April 22, 2013

Revit 2014 Feature Review: More Data Liberated!

As the developers of Ideate BIMLink we’ve been very focused on the data that our customers are embedding within their Revit Building Information Models, so as always when a new version of Revit ships, we carefully scrutinize all the new features and how they relate specifically to information management. Here’s a brief synopsis of what to look for and why you should care.

Revit 2014 Supports New Schedules Types
On the View tab, under the Schedule tool, find these new kinds of schedules. 

  New Schedule Category Value 1-5 (5=Best)

(Arch) Columns

Feature: These are the architectural columns; the structural columns are already being scheduled.

Benefit: Questionable value unless you are using the column family in some atypical way. Structural columns are generally the ones to schedule for takeoff work.

Detail Items 5
Feature: 2D detail components, including fill patterns, are included in this new schedule type.

Benefit: This has been a user request for some time, which is why it’s been in Ideate BIMLink since version 2011. Oddly, the repeating details and filled region elements appear to be lumped in with the more conventional items, so you may need to filter them out. Editing the keynote assignment will be the most practical use of this new functionality.

Take Detail Items farther with Ideate BIMLink.

Entourage 1
Feature: These are the 2D stick people that when rendered look slightly less 2D. YinYin – where are you?!

Benefit: I see no practical use of this feature, so email me if you can figure it out. I guess if you had 100+ Entourage components and you wanted to use this schedule as a way of knowing which Rooms they were in, that might be useful, but that seems like a bad use of a schedule.

Generic Models 4
Feature: All those items that otherwise defy categorization can now be scheduled.

Benefit: This was another early Ideate BIMLink request that was implemented in 2011, so no doubt this will prove useful to some who are managing uniquely modeled elements. The absence of level and host information is why this is not marked as a 5.

Grids and Levels 5
Feature: The name says it all.

Benefit: Why not schedule these? While this hasn’t been a strong user request, having a summary of this information is a great way for a project manager to understand the project at a glance. I particularly like the fact that you can see and modify the Scope Box assignment for these items.

Auditing Grids and Levels are part of Ideate’s Revit Audit Tips.

Pads 1
Feature: The building pad object that is used to create a topography “cut” and place a slab-like object at the same time.

Benefit: If used at all (it has an issue, still, with being properly managed by phases) the pad is unlikely to be needed as a scheduled object.

Roof Soffits 3
Feature: Roofs, Roof Fascia, and Roof Gutters have always been able to be scheduled; now Roof Soffits join the mix.

Benefit: This is a long-standing Revit request related to the delivering a more complete quantity takeoff. Glad to see that it’s been included.

Structural: Beam Systems, Area Reinforcements, Path Reinforcements, and Fabric Areas 2
Feature: As with Roof Soffits, the addition of this data rounds out the Structural elements that can be modeled.

Benefit: Unclear to me whether this has value. I think this information may be a bit ahead of the curve for most structural/construction firms, but it’s nice to see Autodesk expose this information to be leveraged as customers see fit.

Revit 2014 Schedules Include New Properties
In addition to the new schedule categories several bits of data have been exposed for your use. What will you leverage?

  New Property Added To Schedules Value 1-5 (5=Best)

Phase Created/Phase Demolished

Feature: Now your takeoff schedules can include the name of the Phase in which the element was created. I’m assuming that the Demolished field has negligible value when it comes to schedules. These two fields can also be used as a Filter within the schedule.

Benefit: As we have documented in this blog called “Avoid Takeoff Blunders,” not having the phase info could cause significant issues within a quantity takeoff. In a multi-phase project these fields should be required as part of a QC process.

Analytical and Physical Element Data Merged 3
Feature: When you schedule the structural framing category (or any other category with associated structural analytical model categories) you can now find both the physical and analytical properties available within the same schedule.

Benefit: Being able to edit some of the analytical structural properties, in-line with its physical properties is part of a larger improvement related to the analytical model which will help solve round-tripping issues between Revit and structural analysis software.

It’s great to see all this newly liberated data – it will be fun to see the new and creative ways in which Revit users put this data to work.  

Don’t forget to look through other great features our Ideate Technical Team has found in the new 2014 releases for Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, Civil 3D, AutoCAD, Navisworks and more: ideateinc.com/2014

Glynnis Patterson is a registered architect and the Director of Software Development at Ideate, Inc. Glynnis is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and has worked in the commercial, residential, and healthcare markets as an architect and has also worked in the construction industry as a construction estimator and project manager. Follow Glynnis on Twitter: @GVPinNJ

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