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Drainage Fall on Stairs


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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm just learning the ropes with VW, and have started using the stair tool which is great, but somewhat limited. I have two main issues some of you might have experience with:

 

  1. For outdoor stairs in Norway, we usually draw them with a 1cm fall on each tread for drainage (important in cold countries where stairs ice up). Is there a way to incorporate this into the stair tool, or would I have to make a 2d section and extrude that? This means the rise would be 14+1(slope) for each step up, for example.
     
  2. With the stair tool railings options, I can't seem to place the posts with larger distances in the middle of their respective treads (the option for a post on every tread to the left does place them in the middle)  Am I missing something, or is the solution to extrude tubes along a path to the right height and move those into place under the railing?

 

 

image.thumb.png.2e297d48d41c22ca8eabf753296705b1.png


Thanks in advance for any tips!

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29 minutes ago, Poot said:

For outdoor stairs in Norway, we usually draw them with a 1cm fall on each tread for drainage (important in cold countries where stairs ice up). Is there a way to incorporate this into the stair tool, or would I have to make a 2d section and extrude that?


Quick answer to your first question is no, you cannot show tread drainage fall with the Stair Tool. To show it accurately, you would do exactly as you described.

Ideally this functionality should be added to the Stair Tool, as I think a tread drainage fall as you describe (to prevent standing water) is a typical requirement for most building codes.
 

It would be great if there were an option on the Stair Tool to identify it as an ‘Exterior stair’, which would then let you specify the typical tread fall for drainage. But alas, there is currently no such option.

Edited by rDesign
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 If you use the Simple Stair Tool or the Custom Stair Tool (both found in Workspace Editor) you can use the Taper Face tool on the treads to give them falls:

425722519_Screenshot2021-03-01at17_17_31.thumb.png.5662e493925589891793a1e8bdb67961.png1735967360_Screenshot2021-03-01at17_17_17.thumb.png.4482c07f35e8faa1a3eb8659d532c270.png

But then they become Generic Solids so no longer Plug-in Objects. And doesn't help you with the railings

 

So to agree with @rDesign be very good to include this functionality in the Stair tool

Edited by Tom W.
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There are many examples of features like this that would be interesting to have, but you have to ask yourself, does modeling such enhance the overall project when a simple detail will do the job?  I imagine in the future, this level of detail will be common in BIM.  However, unless it is interfacing with something else in a critical way, it seems like a lot of effort with little reward.

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@jeff prince Hi Jeff, Yes, and no really, I was just learning vw so was only designing in 2d (even now I do almost all 3d in Sketchup). The building had been pre-designed with little ability to change architecture, so landscape had to fit the engineering (somethings never change!). I have a vw of this but it's just tidy 2D

 

I had a hunch I could make something work mainly by putting a fall on every step, and using curves to stretch the length out a bit - a lot of pencil and calculator (I had just moved from Acad and it was very frustrating not to have a cmd line calc). Have done similar things since entirely in sketchup, the right tool for rapid development.

 

From what I've seen on here I'd say vw would have problems doing this even now. BIM seems to be arse-backwards really, just adding too much complication, without the ability to handle complexity. Landscape is too organic for most CAD IMO - and I really like CAD.

 

The scheme also had a kind of 'flyover' coupled with an underground egress - it took a while to invent a way to do that. Complex was to be ten floors - but was probably NZ's first casualty of the 2006-2008 financial crisis. Even as a recent graduate is was patently obvious it would not have been financially viable.

 

But it was a great learning experience, as all jobs should be.

tawhai_subset_forum20210302growplanLtd.pdf

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the input everyone!

 

 

11 hours ago, jeff prince said:

There are many examples of features like this that would be interesting to have, but you have to ask yourself, does modeling such enhance the overall project when a simple detail will do the job?  I imagine in the future, this level of detail will be common in BIM.  However, unless it is interfacing with something else in a critical way, it seems like a lot of effort with little reward.

 

It is the default outdoor stair option, so its not about enhancing the project but rather doing what is necessary to meet code. The changes are slight but important given small tolerances for drainage fall on stairs in the first place.

 

I can't send drawings without this drainage slope applied, and it means adjusting the annotations made from any stair drawings. This basically means I cant use the stair tool if I need to send out detail drawings on them. Don't always have to, but often enough that it is a pain point.

 

Similarly, with the freestanding handrails, the only automatically generated options basically would never be built (a post on every stair??? or posts set at the edge of a slab/step???)
 

 

 

-Poot

Edited by Poot
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9 hours ago, Poot said:

 

Similarly, with the freestanding handrails, the only automatically generated options basically would never be built (a post on every stair??? or posts set at the edge of a slab/step???)


I have not used the new Railing / Fencing tool from Vw2021 and it may be better at this (not sure if it can create accessibility-compliant handrail extensions / returns), but... 

