Ceilings Need a Facelift

I’ve had it up to here (about 8′ above finish floor – HA!) with ceilings.

There are a couple things in Revit that feel like they need an overhaul, and I would like to nominate ceilings and their related functions.

First off – The structure of the ceilings for ACT.  Why a hatch?  Why can the grid not be some kind of smart element.  “That’s too much modeling overhead,” I hear someone in the backrow say.  Well, here is my response to that: first, sometimes it’s just nice to see the grids in section.  Revit Structure allows floors to add metal decks (why not roofs – ahem), and that’s pretty cool.  Seems like some of that modeling love could stretch over to ceilings on the Revit Architecture side.

Second, and this is my big grief, we sometimes find ourselves needing to do a demo ceiling plan.  Don’t ask, but sometimes we need it.  So we have had to create a new ceiling type for demo ACT ceilings.  On top of that, we have had to make a new hatch style(s) with dashed lines indicating a demo’ed grid.  It has to be a model hatch, so it will be 2×2 or 2×4, so the demo lines show different at different scale.  I hate that.  My architects have to demo a ceiling AND THEN CHANGE THE CEILING TYPE, which is something we told them never to do.

My other beef with the ceilings has to do with their interactions with room objects.  So, there’s a toggle on a ceiling instance for room bounding, right?  And it controls the height of the room when you calculate volume.  But only when you calculate volume, which they tell you not to do too often.  Why can’t the room just look for the ceiling on placement?  Why does the room have no parameter showing me its height, even when I do turn on calculate volume?  It only shows UNBOUNDED HEIGHT, which is the height I originally gave it.  Our RCP tag has room number and ceiling height.  So, it’s two tags… a room tag with number and a ceiling tag with height.  That’s stupid.  My room should be able to see how tall it is based on the ceiling height and register that.

I was hoping that 2010 might address some of these concerns, but the NDA for the Revit Beta keeps me from telling you anything about it.  So, hypothetically, I couldn’t say “No, it doesn’t look like ceilings have gotten any attention at all,” or something like that.

Small beef?  Yeah.  Silly?  Maybe.  But every time I have to explain it to someone, it takes the “I” out of BIM.