December

19

2022

Revit users and BIM managers need to understand Revit project health. Often the project data metrics (warnings, in-place families, annotation, model groups, and views not on a sheet) are time consuming to collect and quantify. Unaddressed issues pile up over time and can take a long time to track and correct.

Ideate Software, with the use of Ideate Automation and Microsoft Power BI, created an automation script and Power BI template to address Revit model health issues.

For BIM managers looking to visualize curated details of their Revit model health, such as the project data metrics, and wanting to visualize these metrics in Microsoft Power BI, Ideate Software developed a Power BI template.

Ideate Warnings Manager - Power BI Template
 
With this Power BI template, BIM users can understand the following Revit model issues:

  • Project Information including total Revit warnings and warnings per file size
  • Revit Warnings over Time
  • Top 5 Warnings as defined and managed by Ideate Explorer
  • Model Groups
  • Views Not on Sheet
  • Average Annotation Issues per Sheet as defined and managed by IdeateApps>Annotate
  • CAD Imports (with Details)
  • In-Place Families (with Details)

For more details, and step-by-step instructions visit the Help file.

Current Ideate Automation subscribers can request the Power BI template files by contacting [email protected].

Browse our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version or subscribe today
 


About the Author

David Haynes, Director, Ideate Software
David is a project management certified professional. Before joining Ideate, David had his own architectural practice and was president of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he has worked as an architect, contractor, and developer, and he was a national construction manager for a national retailer. David's current passion at Ideate Software revolves around how data influences AECO business decisions. 

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December

2

2022

As a company that develops Revit software plugins, we love Revit. We think you should too.

BIM is Awesome

Many Ideate Software employees have been involved in architecture and engineering for several decades, so they remember the days of creating designs with pencil and paper. 

The move from there to BIM within a career is almost overwhelming; seeing what used to take days come to life within hours really can seem like magic to those of us who have been around for a while. And our newer staff members are just as enthusiastic about where BIM is going as the more experienced ones are about where it has been. 

Revit is the Best BIM Tool

While you may know that Revit is one of the top BIM tools in the world, you may not know why it is better than all the rest. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Unified Database
    All the data needed to generate a Revit model is kept in the same database, and that database is updated anytime the model is modified. No longer do team members need to search for data through numerous project files.
     
  2. Scheduling
    Revit schedules are used to report the information in the model in a tabular format. Scheduling, which can be one of the more time-consuming tasks in the architectural design process, is greatly simplified with Revit because the schedules automatically update as changes are made to the model, ensuring they are always in alignment.
     
  3. Collaboration
    With Revit, several users can work on the model at the same time. Users push the work they do to the central model while pulling changes made by colleagues into their local copy. This not only speeds the process, it also exposes clashes that can be mitigated in the design phase rather than when the structure is being built.


     
  4. 3D Renderings
    There are a lot of programs available that provide 3D visualization outputs, but those from Revit are truly realistic. With views from any angle or perspective, architects can “walk” customers through early designs to point out large and small details, incorporate customer feedback into the next version, and quickly iterate until the customer sees that their vision is accurately reflected in the design. Design options can also be easily explored. 
     
  5. Parametric Modeling
    Parametric modeling lets you specify the key parameters of your project and make changes interactively, with the model automatically updating. Revit employs parametric modeling in the form of families. Everything in Revit is part of a family; some are integrated into the software, others are accessible through libraries, and others are created from scratch.
     
  6. Cost Estimating
    Accurate cost estimating is vital to the success of a project. Revit can be used to develop a detailed construction cost estimate in various ways. 
     
  7. Consistent Documentation
    Using templates that come with Revit or storing custom templates within Revit means you can deliver consistent construction paperwork across all your projects. Consistency contributes to clarity, which helps eliminate frustration caused by confusion. 

Ideate Software is the Best Revit Software Plugin

You may say we are biased, but we’re not the only ones saying that our products are great. Here are a few examples:

Customer Reviews on the Autodesk App Store

  1. “Why these application functions haven't been replicated, bundled or brought out into Revit itself astounds me. They simply transform the process of using Revit from a data perspective entirely into one that is 100% more automated, feasible and enjoyable.”
     
  2. “Ideate's suite of tools is indispensable at our firm. There are so many tasks that are made more efficient, and many tasks that would just be flat out impossible without these tools. Ideate does a fantastic job at listening to their customers and they implement suggestions and feature requests quite rapidly. I have been using their products for more than 6 years and highly recommend all of them.”
     
