Data Mining Your Revit Model
Revit is Database software that uses graphics and geometry as part of its system. This leads to a very data rich model file. There are a variety of different ways to get useful data from the Revit Model. Revit can automatically schedule many elements of the model. Revit can also do material take-offs of most elements that exist in the model. Furthermore, Revit is also able to get useful information from reportable model data that doesn’t actually exist in the model.
There is information in the model that can be translated to provide different information that is useful to the manufacturer. For example; if I have the perimeter of a Curtain Wall Panel, then I can use that information to figure the length of gasket material or amount of adhesion material, and so on. If we know how many fasteners it takes for the different mullion types and assemblies, we can add a parameter to include X amount of fasteners to each of the types. That information would only need to be added per type. Then we can Schedule that information in the Curtain Wall Mullion Schedule.
Curtain Wall Panel take-offs do not automatically give perimeter information. The following demonstrates how to mine your Revit model for useful information. In this case we schedule the perimeter of the curtain wall panels.
Using Revit 2016 (This can also be done in earlier and later versions of Revit. Different year releases might not look identical.)
Click “View” then “Scheduled” then “Material Takeoff”.
Select “Curtain Panels” from the “Category “ list.
Add the fields that you want to schedule. Be sure to include “Height” and “Width”. You will need them later to get the perimeter. The “Family” and “Material Area” will also be useful for keeping track of types and ordering material.
Select “Calculated Value”. Name it “Perimeter”. Set Discipline to “Common”, and Type to “Length”.
In the “Formula” area click the "three dot" button. There you will see the parameters that can be used in a formula and are in the current scheduled fields. First choose “Height” or “Width”. Then choose the other. You can pick one at a time or just type in the formula by hand. Be sure to match the text exactly or Revit won’t recognize it. To get the perimeter you can use a few different formulas that will get the same result. I use (Width + Height) * 2. These formulas work like an Excel formula.
Edit the “Formula” field to show the calculation that you want.
Once the fields are set, it’s time to determine how to show the desired data. Sorting helps to arrange the data in a very useful spreadsheet layout. Select the Sorting/Grouping tab to arrange the data for the spreadsheet. Under the "Sort by:" pull down menu select Family and select the options you would like to use. It is important to check the box for “Footer” and “Grand Totals”. Whether everything needs itemized or not is up to you.
Sometimes we need lengths or areas in a different unit of measure for special circumstances. Revit can easily deliver the information that you need in any of the formats that you see in the image below. In the “Field Format” you can get this information in either Imperial or Metric.
Scheduling these factors is very useful for the folks involved in the project. Area can be used for ordering material like glazing or coatings. Width can be used to find the longest span for the structural folks. Perimeter can be used for ordering material like gaskets or adhesion material.
Once we think through the list of data that our manufacturers may need we can come up with a way to mine that information from our Revit “Database” Model. We can get most of what we need from Scheduling the Curtain Wall Panels or Mullions.
I invite your questions or comments.