5.2.4 Rooms and Structures

A large majority of projects will include Rooms and Structures that are Polygonal or Rectangular in plan view and will have flat ceilings and roofs. Visual includes the ability to quickly construct these Rooms and Structures that are a pre-Grouped collection of Solid Objects (Solids and/or Surfaces).

Rooms and Structures can be created in Polygonal or Rectangular form. The semantics of Surface Normals is the only difference: Rooms will have all normals pointed inward. Structures will have all normals pointed outward; this aids surface-based commands such as placing Calculation Zones.

Because of the orientation of normals, Rooms are normally used for Interior calculations and Structures used in Exterior calculations. Structures could be used to model details of an Interior project such as bookcases and desks.

 

Room_and_Structure_Normals.png

The Room and Structure buttons can be found in the Construct panel of the Home tab and the Solids panel of the Construct tab in the Ribbonbar.

 

Room_and_Structure_Buttons.png

The Room button is dual function; the upper portion executes the command, the lower portion initiates a drop-down menu.

Once Polygonal has been chosen, the upper button portion will change to execute that command with the next press and the graphic is changed accordingly. Selecting Rectangular from the drop-down menu will revert the button to that mode.

 

Room_Buttons.png

The Structure button is dual function; the upper portion executes the command, the lower portion initiates a drop-down menu.

Once Polygonal or Wall has been chosen, the upper button portion will change to execute that command with the next press and the graphic is changed accordingly. Selecting one of the other commands from the drop-down menu will revert the button to that mode.

 

Structure_Buttons.png

Rooms or Structures share a similar interface in the Properties tab of the Ribbonbar that is shown upon command execution. Note the similarities to single Solid construction.

Rooms and Structures can be named for later reference. If no name is user-defined, Visual will call the Grouped Solid Objects "Solid". Individual Surfaces are named "Floor", "Ceiling", and Wall x" accordingly.  Naming objects can be useful, but it is not required.

The Height of the Room or Structure must be specified. Note that the Height last specified as input for the command will be used as the default (which can of course be changed) upon the next execution of the command; the idea being that heights of Rooms and Structures will be the same in most cases for a given project.

Parameters specified for one type of Room or Structure do not carry over to other types.

The Color and Reflectance of Ceiling, Walls, and Floor are chosen individually. Recall that Color and Reflectance and are tied together in Visual. Specifying a numeric Reflectance will cause Visual to choose the analogous gray shade to match. Clicking the Color button will launch the Color Dialog to allow for more detailed Color selection.

 

Rooms_and_Structures_Parameters_Resized.png

To construct a Rectangular Room or Structure, specify the coordinates of the first vertex using the mouse, keyboard, or Object Snap. In the command, moving the mouse causes Visual to draw the implied Rectangle showing what will be created when the command is completed. To end the command, right-click the mouse or press Enter.

 

Room_Structure_Rectangular_Example.png

To construct a Polygonal Room or Structure, specify the coordinates of the vertices using the mouse, keyboard, or Object Snap. In the command, moving the mouse causes Visual to draw two types of implied lines: the small-dash line connects the first point to the last specified point to illustrate the result if the command is ended and the large-dash line connects the cursor to the last vertex specified. To end the command, right-click the mouse or press Enter.

  Room_Structure_Polygonal_Example.png

To construct a Wall, specify the coordinates of the vertices using the mouse, keyboard, or Object Snap. Visual will extrude the specified polyline to the Height chosen in the Properties tab. In the command, Visual will connect the mouse cursor to the last point specified with a solid line. Right-click the mouse or press Enter to end the command.

 

Wall_Example.png

Note that these commands can be used when the Active Plane is set to Y-Z or X-Z. Extrusion (the effective operation that gives Rooms and Structures their Height) occurs in the positive direction perpendicular to the Active Plane.

 

Global_Axis_Examples.png

It is important to select Color and Reflectance to align with the properties of the materials in the actual project. For example, 80% Reflectance is valid for a ceiling composed of higher end acoustic tile, but is certainly not appropriate for raw materials used in most "open to deck" scenarios or sprayed-on insulation, especially when an indirect luminaire is used. The default values for Rooms are 80% ceiling, 50% wall, and 20% floor Reflectance (often referred to as "80/50/20"). Structures and Walls have 50% Reflectance for all Solids.  

 

80_50_20.png

The choice of a Color is only necessary if Color Rendering is a desired output from Visual. Grayscale choices yield the same numeric results as "colored" choices, assuming the Reflectance value is the same.

The Color and Reflectance chosen for Solids is independent of the Layer Color. The Layer Color is used to provide user feedback in the Design Environment and the Color and Reflectance is used for calculation.

On the right, the objects with a black border have different Color (and therefore Reflectance ) on the Solids System Layer (Color is ByLayer) and those with a green border are on a separate Layer, also with different Color (and Reflectance ). In Shaded Display Mode shown at the bottom, borders (drawn in the Layer Color) are not shown. The gray, red, and blue all yield the same calculational result because they are all 50% Reflectance .

 

Color_Reflectance_and_Layer.png

The Solids created by these commands are Grouped. See Group for more information. Note that Solid Objects are named "Floor", "Ceiling", and Wall x" accordingly.

Rooms and Structures can be modified with the Properties command just like single objects. When a Room or Structure is selected, Visual displays the associated Solids in the Surfaces section of the Sidebar (as shown at right). See Ribbonbar Properties Tab for information on object modification and how Single Selection and Multiple Selection impact selection of Grouped objects when editing Properties.

 

Properties_Solid_Surfaces.png

Note that Rooms and Structures can be created, Exploded, and modified as part of the process of drawing more complex models. For example, a Structure could be created mimicking a column then Exploded, the top and bottom (ceiling and floor) Erased, and then the objects re-Grouped for later ease of use. See Modify.