Revit Architecture: An introduction to Revit Rooms
In this Autodesk Revit tutorial we are going to take a look at Rooms. If you’d like to watch the video version of this tutorial first, simply click in the box below
The whole purpose of using Revit is to create architectural spaces. In most cases people inhabit these spaces and activities take place within them. Wouldn’t it be great if we could capture and store the information relating to the various spaces that we create by means of walls, floors, ceilings, etc. Well, that is exactly what Revit Room objects are for. Let’s take a simple Revit project for example:
You can see in the above image that I’ve created a series of enclosed spaces. Most probably I have some vision of what will take place in those various areas. It would be useful if I could document (in my Building Information Model) the name of each space, it’s area, occupancy number, intended use, floor finish, etc. You can probably;y think of many more fields of information that would be useful to capture. We can indeed capture all this information by adding Revit “Room objects” to our model.
To start adding Revit Room, switch to the “Architecture” menu:
Further along on the ribbon menu you will find a panel named “Room & Area”. Go ahead and click the “Room” icon. This tells Revit that we wish to add a Room object to our model
Now all we need to do is click inside an ENCLOSED space. You can think of a Revit Room as a massive balloon that takes up the space defined by the walls, floors and ceilings around it. In our analogy, each balloon has a label tied to it. The label is where we store all the parametric data about the space the balloon occupies. In the image below you can see that I have added a Room object to the upper left hand space. Let’s take a look at the Room object in detail
- The Room Reference Cross Hair: The intersection of the two lines represents where Revit is taking as the centre of the Room object. This is not the “geographic” centre of the space.
- Room Tag: This is a text annotation that is pulling specific data from the Room object and displaying it in the view. This Tag displays the Room Number, Room Name and it’s Area
- Room Boundary Line. With the room selected, we can see the boundary of the Room object- shown in a light blue line
Let’s go ahead and keep clicking in the various spaces to add Room objects to each one:
Notice how Revit automatically designates an incremental Room Number (1, above) to each Room object placed. A Room Number is designated as soon as you click to place a Room. If you are just hovering over your plan (deciding where next to add a Room), Revit displays a “?” for the Room Number (2, above).
Now that we’ve added some Rooms to our model, let’s see what kind of data can be stored against them. Go ahead and select the first Room that we added. Once selected, take a look at it’s properties in the Property Palette:
Note that Revit Rooms are true 3D objects in their own right. As such they need a Reference Level so that Revit knows how high to place them in the model. Also note (in the image above) how some of the properties are greyed-out. These are “Read Only” properties such as the Room’s Area, Perimeter length, Volume, etc. Next take a look in the “Identity Data” group of properties.
Here you can change the Room Name and / or Room Number. Please Note that Room Numbers need to be unique, as you may expect. Room Names however may be repeated. When you are adding Rooms to your model, you also have a number of options on the Options Bar
- You can set the “Height” for your Room object. Remember, Revit Rooms are 3D objects and (as such) have a volume.
- You can Tag new Rooms as they are being placed. If you Tag them, you can choose the orientation of the Tag and whether they have Leaders or not.
- The default option is to create a “New” Room with each click of the mouse in the active view. However, if you delete a Room (from the model) that you have previously created, Revit retains it in the Project database for reallocation. Those “unallocated” Rooms are then available from this drop-down, to enable you to reassign them to a new space.
What if you want to create to Rooms in an open plan area. For example, you need to differentiate between the Reception and a Seating Area in a large open plan Lobby. In this scenario you would use a “Room Separator
Room Separators are simply special lines that act as “Room Bounding Elements”- i.e. they can form the boundary to a Revit Room. Let’s go ahead and add a Room Separator now. Once you click on “Room Separator” you are presented with the standard Draw Palette
With reference to the above image, go ahead and and choose the “Single segment” line tool (1). Now click a start point for your Room Separation Line (2)- ensure this starts at a point on the existing wall. Then move you cursor down until you find a point on the opposite wall- click to define the end point of your Room Separation Line (3).
Once you have added your Room Separator, you can now use the “Room” tool to add Revit Rooms to each side of the line. Notice (in the image below) how Revit is now using the Room Separator as a “Room Boundary” when we hove our cursor over the space to the left of it
I said earlier in the tutorial that Revit Rooms were true 3D objects. As such we have a number of settings related to their volume. To access these settings click on the small black triangle next to the Panel name “Room & Area”
When the drop-down appears, choose “Area Computations”:
The first tab on the panel that appears deals with “Computations” You can choose whether Revit actually calculate both Areas (in plan) AND Volumes, or JUST the plan AREAS of the Room objects (1, below). Unless you specifically require the Room volumes to be calculated (i.e. for Air Change Rates or Heat Loss calculations) I strongly recommend you set this to “Areas only”
You can also set where Room Area are measured from. The default setting is at the Wall Finish (2, below)- so this is calculating “true” useable floor areas in your design.
Revit Rooms allow you to capture a wealth of information relating to the spaces you create in your model. Combined with Schedules, it is easy to document the various areas of your design. If you need to capture information for which there are no appropriate parameters, you can create additional ones using the “Project Parameter” function.
- Revit Rooms require “Room Bounding Elements” (such as walls) to enclose them
- Room Tags pull information from the Room’s properties and display it in a view
- Revit Rooms are 3D objects- so can be seen in Section views