Add Stairs (7:34 min)

Exercise 1–Add Stairs and Railings

In this exercise, we will add a simple egress stair to our model.

Catch-up file completed to this point: 13_Medical Center_Stair.rvt

Create the Stair well space

First, we need a location for the stairs.

  1. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Level 2 floor plan.
  2. Select the two exterior walls added above in “Adding Walls with the new Type” topic (near Grids 4 and D).
  3. On the Modify tab, on the Clipboard panel, click the Copy to Clipboard button (or press ctrl + c).
  4. On the clipboard panel, from the Paste drop-down, choose: Aligned to Selected Levels.
  5. Select Level 1 in the list and then click OK (see Figure 13–1).


Figure 13–1 Copy and paste the walls to Level 1

  1. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Level 1 floor plan to see the results.

A warning will appear in the lower right corner indicating that walls overlap. It is safe to ignore this. We will fix the problem now. The walls we pasted have a 3'-0" top offset. We need to set this to zero.

Take note of the context buttons on the Modify ribbon. There is one labeled: “Show Related Warnings.” If you missed the warning and dismissed it too quickly, this would allow you to see it again (see Figure 13–2).

Figure 13–2 A warning accompanies the pasting of these walls

  1. With both walls still selected, on the Properties palette, change the Top Offset to: 0.

Notice that the “Show Related Warnings” button is no longer displayed. This is because we have resolved the previous warning (see Figure 13–3).

Figure 13–3 Once the warning is resolved, the Show Related Warnings button will disappear

  1. Keep these two walls selected and on the Properties palette, change the Location Line to: Finish Face: Interior.
  2. From the Type Selector choose: Basic Wall: Interior – 6 1/8" Partition (2-hr) (see Figure 13–4).

Figure 13–4 Change the location line to keep the walls from shifting and then change to a different type

  1. Select the vertical wall near Grid 6 and the small horizontal one near Grid G and change them to this type as well (see Figure 13–5).

Figure 13–5 Defining the space for a stairwell

Within this long thin space, we will add our egress stair.

Add a Stair

Now let’s add the stairs.

  1. Zoom in on the area between Grids 5 and 6 just below the corridor door.
  2. On the Architecture tab, on the Circulation panel, click the Stair button.
  3. On the Options Bar, for Location Line, choose: Exterior Support: Right.
  4. Also on the Options Bar, for the Actual Run Width, input: 3'-8".
  5. On the Modify | Create Stair ribbon, on the far right, click the Railing button.
  6. Choose: Handrail – Pipe, click the Stringer radio button and then click OK (see Figure 13–6).

Figure 13–6 Create a new stair and configure the settings

We’ll accept the remaining defaults for the stair and begin drawing it.

  1. Click the first point on the face of the wall at Grid 6 about halfway between Grid G and F.
  2. Move the mouse straight up along the face of the wall and when the light gray message indicates that 12 Risers have been created, click the second point (see Figure 13–7).

Figure 13–7 Draw the first run of stairs with two clicks

  1. Click the third point across the space aligned with the second tread and the face of the wall at Grid 5.
  2. Move straight down and click the final point when all risers are created (see Figure 13–8).

Figure 13–8 Create the second run using up the remaining risers

You will see small numbers labeling the treads at the start and end of each run. You can independently select each run, the landing and all the supports. Each has its own properties and settings on the Properties palette.

If you need to adjust the configuration of the stair, you can click one of the runs, and use the small triangular control handle at the end to make adjustments. As you stretch this grip handle, treads will be shifted between this and the other run. Give it a try if you like. Railings will not appear until you finish the stair.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Finish Edit Mode button (green checkmark).


Figure 13–9 A warning about the inside railing

Sometimes a warning will appear indicating an issue with the railings. In this case, if we adjust the stair runs and/or the landing shape, it should rectify the problem (see Figure 13–9).

Edit a Stair

  1. Select the stair (not a railing).
  2. On the ribbon, click the Edit Stairs button. (You can also double-click directly on the stair).

This puts us back in stair edit mode.

  1. Select the first run (on the right).
  2. Using the small triangle shape handle at the bottom and drag it up one tread.

  1. On the Modify tab, click the Align tool (or press al).
  2. For the point of alignment, click the bottom edge of the last tread (where it says 23).
  3. Next click the edge at tread 1. Cancel the command when finished.

Notice that the first run will move into alignment with the second one (see Figure 13–10).

Figure 13–10 Use the Align tool to adjust the position of the stair run and adjust the shape of the landing

  1. Select the landing.

Notice all the shape handles on each edge. We can use these to adjust the shape of the landing. There is also a temporary dimension for the overall width. Let’s adjust that slightly.

  1. Click in the value of the temporary dimension and make the overall landing width: 4'-0" (see Figure 13–11).


Figure 13–11 Adjust the width of the landing

  1. Finish the stairs.

The railing will adjust to reflect the changes to the stair. To complete the stair, you can add a few more walls and fine-tune its location by simply moving the stair (see Figure 13–12).

Figure 13–12 Add some walls and move the stair to complete the layout

It can be nice to study the results in another view as well. You are welcome to create a section, or a cutaway 3D view. Creating one is as simple as making a selection.

  1. Select the stair. On the Modify tab, on the View panel, click the Selection Box tool (or press bx).

This will open the default {3D} view and crop it to the selection. It is a good idea to rename the view to something more descriptive.

  1. On the Project Browser, beneath 3D Views, right-click the {3D} view and choose: Rename.
  2. Name it: 3D Stair (see Figure 13–13).

Figure 13–13 Create a Selection Box 3D cutaway view of the stairwell