Workflow - Step by Step

We want to make it as simple as possible for you to try out our SIP Panels solution on your own. In this article, I’ll go through the basic steps to follow so that your use of the software is as hassle-free as possible.

Since these instructions are meant to simplify testing of SIP Panels, I have used our sample configurations and families throughout.

Just keep in mind that all these sample rules can be modified to your own needs and standards. That goes for all - Framing, Insulation & Paneling, Numbering, Shop Drawing configurations, etc

I’ll be referring to functions from these ribbons throughout this article:

Wall+ SIP

Functionality needed for modeling & documenting SIP walls

Floor+ SIP

Functionality needed for modeling & documenting SIP floors

Roof+ SIP

Functionality needed for modeling & documenting SIP roofs

Smart Views SIP

Functionality needed for creating Revit views for SIP walls, floors and roofs with automated dimensions and tags

So, let's find out how to start creating SIP Panel structures in Revit from scratch.

SETUP

After starting a new Revit project, make sure you save it.

Most examples will be demonstrated using Wall+ SIP, but the logic is the same for Floor+ SIP and Roof+ SIP tools.

STEP 1: Load Families

Choose the sample families to be loaded into the current project. SIP Panels software provides sample Metric and Imperial families for creating frames with SIP Panels, tag families, and sample schedules.

Have in mind, that all these sample families can be modified to each user's needs and standards.

We recommend loading at least these Catalogs for Walls: Main Families Optional-Gravity Center Sample Schedules Sample Tags Split & Invisible Families

And these catalogs for Floors & Roofs:

Other catalogs, like Siding, Flooring, Main I-Joist, Roofing etc. are optional and you can choose to load them based on your needs.

Do not use any other Structural Framing families! You can use other families only in special cases. Contact us.

After loading, you can find the families by going to Project Browser → Families under Structural Framing, Annotation Symbols, and Generic Models categories.

STEP 2: Transfer Standards (optional)

Template Project is a Revit file with sample Wall, Floor and Roof types, standards, and annotations. Template Project feature allows users to transfer all needed information from Template Project, eliminating the need to create Wall/Floor/Roof types and other needed elements or standards in every new project from scratch.

So, before working with the software, we recommend using at least "Transfer Standards" feature.

  1. Template Project Location – the path to your template project. SIP Panels comes with a sample Template Project, which is mapped here automatically.

When starting out, we recommend using the sample template project that comes with the software and is automatically mapped already. Later on, of course, you can create and use your own. In this template project, we've prepared View Templates with Filters useful for working with SIP Panels. It does not include any Wall, Floor or Roof Types.

  1. Transfer Standards – Opens Revit's 'Transfer Project Standards' dialog window. You then need to manually select various styles, types and settings which need to be transferred from the Template Project File so Current Project.

At least 6 options must be selected: Text Types View Reference Types View Templates Viewport Types Dimension Styles Filters

You can select more options if needed.

You can also use your own project as template. It can include standard Wall, Floor, Roof Types and Annotations that can be transferred automatically to your current project:

Transfer Wall Types – transfer wall types from the projects which is defined in 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

Transfer Floor Types – transfer floor types from the projects which is defined in 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

Transfer Roof Types – transfer roof types from the projects which is defined in 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

Transfer Annotations – loads and overwrites Tags, Callout Heads, Section Heads, Section View Types, Title Blocks and copies Legend Views, Schedules from the projects that is defined in the 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

MODELING

Assuming you already have:

  • Needed sample families loaded using 'Load Families' (Step 1)

  • All types and standards transferred to new/current project (Step 2 - optional)

We can start by creating the architectural model that we'll later frame automatically.

STEP 3: CREATING BASIC REVIT WALLS, FLOORS AND ROOFS

In this example, I modeled a few walls, floors and a roof:

Modeling Recommendations

  1. The Wall/Floor/Roof structure should be layered the way the parts of the framing will be modeled, e.g.:

We recommend having only one ‘Structure [1]‘ layer inside the Core Boundaries for the Frame/Insulation layer. Layers for paneling (for example OSB), should be added outside the core boundary. You should also assign a Material to each layer and if it has a Density parameter value, the element’s mass will be calculated. The thickness of these layers should be correct as well, and there are no limits to how many layers you can have. We need three layers to create the SIP Panels, but you can add layers for additional layers as well, like nailers, sidings etc.