  3. “The Ideate suite of tools are one of very few tools I've come across for Revit that do exactly what they're supposed to, without spamming your toolbars with useless gizmos.”
     
  4. “I recommend every firm within AECO that uses Revit to invest in the Ideate Software Bundle.  Not only does the software make Revit users more efficient within the program, allowing for advanced communication with Revit itself, it also has a user interface that is second to none.  All Ideate applications are essential for every Revit user to be able to utilize on a daily basis - BIMLink for interaction with Revit data through Excel, Sticky to bring in static Excel data to a Revit sheet, Explorer to analyze the model in an advanced way, etc.”

Success Stories

We are pleased that companies in all disciplines and across the world have taken the time to share their experiences with Ideate Software through success stories, blog posts, and webinars. Access information about them all via the Case Studies filter on our blog posts

Our most recent success story is about Evolve Consultancy, one of the UK’s premier BIM and design consultancies. Evolve uses Ideate BIMLink to populate Revit models with COBie (Construction to Operations Building information exchange) data to satisfy ISO 19650-2 requirements. Read more and see screen shots here

Here’s a short video about another company, HLW, and why they recommend Ideate Software tools:


 

The Ideate Software Difference

Visit our website for details of each of our products. Here are highlights:

Ideate Explorer – Dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on model management and enhance model performance with this Revit software plugin. Use it to quickly find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—including imported or linked DWG drawings—as well as to find, refine, and revise elements, even those not included in the Revit project browser. Included with Ideate Explorer are three features that also help you keep your models in top working order:

  • Warnings Manager – Audit and address Revit warnings ranked by importance and fix problems using tools in Revit while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
  • Navigate – Navigate through view-based elements to find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; and customize work environments without altering the project browser 
  • Query – Search within set parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions

Ideate BIMLink – Instead of working inside of Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time, you can use Ideate BIMLink for Revit. Import to Excel where you can easily view and manipulate large amounts. Once the data is updated, you can then use Ideate BIMLink for Revit to import Excel data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  

Ideate Sticky – Share accurate and nicely formatted non-BIM data with Revit teams by live-linking a Revit file to Excel, Word, and PDF documents. These “stickies” look nice, are easy to read, and can be easily updated when changes are made to the original file.     

Ideate StyleManager – Problems frequently occur when data is pasted from one Revit file to another and the styles associated with the original file get copied along with the data. This can clog up the model with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. It’s important to remove that data, otherwise it can cause model performance problems. With Ideate StyleManager you can quickly and easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. You can also use Ideate StyleManager to see the view filters applied to views and to clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more. 

IdeateApps – Repetitive Revit tasks performed on large complex models can contribute to mistakes, rework, and frustrations. The 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection streamline hundreds of common tasks. Descriptions of their functions are in their names: Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect

Ideate Automation – Run time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background while you do more meaningful work. Started manually or scheduled to run at a more convenient time, Ideate Automation increases productivity, eliminates the need to train staff of repetitive tasks, and ensures task outcomes are highly predictable, free of user errors, and standardized. 

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-on products help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months.

 

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November

10

2022

Finding a bad level in your Revit model should strike fear in your heart. There are a wide variety of model conditions that might be at risk when this happens. Virtually all content placed in a Revit model has a level association. The good news is that you can follow the basic steps documented in our Ideate Explorer – How To topic to learn how to manage this type of challenge.

The basic steps are useful when you have a good level and a bad level on top of each other or when the model has not been fully developed. As the model becomes more complex, we must be more cautious when selecting and moving elements. For example, before moving any element, make sure that the base constraints with their offsets make sense and check for proper modelling. Fix that first then attempt moving the elements. E.g., Element placed at Level 1 with offset 10.’ This means that this element needs to be on Level 2 with offset 1’ given that the height of Level 1 is 9.’

