Rock Your Revit Template

May 18, 2017

EvolveLAB helps Architects, Engineers, and Contractors build and optimize their Revit template.

 

Most people struggle a little bit with Revit templates.  What should they have in them?  What should they not have in them?  Should they include most of your firms Revit content?  What if your firm designs single family residential AND commercial projects?  Should you have one template for each practice group?  These are the type questions we will answer.  Check out this video as well as below screen shots as we talk about how to make Revit templates rock at your firm.

2 Ways To Create A Revit Template

There are essentially to ways to create a Revit template.

1.  Start with the out of the box Revit templates here C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2017\Templates\US Imperial/ and do a 'save as'.

 

2.  Start with a project file.  The nice thing about this workflow is you may already have your sheets set up, view templates, and your view browser dialed in.  The downside is there will be a fair amount of clean up removing all elements of your project file leaving it an empty for the next project to start from.

 

If the file has work sharing enabled and a central file created, you will have to begin by detaching it from central.

***This part is the most critical!***
You have to "Detach and discard worksets".
 This process essentially disables worksharing and allows you to save-as a Revit template

Save-As Template.  Please note this feature would not be available if you did not complete the above "Detach and discard worksets".

Configure Revit Template Options

Once you have created your template you will want to configure your office's machines to look at the Revit template.  You will do this by going to all the user's machines in the office and setting it in options.

You can hit the "+" symbol and navigate to your newly created Revit template.

You can remove the other templates that are not necessary by hitting the "-" symbol.  

*This is also a good opportunity to set the location for where you want your local files saved. 

Hit OK.

This will ensure that when you start a new project that your template will show by default.

Template Project Browser
Next you will want to configure your template project browser.  You can do this by right clicking on "Views" in your project browser, and select "Browser Organization..."  You really get quite a few different ways to organize your project browser using the "Grouping and Sorting" Tab.  This is Awesome!  

See below how we set up our client Lisa Laursen Design's project browser.

Another popular way to organize your views is by use
Construction Documents: Any views that will be used part of the permit set

Presentation: Views used for sheets that are not part of the permit set, but used for communication with client and others on the team.
Working: Any views that will not be published

View Templates

View templates are imperative for any Revit template.  A view template is a collection of view properties, such as view scale, discipline, detail level, and visibility settings controlled globally in your project.  In short, view templates create consistency and efficiency for your project.  Create the views that you want in your project, and apply a view template to them.

 

Go through and pick the scale, visibility settings, etc. that you want for your view template.  One little subtle check box that either people don't know exist, or they know it exist, but it confuses them from time to time is the "Include" column.  The "Include" column unchecked will NOT apply the settings for that particular row.  Why would you want that?  For example, let say that you have an overall plan at 1/32"=1'-0" and a typical floor plan 1/8"=1'-0", and you want them to have the same visibility settings with the exception of the scale.  Simply uncheck the "Include" check box for scale, and you can have ALL the same visibility settings in your view template with the exception of the scale.

Want to take your efficiency to another level?  Set your type properties for your views, and every new view you create will automatically have the desired view template applied to it!

 

Landing Page
The other thing you will want to include in your template is a landing page.  The landing page serves multiple purposes.
1.  It serves as a communication vehicle for the rest of the team.
2.  It helps Revit to open and sync to central faster.

There are quite a few different approaches and opinions to what a landing page should include.  Some firms prefer to include tips and trick, shortcut keys, etc.  I personally like to leave that type of information out of the template, and include project centric information.  Below I have included information such as

1.  Template Version
2.  Model Maintenance Data
3.  Design Team Contact Information
4.  Project Number
5.  Project Name

6.  Project Status
7.  Client Name

8.  Project Issue Date
9.  Current Print Reference
10.  Issues and Revisions for the project

To set your landing page as the default starting view go to the "Manage" tab, and click "Starting View"

From there you will be prompted for which view/sheet you would like as your "Starting View"

 

Code
Revit filters are extremely powerful.  If you are an architectural firm that does commercial work, then you know how important it is to do your code analysis.  Getting these settings created and dialed in are critical.

In this example I have added a project parameter to all my walls called "Wall Fire Rating".

Next, I created view filter that applies the appropriate hatch patter to my walls whether I have a fire rating of 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hour, or a smoke wall.

The other thing you will want to consider is your occupant load factors, loads, and occupancy types. One of the best ways to control this is by creating a key schedule of your occupancy types, and their load factors.  For most firms we build this as both areas and rooms.  This gives you two different ways to address code depending on the building type.

Once you have your key schedules created for your occupancy types and their load factors, you will want to create a "working" code schedule.  This will help your coordinate your load factors and loads with your occupancy tags.  Even though Revit 2017 introduced the ability to tag calculated values, there is still a limitation of getting the shared parameters loaded into the key schedule.

Your working schedule will be comprised of the key schedule parameters as well as the parameters that exist in your room/area code tag.  As you assign the appropriate occupancy types, your occupant load factor should populate appropriately.  Your occupant load will will be a calculated value that uses a formula similar to this one "roundup((Area / Occupant Load Factor) / 1' ^ 2)"

Now that your schedule has the smart information populating well, you will either manually populate this data for the code tags in this working schedule coordinating with your smart information or you could use dynamo to push the parameters from the calculated values to the code tag parameters.  I recommend dynamo. ;)

Here you can see the code tag is being populated based on the data we entered into our working schedule.

 Lastly you will have a summary or publish schedule that will be dropped on your sheet.

It is likely you will also need to calculate your egress lengths.  This can be accomplished by creating a line based family that has the length parameter scheduled.  Using this process there is no longer a process of manually drawing and adding lengths.

There are many other schedules that can be created such as your use and occupancy classification, plumbing fixture required, etc.

Resource Files

A lot of firms want to know if they should have a "heavy template" or a "Light Template".  I'm more of a light template guy augmented with resource files.  What's a resource file or a container file?  A resource file is a Revit project file that holds information that you would like to copy/paste into your project.  For example, you may not want to load your entire casework library into your Revit template, but you could put it into a separate Revit project file, and copy/paste it in.

The other nice thing about Resource files is that they are visual.   You are no longer "double clicking your life away" as I like to say, hunting and pecking through endless rows of folders.  Rather you can see your content visually, and simply copy/paste it into your project.

 

 

Another great example of this is general building details.  You don't necessarily want to bring any and every detail into your template.  If you do this, all the detail components reside in your template making your template larger than it needs to be.  A better approach is to create a general building details resource file and use the insert view from file command to bring specific details into your project on an as-needed basis.

 Pick the details you want, and Revit will bring them over for you!

 

 

 

 

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