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Building pads don't seem to respect phases.

Message 1 of 51
17969 Views, 50 Replies

Building pads don't seem to respect phases.

I have multiple building pads in a model because I have multiple phases to represent. The problem I'm having is that the pads are cutting the topo surface in all phases. When I check the properties for each pads they all appear to bel properly identified as being created in the appropriate phase and yet there doesn't seem to be any way to turn off the building pad for future work in the existing conditions. See attached image.


I suppose the other possibility is that the pads are not really in the views, but the topo, having been excavated in one view,stays excavated in all views and won't fill in???


Can anyone explain this and tell me how to disable the pads where and when they're not needed? I've tried hiding the pad elements in the views, but that doesn't seem to do anything. 


Thank you.

Message 2 of 51
in reply to: shawn

Perhaps adding a series of pads, one into each phase, would solve your problem. 


I don't think Revit can keep track of the changes to the pad that occur differently in each phase. Would be nice if it could.

Message 3 of 51
in reply to: bt1138

This question doesn't seem to have gotten much traction from anyone - maybe the answer is so simple that no one wants to bother, but I still haven't figured out what to do about building pads in new construction that show up in existing conditions. For now I'm working around it by deleting the new work building pad when I need to document an as-built condition. But surely there must be a better way.


Would someone please take a stab at this.


Much thanks

Shawn Graham


Message 4 of 51
in reply to: shawn

This is a limitation with Revit and how the host [toposurface] is cut by the building pad.  You can reproduce this same behavior in a simple project as well. 


The underlying issue is that the toposurface has 1 phase.  You can have multiple pads on multiple phases, but when the toposurface is cut it creates an infill element which goes down and around the edge of the pad.  While this infill has a phase as well, and can be overridden, there is no infill element for the portion of the toposurface cut at the top of the surface; which would show it as it was before the pad was added:


Video Example

Also, for example, if you create a phase before any pads were added the toposurface will still display the opening:


Video Example

This behavior is similar to some other Revit element types such as shaft openings.  There is no ideal automatic approach for this scenario.  It would be a manual workaround, such as creating a second toposurface and setting the correct phase information to fill in the opening so it is visible in the existing as covered but the second toposurface is demolished with the pad placement in the later phase:


Video Example

Thank you,

Ryan Duell
Message 5 of 51
in reply to: ryan.duell

Thanks Ryan, that's pretty much what I suspected - so what to do? You mentioned creating a new topo surface to cover the cut, but I tried that and couldn't get Revit to snap to the existing topo which is irregulary sloped and has a lot of corners. I figured that if I played with tweaking the new topo surface I could eventually get it close, but this would easily take several hours and the result would be less than perfect. Not very satisfactory.


For such a condition, do you recommend duplicating the model for existing conditions and just deleting all new construction elements? Or what? Is this something that future editions of Revit will address or is this a terminal disease with no hope of recovery?


Shawn Graham


Message 6 of 51
in reply to: shawn

Hi, I usually fix this creating one site in the existing phase (demolished in the existing phase) and a copy of that in 1st phase. It should work fine, but the problem is when I create a pad in the existing phase (this pad will remain forever and ever) it doesn't cut the site properly, because I have the other site on a different phase, well why is the site on the 1st phase appearing in the existing phase? If I delete it the pad cut the site correctly... Do you have any suggestion?


I understand it is a Revit limitation, but Is there any prevision to Autodesk fix this problem? It's been through many versions and is hard to explain to the client that the software doesn't accept phases for topography.


Thank you

Message 7 of 51
in reply to: shawn

why not use graded region with a pad on a new construction?

Message 8 of 51
in reply to: ilyamoto

I have this same issue and I'm using Revit 2014. I cannot get the pads to stop cutting the topo in the correct phase. It is a disaster. I have tried everything I can think of. Graded regions don't seem to work either. Short of making a new file for each phase I cannot even come up with a desent work around. I have pads that are being created and demolished in different phases of the project.


If anyone from autodesk is ever looking at these boards, please please do somthing to improve site creation in Revit! It has to be the weakest part of the software. Site tools are next to useless. I hate pads!!! Our firm avoids them whenever possible.


I LOVE Revit, but this aspect of it blows chuncks! 

