How to plan and track the development of your Revit template

Posted on December 5, 2018 by Vincent Gueguen
Category: Strategy

How to plan and track the development of your Revit template

Building a template is one of the first steps in a Revit implementation. It allows designers to start a project with their graphic standards and all their design content. It's can be a tedious job that requires excellent organization.

During our deployments (turnkey, support, quality control), rigorous monitoring is essential, hence the use of a roadmap.

As part of a project to create an MEP template for one of our clients, we aimed to exchange regularly with the client to better meet their needs and provide information on the progress of the template. And there sure is plenty of information in this template!

In this article, we will present our roadmap and the way we organized it. It's a process we have refined on many projects so please, enjoy!

Start on the right foot

First, you must decide on the platform on which the roadmap is created. No matter which platform you use (Excel, Google Sheet, etc.), the important thing is to properly structure the upcoming work and to follow the work that is completed. For our needs, we always favour flexibility and ease of use, which allows us to be reactive and which allows our customers to get involved easily.

We could use a single sheet and list all the families to create but admit it: that would not only be unattractive, but users would get lost quite quickly. We therefore divided our list of elements into different tabs.

Figure 1.0 - Example of classification of tabs in the roadmap
Figure 1.0 - Example of classification of tabs in the roadmap

Each element to be created / modified then becomes a task assigned to a specialist who becomes responsible for it and keeps track of it. The monitoring of tasks is handled by our project manager.

Figure 2.0 - Progress status of a task in a template for Revit.
Figure 2.0 - Progress status of a task in a template for Revit.

General Elements and MEP

Our first tab contains the general elements of the template to create (annotations, graphic style, title blocks, etc.). For each MEP discipline (electrical, plumbing, ventilation), we have a tab listing all the families to be created with family name information, a quick description, the Revit category used, a possible reference model (provided by the client) and its type of representation (symbolic lines, detail item, annotative family). We divided the creation of a family into 3 parts:

  • Symbol / details
  • 3D geometry
  • Setting
Figure 3.0 - General Elements Tracking Tab
Figure 3.0 - General Elements Tracking Tab
Figure 4.0 - Monitoring tab for electrical families
Figure 4.0 - Monitoring tab for electrical families

MEP systems

MEP systems generate a fairly large list of families. At this stage, we don’t have to include the families used for the creation of MEP systems including:

  • Ducts
  • Pipes
  • Electrical conduits
  • Cable trays

Following the format of Routing Preferences for systems in Revit, we have created tabs to detail each of the families that make up all the necessary system types.

Figure 5.0 - Example of parameters used in the Routing Preferences for a Storm Drainage System
Figure 5.0 - Example of parameters used in the Routing Preferences for a Storm Drainage System

Shared settings

The parameters also have their own tab. This lists the shared settings that we have created based on the classification of Revit element categories. We have also established a list of shared generic parameters common to all families (dimensions, flow, voltage, current, pressure, etc.) to avoid duplicates in each element category.

Figure 6.0 - Shared Parameters List
Figure 6.0 - Shared Parameters List

The Tags

We finally created a tab for the tags, where we list them by name, category and a quick description of the information contained within.

Figure 7.0 - List of Tags
Figure 7.0 - List of Tags

Further information

We hope that you now understand that the proper structure of iterative work is the key to working between several stakeholders. This helps you create, improve and control the basis of all your future projects. It is always possible to add tabs to document the information present in the template as the phases settings (with their filters and their graphic overrides) or establish a list of details.

For designers transitioning from AutoCAD to Revit, having tabs on object styles and line styles is a good practice for "matching" your visual style.

Remember that your template is scalable; from one project to another you will add information and make changes. Your roadmap will remain a good tool to track the status of your template.


Vincent Gueguen
BIM Specialist

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