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Roofs: Roof by Extrusion

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Most people's first experience of Roofs within Revit Architecture is by means of the "Roof by Footprint" tool. This is absolutely the right tool for the job when you need to create either a flat roof or a pitched roof. But what about if you want to create a curved roof. Well, fear not: Revit has just the tool for the job; and it the "Roof by Extrusion" tool.


In this short tutorial we are going to use this tool to create a curved, barrel vault roof over a simple rectangular building.

So first of all let's create a building for the roof to sit on! We are going to keep the form of the building really simple- we are interested in the fundamental concepts and not architectural merit.

Here is our building in all it's glory......

 


Within Revit, the "Roof by Extrusuion" tool is used in an Elevatation or Section View- as opposed to the "Roof by Footprint" tool, which is used in a Plan View. We also need to use a Refrence Plane upopn which we can sketch the "side profile" for our extrusion.

So first of all let's go ahead and create our Reference Plan. We can sketch this in a Plan View....

In the image above you will see our newly-created Reference Plane, offset 450mm away from one of the short edges of the building. PLEASE get into the habit of "naming" all Refrence Planes that you create. So before we go any further, I am going to name this new Reference Plane "Curved Roof".....

Now that we have something to sketch the profile of our extrusion on, let's get on and sketch it. To do this I am going to switch to an Elevation view and becuase of where our Referecne Plane is, I am going to switch to the West Elevation. (You may need to switch to a different elevation, depending on where you created your Referecne Plane). So here is our Elevation View, ready to receive our Profile sketch.....

STOP: Before we can sketch the profile for our Extrusion, we need to set the Work Plane to match our Reference Plane. This is easy to do- just use the "Set Work Plane" tool on the "Home" tab.

When you select this button, you are presented with the "Work Plane" dialogue panel. Simply choose our "Curved Roof" Referecne Plane from the drop-down list.

NOW we are ready to begin sketching the Profile for our extrusion. Go ahead and select "Roof by Extrusion" from the Roof tool, on the "Home" tab. One crucial thing to remember here: You ONLY sketch a line representing the TOP of the roof- you do NOT sketch a closed loop to represent the roof. This is very counter-intuitive within Revit- as most sketches require a "closed Loop". NOT in this case.

I'm going to use the "Start-End-Radius Arc" tool to produce my profile.

Here is mine finished profile......

I am going to leave the Roof Type set as the default- you may want to change it to a different Type. When you have chosen you Roof Type, go ahead and click on the Green Tick to complete the Roof-creation process. And here is the elevation of my newly-created roof.....

Let's switch to a 3D View and get a better idea of our new roof.....

All that is left for me to do is to use the "Attach Top/Base" tool to tidy up the junction between the end walls and the underside of the curved Roof. Go ahead and select an end wall, then select "Attach Top/Base".....

Then select the roof element. Your end wall will now be joined to the underside of the curve....

Now just repeat for the other end wall. And that's it job done! You can experiment with all sorts of creative profiles- ie wave-shaped roof, etc.


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