So, you setup your ceiling types, and you need a ceiling legend. Easy, right? Well, no, not really. Once you drag and drop a ceiling into your legend, you will see that Revit does not allow you to display your ceiling in plan view. Only section. Great. Same goes for your floor, and all your beautiful finishes (and finish patterns) that you have been working on for the last two weeks. Your plans look oustanding, but you cannot make a graphic legend, that tells us what is what.
One work-around is to create a simple extrusion family, maybe with a material parameter. You could create a type per every finish you have, or simply leave the material by instance. Place your elements in your legend and annotate away... Yes, they are not really floor or ceilings, but since you cannot tag them anyways, it is not really important.
Remember that material tags DO work in legend, and therefore you could take advantage of some material parameters in order to have smart annotation in your legend. However, I find it troublesome to annotate an element type in a material parameter. This would link the material (ie: a gyp board with sand pattern) to a specific assembly (ie: a double layer GWB over 2x4 wood studs). It is wrong, and it would force you to create several gypsum wall board materials, one for each different ceiling types.
This may work better for floor finishes, where maybe you have a finish for every type of floor, and therefore you may actually put in some material parameter some reference to the floor type (ie: in the marble tile material Descritpion you write: "2x4 Italian marble tiles over mortar and backing boards".)
The most BIM appropriate solution, however, may very well be to use phases. Create a "Legend" phase, where you can actually model all ceiling samples you want, and tag them properly; then create a subsequent "Legend Demo" phase, where you demo them all. Your legend view would actually be a ceiling plan whose phase is set to "Legend" phase. Of course you realize this strategy means you are not actually using any legend at all.
About the Author
Giovanni Succi is a project designer living and working in San Francisco. He is a LEED AP, and for the last twenty years he has been researching the field of computer graphics, 3D modeling, rendering, and architectural design.
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