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Monday, March 28, 2016

Revit Tutorial - Calculating Cut / Fills Using Building Pads




Pablo, my colleague and friend from sunny San Diego, emailed me one day asking about cuts and fills in Revit. This was his email:

"Hey I got a question for you. I have placed a few building pads on our site and I am trying to find out if there is any easy way to get the excavation volume of the void left behind from the building pad? I have scoured the internet but all references to volumes of excavation refer more to the cut/fill tools in Revit (which I can do but am too lazy). I just thought that there might be some property related to the building pad that would tell me how much topography is being imprinted with the building pad..."

Continue reading to view my response and discover how to calculate cuts and fills in Revit...


The most basic break down of the process is as follows:

1. Create existing surface and set its creation phase to Existing.
2. Set your View (3D or Site Plan View) to New Construction.
3. Go to “Massing and Site” tab and select “Graded Region”.
4. Select “Create a New Toposurface exactly like the existing one”
5. Select your existing topography.
6. Instead of modifying the points just click finish sketch.
7. Now, in your New Construction view, if you model you’re building pads it will only cut the new toposurface and leave the existing as is.
8. To distinguish each cut in the schedule you need to select the “wall” of the cut:

Click to enlarge...

9. Once selected, give it a value in the “Mark” category that makes sense.
10. Then, make a Topography schedule with the following fields:

Click to enlarge..

11. Notice, the highlighted cell is the “Cut” of my building pad… That is really the only piece of information you want. It tells you the volume of the topography you are removing at that exact "hole" you've created with your building pad!

Pretty neat, huh?  This is very basic but can be used in a much more advanced form to analyze grading, calculate cuts/fills, and so on...

Pablo, thanks for letting me share our "in-house" story with the world! ;)