Here is a little tutorial on using visibility settings for topography and subregions, in order to use aerial maps with your Revit site plans. Here is the Screencast version.
Today I was asked to clean up some filled regions types. It took 30 minutes to figure out how to do that.
First of all, I tried the Object Styles panel, but Filled Regions are not showed there. So I went into Settings, but there is nothing about filled Regions there either. Finally, I browse the family tree, and under Detail Items / Filled Regions I found all the types that existed in the project. I select a few that I wanted to get rid of and... No delete possible. Either used, or unused, the Delete command is grayed out, and the Delete key does nothing. Great.
Finally, the only thing that works is Purge Unused. Go in, uncheck all, and re-check the Filled Regions types that you do not want. In this environment, you will see only the Filled Region types NOT USED in the project.
PS: Same thing happens if you would like to delete Dimension Types...
In Revit 2009, the property panel of a wall looks something like shown below.
The Instance parameter "Structural Usage" (in green) is available in wall schedules, and also it is very important in determining the visibility of the element in function of the instance View parameter "Discipline". This means that if you set your view discipline to "structural" only structural elements will be shown, and walls whose "Structural Usage" is NOT set to "Non-bearing".
The type parameter "Wall Function", on the other hand (in orange), is NOT available in wall schedules (nor view filters), and therefore the meaning of its existence becomes much more obscure to me.
Does anyone know why we cannot use this parameter, which becomes vital in defining Core&Shell Vs. Interiors, for example? I guess this is a question / wish list for the foundry...
If you need to re-load a large number of families, right clicking the family name in the project browser, and hitting "Reload" may become a long and tedious process.
Instead, you can select all families files, in Windows Explorer, and Drag&Drop them into a Revit window. Revit (I tried with 2009) will ask you if you want to load the families, or open the files in separate windows. Chose Load, and Revit will reload every file you dragged&dropped, also asking, time by time, if you want to make the family editable, and if you want to override the parameters value.
One really cool feature of the schedule editor is the capability to cross-reference parameters from other categories than the one you are scheduling. For example, if you are doing a door schedule, you can click on the "Select available fields from:" pull-down menu, in the "Fields" tab, and chose "From Room" or "To Room". For other type of schedules, you can access the material parameters of the scheduled elements in the same way.
Now, wouldn't it be absolutely wonderful if the Factory would expand on that principle, and make, I don't know, the door HOST category available? That would be Walls, would it not? Then, we could include in the door schedule partition types, thickness, wall rating (!), wall function (interior/exterior), etc., etc.
Interestingly enough, I just find this post on the Revit Clinic blog, which at least addresses how you can schedule the thickness of the host wall in a door schedule, using a reporting parameter. But it needs to be a shared parameter...
I believe most Revit users must know that by clicking inside a schedule's cell, then "touching" another view, will basically select that scheduled element, in the model. For example, you click inside a door width field, in a door schedule, and that door will be selected in the model. You can also click on "Show", in the schedule's option bar.
However, what if you would like to select several elements, that is, several rows in the schedule? The SHIFT or CTRL clicking does not work, like it would in Explorer, for example.
However, quite incredibly, click / hold / & drag, does indeed select multiple rows:
Switching to a model view, then, will select the elements, and will allow you to edit their parameters, at once:
If you make your door schedule to sort / filter doors by level, you may, sooner or later, fall in one of Revit many little road blocks: curtain panels assume their level from the level of the curtain wall they belong to, including door curtain panels. Did you gasp yet?
Yes, this means that if you have doors placed on different levels but belonging to the same curtain wall, they will all have the same level, which is the base level of the curtain wall itself.
I think Revit should provide a "Level" field in the curtain panel elements, which the user can adjust, selecting the appropriate level. Better yet, Revit should simply assign the closest level to the curtain panel elements. End of it.
If you know of a workaround which does not involve creating a door instance parameter called "My_quadrigazzillionth_custom_parameter_to_make_revit_do_what_I_need", please, comment away...
Here is a lot of great information on shared parameters, from Steve Stafford's blog. Make sure to check his other posts on the subject, linked at the end of the post.
The one thing Steve does not seem to talk about is how do you change a shared parameter from "type" to "instance". One of our Revit model manager just told me she was editing door families and changing the "Frame Detail" parameter from Type to Instance. It just hit me: if a shared parameter comes from a family, you can edit it in the families of the elements it is assigned to; for examples, doors.
I need to further investigate this, but it appears a great feature to me, whom I have been always very confused about how rigid shared parameters seem to be.
We are using a door schedule which filters doors by Level. We have several linked files, which have some doors as well. Once you click in the "Include elements in linked files", in the Fields Tab of the Schedule Properties, the Level parameter disappears from the list of available parameters in the Filter Tab.... This means that you cannot filter by Level if you are trying to schedule elements in linked files.
Most likely, there is a way to use some other parameter by which you can filter your doors, but this introduces a new item in the list of human-driven errors that your project will have.
The reason why Revit behaves in this way (at least in Revit 2009), quite obviously, is that Levels in linked models may not match Levels in the host model, even if they are called in the same way. In other words, two models with the same identical set of levels, may still be nested in a way that make the levels not match.
Still, one would have hoped that Revit would allow you to "calibrate", or "register", the levels of nested models, so that scheduling elements by Level would be possible. In a similar way in which you can map phases, actually.
I will check on 2010 and 2011, but if someone has some good workaround, or suggestions on this topic, please, feel free to comment...
Have you ever demolished a door? I bet you did. What Revit does, is to automatically create an infill which replaces the opening in the wall. This is great, also considering that the infill will properly show as "New" and the rest of the wall "Existing", and setting up construction plans is a breeze.
Now, if you have more than two phases, and you are trying to show those infills as new, in a phase in the future of when you demo'd the element, then Revit will "see" both the (E) wall and the automatic infill as "Existing". Then, no matter what phase filter you apply, there will be no way to show the infill different from the wall. In other words, they will blend together.
This is an example when you would really use phases for the in-fills, which also makes practical sense because if a contractor removes an existing door, it does not mean that he will immediately frame and fill the opening. The in-fill may actually be built any other phase in the future...
The only work around I found is the old trick of the overlapping plan views. You need to create another plan view, where everything is off except your in-fills. Then set the phase filter to display them black, and overlap this plan on your new floor plan view. At least, after the initial setup, everything will be fully BIM intelligent.
About the Author
Giovanni Succi is a project designer living and working in San Francisco. He is a LEED AP, and for the last twenty years he has been researching the field of computer graphics, 3D modeling, rendering, and architectural design.
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