Monday, October 22, 2012

Reality & Illusion

In the West (and I assume throughout the U.S. and elsewhere), where wood frame construction is dominant, these standards apply:

Standard length for 9 foot (nominal) studs is 104 5/8" or 8'-8 5/8". With top and bottom plates added, the standard plate height should be 109 1/8" or 9'-1 1/8". This allows for approximately a 9 foot clear interior ceiling height, depending on the finish.

For engineered joists, the actual size of the TJI-12 is 11 7/8", while the TJI-14 is actually 14".

Using these values, the top of 3/4" plywood sheeting will be 10'-1 3/4" for the TJI-12 system; and 10'-3 7/8" for the TJI-14 system. Roof plate heights for the two systems and 19'-2 7/8" and 19'-5" respectively.


In CAD, where accuracy is often pushed aside for expediency (because it's so inefficient?) these values have been "leveled off" to 9'-1", 10'-2", and 19'-3".

Also in CAD, reference values from finish floor are rarely given. The plate to sub-floor dimension is also excluded. The logic (?) being that at the start of the job, the floor assembly depth is unknown, and CAD must be protected from the demand for changes, where it is extremely inefficient.

When modeling with Revit, the best practice is to use actual values whenever they are known. There are no "unknowns" in a Revit model. The model is a record of all the information gathered about the building being designed. What better place to record those decisions accurately than in a Building Information Model?



Practitioners who wish to see no "differences" between CAD and Revit may set the dimension tolerance "to the nearest inch" and exclude the values from the level annotations.

There is no substitute for accuracy. 
When using Revit, do not attempt to substitute an illusion for reality.


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