Wall accurate intersections optimal workflow

I have followed this post https://discourse.mcneel.com/t/timber-i-joist-jji-joist-wall/92257

in order to create a wall (thickness 37cm) with 4 layers (1 outer wooden 2cm thick, 1 insulation 8cm thick, 1 empty-hidden 25cm thick and 1 inner wooden 2cm thick) like the pictures below. I am trying to find the best approach in order to have only two wall styles to use one the complex one as described above and a simple stone wall 50cm thick intersecting the way the sketch I am posting below (only the outer wooden layer 1 is intersecting with the stone wall). But the intersections I get are not optimal. How would you suggest me to proceed?

Thanks in advance!

Hi @zabrielza, since the short stone wall is intersecting with the outer wooden layer 1, I’d do it as a separate object. There are different ways to manage this:

  1. Edit the Layer offset: you create the short stone wall as a different that is intersecting with the tall one, and you can edit the outer wooden layer offset, so it ends at the height of the stone wall.
  2. You create the stone wall as a different wall, also intersecting with the tall one. And then you use the vaWallExtend command to extend downards the tall one to the stone wall. Only the layer that is above the stone wall will be projected on it, and will update if you change the stone wall height.
  3. Same option as the one above, but you use an extrusion (or polysurface) as the stone wall.
  4. You create the stone wall as a solid and add it to the tall one with the vaAddSolids command.

I hope any of these options work out for you.

Hi @fsalla, I apologize for the delay on my response to your suggestions! I am trying to work with as many as possible different parts of VisualArq and that’s the reason.

I have proceeded with the No1 way (of your suggestions). But, as seen in the images below, I have divided the wall to different parts (4 parts) for each different situation in each section ( #1 layer1 bottom-offset: 0, #2 bottom-offset: 2.40m, #3 bottom-offset: 2.40m, #4 bottom-offset: 3.763). Question #1: Is this way acceptable (would you suggest it) in terms of better BIM model configuration?

Another thing I have noticed is that: VisualArq is certainly “Clever” and calculates the intersections between walls automatically. As you can see below (IMG-1) even if I have modelled the wall #4 according to the 2D elevation (with the black circle on it), calculated differently than expected the wall lenght and intersection with the other walls. Question #2: How is it possible to control those intersections and calculations of VA?

You can see how the VA-calculations control the actual Wall-connections.

Last thing is that, as you can understand, I am trying to manage working with VA to complete this building in 3D and later on get into more advance things (like exporting 2d drawings, implementing materials etc). In the image below, the door_system of the facade, is identical in the two long facades of the building. So, I have created a GH definition for a “window” component containing actually the door_system in order to create automatically a hole in the wall (with 4 layers). Question #3: Is this approach suitable in terms of better workflow or do you have something else to suggest?

Thanks again @fsalla !

Hi @zabrielza, The way you are managing this looks fine.

You need to define the “Construction” details of each wall layer. There is “Normal” and “Core” type. Core layers will tend to intersect each other in wal connections, while the “Normal” ones will wrap around them. That being said, there might be different intersection solutions anyway, so you can explore them by selecting the two walls that intersect, and checking the Wall Join options (“Sort order”) in the Properties panel:


That’s totally fine. If you can’t create that door using the “system” doors parameters, creating them from GH definitions is the best alternative.

Hi @fsalla! Thank you for the reply! In regards with your answer, even though I have selected both walls, the Join options is not available as you can see in the image. Why does this happen?

Hi Zabriel, the two walls selected must intersect in order to edit their join type. Perhaps the intersection is not detected properly. Can you share the model file to visualarq@asuni.com, so we can take a closer look?

Yes @fsalla, I have just sent it to the e-mail above.

I see the problem. These are two walls that are aligned in parallel, and for that reason, they can’t intersect. I’d rather create 1 wall that integrates the layers of both walls, than creating 2 walls aligned alongside, which may cause intersection issues.