If you are trying to work through the challenges of moving a complex model from one level to another, here are some detailed workflow tips on how to handle different elements categories and the order of operation:

Walls For walls, when sorting by level with Ideate Explorer, you are seeing the base constraints indicating the level they’re on. To move them to another level, you must utilize Ideate Query and show related parameters when moving a wall, e.g., Base Constraint, Base Offset, Top Constraint, and Top Offset.
Walls with Edited Profiles You can find walls with edited profiles using Ideate Query and filtering “Has Edited Profile.” If you move a wall, you must make sure that you move both the top and base constraint at the same time to keep the wall proportions the same. Otherwise, you’ll run into “The top of the Wall is lower than the base of the Wall.” In some instances, grouping the walls with multiple edited profiles openings, moving them and ungroup them can also be useful. The level datum in that instance will be the group. 
Curtain Panels Curtain panels follow their host, curtain walls. Don’t select them when moving walls. Instead move the curtain walls. 
Wall Hosted Elements, i.e., Doors, Windows, Security Devices When moving coors, the walls will remain in the same spot, you can’t move the doors and walls at the same time, because Revit level parameters for these elements are not the same. When moving the doors, make sure they don’t lose their host. In this instance, you can also utilize Ideate BIMLink to move these elements using their respective parameter.
Wall Sweeps and Reveals Wall sweeps and reveals are challenging to move in Revit. Move the walls first, then adjust the sweeps and reveals accordingly. When moving the walls, Revit will prompt if you want the reveals to be deleted when their host wall is moved. You can choose to not delete them and move them the second step. For horizontal sweeps and reveals, utilize Ideate Query and filter “Level: Name” to batch-select them and move them to the new level. Pay attention to “Offset from Level.” Vertical sweeps and reveals however behave differently. They don’t have level association, but you can use Ideate Query and filter “Offset From Level Parameter” and “Length” and move similar parameters together.
In-Place Families In-place families do not have an associated level. Create a view with the level to be deleted, select the in-place elements visible in the view using Ideate Explorer, then move them in elevations with the Revit move tool while the disjoin checkbox checked and constrain checkboxes unchecked. Note when Disjoin is checked, any associated annotation tied to the element will get deleted. Revit will notify you. If there is no height change between old and new level, the in-place family will not be affected.
Groups If the group origin matches the group level, moving groups to another level should be relatively easy. The difficulty in moving groups to another level depends what elements are inside the group. If groups contained walls, you must make sure that the proportions don’t change in terms of wall height, so Revit doesn’t think it’s a new group when moving the group. This prompts “Fix group” by creating another group type. You can prevent this issue by fixing the walls level association top constraint before moving them. You can either set Top Constraint to Unconnected or set the top and base constraints to be equal the same level and include a top offset value. The beauty about the second approach that it allows you to associate a global parameter to your top offset. 
Decals Decals don’t have level association; they attach to their host wall, and they move accordingly. 
Topography They don’t have level datums; they are relative to the project location. Treat them like in-place families and move them in elevation. 
All Disciplines Family Hosting: Face Based Face based families have “Schedule Level,” “Elevation from Level,” “Host,” “Offset from Host,” and “Host: Base Level” parameters. You can utilize Ideate Query to filter by any of the related parameters and decide accordingly. If you move the host in this instance, the element will move with it. In some instances, matching the element level and host level is necessary, you can utilize Ideate Query and look for “Schedule Level” and “Host: Base Level.” Tip: If the host is deleted, the element will not get deleted. The hosting will become <not associated>. 
All Disciplines Family Hosting: Element Elements hosted on other elements e.g., Lighting Fixture on Ceilings rely on the host for positioning. Move the host first. Depending how the family is built, you can find the following parameters using Ideate Query: “Level,” “Host: Base Level,” “Default Elevation.” The “Level” parameter in this type of family needs to match the “Host: Base Level.” You can batch select these elements and match them with Ideate Query. Tip: If the host is deleted, the element will get deleted. Element hosted families are scary, I don’t recommend them.
All disciplines family hosting: Reference Plane In this type of family, we can’t rely on the “Schedule Level” parameter accuracy to determine if their location in 3D space is correct. In that instance, create a floor plan or ceiling plan view and select these elements that are visible in that view with Ideate Explorer. Then utilize Ideate Query and look for “Elevation from Level” If the elevation doesn’t make sense to the level location, then the “Schedule Level” parameter is not correct.  Tip: If the reference plane is deleted, the element will not get deleted. The hosting indicating the reference plane will become <not associated>.  When you move a reference plane, make sure you check Constrain and uncheck Disjoin. This will keep the element hosted to the Reference plane. Otherwise they will lose association. 

In summary, fixing an incorrect level within a well-developed Revit model is very challenging! Hopefully these tips will provide a roadmap to help you move forward. 

