Quality Control Views Are a Must
With this month’s AUGIWorld focus being collaboration, I felt like covering something that I am passionate about. Having established views that are set up for quality review is a must. And not only the views, but associated view templates and filters as well. To this day I come across project workflows that act as if we live in a paper world and it is all about the construction documents. There is some partial truth to that; however, we really need to leverage all that Autodesk® Revit® offers. This is all basic stuff that we need to revisit from time to time to ensure our templates and our documented workflows are efficient.
Let’s start with the views in your model. A View List is a standard, out-of-the-box schedule you can create. As you can see from the list in Figure 1, there are several view properties that can be scheduled. Some properties I like to look at are the view name, view template, and discipline of the view. These are key for me from a standards point of view to ensure the project is following company BIM Standards. By having this schedule already set up in my templates, I have a place to go that is quick and efficient to review. I can make all changes necessary and this will save me time doing QC work on the project.
Figure 1: View properties
Depending on your firm, your workflow, and your consultants, you may have different items you are responsible for when coordinating projects. No matter your scenario, you must use filters and create coordination views to assist you in this task. For example, let’s assume your primary discipline is Structural and you are working with an outside architectural consultant. With this scenario often both models may have duplicated efforts with floors, columns, and walls. Most views in your Structural model will only show what you are modeling and documenting. However, there must be an effort to make sure both models are coordinating these elements.
Visibility Graphic Overrides
Figure 2: Visibility graphics overrides in linked files
As shown in Figure 2, a simple graphics override can help identify the walls in the Architectural model versus the walls in your Structural model.
In your project browser you can have a view set up already that is showing the wall category only, the discipline of the view is Coordination, and the name of the view makes it obvious what it will be used for. You can have coordinating section views as well. Make your views serve a specific purpose with isolated graphics and color overrides. This eliminates a lot of clicks and confusion while coordinating with other trades.
Figure 3: Project browser organization
Your Revit Structure project template should have some placeholder for other trades that will assist you in fine tuning your view templates. For example, in your Architectural Placeholder Revit model you may want to draw every architectural element so you can test your visibility graphics and view templates.
Once this is established in your project start-up template, you can select “reload from” in your Manage Links dialog box to redirect the placeholder to the actual Architectural model. You may have to adjust for coordinates, but your coordination views and view templates will immediately go to work for you in your efforts.
Figure 4: Discipline-specific model placeholder
Slab Edge Comparison
Architectural models will use floors and slabs, which will also be found in your Structural model. Another recommended coordination view would be for slab edge comparison. Turn off all categories in your Structural model except your structural foundations, floors, and slabs. Override the visibility graphic display of your Architectural model and make the slab and floors a unique color. Test this coordination view with your placeholders in your project template. You may consider creating view templates for these coordination plan and section view settings.
View templates are great for assigning them to views in your project template. But let’s not forget they can be assigned “temporarily” as you are working. You may find yourself modeling some supports around a stairwell and want to check the architectural floors against your structural floors. This is a perfect opportunity to assign the view template “temporarily” to your view as you are working.
Figure 5: Temporarily apply template properties
A great opportunity for keeping people informed during a project is the Starting View function found in the Manage ribbon. You can make a drafting view the Starting View in a project.
Use that drafting view to post status, questions, or approaching deadlines. That way, when someone goes into the model it will be the first thing they see and instantly know the status of the project. If you have multiple trades working inside of Revit, you can take this one step further by having a Revit model that is only used to communicate to all trades. Everyone links in this “communication” model and makes it part of their Starting view. A BIM Coordinator can use this communication model to communicate across all disciplines working in Revit on the project. Sometimes stepping back to the basics is required to help launch you into the future.
Figure 6: Starting view
Insert View from File
Another view worth setting up in your project templates is a drafting view that lays out your office standards. This view is good for onboarding new employees and for sharing with consultants. They can insert this view into their project file from your project file. Or better yet, maybe this drafting view is stored inside the “Communication” model so all consultants can have access.
Figure 7: Insert Views from File
All these items are basic, but effective when used properly. Instead of explaining step-by-step instructions, I just wanted to give you the concept and make you think about your current project templates. Whatever your role on a project, the goal is always to have better collaboration, work more efficiently, and execute a consistent deliverable.
Philip Russo has 33 years of national experience with CAD and BIM implementations, training, and consulting. He began with AutoCAD version 2.5 in 1986. Through the years he has held positions in the CAD industry such as CAD Draftsmen, CAD Manager, and Sr. Applications Engineer, and is a Certified Autodesk instructor. Recently, Philip’s focus has been on the implementation of standard practices for the Revit platform. He has been a national speaker at Autodesk University, BIM workshops, and local user groups. Philip writes articles for AUGIWorld magazine, has held the position of Revit Structure Content Manager, and was elected to the board of directors for AUGI (Autodesk User Group International). As the Corporate BIM Applications Manager with O’Brien & Gere, Part of Ramboll, Philip is currently responsible for the delivery of technical solutions, workflow, support, and training for major complex and diverse projects. He is also responsible for providing project support, coordination, and workflow suggestions. Philip communicates with clients and specific project teams, and may also direct and instruct the technical staff during a project’s progression. He can be reached at email@example.com