@fsalla I can understand. Thanks for the reply! I can find the creation of a single wall with 5 layers instead of 2 walls (stone-wall and a 4-layer wall), a bit problematic for two reasons:

  1. The first one has to do with the fact that the wall-stone is a pre-existing element. On the other hand the inner wall (of 4 layers) in a new element and we would prefer it to be controllable without interacting with the stone-wall. In terms of better BIM-configuration we would prefer 2 separate walls, am I right? We have to be certain about being able to do micro-changes in the inner-wall without the need of re-creating each time the actual wall-style.
  2. The other thing is that the stone-wall has various forms (see the picture below) and that leads to the creation of a 5-layer wall element for each width “of a state” but there is a problem: The 2nd layer, wooden-exterior layer is on top of the stone-wall, so we would need to automatically change the height of the wooden-layer from the height of the below-offset value of stone-wall. Also, how could we place one on top of the other?


Possible Workarounds?

a) After searching online for similar elements in REVIT I found the terminology of stacked walls which is somehow similar to what we are facing here but without the ability of creating this type of wall, am I right? (I am unsure about it, but maybe with rhino inside we could create this type of wall and return it back to VA? )

I played a bit for some minutes with Rhino Inside and in regards with the features missing in each program, it seems that the collaboration of them could get us the workarounds we might need. Is it possible to get complex walls (that revit can create) into VA as native VA-wall components?

b) Could we control somehow the way walls are interacting? How possible would be to add some options in the joint options? For example, when having 2 parallel walls. Do you consider 2 parallel wall as a very unusual case scenario?

c) In regards with what you are suggesting could we have the ability of adding a wall layer with a button or something to dynamically change the layer-number of a wall?

Hi @fsalla. I am getting familiar with VisualArq and this is very pleasant. I have continued with the workaround below:

I have created 2 wall styles. a) Double Wall (with stone on the outer layer) b) Single Wall (with wooden Panel on the outer layer), Please see the images below.

The single Wall, when needed according to the 2D drawings, in on top of the Double Wall, creating this way a stacked Wall (but with two separate objects).

Q1: Could you suggest a workaround to combine them in as single component? I am thinking of using grasshopper to combine them and placing the Wall by clicking on start and end with mouse just like placing a normal wall, is this possible somehow?

Q2: Do you think that as bim configuration having walls on top of others is a good solution?

In regards with the wall joint configuration:

  • When two walls are parallel to each other I set the Wall Joint to None
  • When two walls perpendicular to each other I set the Wall Joint to Miter
    Q3: Is this a good configuration?

I have seen one issue in this approach, one specific intersection is not as expected. Please see the video below. Maybe you would like to investigate it, it seems like a bug.

The one wall instead of two parallel alongside, has solved the issue with the window, we are able to place one and have a hole in the whole wall-system, as below.

Of course, I have some job to do yet with the actual gh definition for the window of this topic.

Also, the another gh definition for a door component (which needs to get improved) can be placed in the double wall. (Maybe I should change the title of the topic).

Anyway, for now, I have to continue with the rest of the parts of the building. For example, we are missing for now the actual structural frames inside the empty space of the walls. There is a similarity with this topic I wish we could find some way to get those frames with holes for windows and doors when needed.

Now that we have a clearer view of the strategy that we are following, any suggestion of yours would save us much time.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I have noticed that the creation of walls can work as expected (in regards with outer and inner layers) only when created counter-clockwise. Is this correct or is this a bug?

Hi @zabrielza

Having two walls aligned one to another is something that right now will turn into intersection issues. I know in the real world you can find similar situations, but right now VisualARQ walls are not meant to be used that way, and I’ll try to avoid it. We may consider finding a solution for that in future versions. There are several workarounds as described above.

Maybe this is a good solution. Just place a wall on top of each other in the same way you would put a box on top of another.
Just need to be sure they align properly.

VisualARQ doesn’t have such a concept. But you can get similar results by playing with the wall layer offsets, or just placing 2 different walls one on top of the other, as you have tried afterward.

