Those of you responsible for maintaining or verifying data and documentation quality in your Revit models will find the recording of this webinar valuable. You’ll learn about our six Revit add-in solutions that can streamline your QA processes of implementing Revit model standards and your QC processes of fixing problems that occur within a Revit model either as they happen or as part of a review process. You’ll also see demonstrations of common workflows for each of the Ideate Software solutions:
This webinar was held on 01-31-23 for the Americas region. A similar one was held on 02-15-23 for the EMEA region, and one was held on 04-27-23 for the APAC region.
Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-ins 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
Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist
Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 20 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 12 years at Autodesk, where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Do you wish you had more time to impress your manager, coworkers, and customers with your design ideas? Here is an easy way to add hours back into your day. Get IdeateApps! This collection of 10 productivity-enhancing tools simplifies common, repetitive Revit tasks. These productivity-enhancing tools improve the look as well as the performance of your Revit models, and they give you more time to work on bringing your innovative and creative designs to life.
IdeateApps is a set of add-in tools for Revit. These BIM tools give users easy access to data in their models, making it much easier and faster to verify and manipulate that data.
Daily Revit users and BIM managers at architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator companies around the world consider the IdeateApps tools essential for creating a competitive advantage by decreasing the time spent on common tasks, increasing the accuracy of the data in their Revit models, and enabling them to deliver models that truly reflect their design ideas.
An Introduction to IdeateApps
Take just a few minutes to get a good understanding of all the tools by watching these two videos. The first one highlights nine tools, and the second one highlights the newest one, Ideate Annotate.
A Look at Each Tool
Below are links to some of the many how-to videos on IdeateApps available on our website. Access many more as well as recorded webinars from the IdeateApps Playlist on our Video Library.
The Revit project browser does not provide adequate support for sheet creation and layout. Watch this short video to see how to use Ideate SheetManager to filter sheet and view information, create new sheets, and place views onto sheets:
See how easy it is to align multiple views across sheets by: 1) using the model coordinates of similar views, or 2) keeping the view position relative to the title blocks
See a short demonstration on how to use Ideate Clone to copy a sheet with viewports to a sheet that will match all the title block and sheet properties of the original sheet. You’ll also see how to place and control unplaced views on the newly created sheet so they align with the previous viewports:
Creating a drawing or sets of drawings in Revit can be a laborious and time-consuming process. Watch this video to see how to use the Rooms View creation method in Ideate ViewCreator to automate the naming of interior elevations and other room-based view types. You will also see how to quickly assemble new sheets to match your desired layouts.
The Revit spellchecker doesn’t check data in schedules. Ideate SpellCheck does. Here’s a link to a six-minute video with the highlights:
Have you ever delete an element in a Revit model only to have other elements disappear along with it? That’s not a problem with Ideate SmartDelete. Take a look at this five-minute video to learn why that happens and how to avoid it by:
Reviewing the deletion set
Previewing other elements, dimensions, regions, keynote tags, etc. that will be delete with your deletion set
Remove the elements you don’t want deleted
Refresh the list of elements that will be deleted to ensure it is correct
Unlike the Revit project browser, Ideate QuickSelect is a model browser that can be used to view all instances of hard-to-find times such as model or annotation elements, inserted or linked CAD files, section boxes, scope boxes, elevation markers, section markers, schedule graphics, and view references. Here’s a seven-minute demonstration video:
Watch this short video to learn how to reduce liability by ensuring the legibility of tags, text, dimensions, and other annotative elements. You’ll also learn how you can support Revit design documentation and/or quality control activities through enhanced browse and review workflows that expedite production documentation work through easy access to all annotative elements:
People often think of Revit for architects and engineers who use it to test design ideas, translate conceptual designs into BIM data, optimize building efficiency, create realistic renderings, and prepare documentation with the details needed for construction teams to build the designs.
The benefits don’t end when the documents are passed from the architects to the contractors. In fact, the benefits of having Revit models of planned buildings or structures continue through the construction phase and even through the owner-operator phase.
In this blog post, we focus on Revit and the construction industry. We will address how it is used by owner-operators in a future post.
Because the BIM process automates many challenges faced by companies in the construction industry, several governments have mandated the use of BIM for government projects to save time and money through better planning, designing, and management of buildings and infrastructure. In countries where BIM is not mandated, many construction companies are choosing to implement BIM anyway, because they are watching their competitors who follow BIM processes automate activities that help them gain competitive advantages in terms of win rates and successful project completions.
Revit and the Construction Industry
Because Revit is the most popular BIM tool in the world, it is safe to say that as BIM usage spreads throughout the construction industry, the use of Revit will increase as well. Construction companies that use Revit will realize several advantages, including:
Clearer Communications with Architects
Realistic 3D models created in Revit dramatically reduce any delays caused by misunderstandings about the architect’s design. The documentation includes all the parameters and shapes of the structural elements, part details, and systems such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, which the contractors can reference throughout the construction project.
Better Stakeholder Communications
With the integration of cloud technology, project data can be accessed from anywhere, allowing project managers to keep their teams and other stakeholders current on project status.
Change happens, even when the architectural drawings have bene finalized. The client may have a new idea, supply chain issues may impact product availability, or manufacturers may make changes that need to be addressed in the design. Contractors that use Revit can make changes in the existing model, recalculate parameters, and confirm that the new designs don’t negatively impact other elements.
Accurate Materials Lists
Ordering too much material, not ordering enough, or ordering the wrong material are common problems with construction teams that cause cost overruns, delays, and frustrated teams and clients. Construction companies that use Revit can minimize waste and reduce costs by using Revit to automatically calculate the required amount of resources and the budget.
Revit software can be used by contractors to detect structural flaws by assessing the stability of foundations, systems, fixtures, materials, and more. This pre-construction step helps confirm that an architect’s design can be successfully and safely built, potentially saving a tremendous amount of time and money.
As designs change, the risk of clashes increases. Hard clashes, when two components occupy the same space, and soft clashes, when an object encroaches into the tolerance space of another object, can create a huge amount of rework if not found until after construction has started. Revit users can easily detect clashes in designs and generate clash reports that engineers can use to fix the problems, saving time, money, and the contractor’s reputation.
Ideate Software Add-ins for Revit and the Construction Industry
We develop Revit plugins for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator companies around the world:
Streamline VDC Tasks
Dive deeper into methods of streamlining VDC tasks by watching the recording of this 30-minute webinar.
Review issues with construction sequencing
Watch this four-minute video to see how a project scheduler, who doesn’t know how to use Revit, can use Ideate BIMLink to export Revit data into Excel to enter or edit data, and then import the updated data back to Revit, which can create 4D models that construction teams can review for issues and opportunities. The video includes final steps for Navisworks users.
Get comprehensive quantity data with a 2-step quantity takeoff
Watch this three-minute video to learn how to harness the power of pivot tables and Microsoft Excel when performing quantity takeoff tasks in Revit. Also learn how to expedite the creation of a formatted quantity takeoff. The example in the video show how to use the Ideate BIMLink sample file template, created in Excel, to get comprehensive quantity data in two easy steps.
Publish project PDF information on a consistent and repeatable basis
Ideate Automation is a scripting solution that is designed for use with Ideate software solutions such as Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Apps, and Ideate StyleManager. It can also be used without Ideate Software solutions to report on Family information or publish information from a series of Revit models.
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.
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
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].
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.