Upon first transitioning to Revit from an Architect posed the question: “Is it possible to create a material that would behave like some of the modern types of translucent concretes now available on the market?” The answer is definitely YES!

Materials are critical in Revit for many reasons. Apart from the appearance of model elements on views and in renderings, there are also questions of analysis (thermal, lighting and structural) that are directly impacted by the physical constants dictated by the material definitions. For this reason it is imperative that the materials are defined correctly as errors may invalidate analyses run on the model. This can turn out to be expensive mistakes: machine and operator time and credits may even be utilized on the cloud for the analyses.

Materials comprise of three compulsory and two optional “assets”. These assets are classified as Identity, Graphics, Appearance, Physical and Thermal. These assets are independent of each other (within the material definition).


The assets (those that are available in the asset browser) are further divided by category, and it may be seen how each category has its own relevant set of parameters (water has wave parameters, which other materials don’t have).

These asses are independent of each other, so one may apply the appearance of glass to concrete if so required.


Taking the example of concrete looking like glass, one may follow these steps:

Duplicate a material that is close to the one would like.

Set the values on each compulsory asset as required.

Change out, for instance, the appearance asset with one that approximates the appearance required.

Duplicate (that way other materials that use the original asset are not altered in appearance) the appearance asset and change it as required.


Below a concrete sheet with the appearance of glass.