Revit 2020 Family Offset Parameter

With each release of software, there seems to be little things that change, but are either not documented as a change or the documentation on being a change is buried and difficult to locate.  In Revit 2020, there are some changes in the built-in parameters for families when they are placed in a project file.  These changes can come into play when using automation, such as Dynamo.  While they may or may not have much impact on your particular usage of Revit, it is important information of which to be aware.

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Space Name Update to Room Name

Within Revit, it is standard procedure for architects to use “Rooms” and engineers to use “Spaces” to delineate areas of the building.  This is due to how Revit utilizes each of these 2 categories of items, so each have their place.  An issue with this procedure is that Spaces and Rooms for the same area should have the same name, but this does not happen automatically.  This can cause problems with consistency between the architect’s plans and the engineer’s plans.

Since the 2017 version, Revit has given us a tool to help keep Room names and Space names consistent.  Prior to 2017, we had to rely on either naming the Spaces manually or utilizing one of the 3rd party tools on the market.  With this command, we can update all of the Spaces in the entire model to be the same as a Room that is in the same bounded area (if there is a Room element there.)  Autodesk slipped this command into the menu system and I don’t remember them promoting it, but it is a fantastic tool for engineers!  It can save hours of work trying to get Room and Space Names consistent.

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Electrical Panel Feed Thru Lugs in Revit 2020

Revit 2020 has a new feature that will please Electrical designers.  Feed through lugs are now incorporated into Revit for your electrical distribution system.  Previously, electrical users had to utilize workarounds to represent this situation in their designs, so this will improve the documentation process and help with the electrical design.

As part of this new feature, Revit has added a new panel schedule template, which is called “Feed Through Lugs Panel“.  This panel is available in the Electrical-Default.rte and the Systems-Default.rte templates.  This panel template is accessible via the Manage tab -> Settings panel -> Panel Schedule Templates.

 

The process to actual set up the electrical panels to utilize the above Panel Schedule is shown below. Continue reading

Show Existing Architecture But Not Electrical

I have seen the situation where the Electrical designer was working on a remodel project and did not want their Existing electrical devices to be shown in the New Construction phase views.  The existing electrical devices and equipment were only to be shown on views that displayed only existing information.  However, they needed to show both the Existing and New Construction walls and other Architectural elements in the New Construction views.  Revit doesn’t want to do this without changing the default settings.

By default, the linked Architectural elements will show the same phase as the host Electrical file’s view.

  • If the Electrical file’s view has its Phase parameter set to New Construction, and the Phase Filter parameter set to Show Previous + New, you will see the existing elements for both files as well as the new elements for both files.
  • If the Electrical file’s view has its Phase parameter set to New Construction, and the Phase Filter parameter set to Show New, you will only see the new elements for both files.  Existing elements will not be seen for either file.

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Revit Section Markers Discipline Visibility

When and how Revit section markers display on plan views can be a bit confusing when you are working with multiple disciplines.  With more disciplines involved with a model, the more noticeable and confusing the issue becomes.  This is due to the fact that section markers are discipline-specific and cannot be displayed on all the different disciplines of plan views.

Revit is designed so that section markers will not show in other discplines’ views and this is based upon the Discipline parameter of a view.  Revit has 6 different Disciplines available for selection for a view.  They are:

  • Architectural
  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Coordination

 

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Copy Revit Electrical Circuits to Multiple Levels

When working with a multi-story building, it is common to have identical electrical items on multiple floors and the designer desires to have the same circuits for those items replicated on each level.  Doing so creates consistency between panel board circuits and reduces labor for circuiting each floor.  An example of this is the restrooms, janitor closets, elevator lobby and other service areas in the core of a building where each of those rooms will have the same electrical needs for each floor level.

It is possible to copy the electrical devices and equipment from one floor level to multiple other floor levels and replicate the circuits for the new items.  The electrical devices that were circuited together in the first level will be circuited together in the other levels.  The Rating, Frame, and Load Name for the replicated circuit(s) will be the same as the original circuit(s).

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Automatic Updating Electrical Symbol Legend in Revit

Electrical symbol legends are a critical part of electrical design documents and everyone wants to have a Symbols List which automatically updates to show the actual electrical symbols that are placed in a project.  That way, the only symbols that are on the list are ones that are actually placed in the model and the list does not include many unused symbols.  It is actually possible to do this.  When an electrical item gets added to the model, the symbol gets added to the symbol list.

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Pricing Transition with Autodesk Software

It is that time of year that my Autodesk subscription is up for renewal, so it makes me think about the latest pricing system that Autodesk has been implementing lately.

I had been on the “Subscription” plan for years, but that name was changed to be called the “Maintenance” plan in 2016.  The new “Subscription” program is entirely different than the old subscription program even though it has the same name.  Yes, that can be confusing.

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Schedule Organization Improvements in Revit 2018.1

For a long time, I have wished that there were better ways to organize schedules in Revit’s Project Browser, especially in project files with dozens of schedules.  The recently released 2018.1 version of Revit does just that and allows me various ways to organize my schedules in a Revit project file.  Different disciplines and different companies have varying quantities of schedules, so some users will appreciate this new feature more than users.

The following image shows grouping the schedules based upon working schedules and schedules that will be placed on sheets.  This particular option is created by having 2 different View Templates for schedules – one for working schedules and one for schedules on sheets.  Schedules are then grouped by View Templates.

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Specify Circuit Path for Actual Length in Revit 2018

Electrical designers can now get actual circuit lengths in Revit 2018.  In previous releases, Revit would calculate the “X” plus “Y” distances plus the vertical distance in the circuit resulting in incorrect lengths.  Revit now allows you to specify a path for the circuit, which can calculate for the circuit running along walls, ceilings, etc and other jogs to account for where the circuit conduit would actually run.  Going through the process of specifying an actual path for receptacle or lighting circuits is probably overkill and won’t be performed by most electrical designers.  However, specifying the actual path for an actual circuit length can make a big difference when calculating voltage drop for large electrical equipment.

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Revit Panel Schedules Not Updating

I have run into a quirky situation with Revit electrical panel schedules that I want to pass along.

When using Revit MEP for electrical design, part of the process is creating circuits and then adding that circuit to a panel or switchboard.  The Trip Rating of the circuit sets the size of the breaker on the panel or switchboard, so it is shown on the electrical panel or switchboard schedule appropriately.  If the Trip Rating is changed, the breaker size automatically updates on the panel schedule.  All is good.

The panel/switchboard schedule is then placed on a sheet for documentation/printing purposes.

The problem:  Sometimes the updated Trip Rating does not update on the sheet although it is actually updated and correct in the panel schedule.

This creates a strange situation where the information shown on the sheet is not the same as the information shown in the actual panel schedule view.

Fortunately, when the project file is closed and then re-opened, the sheet will update to show the correct trip rating (breaker) size.

Personal Section View in Revit

Creating sections in a Revit model is key to creating a quality 3D model, and that includes creating sections that are simply used for design verification.  Construction documents typically include sections, but users also use a lot of temporary sections for coordination and verification.  A problem with temporary sections is that you don’t know who created the section and the purpose for the section.  As a result they tend to stay in the model because no one really knows if they can delete the section.

I previously wrote a blog article about creating Working Sections which helps with this situation.  However, the working section can be further enhanced.  This article will address 2 key features for improving the working section:

  1. Who created the working section.
  2. Apply a user’s specific settings for the working section.

Note that this article will build upon that previous blog article.  You can find the article here.

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