Creating external walls in Revit

by Design Workshop Sydney

When starting a new project in AutoDesk Revit we usually start with the larger elements, like external and internal walls, then doors and windows, before adding smaller details. In this blog we’ll start off by creating the external walls of a building.

First of all start up Revit by clicking on its icon on your Desktop – it can take a few minutes to boot up, so be patient! Revit has many presets and families of components to load before you start creating your project.

Revit External Walls

When Revit’s welcome screen appears select New then Project and Browse to: AutoDesk > RVT2022 > Templates > Australia > Construction Default AUSENU > OK

The familiar Revit interface will then appear, including the Drawing Area, Ribbon, Tabs, Panels and Options at the top of the screen. Also note the Project Browser on the left, and the View Control Bar on the very bottom left of the screen.


Click on the Architecture tab (top left) and choose Wall. Notice that various types of walls now appear in the Project Browser on the left – these will vary depending on which template you initially chose. In this project we can choose Type: Basic Wall – Ext.Brick on Mtl.Stud – 350 wide. Note that this is a Metric component which are actually easier to work with than the Imperial wall types used in the US.

Also be aware that if certain types are not visible in the Project Browser you have to click Load Families and navigate to the Australia folder. You can also explore the make-up of this wall by clicking Edit Type > and click the Preview button on the bottom left. To exit this dialog box just click the Cancel button.

We next adjust the height of our external walls via the Options at the top of the screen. Change the Height to 2900 and the Location Line to Finish Face – Exterior. The set of lines which we’ll draw next will represent the exterior dimensions of our walls. Also tick Chain (this will link the lines together) and set Offset to 0. It’s best to set this all up before actually drawing the wall lines.

3D View of the walls
Revit 3D View

Now we are ready to create our first walls. Go to the Draw panel (top) and select the Line tool. Next click in the centre of the drawing area, move your cursor to the left and type 7000. Hit the Enter key on your keyboard to finish the line. Note that it’s best to draw in a clockwise direction – otherwise you have to flip the orientation of brick and stud details.

Next move your cursor upwards, type 1000 (or 1m) and Enter. Then move left and type 6500, followed by upwards 5000, right 500, up 1000 and right by 3000.

Next move your cursor downwards and type 1500 and Enter. Then to the right 3000, upwards 1500,to the right by 7000, down by 7000, and finally hit the Escape key on your keyboard.


To see the walls in a perspective view just click the 3D View button in the Quick Tools section at the top of your screen – a new tab will open on your screen. Note the dashed lines behind the model – these represent the Levels of the building. We will see these also in elevation views, and we will address Levels in more detail in future blog posts.

And to view the walls in an elevation view, go to the Project Browser on the left and choose Elevations. Click the small plus icon to expand the section and click on South – a third tab will now open on your screen. You can have as many of these open as you wish, which makes it very easy to toggle between views of your project.

In the South Elevation view click on Level 2 / 4000 and change this to 2900, and hit the Enter key. As we can see, this is the height of our ground level walls.

Revit Elevation View
Revit Elevation View

Now go to File (top left) and choose Save. Name: Townhouse 01 – note that it’s always a good idea to add an incremental number to your project which allows you to easily keep track of modifications and versions of your project.

Our next step will be to add the internal walls to our building – we’ll cover this in our next blog post.

In our Revit training courses we take time to teach a wide range of common techniques, relevant to industry practice. You can see many examples of our class work on our Facebook page.