How to Plan a Site in a Revit Container Model

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I recently struggled with a survey drawing that was provided as a DWG export from a non-Autodesk vendor. The file simply would not behave in AutoCAD, and I was unable to explode or orbit the file. The file had its origin positioned correctly, but the coordinate system that was used meant it was very far away from the origin.

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To make matters worse, the site contains many buildings that each must be separately located on the site and developed as stand-alone models. Because the origin was so far away from the model, the file that I traced over the original would not behave correctly either. I usually draw a line from the origin to the side to visually check the situation. Lesson learned. I created a file that was centered around the world origin in AutoCAD and superimposed that on the coordinate system that was already established. This then serves as a basis for the positioning of the individual buildings, as the traced CAD entities behave in Revit.

Remember, Revit can not handle CAD entities that are placed far away (larger in scope) from the internal origin of Revit.

The exception is when you have a coordinate system that is consistent with the way in which Revit defines a coordinate system and you are sharing coordinates between Civil 3D and publishing Coordinates. However, even then, you should use a CAD line drawing that is centered around the origin for setting up the Revit Container File.

If there is a points file that was shared, you should also ask the Civil Engineer to explain the Raw Description codes so that you may exclude points that will hinder your Architectural team from generating the relevant topology surface. There may well be a transformation that is necessary due to the definition of the X and the Y axes, and then you should evaluate the increase in Easting and Northing to decide the direction.

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