Secant and Contiguous Piled Walls – A Revit Tutorial

Piled wall systems can be challenging to model in Revit, especially when the project stage goes beyond a concept into detailed design. This tutorial will focus on the use of Revit to manually model and add the sequencing data to the piled walls.

Of course, much of this process can be automated with Dynamo which may be a topic for a future tutorial but, for now, lets focus on the process of creating families and piled walls. The below image shows a typical output in a plan with pile construction sequencing and the hidden detail with a capping beam as well as the 3D model.

This tutorial will focus on two primary parts:

  • Revit family creation
    • The actual development of the Revit family and types to support the modelling and detailing.
  • Creation of the Secant Piled wall model
    • The modelling of the piled wall system and the attribution of relevant data.

Revit Family Creation

Although the UK content library includes a series of pile caps and single piles, these are all based on a steel tube. For this reason, we will create our own pile family and add two types, one for the primary and another for the secondary pile.

Just for a little background, the primary pile is often cast from plain concrete and unreinforced. These are constructed first. The secondary piles are then ‘cut’ into the primary piles in an overlapping pattern with a higher grade of concrete and reinforcement. The primary piles are shown in the above image in white and the secondary piles are shaded in grey.

We will start by creating a new Structural Foundation family from the Metric Structural Foundation.rft template.

On the File Tab, select New – Family. In the New Family Select Template file pick the Metric Structural Foundation Template file.

On the Create tab, select the Extrusion tool, and sketch a circle as shown below. Add a diameter dimension as shown below.

Label the diameter dimension with a parameter, remember that if you want to tag the diameter you will create a shared parameter. In this example we will rely on scheduling and tagging the Type name.

Complete the extrusion and then open a front elevation view. To control the length of the pile, create a reference plane and add a label to the dimension as shown below. This is created as an instance parameter.

We will now create two family types, one for the primary (soft) pile and one for the secondary (hard) pile. Each of these family types will have a different grade of concrete which allows one pile to ‘cut’ another.

To begin, we will first add a material parameter to the extrusion. Select the extrusion and in the Properties Palette, associate the Material to the Structural Material as shown below.

In the Family Types dialog, create two new types as shown below. You can configure your concrete materials to display the primary and secondary piles as required.

When the families are used in Revit, the piles will automatically join to one another and, as they are different materials, the piles will be cut. If the cutting order is wrong you can switch the join order.

Anyway, I may create another tutorial to automate this process using Dynamo for those that are interested.

Hope that helps,



5 thoughts on “Secant and Contiguous Piled Walls – A Revit Tutorial

  1. Hi Lawrence,

    We have moved away from putting the piled walls on Foundation to Generic Model, the reason we have done this is due to the fact when a column is placed above, the pile drops. Do you have any alternative solution to keep the piles on Foundation?

    1. Hi Nathan, I think this will only happen if the column and pile are on the same level. If that is the case, the piles can be aligned and locked to a reference plane which stops this behaviour.

    2. Thanks for this tutorial. Love this kind of content and feeling nostalgic some still blog while others vlog. I presumed this tutorial is for piled wall system. And 3 elements are involved here the wall, capping beam and pile family.

  2. Do you have sir tutorial about pile family. I want to show the embedment length as parameters. And can modify the deep via properties. Thanks.

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