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jeff prince

Landscape Walls with overhanging caps

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Posted (edited)

I've been trying to figure out a way to make landscape walls more efficient but can not determine a best practice which accomplishes the following:

  • quick and easy to make, like a hardscape with styles
  • easy to change when required
  • accounted for quantities in reports for cost take offs and such
  • depict the built geometry correctly such as a bullnose radius applied to a stone cap, tapered or rounded wall top

 

I have built the same wall using two different methods in the attached file, neither of which accomplishes all of the goals above.  I've written descriptions and problems with the process in that file as well.  Please take a look and let me know if there is a better way.  Maybe I'm simply unaware of how to do it.  Maybe this is an opportunity to get Vectorworks to add a useful feature.

 

61419088_ScreenShot2020-07-28at7_44_38PM.thumb.png.3155e63ae248f8b73cdb34f5a5290497.png

 

example.thumb.jpg.7fbd02f148d896bf4f3b8e97d54e89c9.jpg

 

Landscape Walls-Process.vwx

Edited by jeff prince
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HEY @jeff prince,

 

Have you tried using "Extrude Along Path"? I find it useful for creating specific profiles and paths, both of which can be edited at anytime. See attached file and let me know if you have questions. Start from the top and work your way down. I've included two options for getting the bullnose effect.

 

And for Extrude Along Path objects you can pull LF into worksheets if that helps.

Screen Shot 2020-07-29 at 11.39.35 AM.png

Landscape Walls-Process.vwx

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Hi @Tony Kostreski

 

Thanks for your recommendation and example.  The worksheet trick is certainly handy.

 

I wish we had the capability to create wall styles with the addition of vertically stacked components though, seems like it would make the process simpler. Imagine if you could create a wall style for the attached file and simply create the wall by drawing a polyline and having the cap and knockouts position themselves as part of the wall definition.  Maybe I'm dreaming and it's too complicated, but it would be convenient for designing quickly instead of modeling.  That's the thought process we followed in 2D design... Draw the wall in plan with the 3D in our mind and then refer to an elevation and sectional detail to explain what's going on.  In this BIM world, we define hardscape and wall styles using this notion and apply it, but are limited to stacking of these features along one axis, hence the requirement to model.  I think once we get into modeling features instead of applying styles, we lose some of the power of a BIM workflow.

 

I use EAP frequently when modeling, it's especially useful in more complex situations like this railing following a stepped and sloped wall... though a bit complicated to execute.  I ended up building that wall as a solid because I couldn't figure out how to get a wall object to behave as desired, though I suppose it could be accomplished with wall projections.  If a 3D representation wasn't needed in that project, it would be faster and easier to describe the features in 2D.  I think that's were a lot of people get hung out to dry in BIM, we are faced with hybrid 2D/3D workflows that break the promise of BIM or have to adopt direct modeling workflows to describe fully in 3D, which has a time penalty during creation and revision.

 

430500804_EAP-curvedsteppedwallwithrailing.thumb.png.142b108209d61393845fd5cb409681b6.png

 

wall example.vwx

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Posted (edited)

I was talking to an architect client today that works in Revit about this.  He says no problemo in Revit using Stacked Walls.  A little research on the forum here indicates architects have been asking for this feature for a long time.  Why hasn't this been added to Vectorworks? It's a fairly common architectural requirement.  Architects must be going mad, especially if they have a door in a wall like the video below.

 

This video shows a typical architectural situation.  Note the window assembly in the stacked wall, that's nice.  Also note the detail at the top of the CMU, that's great.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Revit-Model/files/GUID-A470102D-0CD9-4410-9561-DEE4D7C6C057-htm.html

 

Wall Sweeps and Reveals in Revit look pretty powerful too.  Please Vectorworks, please.

Edited by jeff prince
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jeff prince said:

A little research on the forum here indicates architects have been asking for this feature for a long time. Why hasn't this been added to Vectorworks?

Yes, it has been requested for a loooong time on the forums.

 

According to THIS Architosh article, Stacked Wall Components are coming in a 'future release' – but not Vw2021. 😪

Edited by rDesign
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23 hours ago, Tony Kostreski said:

Have you tried using "Extrude Along Path"? I find it useful for creating specific profiles and paths, both of which can be edited at anytime. See attached file and let me know if you have questions. Start from the top and work your way down. I've included two options for getting the bullnose effect

This is another work-around in Vectorworks, and you have to redo all the EAP every-time if the design changes along the process, like always do in any project, and the EAP don't give you a correct 2D representation in plan because is a 3D object, to try to fix this we use another wall style for the wall cap with the correct thickness,  it shows correctly in 2D but you lose the ability to use a custom profile.

Every other BIM software in the market has staked walls for years now, and Vectorworks will disappoint us once again with the 2021 version....

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@DBrown I agree with you.

 

However, did you know you can convert your EAP to an Autohybrid to get it to look nice in 2D?  It has been helpful to address the graphics concerns at least.

