Monday, September 23, 2013

Make Curtain Wall Smart

Environmentally, I can't say curtain wall is the best option. My office has good looking wide curtain walls, but they made me like a turkey in the oven last summer. (Damn energy policy!!! :(  )

But it's still attractive when we design a building with large and simple shaped mass.


Revit provides pretty good feature to make curtain walls. But there are some inconveniences yet.

1. Window Legend

In legend views, window families can be placed. Why can't Curtain walls?
There were a few suggestions in Revit community, and here is mine.

I don't think it's perfect, but can be a good option if the curtain wall is not curved one.
I wish I can make unfolding of curtain walls in Revit soon.

2. Louver in Curtain wall

If a general louver window necessary, it's not difficult to make with 'array' and some formulas. And you can also make similar with a curtain wall panel template if you want to make curtain wall panels to louver,

This is one of the old families I made. Not array but folding system..anyway..
(You can download this family here)

But using parametric array in families makes your project heavier. You can get it faster with including curtain walls in a curtain wall as their panels like this.

3. Irregular Grids

I rarely see curtain walls with same grids distance in real world. But grids in Revit curtain wall makes it automatically. If you want to make grids irregular, you have to unpin & move, or draw custom grids. But most of curtain walls have repetitive patterns though grids are irregular.
Regular or Irregular?

And here is my solution.

If you want more complicated patterns, just make a panel family which contains mullions. It's faster in most cases.

Enjoy. :-)


  1. Thanks for your Revit input! I'm loving it!

    Regarding your second video on louvers (on which I also commented in YT) I have just one question. How can I make it so that the mullion does not break the glass. I mean, I can use an offset for the mullion, but that just offsets it. The glass itself still has a gap where the grid for the mullion line is. If I set the angle of the mullion to 0, then it sticks the glass panels together and makes it look like there is no gap, but when I place an angle for the mullion the gap appears!

    1. That's because basic rectagle mullion profile has i't Center(Front/Back)Ref Plane at it's center. You will see what this means if you open the mullion profile template.
      If you avoid making gaps between glass panels, you have to make custom profile which has no intersects with Center(Front/Back)Ref Plane at the profile template.

    2. FANTASTIC! Thanks a lot! Respectively, if one does not want the louvers to make a gap in the glass, if they should be placed parallel to the glass, the profile family used for the mullion should also not have any intersection with the 'Center of Mullion' ref plane. So if u just make the profile not intersect either one of the ref planes, you are able to place the louver parallel and perpendicular to the glass panels without having any gaps in the glass! WONDERFUL!

      Just one last thing, is there a way of having the glass panels display as one big piece of glass. Because now they just appear as individual panels (system panel glazed to be exact) at the places where there is a grid line. And that's normal for Revit, but not normal for real life! :) So they just look like stacked on top of each other glass panels. 1 workaround is to (on an instance basis) use the linework tool and just make the lines where the panels abut. For a section/elecation drawing that's ok, but in 3D and when rendered for example the abutment lines are still there. 1 thing to do in 3D is to hide all glass panels except one and individually edit it in place (it appears that it is a system family, which could somehow be edited in place) and it is a simple extrusion and so the grips for that extrusion could just easily be extended to fit the project need. Nice thing is that should changes to the height of the wall happen, the newly modified glass panel kind of sticks to the new height. Of course a couple of new small panels appear as well but they could just be hidden again and thus you are left with just one big piece of glass which is the one panel you did not hide in the first place. And there u have it. Not very parametric approach, but ... if there's a smarter way, please share it :)

      Thanks a lot for the valuable input HyunWoo Kim!

    3. then you have to make a custom panel family which contains single glass and parametric louver.
      And there is a family that i made to answer someone's question here. and this questions made me to write this post. :-)

      this is just a parametic louver, so one thing you have to do is just make single glass on it.

      Enjoy. :-)

  2. Brilliant as always Hyun!!
    I don't know if you have ever needed this one, for example my window tags usually read "sill height / head height / length / height". You know that many times we use embedded curtain walls as windows, and when I have them I just can't tag them in a similar way. I would need my tags to read something like "offset from base / top constraint / unconnected height / length". Have you come across this one?
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge

    1. I don't think it's possible automatically with out some add-ons. I recommend you to use Window family rather than CW family in that case, I don't use CW unless it's not real CW.(you know what i mean..) or you can overlap a dummy window family to get a similar result.

  3. use one type of curtain walls as panel of another type of curtain walls.

  4. Using Glass walls we can create curtain wall is it safe or not - Transwall

  5. Hi is it possible to make a Curtain panel parametrically controlled to allow users to change the intermediate mullion spacing for each panel family?



    1. not sure i understand your question exactly, but I think nothing is impossible.