2. Avoid abnormal wall forms. Sometimes these occur when a wall is attached to a roof:

3. Walls/Floors/Roofs should be modeled, as they should be paneled and prefabricated.

For example, if your wall SIP Panel should start from Level 1 and end on Level 2, you should model your walls respectively:

Furthermore, you can split walls not only manually using Revit’s Split Element command, but also automatically using Smart Walls. Floors and Roofs can also be split automatically using Floor Panel Layout and Roof Panel Layout.

4. Pay attention to Wall Connections. These are the most common connections you'll need and I explain more about each of these 4 below.

L Connection

For L Connections, it’s important which wall is longer and which is shorter. Make sure they connect like they should be framed/paneled. In the image above, you can see that the selected wall is longer in this example.

Free Start/End Connection

Free Start/End Connections are not connected to other Walls.

T Connection

T Connections are created by intersecting walls. When creating SIP Panel structures, we recommend disconnecting the connected Wall (see image below) in order to get an appropriate connection for the panels. After disconnecting, you should align the disconnected Walls' end where the future frame should end.

Multi-Wall Connection

This is how the result will look like after we create the SIP Panels:

After the model is created, we can start using the sample configurations to create the Frames.

We need three layers to create the SIP Panels: Paneling (OSB) Frame with Insulation Paneling (OSB) Optionally, you can add layers for additional layers as well, like nailers, sidings, etc. In this example, we will focus on the most important settings for the three SIP Panel layers.

This example is with the Wall, but the logic is very similar for Floors and Roofs.

For more complex situations, we can also frame Paneling layers using invisible elements and split internal and external paneling layers by those elements, instead of the main Frames. Such an example can be found in the SIP sample project.

  1. Selected wall/floor/roof type

  2. Framing Layer - "Frame" should be selected for the Frame/Insulation layer, and "Paneling" should be selected for internal and external paneling layers.

  3. Framing Configuration – select a framing configuration with the definition of all framing parameters. A sample configuration, "SIP Frame," that comes with the SIP Panels software, was used here, but you can also create your own later on. In this example, we'll split the internal and external panels by the main Frame, so "None" is chosen for internal and external paneling layers.

  4. Frame – choose whether layers should be framed during the framing process. In this example, we'll Frame only the main Frame/Insulation layer.

  5. Split Parts - this option should be selected for all three SIP panel layers, as Insulation and Paneling are created as Parts category in Revit .

  6. Split by - this option should be selected for the main Frame layer, as we'll split the Insulation and Paneling layers by the Structural Framing elements that are defined in the "SIP Frame" sample framing configuration.

  7. Paneling Configuration – select a paneling configuration with the definition of how SIP panel layers should be split. Sample configurations that come with the SIP Panels software was used here, but you can also create your own later on.

  8. Exclude Parts – select the parts that need to be excluded from the wall/floor/roof. SIP panels are created as parts, so this tick mark should be unticked for all three layers.

I demonstrated the workflow from STEP 5, and more, during this webinar:

STEP 5: CREATE FRAME & SPLIT PARTS

Before you start

Sheathing or paneling is created using Revit Parts.

In order to see the sheathing or paneling, you have to select Show Parts or Show Both in View Properties → Parts Visibility.

And if you transferred "View Templates" and "Filters" from the sample Template Project in Step 2, you can use these View Templates with Part visibility turned on:

View TemplateDescriptionExample

Main Frame with Parts

only the main frame and all part layers (internal & external paneling, insulation) will be visible

Frame with Insulation

all framing layers and insulation will be visible (internal & external paneling is not visible)

Frame with Parts

all framing layers and all part layers (internal & external paneling, insulation) will be visible

Of course, you can create your own View Templates with various filters.

Now, you can select all of the walls (floors and roofs as well) you wish to frame and use "Frame Wall". In this example, selected Wall, Floor, and Roof frames by chosen sample configurations were generated and Parts for Insulation and Paneling layers were split at the same time:

In the image above, you can see the main Frame with Insulation. And here, you can see the internal and external Paneling layers as well:

Please note, that these sample configurations can be modified to each user's needs and standards. That goes for all - Framing, Connections, Numbering, Shop Drawing configurations, etc.

In this example, all Insulation and Paneling parts are split by the main Frame together with the Frame Wall/Frame Floor/Frame Roof commands, because the Split Parts with "Frame Wall" Command tick mark is turned on in the sample configurations:

If this tick mark would be unticked, you'd have to use "Frame Wall" command and then, use "Split Parts" command after that.

