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What's in a Room?

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What's in a Room?

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Based on the problems of working with Revit rooms and Room Data Sheets, this presentation will cover many aspects of typical workflows seen in architecture and interiors, discuss where the difficulties are and investigate better, more integrated solutions.

Based on the problems of working with Revit rooms and Room Data Sheets, this presentation will cover many aspects of typical workflows seen in architecture and interiors, discuss where the difficulties are and investigate better, more integrated solutions.


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What's in a Room?

  1. 1. What’s in a Room? Ceilidh Higgins Interior Designer | BIM Specialist | Blogger | GreenStar Professional | Looking for opportunities
  2. 2. rooms Furniture Floors Walls Finishes Ceilings Casework Doors Plumbing Equipment
  3. 3. a room object itself is a container for data – both physical and information based revit rooms
  4. 4. room data sheets room data sheets document what SHOULD be in a room, not what is modelled
  5. 5. currently word file, excel file or access database revit model objects revit model data
  6. 6. then there are 2D elements is that a floor? an area? or a colour fill? and can you tell the difference anyway?
  7. 7. is it broken?
  8. 8. what about excel file revit model data bi directional link
  9. 9. then if we could revit model objectsrevit model data compare
  10. 10. use excel to enter data or a schedule or a plan
  11. 11. compare proposed to actual proposed number of double power outlets (data only) actual count of double power outlets in the model calculation of difference between proposed and actual
  12. 12. tools
  13. 13. Revit – schedules, graphic filters, room colour schemes, annotations Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets – intermediate level of use RTV Shared Parameter Manager to manage project parameters – just $135 USD Ideate BIMLink for bi-directional link between excel and revit - $850 approx
  14. 14. what else? • room data sheet - or something else? • what is modelled? what is data? what is 2d? • is it worth it?
  15. 15. schedule non-object data physical properties of modelled objects data only information from room parameters
  16. 16. create visual data plans different colours indicate different PROPOSED acoustic zones
  17. 17. where are we going?
  18. 18. how will the data be used? text, integer, length, yes/no, material? what parameter type will be used? for each parameter consider what type of parameter is required based upon what you want to record/check or measure and the output plans or schedules you need
  19. 19. Note Blocks (attached to nothing)ImagesRooms Attached to Rooms Symbols & AnnotationsGeneric Model Objects Attached to 2D Objects Families with 2D lines Families including doors, furniture, casework, equipment Attached to 3D ObjectsDetail ComponentsWalls, Floors, Ceilings Information2D Objects3D Objects what is a model made up of?
  20. 20. what is important? think about how and when you gather information as well as how you use it
  21. 21. simple parameter type tips integers are good for comparing quantities of like items yes/no and text parameters with limited number of descriptions are great for visual plans
  22. 22. finishes
  23. 23. modelling finishes? keynotes & scheduling ensure consistency adding colour and actual material patterns can give you a quick visual design check
  24. 24. finish plans – why use a colour fill? with a material its there in 3D
  25. 25. what about walls? All options are work arounds Paintbucket Room object Additional wall Part of wall Other options? line based family attached to wall with filters used to identify different materials
  26. 26. no material parameters? in the room object all the floor, wall, ceiling and finish parameters are text (so is casework), why?
  27. 27. 2 reasons 1. timing - remember the room data sheet is the brief an actual material has not yet been selected 2. good BIM - the room object is not a physical object to which materials can be applied
  28. 28. furniture
  29. 29. revit outputs
  30. 30. component libraries
  31. 31. what room data? this example of FFE is more common in lab projects – each item is listed individually with dimensions and other details – every cell would be a parameter this example is less detailed for each piece of equipment and relies on lists and text based entries
  32. 32. integer parameters for quantities – separate from text descriptions will allow for excel spreadsheet check yes/no parameter to identify if there are standard workstations in a room text based list for joinery (casework) means this will be a manual check chairs are separated into different kinds, a yes/no parameter in each chair family will be required to identify which kind of chair it is
