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11/29/2006 - 10:00 am - 11:30 am Room:Murano - 3205 (BSD Campus


Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Autodesk® Revit® Building
James Vandezande - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill


Learn some of the best practices and techniques used to manage Revit on large projects with many team members. Topics include managing and coordinating large amounts of Revit project components, configuring worksets for maximum flexibility, coordinating and dividing a project between multiple Revit models, effective standards, and tips for documentation such as Code Analysis.

About the Speaker: James is a registered architect in New York State and has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from high-end residential to large transportation projects. His experience includes budgeting, programming, code analysis, design and construction documentation, shop drawing review, client relations, and construction administration. In 2001, James became CAD manager for SOM’s New York office. In this role, he has developed and reconciled SOM’s firm-wide CAD standards, established protocols for training and education, and developed a series of custom productivity tools for technical drafting. Beginning in 2002, James has also been involved in the implementation and development of Autodesk Revit at SOM, and has since become the supervisor for firm-wide implementation as well as template and content development. SOM is currently using Autodesk Revit Building on a number of large, high-profile projects and continues to refine its approach to a long-term vision of an “enabled design” workflow.

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Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Outline Introduction Review the goals and learning objectives of the class. Standards & Settings Management An overview of the important settings and standards to keep your projects performing predictably. Cross-Platform Interoperability A look at processes to include geometric information from other software platforms in the case of structural coordination. Q & A – [10 min] Attendees will be better equipped to: • • • Make their project teams more efficient and effective Overcome common implementation obstacles Take on larger. Best Practices for the Team An overview of some important guidelines every team should follow. more complex projects 2 . Project Browser Customization Learn step-by-step procedures to make efficient use of Revit’s Project Browser when working with hundreds or even thousands of views in a single file. Learn techniques to organize data and conserve system resources. and ultracustom component creation. A bit about the speaker. We will examine project and family templates. Revision Management Detailed instruction and explanation of the revision management tools and schedules within Revit along with a glimpse of the related possibilities with utilization of the Revit API. unique massing. Linked Revit Models Step-by-step guidance on dividing a large project using linked Revit models. Hardware & Infrastructure Requirements A brief overview of the hardware and networking requirements that work well with Revit Building in a large project scenario. his experience and the important methods of implementation to remember throughout each presentation topic. Workset Configurations Best practices and guidelines for using worksets to your advantage on large projects with large teams. line styles and materials among others.

Reconcile those latest changes 3. Reload latest changes from central 2. Most of the presented content is focused on intermediate to advanced concepts in Autodesk Revit and assumes some basic knowledge of fundamental concepts. Tablet PC Edition) or Microsoft® Windows® 2000 SP4 (or later) Intel® Pentium® 4 1.if you’ve ever attempted a large project in Revit – are the minimum system requirements.0 GHz or higher GPU: nVidia Quadro FX 256Mb+ Gigabit Ethernet * Realistic Recommendations for Large Projects: * . “Hi! I’m the BIM Gnome – denouncer of common Revit myths.” The first and most obvious myth . Hardware & Infrastructure Requirements A brief overview of the hardware and networking requirements that work well with Revit Building in a large project scenario. first serve. Home.Although the time spent channeling data from your workstation to the central model on the server is less than 10% of the total STC (Save to Central) time. Save your local file (if option is checked in STC) STC Tip #2: Access to the central file is first come. “You can’t do that with Revit!” This course will explore some of the things many said could not be accomplished in this underrated platform. A bit about the speaker.4 GHz or equivalent AMD® Athlon® processor 1 GB RAM 1 GB free disk space RAM: 3 GB+ Processor: Pentium D Dual Core @ 3. We hear time and time again. refer to the Revit Tutorials and other printed training material. questions from practicing industry professionals have arisen concerning its ability to perform under rigorous demands. STC consists of the following (in order): 1. Just don’t wait too long between STC’s as your local model might become irreconcilable with the central file. Since Revit’s conception from the loins of Charles River Software.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Introduction Review the goals and learning objectives of the class. We are pushing around an extreme amount of data which requires extreme. Publish your local changes to central 4. 3 . STC Tip #1: Remember. hardware solutions. To learn more about basic functions. his experience and the important methods of implementation to remember throughout each presentation topic. especially when more of your team mates are working on the same model. You can always cancel the ‘ignition key’ dialog and try again later without losing any work. using gigabit Ethernet greatly reduces the total save time. Here are the minimum recommendations by Autodesk: System Requirements: − − − − − − − − Microsoft® Windows® XP (Professional. but not uncommon.

