Greg Byrne sends us a method that he uses to help determine the elevation of objects in elevation views.
"This tip allows quick reference of building heights and confirmation of notated levels. If you don't know what your reference level is when setting up your elevation drawings, assume that your ground finish floor is at 100,000 on the y-axis. Then when you click on any horizontal line, you can see its elevation simply by looking at the y-coordinate in the properties. Similarly, if you do know a datum level, draw this level as a horizontal line on the y-axis. You now can check the levels by clicking on any horizontal line and looking at the y-coordinate. Starting at 100,000 prevents you from running into negative figures — which is what happens if you start at 0, and then calculating heights becomes a little more complicated."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: This is an interesting method. It is very simple and easy to do; that is why it works so well. When an elevation view is drawn, you can start anywhere in the user coordinate system (UCS). Starting a line at the zero coordinate on the y-axis is a great way to define an elevation of zero. If your building is 20 feet high, then offset that base line by 20 feet. Using Greg's method means that it's not practical to draw that baseline at the 0 coordinate; drawing it at 100,000 on the y-axis is the next-best thing. When determining the elevation, just ignore that first digit (1).