Here’s a link to a related blog post, Ideate Explorer and IdeateApps: Safely Moving Revit Content to Another Level

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series.

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-on products help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months. 

 


About the Author

Nivin Nabeel, Customer Success Manager, Americas

Nivin has a background in architecture, visual arts, and computer science and has extensive experience in managing and manipulating BIM data, developing and implementing BIM standards and workflows, and applying BIM workflows to ancillary project components for improved efficiency. Before joining Ideate Software, Nivin worked at several architecture and design firms where she learned about Ideate Software products, used them, advocated for them, implemented them, and trained others on how to use them. She earned her Bachelor of Architectural Science degree from Toronto Metropolitan University. Follow Nivin on LinkedIn.

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November

3

2022

San Francisco, CA, November 3, 2022 – Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, presents its latest customer spotlight. This story highlights how Evolve Consultancy, one of the UK’s premier BIM and design consultancies, uses Ideate BIMLink to populate Revit models with COBie (Construction to Operations Building information exchange) data to satisfy ISO 19650-2 requirements. ISO 19650 is an international standard for managing information over a built asset’s lifecycle using building information modeling, and part 2 concentrates on the delivery phase of assets. COBie is one of the open data formats accepted in the UK by the National Annex to ISO 19650-2.

“Although required, taking the time to understand and accurately deliver the COBie data consistently across all delivery phases can take a backseat to producing ongoing design and construction information,” said Glynnis Patterson, Director of Software Development, Ideate Software. “In this success story, Evolve Consultancy details how they use Ideate BIMLink to streamline the process of creating quality COBie deliverables.”

  • Nigel Davies, Director, Evolve Consultancy, said, “What could amount to months of work has been simplified into a remapping exercise thanks to the power of Ideate BIMLink.”
     
  • Daniel Heselwood, Director, Evolve Consultancy, continued, “One of the big advantages Ideate BIMLink gives is that we can work on the active model while the architects also work on it. If part of the model was locked for editing, Ideate BIMLink doesn’t just give up but continues with the rest of the import and reports back the items it couldn’t update, avoiding downtime and delays.”

Read Spotlight on Evolve Consultancy for details and to see screenshots. 

Visit www.ideatesoftware.com to learn how Ideate Software add-ins for Revit help users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables, and elevate design. Download trial versions or purchase the bundle for access to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager for six months.


About Ideate Software - Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. They developed Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, and construction, and owner-operator (AECO) workflows. They developed Ideate Automation to boost the power of their Revit plugins by running time-intensive activities in the background. 

Autodesk and Autodesk Revit are trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

Microsoft Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

 

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November

2

2022

Failure to manage the health of your Revit project could result in poor performance, slow synchronization times, and model crashes, which can lead to delays, file corruption, and missed deadlines.

Keeping your Revit model healthy is essential to any successful project. A healthy model will prevent crashes from happening, ensure all the correct data is contained within the model, and be efficient and productive to work on.

Using Ideate BIMLink, you can set up a comprehensive Revit model health check and publish to a single Excel file with relevant information about the health of the selected Revit model.

How can I use Ideate BIMLink to perform a health check?

Ideate BIMLink is delivered with many health check link definitions that can be exported from the Revit model. Each link can be exported to the same Excel file to build a comprehensive health check.

Health Check Link Definitions that Ship with Ideate BIMLink
Health check link definitions that ship with Ideate BIMLink.

Each link definition has a description to show exactly what the link contains.

Decriptions show exactly what the links contain 

The link definitions can be exported one by one to the same Excel file.

Resulting Excel Spreadsheet with Tabs
The resulting Excel file has a separate tab for each exported Ideate BIMLink health check link definition.

Once the Excel has been created, it can be formatted using Pivot tables and macros to display the information more efficiently. Or the data can be pushed into Power BI to create a more visual interpretation.

For more details see the Help file.

Ideate Automation

If you need to create health check reports on a regular basis, the process can be automated by using Ideate Automation. For more information see our Ideate Automation webpage and our Help file, How to Create a Health Check Report with Ideate Automation.

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-on products help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months. 


About the Author

Steve Deadman - Customer Success Manager - EMEA
Steve provides support to customers and helps them get a strong return on their software investment. He has a B.Eng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering and various certifications in engineering. Before joining Ideate Software, he worked at several top architectural firm in the United Kingdom where he specialized in the implementation and management of BIM processes and technology. Find Steve on LinkedIn.

 

 

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