Best practices for dealing with Site in Revit?


Working on a large urban project (360,000 sf) with a complicated site. Think SF, Seattle: water table pushing the building up, elevation varies a full floor height across the site in multiple directions. Strong ground level landscape design (multi-grade plaza, lots of different public amenities, water feature, landscape berms, raingardens, etc.)

Current in-house practice is to set up three Revit models (site, structural, arch)

Rather than overmodel, Landscape and Civil CAD are linked into the Site model. Topography is modeled from a design/rendering standpoint and key sections, but the complicated topography is modeled just from a 'get it in the ballpark' perspective. All spot elevations are CADed in from Civil and Landscape. Planters and structural elements that interact with the PT slab are modeled in the arch model. Accurate grade spot elevations are added in sections using filled regions.

Pros: One line of defense from someone inadvertently screwing with the property line that is modeled in the site model. Structural and other consultants can delink the site model easily with the heavy CAD files and all te other junk and just look at the building.

Cons: Its a pain in the butt to constantly toggle back and forth between two models when the landscape/civil aspects are dynamic and constantly changing.

How do other firms work with site? Sometimes I think throwing all the site in multiple worksets in the arch model would be easier (ROW site vs inside the property line site)

Biggest pet peev: Revit doesn't allow multiple overlapping building pads. I can't model my site topography so that it cuts at the ground level set back conditions using one pad and cuts at the sub building perimeter walls using a different building pad.

Suggestions, approaches welcomed,

Thanks Archinectors,


Sep 27, 12 2:07 am

Bummer this post never got any comments!

Do you have anything further to contribute 6yrs down the track. I would be very keen to learn more about the best practises here. 

Jul 28, 18 3:39 pm

Here's our current workflow and even though we're still constantly tweaking and searching for a better approach this as the moment has worked.

Basically we encourage Project architects to start with Hand Sketches and or Any digital sketching tool. Typical for all projects a campus style approach is adopted. Using central files to keep projects going.

Infraworks - Revit (For Early access to Site Topography and Road Layout): This helps us transfer Topography into Revit even when Surveyors may have not completed their Topography and Site Boundary mapping.

Revit Project Files: For every project, we've decided to have a separate project File for Site(s), Each Building Blocks (the model split has to be agreed at the initial stage to avoid issues later during the Project Lifecycle, this is also communicated to other disciplines).

All building blocks are linked to the site where site features are modeled and documented and also shared coordinates are acquired

Each building block is documented in their respective files whilst linking the Site File back to each of the building block file and placed in a workset for Site context. 

This has worked for us overtime but like I mentioned earlier, we're still experimenting new ways as new tools and keep surfacing.

Nov 13, 19 4:35 am

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