Read more about: Wall Wood Framing Floor Wood Framing Roof Wood Framing

Split & Cut SIP Parts

Parts are split by those Structural framing elements, which have the "Split Parts" parameter turned ON in their Type Properties:

However, certain elements should have this tick mark turned OFF. It all depends on your standards and situations.

Additionally, for the Insulation layer, we also need to cut the Parts with the Structural Framing elements (Studs, Joists, Plates, etc.) so that they wouldn't intersect:

To get a better understanding of how it works, read more about: Split & Cut SIP Parts

STEP 6: MODIFY/UPDATE (optional)

The software is very flexible when it comes to modifying the frames after they’ve been generated by the settings in your configurations. You can modify the frames using features from the “Add/Modify Elements”, "Edit Elements" window and using "Modify Frame" if you need to. There are many possible ways and workflows, so these are just a few examples. In this example, vertical and horizontal additional elements were added automatically:

In this example, the frames with SIP panels were updated based on the changes made in the architectural model (the wall and floor became larger and opening was added):

In this example, the instance of the Roof framing configuration was modified to have horizontal bridging elements with alternating offsets. Instead of distributing the posts from the start of the wall, we changed it to have the spacing in the middle of the wall:

STEP 8: INSERT CONNECTIONS (optional)

When we have all walls, floors and roofs framed and panelized, we can continue by creating connections. Using features from the “Smart Connections” window, you can insert hundreds of elements into your project with just a few clicks. Time-saving features ensure fast, accurate modeling of highly detailed projects. You can easily follow project changes & quickly modify & update fasteners and joints as needed.

Please note, that you can also use your own Structural Connection families and create configurations based on your needs and standards.

Read more about: Smart Connections

STEP 9: FINISHING (optional)

You can frame additional layers like Secondary Frames, Nailers, Sidings, Roofing, etc.

For example, in this Wall Link, I created additional layers for Nailers, Siding, etc., as you can see here:

As a result, additional layers are created using „Add Additional Layers“ command:

DOCUMENTATION

STEP 10: NUMBER ELEMENTS

Before creating shop drawings and schedules, we need to make sure that all elements are numbered. First, we need to number the hosts, so we should use the "Number Walls" (Number Floors/Number Roofs) command and then the "Number Parts" and "Number Elements" commands. All elements will have all needed information not only about themselves (for example, FM Sort Mark) but also, about their hosts (Walls/Floors/Roofs).

Please note, that sample configurations for numbering can be modified to each user's needs and standards.

Read more about: Numbering

STEP 11: Create Assembly Drawings & Schedules

Finally, when all elements in your project are numbered, we can create shop drawings and schedules automatically, as well as distribute them on sheets. Simply select single or multiple parts and use the “Create Part Assembly” feature, which is for creating assembly views and schedules for SIP Panels.

Parts can be selected manually, or automatically. In this example, I selected all Main Parts by Layer in Level automatically and used "Create Part Assembly":

As a result, wall SIP Panel Assembly schedules and drawings with tags and dimensions were generated automatically:

This is an example of floor SIP Panel:

And a roof SIP Panel:

Read more about automated dimensions: Smart Dimensions Read more about automated tags: Smart Tags

STEP 12: Create Revit Views

Creating assemblies is a useful feature. It lets you take advantage of the benefits that working with assemblies brings, such as separate drawings for assemblies and easier project documentation. But what happens when you need to detail individual elements that are already part of an assembly?

That’s when features from Smart Views SIP ribbon will help.

Create Views” and “Create Views for Multiple Elements” features are suited for Revit users who need to make drawings of sections and elevations of any building element, all the way from preliminary design stages through to a detailed design. It could be for a wood-framed wall or window, an elevation of selected walls/floors/roofs, or a section of a particular connection, etc.

It's especially useful for SIP Walls/Floors/Roofs, because in Revit, it's impossible to create an assembly of elements that are already assembled (like SIP Panels). So, we can create Assemblies for SIP Panels, and then, use "Smart Views SIP" to create automatically dimensioned and tagged views for elevations or walls/floors/roof containing all SIP Panels.

In this example, we'll select all elements from the main Frame layer (Studs, Plates), Insulation as well as OSB parts. This can be done automatically using Select Elements -> Select Elements by Filter <