Importing from Sketch up - a how to required

I'm looking for a set if instructions on importing a model from sketchup. Does anyone have any information on how this is done? or a list of steps to follow?

The link from the autodesk website (below) does not seem to match the interface of the program.

The sketchup model already has the portions of glass within the file - as not every face of the building is the same. Can Vasari figure this out?

What about importing revit files? How is that done?

Marcello, yes. Imported mesh surfaces cast and receive shadows and can be analyzed using the Solar Radiation tool (if the geometry is imported in a mass)

Tom, when you say: “Imported mesh files are useful for site context, etc.” does this mean that imported mesh are usable for shading calculation purposes?

Yes, That sounds sensible enough - I'll give it a go.

Thanks for the swift reponse!

I'm told the course is at Autodesk's Farnborough office, UK


John, I suggest the following steps

  1. In Vasari, set up the levels to the proper heights - I suspect you will have to create some new levels.

  2. importing the SKP file into the in-place mass (In Vasari, click Create Mass and then Import CAD.)

  3. Create a separate form for each level by setting the workplane, drawing the footprint of that level and extruding it up.

  4. Once you finish each level, finish the mass and then you can select the entire building and apply Mass Floors. That will allow you to enable the energy model.

Good luck! Can I ask, where are you taking a Vasari training course?

thanks for that.

The building I'm doing is a giant postal sorting office, the sketchup is below.

because the building changes shape at each floor, I was hoping to import it as a single shape and divide it up using the mass floors, instead of creating several different masses and piling them up.

If I use the mass is it still possible to create the building as single shape? The version I attempted made of different mass blocks was a bit of a mess and too many errors for my limited experience thus far (I am booked into a Vasari training course next week however...)

am I able to draw a plane over all of the planes shown on the image and it magically becomes a sliceable mass?



When you import the SKP file, make sure the import dialog say Auto-Detect for units. This will match the units to the SKP file and you will not need to scale.

And yes, Sketchup files are surface meshes, not solid geometry. So, you will not be able to use them to compute an energy model. You will need to create a mass in Vasari by sketching over the imported mesh. Imported mesh files are useful for site context, etc.

I'm following this, trying to bring in the sketchup model, but getting a couple of problems.

I've drawn in sketchup, to the correct size, but regardless of the unit I bring it in in, it doesnt seem to be the correct size in Vasari - I've tried scaling it down to the correct size, but find the z dimension correct, but the X dimension is different. - am I missing some thing here?

Further on from here - when I import this family, and place it I get 'Mass contains only mesh geometry, which can’t be used to compute Mass Floors, volume, or surface area.'

On the help page there is '

To convert the faces of the mass, use the Wall by Face, Floor by Face, Curtain System by Face, and Roof by Face tools.

For more information about these tools, see Creating Building Elements from Mass Instances.


but the link seems to be dead?


  1. To load the family file itself, go to the "V" menu, click Import > Import CAD and choose SKP file format

  2. You can try a partial explode. Otherwise you will need to import the massing forms separately if you want them to be separate masses

  3. You need to move the levels. Select the level indicator (you must be outside of the massing mode) and you can move them manually or enter a dimension

Thanks for your help. Here are some more questions...

Question 1:

What do you do to import into a 'blank' project? In a blank project you do not get the option of Place Mass. The above is for directions into a working project.

The errors that I get if I import into an 'old' file is that "The Mass contains geometry that cannot be combined. Mass Floors, Volume and Surface area won't be computed". How can this be solved?

Question 2:

Once it is imported, I need to assign materials, but it seems to have imported the file as one block. How do I access the individual pieces to change the material?

Question 3:

Can you change the standard floor height set in Vasari?

Also as a note - Vasari does not like Sketchup 8 - All files should be down saved prior to importing

You are right, that is another error on that page. Once you have imported the Sketchup model and saved it as an .RFA (family) file, you can import it into a Vasari project in one of two ways

  1. assuming you have the project open that you want to import into, just click the Load into Project button on the ribbon toolbar when you have the family file open.

  2. Or, after you have saved it, open the project file and click Place Mass on the Model tab and select the RFA (family) file you just saved.

Thanks, I will have these errors fixed in the documentation

I also got hung up on "Click Massing & Site tabConceptual Mass panel (Place Mass)"

Cannot find massing & site tab nor the place mass

You are correct, this documentation page erroneously points to the “Insert Tab.” The Import CAD command is actually found by clicking on the Application “V” menu > Import sub-menu. Otherwise, the rest of the steps in that document are correct. Try this and let us know if that does not work.