 

If I wanted the stair handrails shown exactly where where they would be built, once the stair design is finalized — I would use the Stair Tool handrail as a 3D modeling guide and create my own handrails by directly modeling the correct handrails using 2D polygons & Extrude along Path for the handrail and the 2D Polys & Push / Pull tool for the posts. Then turn off the 3D display of the handrail in the Stair Tool OIP. Then I’d probably also Group the 2D/3D Stair object and the 3D handrails so they all move together.

 

Perhaps someone else has a better answer for you.

 

[For further reading on the state of the Stair Tool, here’s a link to a thread discussing Stair Tool Pain Points ]

Edited by rDesign
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15 hours ago, jeff prince said:

 

Personally, if the stair tool was to get some enhancement love, I want to see curvilinear stairs with variable flight width and proper tread depth constraints to fit the curve...

 


Fair points. I also think curved stairs would be a bigger priority than the step fall, and also the railing fixes. In the end its still faster to have the stair tool than not si I can't complain too much 🙂

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  • 4 weeks later...

I support Poot's demand for a 100% ratio between model and construction site.  Yes, landscapes have too long been allowed to rely on 2D drawings because we do not have good 3D BIM solutions.  
 

Our customers demand that landscape architects can deliver 3D BIM models that the contractor builds directly from the model.  This is not the future, these are requirements we have received in recent years and one example is that we must model falls on steps in stairs.  Why should the landscape architect not be able to model 1:1 between model and construction site?  Engineers model 3D reinforcement with properties and the contractors build from the model.  I do not know detailed requirements that landscapearchitects receive from construction sites around the world, but on large projects in Scandinavia, it is expected that landscape architects now deliver at the same level as architects and engineers, 1:1 between model and construction site.

 

I have used Autodesk Revit on landscape projects since 2005 and have high expectations that Vectorworks will give me big gains in time use and the opportunity to model landscape projects in 1:1.  Therefore, I have spent countless hours training, testing and adapting in Vectorworks since 2019.
Personally, I greatly appreciate learning and seeing solutions that can support my belief that landscape architects will be able to model complete BIM in Vectorworks and share the models with contractors who builds only from the model without help of 2D drawings.

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@alangedrag You make an interesting point, but industry, economy, and law seem to have a different take and all of this is in transition.

Landscape and Architecture typically stops at what is commonly referred to as LOD 300 and/or Construction Drawings.  When the leap to LOD 350-400 / Shop Drawings is required, this is usually the contractual obligation of the trades with A&E evaluating and approving the proposed work/verifying that a trade's proposal will not compromise other aspects of the project.

 

Every contract is different as to who is expected to deliver what.  When working on mega projects which are competitively bid, what is delivered at the end of Construction Drawings and what is eventually built can be radically different things.  I know that is counterintuitive, but it is reality based on the increasing costs of materials and labor.

With the red hot economy of today and the global supply chain issues affecting pricing, this is even a problem on simple private residences.  Imaging the implications to international airports, infrastructure, and stadium projects.  Even if the technology used to design a building can get to finest level of detail for a given Level of Development, construction is not tooled to perform at the level of manufacturing... yet.

 

As a landscape architect, I will be happy to provide shop drawing level of detail... if the client wants to pay for it in terms of design costs and impacts to project timeline.  More commonly, the client has their selected contractor(s) refine the project to meet cost goals with designer then delivering PM/CM services.  A lot changes between the time a client's initial budgetary obligation for a project, the signing of a construction contract, and handover of the built project.  Your carefully modeled stairs could have their entire definition changed by the time it gets built 🙂  That perfectly modeled patient room in a hospital with every piece of equipment perfectly placed will be completely changed by the time the medical equipment package arrives on site due to a substitution.  Designing the nooks to perfectly accommodate equipment that will change over time has resulted in much cursing of architects 🙂   That is what is so interesting about the changes in the industry right now, the promise of technology does not match the reality of construction and finance.  Software will not change this, economics and time drive it.

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Thanks for the detailed answer.  I agree with what you describe and yes design is changed many times until construction.  What we want is to model as we build and not simplify as we are used to with drawings.  Everything we build as landscape architects must be designed to handle water and snow.

I know we are lucky here in Norway where landscape architects are often allowed to be involved in designing until the building is completed.  We almost always make working drawings, details and model built-in drawings.  Our largest public builders are at the forefront of demanding open BIM in their projects.  Several customers have helped to support landscape architects by building expertise at IFC and BIM.  With small grips and adjustments in design tools, we can deliver models that allow the contractor to build according to the model and not drawings.  I also think projects get better when landscape architects have expertise in the construction process.  If we model the way we build, we will discover and change solutions that will enrich projects and save costs.

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