Sunday, February 22, 2009

Design Options, Linked Files, and Revit Standards...

To say its been a slow few months would be an understatement, but i suppose thats true for many of us with the economic situation as it is. Ive missed posting, as i really enjoy working with Revit and toiling with its idiosyncrasies as we fight to get productive work done. Im HAPPY to say, it looks like the proverbial end of the dry spell MAY be here, as ive had reason to model a few things recently, and i have cause for hope that a few big and interesting opportunities are on the way: All of which i expect to spark Revit questions for me.

Most people on AUGI know me as a fanatic of Linked Files. Thats not to say i wouldnt prefer one giant model that functioned elegantly, but i find using Linked Files creates wonderful performance gains for the whole team, as long as im steadfast with the model management. Not too long ago, i built this model: A very simple Mixed use 7 storey building.

I found great potential here to use Linked Files with Design options, as there are really only a few variations in the Floor plans. That is, the model only has 1 storey modeled. It then has design options as follow:

-Options Set: First Floor
----Option 1: Yes
----Option 2: No (primary)

-Option Set: Second Floor
----Option 1: Yes
----Option 2: No (primary)

-Option Set: Top Floor
----Option 1: Yes
----Option 2: No (primary)

That file is then linked and copied amongst the floor Levels, and in each view the appropriate design option configurations can be picked. Herein lies my issue, though i may be alone in such a desire:

It makes since WITHIN a file, that Design Options be view specific. Otherwise, how would we show the different options? However, with file links, i personally would like the OPTION to make the Design Options view specific in the Parent File, or Model centric when linked in. Why? Well consider the above file:

The first floors D.O. selections will ALWAYS be : Yes, No, No.
The second Floors Options will ALWAYS be: No, Yes, No.
Floors 3-6 will always be: No, No, No (primary for all)
Top floor will always be: No, No, Yes.

BUT, this needs to be adjusted in VG for every view in the parent file. With Revits penchant for extra dialogue boxes, thats a lot. (1) VG, RVT Links tab (2), Custom (3), Design options tab (4), Select, select, select, Okay, Okay, Okay, Okay, Okay. thats a lot of clicks.

View templates shorten the process, and can be applies ALMOST globally... But they cant for schedules, im not sure why. In a Door schedule with the linked files, trying to apply a VT that overrides the VG: RVT Links tab wont allow the VT to show up at all.

Considering the amount of Schedules i use for QC in my models, thats a LOT of setup work, for something that would simply be to say *these linked files will always be configured in this design option...*. It could even be in the Manage Links dialogue: Design Option: by view or by link instance. Man, that would make my day.

Worth mentioning, with this issue of the schedules in the linked files, if ANYONE on the project team isnt up to speed on the implications of the linked files and the design options, your hands are tied to basically tell the entire team NOT to make new views... Or theyre in the thick without realizing it.

All of THAT said, a post was on AUGI years ago (thats still being updated), about firms SHARING their templates and standards, and i find extreme validity in this. A firm i talk with extensively even has their content posted on their website (they shall remina nameless unless they want to chime in). A FEW offices ive worked for are holding tight to their content,and templates, and standards, yelling "Work Product," and "Intellectual property," and a whole lot of other phrases i personally cant stand. Im sorry. My service is ARCHITECTURE. Thats what differntiates us. If i can share a template and MAYBE help someone else succeed with a tool that i BELIEVE is going to continue to aide and alter our industry, then i'll share it.
There are SO many discussions on standards: Naming conventions, family construction, Phases used as legend band aids, level of Details, View template setups, etc.
We all work differently, and we can certainly all learn from one another.
I have a new venue coming up soon, and it will have space for me to upload, store, share, and distribute. Instructionals on things ive done, or helped with, as well as templates, content, etc. Keep an eye posted, i should be getting to it in the next week or two. As a self proclaimed Process Engineer and Informational Hippy, i prefer to share. Not because i think everything ive done is the best way, but because the best way we ALL advance is to work together. Color me naive. :) I'll report back once the site is set up...