Thursday, July 11, 2013

Creating Wind Load and Dead Load Symbols

Curtain wall anchors are used in two different capacities:  Dead load anchors are fixed connections that do not allow for movement relative to the structure to which they are attached.  Wind load anchors restrict movement in the horizontal direction but allow for vertical movement.  An extensive list of curtain wall definitions can be found at

 Wind load and dead load symbols are used, usually in section views, to identify where curtain wall anchors are located and which type they are.

There are no existing wind load (WL) and dead load (DL) symbols in Revit so this post will go through the steps of creating them.  We'll use a 1/4" diameter circle for the WL symbol and an equilateral triangle with a 1/4" base for the DL symbol; these shapes and sizes may be different depending on your company's, or the project's, standards.  Follow these steps to create the symbols using the Generic Annotation family template:

 1)  Click the Application button (the big R) > New > Family.

 2) In the New Family - Select Template File dialog box, double click on the Annotations folder, select the Generic Annotation.rft file, then click Open to open the template.

3)  We'll draw the outside of the WL symbol then fill it in with a solid black filled region.  In the Ribbon, click the Line button then, in the Modify|Place Lines tab that appears, click the Circle button.

  4)  Draw a circle at the origin with a 1/8" radius.


5)  To fill the circle with a solid pattern, you'll need to define the boundary for the region.  Click the Filled Region button from the Create tab.  Make sure Solid Black is selected in the Properties palette then click the Circle button from the Modify|Create Filled Region Boundary button.

6)  As you did in step 4, draw a 1/8" radius circle centered on the reference planes.  Revit should automatically snap to the perimeter of the circle when your cursor is placed over it.

 7)  In the Mode panel, click the Finish Edit Mode button.  The region boundary is filled with the solid black pattern.

8)  Zoom out, if necessary, select the note in the top, right quadrant of the template file then delete it.  Click the Application button > Save As > Family, name the file WL.rfa, choose a destination folder then click Save.

 9) Load the family into an open file.

 10)  Delete the circle then repeat steps 4 through 9 creating a triangle, with a 1/4" long base at the origin.  Do this by using the Inscribed Polygon tool, instead of the Circle tool in steps 4 and 6, set the number of Sides to 3, and set the distance from the origin to the top point to 9/64".

 11) Save the file as DL.rfa and load it into your project.

 12)  In the project file, scroll in the Project Browser, expand the Annotation Symbols category, expand the DL and WL entries, then drag the symbols into a view.

As you can see, adding customized annotation symbols to your Revit library can be a quick and easy process.  What other symbols do you think would be useful to add?