tricks. the better. Glenn W. Team Structure: In a recent webinar on Building Information Modeling. Assign task work based on components of the building – not series of ‘drawings.divide the project into distinct ‘chunks’ which are then linked together to form the whole.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Best Practices for the Team An overview of some important guidelines every team should follow.58 $92. 2. Schedule regular meetings to discuss tips. BIM requires more attention of senior team members. Traditional project approach: Week No. but less time overall.000. Divide & Conquer: The cleaner project task work is divided. Using Revit. issues with the model and plan for upcoming project milestones. Senior team members must realize the obsolescence of the plan/section/elevation assignment paradigm. Communicate: Ensure the BIM team is properly communicating at all levels.share a central model on one server and use a server caching appliance such as Riverbed’s Steelhead to facilitate the network traffic of the remote team members or. does not seem to increase the staffing requirements or prolong required deadlines in Schematic Design and Design Development. Use something simple such as instant messaging to keep the production team in-sync.’ Working Remotely: If you intend to develop a project where your team is distributed in different offices. Birx AIA of Ayers Saint Gross illustrated the following differences in how their team structures have changed using Revit to complete small projects. We have also discovered truth in the so-called “McLeamy Curve” in that more effort is required earlier in the design cycle.00 As you can see. Principal Project Manager Project Architect Architect Intern Total Hours Average Rate Fee Target 1 4 24 40 24 0 2 4 24 40 24 0 3 4 24 40 24 0 4 4 24 40 24 0 5 4 24 40 24 24 6 4 24 40 24 24 7 4 24 40 24 24 8 4 24 40 24 24 Total 32 192 320 192 96 832 $110.000. 4 .00 BIM project approach: Week No.74 $92. Principal Project Manager Project Architect Architect Intern Total Hours Average Rate Fee Target 1 4 16 24 40 40 2 4 16 24 40 40 3 4 16 24 40 40 4 4 16 24 40 40 5 4 16 24 40 40 6 4 16 24 40 40 7 4 16 24 40 40 8 4 16 24 40 40 Total 32 128 192 320 320 992 $92. however. you have two basic options: 1.

thus requiring only support and consulting on a part-time basis. we have created a new role which has ensured a high level of efficiency and satisfaction within our project teams.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Support: Although formal technical support is a critical factor to the overall success of any BIM team. 5 . This new role is the “Digital Design Specialist” and whose members are architects and engineers with an advanced understanding of Revit and the BIM process as a whole. As shown below for a project using CAD tools. most Project Team members are familiar with the software and processes.

rather only serves to troubleshoot software and training issues based on potentially counter-productive design and task decisions. These specialists must function between the senior members and the junior members of the team in order to facilitate decisions and actions throughout the course of the project. 6 . It is important to distinguish between support and specialist – where support does not have the ability to influence team decisionmaking.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building For BIM projects. we encourage the placement of team members with Architectural or Engineering experience as well as an advanced understanding of the chosen BIM tools.

In a larger office.ini file. it is appended with everything in the current project that needs to be exported. the following will be automated: o o • Check for an existing version of Revit.ini and KeyboardShortcuts.ini file which contains path to server family library. rather it uses True Type fonts (TTF). it is critical to standardize this file and ensure it is distributed to all Revit users. Deployment – When installing Revit in a larger office it is easier to develop a network deployment package for installation. Keep these files with your project data so the rest of the team can easily access them. accessible by the entire office Rendering content is copied to the users’ workstations Training files are copied to the users’ workstations During installation.Revit does not utilize shape-based font files (SHX) like Autocad. rendering content. When used in a worksharing environment where several users are working on local copies of a central file.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Standards & Settings Management While Revit does an excellent job managing settings within the project file (units. If you are using many DWG links. but keep your original export layer template in a safe place (you may even want to ZIP it) because each time the template is used.). Elevators. A standardized font mapping file can be added to the network deployment with the guidelines in the section above. When you are importing. the font mappings within all linked DWG files for the Revit project will be affected when that person opens. but are separate and unique categories when loaded into one project. text. works on and saves to central. the export file can get cluttered very easily. Sub-Categories in Families – Ensure that any team members responsible for creating content follow a minimum standard of care when using customized sub-categories in families. do not install content A BAT script can be developed to copy a customized Revit. training files immediately after the installation.txt and copy to temporary location. etc. however.txt which is located in the “Data” subfolder under Revit’s installation folder. sub-categories can be labeled as any of the following: Elevator. Font Mapping . • • • • • Revit families are placed in a network location. visibility. if one user has a different version of the shxfontmap file. 7 . DWG data with text. Elevator Cab. restore after installation Copy new Revit. it should be managed carefully. Revit attempts to map whatever SHX-style fonts it finds to an equivalent TTF using a file called shxfontmap. With this file. when using a Generic Model template for elevators. project template and other settings See the following page for a complete example of a custom deployment script. If your projects utilize a greater number of custom families. Export Templates – The text files used for exporting DWG/DXF formats does not have to be located in the Revit installation location. Also be aware that sub-categories – especially in Generic Models – must be assigned in the export layer template after the families are loaded into projects. exported geometry will most likely end up on layer A-GENM by default. For example. The following are my recommendations for configuring the deployment for most effective coverage and standardization. Elevator Car…all the same content. Evtr. some other subtle files and settings can either help or hurt your team when larger teams are involved.

