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One of my favorite things over the past year or so of working in Revit has been to develop curtainwall and window families.  Whenever possible, I try to add in some basic parametrics so that we can test out things like patterning and modules quickly without having to make brand new families.

I’d like to share a basic window family I developed the other day for making vertical slot windows between our brick building masses.  I had originally done these by inserting a curtain wall into the brick walls, but since it was very difficult to control the join conditions, I decided to make these into windows that could be controlled parametrically.

I knew that we’d be developing the facade modules for the buildings a lot over the coming months, and I wanted to be able to evolve this family and keep it useful for as long as possible.  I began with a blank window template and loaded in two basic rectangular profiles (which at this point are exactly the same) to use in sweeps for the frame and mullions.  After defining the basic size for the window, I added reference planes and labels to control where the mullions would be positioned.  I then added the sweeps (using the loaded profiles) and aligned / locked them to the appropriate reference planes.  After all the mullions where added, I gave them each an On/Off visibility parameter, so that we could use any number of them without having to directly edit the family.  On of my teammates will be going through the elevations this week to begin aligning mullions and datums across the building, so we’ll see very soon how well this family works out for the project.

My one disappointment with the family as I’ve made it so far is that I can’t control the profiles of the sweeps from within the project file (thus having to avoid going into the family to change the sizes/shapes of the mullions and frames).  I might try to get around this later by making the mullions as generic components, but I enjoy the idea of using profiles instead of sketched extrusions for these.

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