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Hacktober WINNER - Creating a Roof/Floor from a Conceptual Mass

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries into our Hacktober competition last month. A2K is happy to announce David McKay from Urbane Projects as one of our winners. See David's Revit trick to create a roof or floor from a conceptual mass.


For creating a complicated or multi-faceted roof / floor shape, commonly from a supplied model or 3D .dwg file. We will be creating a roof in this exercise.


Create a Conceptual Mass Family

  • File -> New -> Conceptual Mass

  • Select standard template file from your system

If working from a supplied .dwg file

  • Import ‘background’.dwg file into family as below


  • Ensure “Correct lines that are slightly off axis” is unticked to be certain the .dwg reference is unchanged.

  • TIP – delete items in supplied .dwg file (by exploding) which do not need to be referenced. Ie: keep only roof elements.

  • Open a floor plan view and position .dwg file in a relevant spot to the existing reference lines (typically corner to corner).


  • Check height of .dwg file (ideally create a level related to the roof height which can be modified if required). Pin .dwg file reference in place.

Creating Reference Planes and Faces

  • TIP – as we will be placing reference points in a 3D space, it is good practice to work with multiple views open simultaneously. ie: Floor Plan / East Elevation / North Elevation / 3D View.



  • Create -> Reference – Tick options for ‘Make surface from closed loops’, ‘3D snapping’, and ‘Chain’.

  • Create a Point Element, and place in the view (typically a Floor Plan).


  • The Point Element can be moved by the X/Y/Z arrows, and will typically lock to a reference in a .dwg file. Drag the point to align with the corner of the reference .dwg file. Check Side / Front Elevations and shift the point on the Z access also.


  • Repeat as required until all corner points of a face/s are defined.

  • ‘Hide’ the .dwg file so only the Point Elements are visible. Create -> Reference -> Line (ensure 3D Snapping is ticked on), and connect each Point Element with a Reference Line. A Solid Form face will be automatically created if connected correctly (if ‘Make surface from closed loops’ is ticked when creating Reference Lines)


  • TIP – When creating a Solid Form, there are commonly 2 options available – a form with ‘thickness’ & a form with zero ‘thickness’. If we will be applying a roof type to a face in our Revit project – select a form with zero thickness (default). If we are creating a conceptual roof – select a form with thickness. This can be manipulated with parameters within the family. if we are creating a conceptual roof – select a form with thickness. This can be manipulated with parameters within the family.



  • if a Solid Form is not automatically created, select all bounding Reference Lines and Create Form -> Solid Form.



Applying roof to Conceptual Mass in a Revit project

  • Load Conceptual Mass family into Revit project. Show Mass mode will be enabled so the family will be visible.

  • TIP – create a Yes/No visibility parameter and apply to the .dwg file, which can then be ticked on/off in the Revit project. The .dwg file can be deleted at a later stage from the Conceptual Mass family if required.

  • Apply a roof to the Conceptual Mass – Architecture -> Roof -> Roof by Face.


  • Select Roof Type to be created, then faces of Conceptual Mass, then Create Roof.


  • TIP - If the Conceptual Mass family is still visible in the view – control by Massing & Site -> Show Mass by View Settings. And turn off Mass visibility in View Graphics.



Editing the created roof


  • If edits are required to the shape, height of roof points etc. this can be done in the Conceptual Mass family. ie: raising a roof point as below;



  • Once edits are complete, load the Conceptual Mass family back into the Revit project.

  • Select the roof faces that require updating -> Update to Face


  • The above process can be repeated for soffits / floors etc. also. Ceilings will need to be created as ‘Roofs’.

  • TIP – Create visibility parameters to be applied to Groups of Solid Forms, which will define roof / soffit / floors in complicated Conceptual Mass families. This can be manipulated in the Revit project when applying roofs & floors.



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