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Thread: Slope Entire Building — all verticals too

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Slope Entire Building — all verticals too

    In California at least, a common practice is to design the building as if its level on the site but then build it so that the entire thing slopes at, I think, 1%. Imagine building a physical model of the project and lifting one edge slightly. Verticals and horizontals are still at 90 degrees to each other but they’re off the horizontal and vertical planes.

    I know we can’t do that in Revit in the same manner (ideally the building model would be horizontal and it would be tipped up in a site model) but I’m still looking for thoughts on how it might be done anyway.

    I imagine I could build it tipped over but that would mean a lot of families would need to get reworked to allow that — doors and windows in particular. Doable but a ton of work... and consultants would need to do the same — ouch.

    The other option I’ve considered is to leave the building horizontal in the building model and use an in/place Mass element in the site file built to represent the building tipped. Easy enough to set a slopes reference plane and build the mass off that.

    Thoughts on any of this? Other approaches to consider?

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    Member pivoarch's Avatar
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    I don't have other approaches for you but I think I would document that building vertical and use a mass in the site file to represent it as tipped. In addition to having to modify families and use masses to create walls by face I'm thinking about the logistics of documenting an elevation where the building is not truly parallel with the elevation. Dimensions being slightly off unless you set a plan to create them on the angle and get the true measurements. In my mind there are too many things that could go wrong with building the model tipped than to just show it tipped in the site.

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Yeah, definitely could be problems. As you said that I realized I hadn’t considered the challenges on the ends where the building leans towards or away from the plane. Yikes.

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    Member Marcel Jansen's Avatar
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    Or just stop tipping your buildings in California.

    I think, tipping the whole building, is the weirdest thing i have ever heard in construction.
    Can you explain why they do it?

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    Senior Member ekkonap's Avatar
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    Tip the site maybe? Very curious practice. I do know of buildings that are asymmetrical and initially need to be constructed at an angle so that it can settle once complete, but the aim is still to get the building to within tolerances from level.

    Hmm, you can manually alter the coordinates of an IFC. Used it for rotation and mirroring in the past, no reason why a rotation in a vertical plane should fail.
    Last edited by ekkonap; June 25th, 2019 at 03:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMcDowellJr View Post
    In California at least, a common practice is to design the building as if its level on the site but then build it so that the entire thing slopes at, I think, 1%.
    Hi Greg,
    LOL! we don't need to build buildings with a tilt in CA, they accomplish it on their own. IE: The Millennial Tower in San Francisco. I'm curious though, where did you hear that this is common practice in CA? I've been in the commercial construction business in CA for over 50 years and have never heard of such a construction technique. Not saying it doesn't or hasn't occurred. I've just never run into it so would like to know where you have heard about this. Also, in what direction does the tilt occur, and why?

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    I should have said, "in industrial construction" along with common practice.

    These things are looooong. The one I'm working on is 1,000 feet in the long axis (200 ft in the other) and if the site has any slope on it then you either need to move around a lot of dirt (something I hear is quite expensive in CA) or you tilt the building ever so slightly so you need less dirt. Clever when you think about it.

    It is one of the oddest things I've ever run across but the tilt-up people I've been talking with in CA act like it's no big deal -- just something they do! Not so much in other parts of the country.

    correction - slopes at 0.5%
    Last edited by GMcDowellJr; June 25th, 2019 at 06:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMcDowellJr View Post
    I should have said, "in industrial construction" along with common practice.

    These things are looooong. The one I'm working on is 1,000 feet in the long axis (200 ft in the other) and if the site has any slope on it then you either need to move around a lot of dirt (something I hear is quite expensive in CA) or you tilt the building ever so slightly so you need less dirt. Clever when you think about it.

    It is one of the oddest things I've ever run across but the tilt-up people I've been talking with in CA act like it's no big deal -- just something they do! Not so much in other parts of the country.
    OK, that makes more sense. And, you're right earth moving in CA is big bucks, just like everything else!

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    Mr. Revit OpEd
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    Run into this here in CA too. Build it flat, technically they build it on the “slab” as if it is flat...but is is sloped. Everything is ortho to the slab.

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    Moderator DaveP's Avatar
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    Well, if you're going to get all THAT fussy about it, the earth curves about 4" over 1000 feet, so your "North" elevation wouldn't be in the same plane as your "South", either...
    Earth Curvature Calculator - Calculate the curve you should see

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