dll" COPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\NavisworksINI\Revit.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Deployment Script Code Sample REM=====Copy user prefs to temp==== MD "C:\Temp" IF EXIST C:\Temp\Revit.msi" /qb.ini DEL "C:\Temp\Revit.txt" COPY "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.ini COPY "C:\Temp\Revit.chm" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.1\Rendering\" /y /E :END IF EXIST C:\Temp\Revit.1\Program\Revit.txt" /Q IF EXIST "C:\Program Files\NavisWorks 5\nwexportrevit9\$" DEL "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt" "C:\" /y XCOPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit90\Rendering\*.1\Program\Revit.1\Training" COPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\Revit91Training.txt COPY "C:\Temp\KeyboardShortcuts./lie+! "Autodesk Revit Building 9./lie+! "Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt" /q IF EXIST "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.1 Network Deployment.1\Program\" /y ECHO Installation Complete. 8 .*" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt GOTO RENDER MD "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt" "C:\" /y XCOPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\Training\*.1\Data\" /y COPY "\\nys015\Userlib\Revit\SOM-Customization\Data\importlineweights-dwg-SOM.1\Training\" /y /E :RENDER IF EXIST C:\Revit91Render.1\Program\" /y IF EXIST C:\Revit91Training.1\Data\" /y COPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\ContentENU\TutorialsBuildingImpENU.1==== msiexec /x "{50D27F65-FF32-48CA-A9D6-FB823BC84BB6}" /qb.txt GOTO END MD "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9\Rendering" COPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\Revit91Render.ini" COPY "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.1\Program\" /y IF EXIST C:\Temp\KeyboardShortcuts.dll" COPY "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\Revit.1 Network Deployment.1\Program\" /y COPY "\\nys015\Userlib\Revit\SOM-Customization\Data\shxfontmap.ini" "C:\Temp\" /y IF EXIST "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.1\Program\KeyboardShortcuts.1\Data\shxfontmap.1\Program\KeyboardShortcuts.txt" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.ini" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.1\Program\" /y IF NOT EXIST "C:\Program Files\NavisWorks 5\nwexportrevit9\nwexportrevit5_r9.txt" "C:\Temp\" /y REM=====Installing Revit Building 9.1\Program\Revit.1 Network Deployment.log" REM=====Tweak installation==== REN "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.txt DEL "C:\Temp\KeyboardShortcuts.ini" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.log" msiexec /i "\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL\Revit91\Autodesk Revit Building 9. Note: Find and replace “\\nys015\apps\AUTOINSTALL” with the UNC path to your network deployment package.ini" "Revit.ini" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.ini" /q IF EXIST C:\Temp\KeyboardShortcuts.*" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9.

we create a Project Parameter named Sheet Type which functions as a text field. presentation sheets may need to co-exist with the construction drawings. For a particular type of view (for example. Finally. a name is assigned to the Sheet Type parameter for each design sketch. The ability to customize the Project Browser has proven a tremendous asset to our larger projects. Often during the design process. assigned to Drawing Sheets). to further clarify the use of sheet discipline and major grouping code: Just be aware that the above method is not automatically assigned to each new sheet. another text-type parameter is added to Views called “Zone.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Project Browser Customization Learn step-by-step procedures to make efficient use of Revit’s Project Browser when working with hundreds or even thousands of views in a single file. create a Browser Organization with a filter displaying sheets in which Sheet Type equals “Design Sketches”. Design Sketches). Alternatively. using 3 leading characters if your sheet naming convention follows Discipline-Sheet Number. First. for large projects in either vertical or horizontal girth.” This parameter is used to group views according to their respective portion 9 . To segregate these different types of sheets. Then. but viewed by different team members. you can create a project parameter called “Sheet Grouping” (Type=Text. Set the folders in the “Sheet Prefix” browser organization to group by sheet number. We accomplish this customization in a variety of ways. Select multiple sheets in the browser using the CTRL key and edit their properties. sheets can be grouped very simply according to discipline and number grouping.