  33. 33. client supplied equipment with separate parameters for each dimension – the same data could be used in a type catalogue to build families for a lab project each service might need to be a separate parameter
  34. 34. again why? 1. timing - remember the room data sheet is the brief, detailed types of furniture are not yet selected 2. consider each type/item of FFE individually and think how your projects can use the data collected 3. and still no materials – again timing and good BIM
  35. 35. lets get started
  36. 36. the revit template create your room data parameters in your revit template file (you can also load into an existing project too) other template tips – set up views for multiple levels and also set up your standard schedules
  37. 37. creating parameters parameter Names should include “Proposed” or “Briefed” so as to avoid confusion with modelled elements
  38. 38. bind parameters parameter binding loads the shared parameters into the project file
  39. 39. in the order you want them parameters will be in the order they are bound, or if multiple parameters are bound at once, in alphabetical order
  40. 40. check everything I missed the CEH here the parameter cannot be reloaded into the same project with a different name – you have to create a new parameter with a new GUID and then delete the old parameter
  41. 41. before loading! the ‘new’ casework parameter will come in after all the other parameters now learn from my lesson – I wasted a lot of time not checking parameter names & types before loading them all into the template
  42. 42. create the BIMlink select create new link
  43. 43. you then have to set the order up again in BIMlink, as this will control the order you see them in excel select parameters
  44. 44. select export to export the revit data to an excel file – at this point all we are doing is exporting the parameters not actual information export link
  45. 45. room data file we now have a blank room data file – there was just one room in the revit template – this is its GUID tip – you have to open the excel file inside of excel not double click.
  46. 46. testing BIMlink allows you to create new rooms within excel, just add NEW to the GUID field
  47. 47. formatting tips quickly change row height and set all cells to wrap text to make editing easier Freeze room names/numbers to aid navigation
  48. 48. one issue is that you can’t tell from excel what the parameter type is – maybe consider your naming? but go ahead and fill out a row of data parameter types
  49. 49. import BIMlink select import, then the excel file and the workbook.
  50. 50. review errors and changes the BIMlink dialogue lists all new and modified data and all identifies errors and allows you to save an issues report as an excel file
  51. 51. error and change report we now know when (and probably who?) changed the room data sheet – this is a benefit over using excel on its own
  52. 52. import complete room data has now been imported into room parameters
  53. 53. opps this was a qty these nils should be NO 4 of 5 errors easily identified
  54. 54. incorrect parameter type – parameter will now have to be deleted, remade and will be out of order fixing errors
  55. 55. fixing errors having fixed the error in the revit parameters we also need to load the new parameter into the BIMlink
  56. 56. and the data file overwrite the previous room data file
  57. 57. using find and replace another benefit of excel – find and replace NIL with NO be careful not to replace any text in this row
  58. 58. repeat until you get zero warnings (took me 2 goes) import back to revit
  59. 59. save link if you save the link definition you will be able to import the BIMlink into other files and not have to go through picking the parameter order again (at least in BIMlink – sorry still required to load parameters into Revit)
  60. 60. linked workbooks BIMLink exported data file preformated worksheets
  61. 61. set up the excel data sheet this is a preformated template that you can use on every project with links back to your data file
  62. 62. just make sure to save it in the same folder as the file “Room Data File” and never change the name of “Room Data File” maintain the links
  63. 63. some oddities yes/no parameters will show TRUE/FALSE, if this really bugs you run a find and replace on the data file before issuing to client I put NO into any field that would otherwise be empty – so it doesn’t show zero and its clear its deliberately NO
  64. 64. copy worksheet
  65. 65. fix links run find and replace on each sheet to fix the formula – replace $2 with $3 means it will read the next row down from the data file
  66. 66. fix sheet names it really would be better if the sheet names matched the room numbers (or names if you like), to do this we need to create a macro
  67. 67. the visual basic editor View ->Code here is your code
