Vertical Circulation

VC.1. Inserting Stairs

VC.1.1. Insert stairs between your levels.  Keep in mind that winder or spiral stairs should be avoided in most cases because they are dangerous.

There are two ways to construct a stair: by component and by sketch. This link provides an explanation of the differences:

The default stair width for a stair type is 36". That width is acceptable for residential construction by most codes, but the minimum width for stairs in a commercial building is 44" (3'-8"). If you are working with a commercial structure, you will need to first change the width of the stair type. If you have stairs of different widths, you will need to duplicate the type and edit the duplicate as necessary.

VIDEO:  Inserting a Stair in Revit (click on the image below)

VC.2. Elevators

If you cut a section through your elevator, you will need to add more detail, but if the elevator will only be seen in plan, it is only necessary to draw the walls, create a hole (shaft) through the floors, and insert your elevator. The steps below describe how to draw a shaft for a hydraulic elevator.

VC.2.1. Begin by making the walls for your elevator shaft. The walls of an elevator shaft need to maintain a higher fire rating than many of your other walls. I recommend an 8" masonry wall that stretches to the roof. Set the Top Offset to 4'-0". If the shaft goes through your roof, you will need to show a small roof over the shaft. 

In the example below 8" masonry walls are shown on all four sides of an elevator shaft. The dimensions for elevator shafts vary depending on the size of the elevator. In the image below a 10' x 10' shaft has been drawn. Later, when you bring the elevator into your file, you could change the size of the shaft.


Note: A typical building will have many wall types including more than one wall type surrounding the elevator. For example, if your elevator is against an exterior wall, the wall may have masonry on the interior side but an exterior finish on the exterior side. In this case you could create a new wall type. In the elevator plan below, the elevator is against an exterior glass wall. There are two shafts shown on either side of the elevator. Those leftover spaces could be used as mechanical shafts. They could also be given to the rooms on either side. Proceed to the next few steps before editing the walls around your elevator.


VC.2.2. Next you will need to cut a hole through the floors. You could do this in two ways. One way would be to select the floor, click on the Edit Boundary tool, draw a rectangle representing the elevator shaft, and then click on the green check mark.  The other method is to use the Shaft tool which can be found on the Architecture ribbon. The shaft tool can be used to make shafts for elevators, mechanical shafts and other openings through floors, roofs and ceilings. Draw the opening in your plan. The magenta line in the image below shows the shaft. Horizontal surfaces will not appear if they are within the volume you make with the shaft tool, so use the tool with caution.

VC. 2.3. Allow your shaft to be the same height as your elevator shaft walls. Then click on the green check mark.

VC.2.4. The basic Revit package does not come with an elevator component. Elevators can be loaded into the project, but first you will need to download an elevator. Autodesk Seek is one source. Schindler elevator has a Revit elevator which can be downloaded and loaded into your project. You may need to create a login. Once you have downloaded the file, go to the Insert tab and select Load Family. Look in the download folder for you elevator.


VC.2.5. Once you have downloaded the elevator to your computer, you can insert your elevator by clicking on the Place as Component icon. Place it inside the elevator shaft that you have drawn.


The image below shows the elevator in the elevator shaft. The red hidden line that surrounds the elevator indicates how much space is needed for the elevator. Those lines were provided in the manufacturer's Revit file. The shaft walls have been moved next to the red dashed lines.

There are two sets of doors to consider when drawing an elevator. One set is attached to the elevator cab. This was provided in the manufacturer's Revit file. Another set is attached to the inside of the shaft at each level. An opening was made in the masonry wall on the south side of the shaft. At each level a 2" generic wall was used to represent the elevator door (not a great solution, but it comes close to representing the condition graphically). Notice how that door (lower red arrow) is on the inside of the shaft.

VC.2.6. The height of the elevator will need adjustment. To change this click on the elevator. Click on Edit Type in the Properties window. Change the values for the Travel Height and the Second Floor Level. These values will vary depending on the Level 2 height that you selected for your project. 

VC.2.7. Hydraulic elevators have pits below the bottom level. To allow for this alter the offset so the elevator is placed in the pit.

VC.2.8. Also, the brackets for upper levels of the elevator may appear in your file. To remove those brackets click on the them and select Edit Family.

VC.2.9. Select the brackets and erase them.


VC.2.10. Load the revised family back to your project.

VC.2.11. The top of the elevator may be above your roof. You will need to make a higher roof for the elevator shaft. You can create another level for this.