… Partitions-B1. … Partitions-A1. … Telecom 1. you are presented with the option to specify which worksets you would like to open. … Datum-Grids Datum-Levels Site With this type of workset structure. Core-Part B. Early problems in Revit implementation usually stem from improper team structure. elevations… To this end. 10 . sections. Using File-Open. … Furniture 1. Enclosure-Part B. Project teams must focus on assemblies of building components rather than plans. … Enclosure-Part A. Partitions-A2. Telecom 2. Revit allows a project of any size to be organized according to the structure of the team. the traditional drawing-based roles become obsolete. Learn techniques to organize data and conserve system resources. Following are some examples of worksets used on large scale projects: Large Vertical Building Exterior Enclosure Core Interior Walls 1. Structure-Part B. Midrise and Highrise. Because Revit utilizes a model-based approach to design and documentation. Furniture 2. a tower may consist of Lowrise. Workset Configurations Best practices and guidelines for using worksets to your advantage on large projects with large teams. For example. Interior Walls 2.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building of the project. team members have the ability to open discrete portions of the virtual building. Partitions-B2. … Core-Part A. a Browser Organization can be created with a filter displaying views for which the Zone equals a particular text value. … Structure-Foundation Structure-Podium Structure-Tower Datum-Grids Datum-Levels Floors-Vertical Openings Site Large Campus-Type Project Existing Structure Existing Partitions Structure-Part A. As described in the previous paragraph. thus limiting the amount of data loaded into memory.

A dedicated 3D view with only Workset 1 visible can be used to assign elements on Workset1 to a more appropriate workset. BONUS TIP: The free utility. TIP: Running out of memory may cause the error “Unable to save” or “File not found. causing Revit to release a percentage of virtual memory. real-time gauge of your RAM and CPU usage.” This can be remedied by closing major worksets.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building TIP: Use “Workset1” as a temporary workset. Instruct your teams during training to use Workset1 when they are not sure on which worksets to place new modeling elements. This is a floating or dockable. Google Desktop allows you to add gadgets such as the System Monitor. 11 .

each partner MUST be on the same platform version of Revit.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Linked Models Dividing a large project using several linked Revit models. Revit Systems 1. Why divide? Although Revit’s principles are derived from a single.1 and Revit Structure 4. Example: A structural engineer is designing for a large. one for each TYPE of wing and there are several instances of each type of wing. When planning to divide a project into multiple Revit files. Revit Systems 1 Revit Systems 1. multi-wing office complex. If you have multiple instances of a linked model. Linking. etc. unique features… Document issues – separately defined sets of drawing packages can help prepare your division of project files. This is not an official “branded” release of Revit Systems.1 refers specifically to the compatibility release of Revit Systems that was to synchronize with Revit Building 9. “Link-Wing B”. consider the following important factors: • • • Team structure – if your project teams will be working in different offices or on uniquely divided portions of the project. Sometimes it might make sense to use this source model solely for datum management.1 Revit Structure 2 Revit Structure 3 Revit Structure 4 N.1 Revit Building 9 Revit Building 9. These platform versions are dictated and best referred to by the version of Revit Building that they correspond to.1 * Revit Systems 2 * * For the Revit 9. The most recent platform versions would be: Revit Building 8 Revit Structure 1 N. linked models might be a viable alternative.A. This allows the flexibility to close or hide either all the structural links or an entire wing.1 platform there are two compatible releases of Revit Systems. subgrade areas. Project components – how the building is divided into parts such as a tower’s podium.A. grid lines and levels. coordinated source of data. but does refer to a specific build of Revit Systems 1. Revit Systems 2 is branded specifically as such and should be easily identifiable. Copy/Monitoring… Platform Versions For efficient and effective collaboration as we will demonstrate in this example. the workset under the link’s Type Properties should be set to one workset. these building components might be better modeled and documented in separate models. Product Builds 12 . or one workset for each linked model. If packages such as structural steel or curtain wall are to be issued. How to divide? Begin by choosing one project as the source for coordinate system. and each instance can either be on its own workset or another common workset.1 (build 20060810_2300). The workset Type Properties for all of the structural linked models are specified as “Link-Structure” and each instance is specified as “Link-Wing A”. it is sometimes necessary to consider a scheme to divide a project into several parts. Such a division is most effective when planned earlier in the life of the project. They submit several models. Revit Building 8. Next your linked models should be placed on their own worksets.

