

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