Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Revit MEP Reuseable System Layouts Across Multiple Projects

Before anyone boo's me... this is a NON API post...

This one's for you HVAC guys out there struggling with the speed of Revit MEP. I know it can be a little painful at times, but boy is it nice to have an intelligent model as a finished product that you can really make use of throughout the CA and construction phase to help avoid change orders and SNAFU's in the field.

I'll have to warn you first about the performance hits that you may encounter if you fail to "UNGROUP" these systems after you place them into your model... PLEASE remember to ungroup all placements after they dropped into your model as these groups will really leave a mark in terms of performance if left as live groups.

OK... let's get started...

Have you ever worked on a building that uses repeatable VAV layouts or has numerous zones that for the most part are all basically the same in terms of elements placed to design it? This method can be used for just about anything you can imagine that utilizes system families, tags, text, and well... you get the idea.

I'm going to show you a way that you can build a warehouse of reusable system layouts complete with equipment, ductwork, and air terminals that you can reuse on all of your projects.

First let's start by drawing a full system complete with a VAV unit, all necessary ductwork, terminals and tags (you really could add anything you want to this).
Then let's select the items and create a group. Notice how you get two options for naming the groups? Tags will be placed into a nested group that you can name independently from the model group.

Now that you've got the group created, verify that your project browser displays the model group with a nested detail group beneath it like the image below.

Now to test if this thing works, right-click the model group from the above mentioned model group in the project browser and chose "Create Instance" and place one in your model (anywhere). It should look like the one below (without the tags... don't worry...).

Did you notice in the image above that you have an option button named "Attached Detail Group" when you select the model group that you just placed? Pick it and select the nested detail group name in the resulting dialog box.

Now your group should look a little more complete like the one below.

Now you can export your preconfigured system layout groups to a server where they can be shared across projects...

Use the "Load as Group" button in the "Insert" tab of the ribbon to add an externally saved group to a new project...