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    by Stuart Tanfield

    So having gone away from the new features momentarily, we revisit the new features from the recently released Revit 2013. The first port of call outside of the merged interface between each discipline arrives the new component based stairs.

    Now I’m not sure about you, but my initial reaction to component based stairs was one that assumed you would be able to select components, for example walls and then create a staircase using those boundaries. This was what I had envisaged from the component based stairs. This is far from what it is; in fact the new component based stairs are far better than this.

    We still have the traditional stairs by sketch from the previous versions, so if you find you have managed to master the previous methodology of creating stairs, then all is not lost, you can still use this tool. We do now however have the stair by component tool.  By clicking this, you will see that we are then able to create a run of stairs, a landing or a support(stringer). These have all previously been part of the traditional stairs, all lumped together as one element. The ability to now create each one of these “Components” independently and to have the ability to modify these individually now begins to give the user the freedom to create the stairs they desire. Previously we have been very limited in being able to modify stairs to work exactly as we want due to the fact they were fairly inflexible.

    A further improvement in the stair tool is the ability to create stairs that spiral more than 360°, as well as a pre-defined l-shape winder and u-shape winder. Although some additional work needs to be carried out on these stair types to bring them in line with British Standards, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Whilst creating stairs we have the ability to preview the stairs as we create each component part. Simply tilting the view will allow users to see an immediate progress update of the stairs.


    Now with the component tools, as mentioned we can create component parts of the stairs individually or indeed modify these individually. The image above shows where we can now select the individual stringer and through the type properties are then able to modify the dimensions and materials of this, in addition, landings are now also selectable to change the shape and outline.

    One thing we have always tried to achieve in Revit is a split landing staircase. This has always involved a workaround of some sort, perhaps hiding various parts of the stairs to achieve the desired result. Now we can simply create a split level landing. I will provide a specific tutorial for this in my following blog, so check back to get this. This is very useful and I can see users adopting this in their numbers to produce more effective results.

    Railings have also undergone some improvements. Railings and balusters have been notoriously difficult to get correct. Now we have the ability to add railing extensions and modify the rail joins. This has been made possible due to the fact we now a new “Continuous Railing Family”. This does exactly as the name would suggest by maintain the connections of separate rail segments. The rail joins can be modified to adjust the transitions as well as being able to modify the join condition to either a mitred or filleted connection.

    We can also add rail extensions easily to our continuous rail. This is simply done by modifying the path of the rail in sketch mode.

    We can also apply railings to stairs far more easily than in previous versions of Revit. We can simply apply railing to host and click the stairs and the railings will be populated and hosted to the stair, which is a nice new additon.

    Overall the new stair tool is certainly an advancements from the previous releases of Revit. It’s moving in the right direction and begins to address some of the issues many users have been struggling with for some time. I don’t think it’s quite where we need it to be just yet, but the improvments are looking good so far. I’m sure with more time you’ll all find the advantages to suit your requirements.



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