If you are playing with Rhino Inside option, take into account that in order to turn a Revit wall into a VisualARQ’s wall, you can only use the common parameters to generate them. For example, VisualARQ walls don’t have 3D structural components right now (it’s planned for future versions), so you won’t be able to turn a Revit wall with 3D studs into a VisualARQ. You can find workarounds for that though (using columns, beams, or extrusions for these inner components).

This is controlled with the wall joints options, in the Properties panel. But avoid parallel walls, please.

You can do that if you have different wall styles. If you want to turn a 3 layer wall into a 5 layer wall, just need to have 2 wall styles created in your document (with 3 and 5 layers), and switch from one to another from the properties panel of the wall.

That’s a good approach. I may also consider the option to play wih the wall layer offsets.

You can place different walls one on top of the other using GH, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it, unless you have a huge project and you need to do repetitive times these combinations of walls.

Yes, why not. Again, consider playing with the wall layer offsets as an alternative.

  • Avoid having two parallel walls but, setting join to None could avoid intersection issues.
  • The Miter or But join are meant to be used in relation to the material the walls are supposed to be made of. Anyone is valid.

Please send me the file again with that wrong intersection, and we will check it out.

you won’t be able to create a window generated with a “GH style” with the “FromCurves” option in the command line, as you can do with a native one. You will need to measure their profile dimensions as you insert it, (if those parameters are set to be editable by Object), or after inserting it, from the Properties panel.

As I mentioned, this is a feature expected for future versions. In VisualARQ 3 we plan to support Grasshopper styles on walls, so then it will be possible to create such walls.

The inner or outer side of walls depends on how you insert them. You can always use the vaFlip command to reverse them.


Hi @fsalla
thanks for replying in all my questions.

Do you mean playing with the layer offsets while creating the wall style? Or do you mean the Top and Bottom Offsets after having created the actual wall? Because I had tried changing the offsets while creating the wall-style but I was not able to do it.

I cannot fully understand this but I am going to read carefully on the very well structured and documented help section.

I have sent you the file!

Wouldn’t it be usefull to have the ability to either create from curves or from dimensions just like with normal windows, when the actual gh definition allow it? Is it technically impossible or do you consider it a not important feature?

Until then, do you have any workaround in mind for having a hole automatically in the structural assemblies of the wall (created after the wall creation) when placing a door or window ?


Hi Zab,

Both. The layer Top and Bottom offset is a style feature that can be edited by object. It’s up to you how to edit it.

I’m checking this, and I can see some nasty lines at the corner. They appear due to the other wall marked with a X:
Doesn’t seem easy to get rid of them. I’ll report this to the development team.

Yes, absolutely! But this requires some development. Since there is a workaround, this is not a priority in our list of features to implement now, but hopefully we will handle it in the future.

If you use beams or columns as structural components of walls, you can use the vaSubtractSolids to clear the area for an opening. This process can be automated using GH components.

A post was split to a new topic: Structural system on walls

Hi @fsalla,

I was trying to clean up a bit the scene and I fell on this one: Midpoint Snap on wall has strange behavior and does not calculate correctly the middle point of the wall-width.

I tried reconstructing the stacked wall styles scenario in an effort to combine those 2 wall-styles into a single one playing with the wall layer offsets. I can see that it is not possible to alter offset values, in order to have stacked wall-layers on top of the other (section sketches above).

The only workaround right now for the case of wall I want to create is using 2 wall styles one on top of the other. Of course, if we were able to alter offset values, things would be different and we would end up with a simpler approach.

Last thing is that I tried reproducing the strange Joints between walls. As you can see in the video below, I created three variations through placing the walls differently each time. When a) you enter height values firstly then b)placing the walls and c)avoiding moving them in the meantime, and If I was careful with that, I was able to have clean intersections only d)with the Butt Joint option. With miter option, it was not successful.

Hi @zabrielza

I cannot reproduce this one. Can you try it again and check if this always happens? (just in case you didn’t snap on a wrong point in your video)

The offset value you see in the New Wall style Wizard, is just a calculated value of the position of the layer from the external face. It’s not something you can edit.
When you insert a wall, you can define an alignment offset for the whole wall that will be measured from the wall path curve.

We will see if we can fix this case with Miter joints.