When worksharing is involved. For more detailed instructions on using Copy/Monitor with any combination of Architecture. When the files are being distributed to other consultants. make sure that the model has been opened and detached from the central file before distributing. DWG and DWF” which will be available on AU Online. Coordination Monitor Guidelines When using coordination monitor. and only when the linked result is specific to the coordination process. 13 . and/or Mechanical workflows. Identifying what build you are using is very simple. Updates should occur at a time when no one is working from a local file and access can be restricted. not a Copy/Monitor. coordination monitor should always be set up Central File to Central File. please see my documentation for class BD32-3 “Effective Collaboration with Autodesk Revit. Structure. coordination monitor should be implemented as follows: o When the files exist on the same LAN and direct access is possible. certain relationships might be better as only a Monitored relationship. • Use the Copy and Monitor functions sparingly. Unnecessary links and relationships can slow linked model performance substantially.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building It is recommended that within each product. Different builds can cause Save to Central issues. Go to the Help menu and select Product and License Information. • o • Remember. You will see a dialog box like this with the version and build information: Note: Within the same firm. there are some general guidelines that should always be followed. This detached file should then be set up direct to the central file at the other discipline. it is required that all people working on the same project using work sharing be on the same build. Use the coordination tool Copy/Monitor to intelligently translate information between linked Revit models. all people collaborating be on the same build.

14 .). Next. Under SettingsÆRevisions. etc. method creates a synchronous listing of revisions where REVISED FOR BULLETIN 1 would be revision number 4 on ALL sheets. From SettingsÆRevisions. It is not available within the project environment. Don’t be alarmed if at first you can’t find the Revision Schedule as it can only exist in a family. or By Project. 7. In contrast. Remember (as of Revit 9. 4. 2. Such a task can be overwhelming to any team member if automated tools are not available to input and report on what could be thousands of clouds and tags within a large document set. Choose a Method Before creating any revisions in a Revit project you must decide whether your method will be “Project-Based” or “Sheet-Based. A critical part of managing a project of any size is the coordination of sheet revisions. etc. add dates and descriptions to the Revision Table. 4. Make sure they are visible and not “Issued” yet. it’s time to create a date and description related to an issue of construction documents. This maintains a numerical sequence for each sheet where REVISED FOR BULLETIN 1 might be number 4 on one sheet…number 7 on another. but each sheet’s revision list would maintain 1. This would inevitably lead to sheet revision lists which may be out of sequence (i. 1. 2. the Sheet-Based. no matter how many times that sheet has been revised before. Revit has developed such a system which will be explained in this section. method generates a unique revision sequence for each sheet.” The Project-Based. cannot go from bottom Building only fill They to top.e.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Revision Management Detailed instruction and explanation of the revision management tools and schedules within Revit along with a glimpse of the related possibilities with utilization of the Revit API.1) revision schedules in from top to bottom. 3. choose one of the aforementioned options: The next step is to ensure you have a Revision Schedule within your title block family. or By Sheet.

Remember that the clouds you sketch will be part of the LAST revision group in the Revision Table. you have several options to manage revisions in your Revit project. You can also modify the visibility of each revision group. the appropriate numbered revision is added to the revision schedule in the title block. You can change the “Revision” assignment as shown here. Draw a revision cloud around areas of the drawing which have changed. only the tags. If you are establishing future issues which are not yet visible. This will prevent further editing of those revision clouds assigned to that revision group. your revision clouds might disappear after you finish the sketch. As revision clouds are added to sheets. Use the Tag tool to add the default triangle revision tag or your own tag family. 15 . Once drawings have been issued. go back to SettingsÆRevisions and mark the check box in the Issued column for the issued revisions. Use the drop-down options in the “Visible” column to specify whether both the clouds and tags are visible. or not at all. but only after the cloud is finished.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Revision Clouds From the Drafting menu or Design Bar select the Revision Cloud tool. First.

Integrating 3D DGN data is quite similar to importing DWG data. If you don’t. Simply use FileÆImport DWG/DXF/DGN and find the file. In my experience. The one thing you can’t do with DGN structure is use the Interference Check tool to detect clashes between the 3D DGN model and the Revit components. Remember: You must create an in-place family (ModelingÆCreate) in which to import the 3D DGN file. structural engineers use a wide range of engineering tools to get the job done – including Bentley Structural. and ultra-custom component creation. unique massing. they will have to save their files down to V7 format before transmitting. 16 . If your engineer is using the latest V8 Bentley software. Quite frequently. DGN is one of the supported file types Revit can import and export. however Revit can only read up to V7 DGN files. Let’s look at how we can use 3D data from a DGN file.Techniques for Managing Large Projects in Revit Building Cross-Platform Interoperability A look at processes to include geometric information from other software platforms in the case of structural coordination. We can’t use Revit in this scenario. it will not cut or display properly throughout your project. we architects will collaborate with structural engineers on a number of projects. right? … Wrong.