Tipniques: Collaborating Standards

The concept is simple, in theory. There are firm standards, building standards, and industry standards. Each topic, each item are intended to be not only following both, but also serving its main purpose of defining information to build a building with as much ease and understanding as possible.

Industry standard components for Revit are EVERYWHERE! As companies compete, and strive to stay up-to-date with technology and the industry, BIM is the hot commodity and making sure they are on board is a huge priority. Many companies already have their products online, downloadable and offer not only CAD files, but Revit files too. This is great news for the architect! …or is it?

The first thing to realize is that just because it is available and it works for Revit, does not mean it is what you want or can even use in your project. Many products made available today are blocks, created from other pieces of software and unable to edit or modify within Revit. Another large source of products were made during the time of “Look what this program can do” and have way too many options, geometry, and giant blocks of parameter settings to even use without blowing up the project file in the process. Finally, the last group of usable, clean, and editable families very well could be completely lacking the requirements for your firms workflow, and thus eliminating your ability to use it.

The job now becomes interesting, having to make all of these different variables come together into one. This topic could turn into a book, so I am only going to cover one example today: taking an “Industry Standard” piece of casework, and modifying it for my “Firm Standards” so that both are achieved at the same time. Here is an example of such a process using a WIC casework.

(This is an out-of-the-box WIC casework component)

The default object works well, as parameters are efficient, work well for scheduling, tagging, and graphical representation as is. The problem is that our office utilizes a process for speeding up our workflow with a “Detail Level Standard”, giving all coarse views 2D only, medium views the basic geometry, and fine views able to see all. Below is a table describing these settings:

(This chart is referenced from our firms BIM Standards Manual)

To achieve this result, we must do two things; apply visibility settings to each piece of geometry, and draw a few detail lines for the coarse view to show correctly. First is the easy part; assigning the visibility settings.

  1. Start by selecting each piece (or multiple per category), and choose “Edit…” next to Visibility/Graphic Overrides parameter. This is found within the “Graphics” category of the “Properties Palette”
  2. Choose the detail level for each solid. Note: All geometry should be OFF in Coarse, major items only in medium, and all items ON in fine. Then pick “OK” to finish the process
  3. Repeat these two steps until all pieces of geometry are shown correctly according to the firm standards. See below for a picture of these steps

(This image represents the steps to modify the geometry visibility settings)


Now we can move onto the second step; creating some 2D line work for when the views are set to “Coarse”.

  1. Open the plan view, add symbolic lines around the edge, and the face of the toe panel
  2. Then open the right and front views and repeat the process to add all symbolic lines
  3. Finally, save the file, and load it into a project to test the results

The results will save you a TON of time when working on projects utilizing this system. Your major plan views will open much faster, sections and elevations will also be more responsive and less cluttered, and your 3D perspective views will include everything for design studies and client presentations!

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