Revit Modeling: Stairs
This article covers the modeling of circulation elements in Revit.
- Stair by Component
- Create a stair by assembling common run, landing, and support components.
- Stair by Sketch
- Create a stair by sketching the run of the stairs or by sketching riser lines and boundary lines.
When you create a stair, the first thing to set are the Base Level and Top Level, which determine from where to where the stairs will run. For both the base and top you can specify an additional offset, if required. These values are set in the Properties Palette.
Stair by Component
The create Stair by Component is available since Revit 2013. It more or less supersedes the traditional stair (by Sketch) tool. Before Revit 2013, it was impossible to create stairs that 'overlapped' in Plan view. Spiral stairs would not go beyond 359 degrees for the same reason. Now, using Stair by Component, this is no longer a limitation. But it can only be done when using the Stair by Component tool.
When you use Stair by Component, you can still sketch run, boundaries and risers manually if you want, but it has been 'supercharged' with quick templates for common stair types. After a stair component is placed, you can still modify it to accommodate your requirements. In most cases you should be able to get the result you want by starting with the presets available for stair components and modifying them once placed.
Stair by Sketch
When you sketch stairs by hand (either as a component of an Assembled Stair or as a complete stair), there are two main ways to create a stair:
- Draw a stair by its run
- Draw a stair by its boundary (sides) and each individual riser
Drawing a stair by its run is quicker for common, regular stairs. If you want to create irregular or more oddly shaped stairs, you need to draw its boundaries and each riser.
Stair Type Properties
Regardless of the method you create stairs, make sure you set up the Type Properties first, before placing stair components or drawing your run or risers. In the early stages of the design process placing highly detailed stairs doesn't make sense. Therefor, it's recommended to use the Monolithic Stair, as it is the least detailed. Got to the Properties window and click (Edit Type). Under Family choose System Family: Cast-In-Place Stair. It's recommended to create a duplicate of the existing Stair Type, before making any changes to the Type Properties. The main properties to configure are:
- Minimum Run Width (stair by component)
- the minimum width of the run
- Minimum Thread Depth
- the minimum depth for each step (thread)
- Maximum Riser Height
- the maximum height for each step
- Calculation Rules
- Whether and which calculation rules to use when creating the stairs. These are ignored after creation, when modifying the stair.
After setting up the Type Properties, click OK.
Also note the instance properties in the Properties window of each individual stair (not set by type):
- Base/Top Level
- The stair is create from and to these levels
- Multistory Top Level
- Repeat this stair up to this level (only works if the stairs are exactly the same between each set of levels)
- width of the stair. Ignored when you manually move or modify the boundary line of the stair
- Desired Number of Risers
- The number of Risers (steps) that should be in this stair. Used to determine the riser height, limited by the Maximum Riser Height and the Minimum Thread Depth set in the Type Properties.
And instance properties of each stair component:
- Location Line
- when you draw a run, you can draw the center line or either the right or left side
- Relative Height
- location of base and top of this part of the stair
- Begin/End with Riser
- whether or not this part should start/end with a riser (vertical) or thread (horizontal)
- Actual Run Width
- actual width of the run of this part of the stair
Type properties are shared among all objects of the same type. They can be changed using the 'Edit Type' button in the Properties Palette.Each object has its own Instance properties; these are not shared with other objects. Instance properties are changed directly in the Properties Palette.
To see how all Type properties and Instance properties of assembled stairs are related and play a part in the resulting stair, you can refer to this diagram:
Revit tries to create a stair or stair component within the main constraints of the stair: height, maximum riser height, length, minimum thread length and desired number of risers. If this fails, you'll get an error or warning and your stair may not reach the desired level. Troubleshoot these cases by analyzing the requirements, constraints and a fair share of logical thinking.