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Yes, the Auto Hybrid helps a lot, but the redrawing is always there, I had some projects were we had to update a close to a hundred wall caps..
Let's hope Vectorworks improve the Walls before the end of the decade...

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@DBrown @rDesign @jeff prince I too agree for the need of stacked walls. I'd love to hear what requirements you envision so I can bring them up internally, if you're willing to share. As a fellow landscape architect, here are some of my quick thoughts to start the conversation:

  1. Unlimited Layers (ability to offset each)
  2. Define Footers
  3. Define Wall Caps  (by profile including complex shapes that involve multiple objects such as the case with brick caps) & Wall Cap Ends
    image.png
  4. Define Batter

 

Thank you,

Tony

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@Tony Kostreski - thank you for your response and restarting the stacked walls discussion. A quick forum search of the phrase ‘stacked walls’ brought up a bunch of old threads with ideas for what is needed on the architectural side.
Here’s a select few of them. (Unfortunately some of them had their links broken when the forum switched platforms years ago).
 


Also consider how Wall objects ‘host’ architectural trim such as skirting / base boards, chair rails, crown molding, etc.

See THIS post from @Tom Klaber quoted below:

Quote

4) Base / Crown Molding tool:  I used to think this should be apart of the wall style - but I now think this should be its own tool.  I think you should be able to select a custom profile, and then select the walls you want to attach that base to.  It should automatically be cut by doors, have a 2D representation, and allow voids for reveals and flush base/moldings.

 

I’m sure others will have additional thoughts and ideas. Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

@Tony Kostreski - at the risk of further hijacking this ‘landscape’ thread, here’s a few more threads on the ‘stacked walls’ topic:


And this next one isn’t strictly ’stacked walls’ related, but it is related to how wall components interact with hosted Door / Window objects. Which is related to the how architectural trim on a wall interacts / terminates at Door / Window openings. Meaning there’s no point in adding architectural trim (stacked) to a wall if it cannot automatically be cut or terminated at a hosted opening.

 

Edited by rDesign
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@Tony Kostreski Thanks for your interest in this topic.

I like the ideas elements you shared and can think of a whole lot more.  I will spend some time thinking about this and providing some examples of some common wall features and creation methods in the coming days... the wall of text that follows could really be explained better with some drawings 🙂

 

I think there would be a lot of interest in this for many.  If there is serious interest from Vectorworks, I bet an industry work group composed of your clients, both here and through direct outreach, could be formed that would really help define what is needed.  This could be a great way to inform the programmers of how we think and what we need before tackling a complex tool.  Including your clients that do not participate here on the forum would be very important IMHO given the importance of a powerful wall tool to both architects and landscape architects.  The more voices the better.

 

Some basic thoughts for now...

Landscape walls share some of the same needs as the Railing/Fence and Wall Tools, though they have some special conditions that may not apply to either.

 

I'm initially thinking of footings and batter (as you pointed out) but also the requisite Site Modifiers for retaining wall condition as being major areas of interest.  Following terrain and/or retaining could benefit from a streamline workflow.  The current method of creating a retaining wall could benefit from style definitions that include all of these features.

 

Landscape Walls often feature repeating elements that follow the path of the wall such as:

voids in panel, decorative ironwork (within a panel or on top of it), columns with footings, pilasters, variable panel design (different panels with different heights along a single run of wall), stepped wall tops (including angular tops as in my example), attached trellis systems, and the list goes on.  I think understanding all of these relationships would be helpful in developing a tool to do it, but it cold become cumbersome if not well thought out.

 

Landscape Walls also feature unique elements that are placed such as gates and openings, similar to the door and window tool, but with variable header conditions (usually the lack of one).  A tall wall may have a header for an aperture or pedestrian passage.  While a typical 6' property wall or 3' screen wall may have openings for gates or passage that do not have headers.  The current wall and door tools do not seem to resolve the headerless situation.

 

Design Method

When I am designing a wall concept, I usually start by drawing an elevation and section of a typical panel to define the general look and structure.  It would be nice if this was echoed in the generation of a wall style...

Essentially stacked and offset components which follow the "path" of the wall  in an editor that presents the panel design, similar to how the Railing/Fence Tool works, but with refined functionality of how we build wall and hardscape styles.

 

Functionality

When I use the hardscape tool, I love that I can change it's representation quickly.  Landscape Walls would benefit from the same approach, but need some special consideration for 3D.

Some 3D type options for walls might include:

None - 2D only

3D - projects without a site model or where the designer places the 3D on constructed geometry and objects

Project to Surface - for following the site model.

Retain Surface - with built in retaining wall modifiers created that can be edited after the fact independent of a style.

Aligned - more thought required on how this would work and interact with or influence hardscapes and other objects... just spitballing ideas here.

Texture bed - landscape walls could be used to create edging and borders not defined in a hardscape's border.  I could see a use for this mode on most of my projects.

 

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