Message 9 of 51
in reply to: shawn

Duplicated the topography into various design options is the best way I've found to deal with 'phased' pads. The following post involves grouping pads as well, but this isn't necessary to acheive the primary goal of correct pad display in mulitple phases:



Message 10 of 51
in reply to: shawn

Think we'll ever get this fixed in my lifetime? Working on an existing project with 3 phases all with various new and demolished pads and it's a mess. I could do it with graded regions if I wanted to model earth all week I guess. I just want to send a model to civil so they know whats going on in each phase and I can't. Same problems with shaft cuts also as mentioned before. I want to demolish part of an existing floor and I have to do all kinds of crazy stuff to get that done like making another floor and pasting it into the hole the cut in the future creates in the past.

Message 11 of 51
in reply to: starslicer

if i'm understanding what your'e going for i've dealt with something similar by using multiple topos and filters

anything that will never change is one topo, gradings that happen at each phase are one (or more depending on ease of manipulation) and the topo *under* each pad is it's own critter.

give each chunk of topo a mark, and build a filter to drop into views to hide the relevant bits.
Message 12 of 51
in reply to: MKFreiert

I see that the problem was flagged in 2010 but is yet to be fixed 4 years on!  To call it a limitation of the program is something of a misnomer.


I can't believe it is beyond Autodesk's ability to fix it.


I have also found that when putting topographies into different phases Revit does not keep track of the infill element, so that if you edit the pad, the infill does not update.


The whole st of topography tools within Revit are in serious need of a major overhaul.  The inability to snap to topography edges is a real problem.  The grading tool is difficult to use successfully due to the lack of ability to define banks etc. Please Autodesk fix current issues, don't just keep adding new features. 

Message 13 of 51

Great news about the subscription addin Site Designer.  Hopefully some of the frustrations of editing topographies are now a thing of the past.

Message 14 of 51
in reply to: starslicer

My problem was that I needed to have multiple stages for a masterplanning project where the pads were different for each stage (some existing / some demolished / some new). The pads & phases were not working for me.

The workaround was to create a linked site file containing the topography, then to create a design option & topgraphy for each stage. The advantage is that each topography can be edited independantly - no problems with pads hosting on the wrong phase. 

I always create an "empty" design option which is set to "primary", so that new views default to no design option (& topography). I also set up "linked" views for all design options in the site file with all visibility/graphics overides set correctly and then reference them via linked views in the project file (eg "3d Site Option 1_Linked" and "Site Plan Option 1_Linked" and "Section Option 1_Linked"). I makes it easy to manage & consistant when more than one person is working on the project. Another tip is to create a "base" topography from the survey in a separate design option with no design changes.  Prepare this first and, once it is "purfect", create the design options by duplicating the base. It also means that you can restore it later if required.

Hope this is helpful! 🙂


Message 15 of 51
in reply to: starslicer

I can help you, starslicer. Create a model-in-place void, cut the existing floor, roof, or wall, and WAM! It will show correctly in the existing, and demo drawings. Editing the void is troublesome. Delete the void and recreate it as a workaround (a workaround to a workaround).
Message 16 of 51
in reply to: shawn

Just stumbled across a solution!


- create a 3d view isolating troublesome topography & building pads.

- Go to a plan (top) view in 3d.

- Copy troublesome topography a fixed, memorable distance vertically (towards top of your screen), beyond your project - eg 100m

- Then copy pads from original topo the same distance/direction into new topo.

- Delete old topo/pads

- Move new topo/pads back, modify creation and demolition phases as necessary.

- Voila! 


worked for me!

Message 17 of 51
in reply to: ryan.duell

@ryan.duell Are there any plans to fix this long know problem?


Seems like everything in Revit should respect Phases instead of asking everybody to use weird workarounds? I don't feel like waiting another 6 year ;')

Message 18 of 51
in reply to: tkenn

@tkennYour method is working!! Thank you so much!

I am facing almost the same problem, Luckily I read your post in here...

Message 19 of 51
in reply to: tkenn

I am not sure how you managed to get the work around you described to actually work. I followed the procedure you described and ended up with the same old result. That is Building Pads do not respect Phasing when they modify a site. The pads themselves may display correctly (as far as Phasing is concerned) but the toposurfase displays a blank where the pad is placed in the site regardless of the Phase setting. That is a pad created in New Construction still leaves a void in the Existing phase.


Autodesk has had more than a decade to fix the cumbersome and bug ridden component of Revit for site modelling and has don virtually zero. And as for Site Designer - it is hopeless and does not address the above problem.  

Message 20 of 51
in reply to: stephenbrowne

Indeed, this is sadly broken.


You can vote on the "idea" of fixing the software here:


I love Revit, but things like this drive me crazy and has me seriously doubting about the leadership of the Revit technical and forum team.

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