Monday, 5 September 2011

Using Filters to Show Fire Ratings

We have started to print in colour to clearly show the fire ratings on our plans. This is a great method to clearly show the fire ratings of the walls in both a plan view and  section.

Here is a step by step guide on how this is done.

1:         Firstly I have created a set of Yes/No parameters for each fire rating that we typically use. We can easily add more when required.

These are Instance Project Parameters that I named to correspond with the type of fire rating I need grouped under the heading Fire Protection.

The categories I assigned include Columns, Doors, Floors, Roofs, Shaft Openings, Structural Columns, Walls and Windows (you probably don't need windows).

2:         Now I have these parameters set up that are associated with the Categories I want I can now use the check box to assign the fire rating I need.


3:         So we have created the Parameters and assigned the rating to the assembly such as a floor, wall or column we now need to be able to graphically show this in a new View.

On the View tab under the Graphics panel you'll find the Filters icon. Create a new filter naming it the same as your parameter (this isn't for any other reason other than matching the parameter to the filter).

Set the Categories you want included in the filter, I typically use the same categories I used on the Parameters I set up.

  Under the Filter Rules drop down you can then select the corresponding parameter.

The filter type should then be equals and then select the default setting you want, yes or no.

Repeat for each fire rating parameter you have set up.

4:         now the Filters have been set up we can now assign then to a new View. Duplicate the view you want to show the ratings on (floor plan or section).

Under the Visibility Graphics (VG) dialog box go to the Filters tab. Add a new filter, this will open up a dialog box showing a list of the filters you just created. If you hold down the Shift key you can select more than one filter.

Make sure all the check box's under the Visibility category are checked (we want to be able to see them). now we want to change the Cut Pattern to a Solid fill pattern and select a colour that you can assign to that specific rating (one that reads clearly).

5:         When you set the Fire Protection parameter of the element it should now change to the corresponding colour clearly showing the rating in the specific view you created the filters for.

6:         I then created a Legend with coloured filled regions because you cant use filters on legend views :-( which I then place on the sheet with each Fire Rating view I created.

Colour is a fantastic way to show fire ratings, it reduces the risk of misinterpretation of line types, line weights and line patters that we use to use to show on our show fire rating plans.


  1. I know this is a really old post but I don't know if you've released a newer one that counters this one but this came up in my Google search so I'll comment here.

    What happens when it isn't printed in color? Do you expect every owner and contractor to pay for color printing which is ridiculously expensive?

  2. This is for internal review to verify FRR. However more and more design companies are printing in colour as the cost of printing in colour is dropping and the benefits outweigh the cost.