Create Construction Sets for Printing

by Emily Bisaga Dunne, Daniel Teuten and Simon Jones on March 20, 2019



Sheets and Printing

Sheet views are typically the final 'printed' deliverable of most Revit projects. Sheet views invariably consist of a Title Block family and a collection of placed views, such as; plans, sections, 3D, schedules etc. Any view which can be created within the project may be placed on the sheet view. However, with only two exceptions, only one instance of any view may be located on a sheet - i.e. a single instance of a plan view, may not be placed on more than one sheet. To place an identical instance of this 'plan' view on a second sheet as duplicate view will need to be created. The two exceptions are schedules and legends, these two view types are the schedules and legends.

Title Blocks contains information about a specific drawing. A Title Block family is in affect tag family reporting values for multiple project and sheet parameters, such as; Scale, Project number, Drawing Author, Project Owner, Project location, Drawing Title, Drawing Number, plus other fields as needed. Typically, the title block family will also host the sheet revision schedule - this schedule defined in the title block family itself, and is propagated once inserted in to the project. The title block also defines the size of the final drawing. An example of which can be seen in the illustration below.

Within the Revit project, Title Blocks are added when creating the sheet view that will become a deliverable. The parameters which have been included in the Title Block family can either be project specific (those contained within the project information; for example, project name) or sheet specific (for example, sheet number). These parameter values may be potentially updated in multiple locations, for example 'project information' parameters may be adjusted within the project information dialogue, or possibly the 'Starting View', sheet specific parameters will display and can be updated from the 'Properties' of the sheet view. Alternatively, all can be updated directly within the title block itself, within the sheet view. However, the most efficient location to update sheet (title block) parameters is from within the Sheet List schedule.

Key Considerations

  • Maintain a set of Title Block families, that can be used for different paper formats/sizes.
  • Information that exists on the Title Block family should invariably be parameter driven, consideration should be given to consistently maintaining these parameter definitions across multiple (all) title blocks and projects.
  • Project Title Blocks can contain information from multiple stakeholders. Stakeholders/Clients will occasionally supply versions of their Title Block, with unique parameters. A corresponding shared parameters file and/or project template may be required to transfer these to other project files on the project, particularly if these are based on an alternative project template.
  • If applicable, consider the addition of adding standard notes, key plans to the title block family as 'annotation families' this will simplify the updating of these in future, rather than having to edit text etc. in each title block. Note: these may then make the title block, project specific.

Recommendations

  • Use a sheet list schedule, for making updates to sheet information, such as sheet number, titles, sign off signatures etc.
  • Use a sheet list schedule to create a sheet/drawing list for the project, by inserting data rows as sheet placeholders, rather than creating the sheet views themselves, waiting for population with views. This will maintain project performance, by not having additional items contained, until such time that they are actually needed. A complete sheet/drawing list could potentially be created at the outset of the project and placeholders converted to sheets when appropriate. An illustration of the insert data row, can be seen in the illustration below:


  • If using CAD derived title blocks as a base for Revit title block families convert the CAD based entities (lines and text styles) to Revit elements in order to better control. Remove the subsequent 'import' types from the file prior to us in a project environment.
  • Add a revision schedule to the Title Block. This will help to document any changes that are made to the sheet/drawing.


Schedules

Schedules are tabular lists that can be used to extract and present information from model elements. It is a tabular display of information, extracted from the properties of the elements in a project. Schedules can list every single item (of category) or can be summed to totals. In addition the scheduled elements, may be sorted, grouped and have various degrees of control applied to by way of filtering, formatting and appearance to deliver information in a concise and easily understandable format. Six types of schedules exist within the Revit environment, each having both common and unique properties. These six types comprise of:

  1. Schedule/Quantities
  2. Graphical Column Schedules
  3. Material Takeoff
  4. Sheet List
  5. Note Block
  6. View List

The illustration below highlights 'Schedule/Quantities' schedule in this instance a 'space' schedule which, listing all spaces. This schedule has been formatted to group common elements, in this case, levels. In addition a number of the fields have been defined with calculated values applied and these also display some conditional formatting on the calculated parameter field.