  68. 68. select cell to reference I picked B7 – room number – use find and replace on your code
  69. 69. run the macro
  70. 70. interesting error dialogue - room 10.10 is considered the same as room 10.1 – this potentially highlights a problem with our room numbering scheme that could occur with other database software
  71. 71. revise room numbering close the room data sheet and update the room data file tip – you need to always have the room data file open to update the room data sheet
  72. 72. when you reopen the data sheet you might get an error like this enable macros go to tools->options
  73. 73. change security settings
  74. 74. re run the macro you may need to close and reopen the data sheet file worksheets have been renamed
  75. 75. formatting tips select all worksheet tabs at once all cells can be formatted as ‘general’ (room number had 2 digits after the decimal)
  76. 76. change the header select all sheets except the first one, link them back to the first one – then you only update once
  77. 77. enter more data record the room GUID before you paste
  78. 78. your template is ready tidy up the template by deleting the rooms in a schedule view
  79. 79. test your template create a new project based on the template and import the BIMlink data file your data file had GUID numbers in it, if there are no rooms yet in the project you need all NEW in the data file
  80. 80. fix the error and reimport in BIMlink and your rooms now exist in the project
  81. 81. but don’t import twice!
  82. 82. rooms ready for placing make sure your users know to select the rooms to place, not to always make new rooms
  83. 83. complete with data
  84. 84. using the data
  85. 85. here is one i prepared earlier this revit file is basically complete for construction but the only room objects are inside the core
  86. 86. open BIMLink, load the link file and then load the rooms load the room data
  87. 87. place the rooms
  88. 88. create a colour scheme
  89. 89. edit the colour scheme duplicate and modify an existing colour scheme – pick a yes/no parameter
  90. 90. proposed av layout
  91. 91. proposed room acoustics or a text parameter with limited different entries
  92. 92. add room tags room tag using data from the AV list parameter combined with colour scheme based on the yes/no AV parameter
  93. 93. proposed DGPOs this plan would be useful at an early stage, to agree numbers with client or to brief engineer. this model is further developed and has actual DGPOs already shown – we can see there are errors. ideally we want to compare the actual and the existing. room tag using data from the double GPO quantity parameter
  94. 94. useful tip as you can’t use the default count parameter in formulas it can be useful to give all families another counting parameter
  95. 95. create a schedule power outlets are electrical fixtures select parameters available from electrical fixtures and from rooms
  96. 96. schedule settings
  97. 97. schedule output all electrical families are scheduled and you can’t filter a schedule by family name
  98. 98. what can we filter? needs to be a shared parameter - using shared parameters allows you to use data for more uses if you can’t find one - create a new shared parameter
  99. 99. filter the schedule
  100. 100. hide the filter & family type
  101. 101. calculated values are not taken into account in formula for calculated parameter calculate the difference
  102. 102. a yes/no parameter Count_Item_CEH = Room: GPO_Double_Qty_Proposed_ CEH does not work either – Revit is always comparing the individual “Count_Item_CEH” parameter in the calculation – NOT the calculated total we see in the schedule. yes/no difference?
  103. 103. export the schedule
  104. 104. calculate in excel
  105. 105. add conditional formatting difference greater than 0 between actual and proposed
  106. 106. add totals
  107. 107. in the real world?
  108. 108. benefits 1. quicker data entry 2. create visual plans 3. data comparisons 4. review and save errors and changes 5. discovers data code errors
  109. 109. 20 hours time taken to setup and test templates
  110. 110. Questions? check out my blog at
  111. 111. Colours by Shershe (recoloured) - The weakest link by Darwin Bell (clipped) - Tools by zzpza - The Thinker by 4johny5 (clipped) - London Bridge Tunnel by Martino’s Doodles - 0296/ Level of Detail – Thanks to PracticalBIM Floor Walking by Amodiovalerio Verde - Alarm clock by kobiz7 (clipped) - Chairs - Creating the Future for Libraries blank book by Shifted Librarian - Bryant Park, Late April 2009 by Ed Yourdon - Data slide by Bionic teaching (colours modified) - Information by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center - Just Full Of Ideas by Cayusa - Time jumper by h.koppdelaney - Component Libraries by Daniel Moodie Finishes screen shots by Ceilidh Higgins at GHD All other screen shots prepared for this presentation by Ceilidh Higgins image credits