While working on a residence in Revit, I wondered what is the best way to handle a portion of the plan where the walls are all rotated 30 degrees from the “main” part of the house.  In architecture school, we referred to these as “colliding grids.”

This colliding of two grids occurs in many building plans, and seems to be on the increase.

See the image below:

House with rotated wing

House with rotated wing

I did some research and found a well-done post in the blog of Brian Mackey of B D Mackey Consulting.  Here is a link to his post:


Generally, he suggests that you show, select,  and then rotate the work plane.  This seems to work well, as the newly created walls and inserted components follow the rotated grid.

This provides you with a rotated work plane for the “cranked” wing.

Go Architecture tab > Work Plane panel > Show. Select the work plane and then use the Rotate tool.

Mackey also addresses the question of how to return to the “normal” part of the plan and continue working there.

When you move back into an area of the plan where the walls are square with the screen (zero rotation), just toggle the “show work plane” option off to hide the work plane, and then the walls and components insert and snap normally, orthogonal to the screen.

I would just add that I decided to designate a “pivot” point on the plan, where a node, or intersection, of the work plane’s grid can be fixed.  In this way,  I have the option of rotating the work plane back and forth between its original position (zero rotation) and the 30 degree cranked position.  I placed the pivot point at the intersection of two exterior walls, one ortho and one cranked.

Work plane pivot point

Setting a work plane pivot point where two geometric grids intersect

Here is a link to further information on how objects are associated with work planes, from the Autodesk Revit User’s Guide:


In my opinion, it would be nice if you could define two work planes (or more) and keep them saved, ready to switch between as needed.  Revit does not currently allow this, as best as I can tell.

Still, the method above works well when you need only two grids.

Hope this helps.  Please leave any comments or questions below.

Keep on CADDing!     🙂


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