Once created, schedules can help the model author and other stakeholders better understand the project and associated models using these for quantity take-off, design review and locating anomalies within the project models. Schedules can be extracted to be shared with other applications, such as Microsoft Excel or cost estimation applications. Or, may be bidirectionally linked to excel through a variety of Revit 'Add-In' applications.

Schedule Creation

New schedules can be created from either using the 'Schedules/Quantities' tool from the View ribbon, alternatively by using <right click> in the schedules section within the Project Browser. Once a schedule has been created, the user can select the element category and the fields to included. In addition from the schedule dialogue, the schedule can be configured for:

  • Fields
  • Filter
  • Sorting/Grouping
  • Formatting
  • Appearance

Note: Fields may reflect Project, Shared or some Family parameters. And, in some element categories, may also include fields available from other categories, such as project information, rooms and spaces.

Configuration of these allows the schedule to present the information in a concise and effective manner. A number of fields support the use of conditional formatting statements, as illustrated below; these can be used to highlight cells and their values within the schedule.

In addition, the schedules appearance may be modified using the Modify Schedule/Quantities tab on the ribbon. Most functionality is similar to what one would expect from Microsoft Excel. This permits the merging of cells, font, colour control and the insertion of images etc.

From within a schedule the user has the opportunity to navigate directly to the model elements with the Highlight in Model functionality. This allows the user to see the model element and, if required, the model in context. Parameter values may be adjusted or added to the model elements through the use of a schedule and does not necessarily require the user to see the model geometry, this can be an effective and efficient way of checking, updating or correcting the model elements.

Embedded schedules

Some categories of elements such as; Rooms, Spaces, Duct and Pipe Systems also allow for additional schedules to be embedded within a host schedule. The illustration below highlights an 'air terminal' schedule (1.) embedded within a 'space' schedule (2.).

Combined and Calculated Parameters

In addition to the various model element fields that are associated with the respective model category, both calculated and combined parameters can be added to the schedules. Both the Calculated (formula) and Combined parameters may be made up from any fields available to the respective category of model element. However, not all fields will be compatible to the Type of parameter defined. For instance some types (values) may require division by 1, to convert for example a flow rate to number.

Note: these parameters are only available in the schedule itself and may not be defined from shared parameters and therefore are not available to annotation elements, such as tags.

Calculated:

Combined:

Key Considerations

  • Multi-Category schedules allow listings across all element categories, however, the default fields available are limited as they have to be common to all elements. To increase these, project or shared parameters will need to be added.

  • Schedules may be given a View Template to control the way they are displayed.
  • Schedules can be included on Sheets and adjusted for size by selecting once placed and using the controls available. Schedules may also be split (divided) into sections and re-assembled if required.
  • The same schedule may be placed on multiple sheets.
  • If using 'add-in' tools for bi-directional links to external scheduling tools/databases such as Microsoft Excel not all schedule fields may be available for linking. This will almost certainly be the case with calculated or combined parameters defined in the Revit schedule itself.

Recommendations

  • To increase consistency  and data extraction across multiple project files, use shared parameters when new parameters are being added. This will ensure these parameters are available for other projects and families that are created by other users.
  • The use of 'View' schedules provides an effective method of reporting and auditing views, the information defined in a project (i.e. the project browser) can be improved, simplified and be more efficient by using schedules.

  • Avoid having units of measure, such as metres or square metres (m2) if the list will be exported for use in other applications to avoid any errors in field format mapping.

  • Ensure that a count column is always exported to count the number of elements, as in most cases the unit of measure does not allow counting. 
  • It is potentially advantageous to avoid having schedules that don't fit within the visible works space, although this is not always practical, this makes it easy review the information. This could be of benefit where schedules are being used for checking the model rather than those used for project deliverable.

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