# Floor Structure - Best Practice

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So recently I started modeling the attached house and have gotten myself confused about absolute elevations and want to know the best practice for arranging floors. I will refer to the below image in relation to floor levels.

I started drawing the main level floor first which put the absolute elevation "0" on the main level subfloor and at the time is was actually the 1st floor. Then I "Insert Floor" below which effectively turned my main level into the 2nd floor and also changed the absolute elevation of the main level from 0 to +120". Now I understand what chief is doing, they are making whatever floor is labeled "1st Floor" the 0 point on elevations however I would have liked it if there was a method to leaving the "Main Level" or 2nd floor at the absolute elevation of 0.

My question is, could I start modeling this house on the main level then add a basement and then add a foundation while keeping the absolute elevation on the main level floor 0? I guess i'm trying to add two foundation floors in theory so that the absolute floor elevations look as follows...

Attic = 120"

Main Level = 0"

Lower Level = -120"

Foundation = -240"

Attic = 240"

Main Level = 120"

Lower Level = 0"

Foundation = -120

I hope this makes sense.

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Kyle,

Chief doesn't actually label anything as:

• Foundation
• Lower Level
• Main Level
• Basement
• etc.

Rather, it uses:

• Level 0
• Level 1
• Level 2
• etc
• Attic

It's up to you to name those as above.  Level 1 will be by default "0.00" unless you change it.

Within Defaults, you can specify the "Elevation" of the "Current Floor".  It's generally best to start with the Attic and work down to get these values to agree with what you are wanting.

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Joe,

Understood about work from the top down but Chief wants you to work from the bottom up. I guess I'm asking how do you insert a floor below the "1st Floor" without the current 1st floor being turned into the "2nd Floor"?

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Maybe someone wiser than me can explain a workaround but why would you want to do that?  To badly paraphrase Bobby Fuller......if you fight Chief the Chief will win....

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Jay,

The reason is for like a commercial building or large residential on say a mountain or hill side where the grade of the driveway would go into the 1st floor but then you might have 2 or even 3 basement levels below that and then maybe a 2nd story floor above the main level 1st floor. All I want to do is make the 1st floor elevation at 0 and then say add 2 floors below that at negative elevations. Chief dose not seem to allow multiple "foundations" or "basement" levels below the "1st Floor".

I could be off my rocker but this seems to make sense to me

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When you add a Floor below "Level 1" Chief simply re-numbers the "Levels".  It can't have a Level below zero so whatever floor is above Level 0 will always be Level 1.  That's not the same as 1st Floor.  For Example you could have the following:

• Level 0 = Foundation
• Level 1 = Basement
• Level 2 = 1st Floor
• Level 3 = 2nd Floor
• Attic = Attic

-or-

• Level 0 = Foundation
• Level 1 = Basement 1
• Level 2 = Basement 2
• Level 3 = 1st Floor
• Level 4 = 2nd Floor
• Attic = Attic

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If you have a Terrain Perimeter, you can set the Level 1 Elevation Offset in the Terrain dbx.

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1 minute ago, Joe_Carrick said:

When you add a Floor below "Level 1" Chief simply re-numbers the "Levels".  It can't have a Level below zero so whatever floor is above Level 0 will always be Level 1.  That's not the same as 1st Floor.  For Example you could have the following:

• Level 0 = Foundation
• Level 1 = Basement
• Level 2 = 1st Floor
• Level 3 = 2nd Floor
• Attic = Attic

-or-

• Level 0 = Foundation
• Level 1 = Basement 1
• Level 2 = Basement 2
• Level 3 = 1st Floor
• Level 4 = 2nd Floor
• Attic = Attic

And "Level 1" will always be the absolute elevation of 0, correct?

No way to make "Level 3" the absolute 0 elevation?

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7 minutes ago, misterwiley said:

And "Level 1" will always be the absolute elevation of 0, correct?

No way to make "Level 3" the absolute 0 elevation?

The "Reference Elevation" for Level 1 will in fact always be 0.  But if you need to show it differently in plan or section/elevation - that can be done with a custom macro.

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59 minutes ago, Joe_Carrick said:

Within Defaults, you can specify the "Elevation" of the "Current Floor".

Joe, this seems like the answer indeed. If I want to accomplish what I'm asking for then I need to go in and manually change the elevations of each level after they are created which is just fine but tedious.

The macro idea would definitely be a good work around for elevation views. Thanks for your help Joe!

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you can place all 30 "floors" below grade

you can have as many as needed above grade and below grade

chief allows 30 floors - stories - levels regardless of grade

Lew