Revit users,

While using Revit software, have you run across a workflow that you know can be improved? If so, let us know about it! We are always on the lookout for the best ideas to incorporate into our software.

To encourage you to share your ideas, we are offering a standalone subscription to IdeateApps to any Revit user* who completes our short survey by 30 April 2020. The subscription will expire on 15 December 2020. 

IdeateApps Promo
IdeateApps is a 5-star collection of applications that simplifies the tasks daily Revit users perform most often. The applications integrate many notable ideas from the Autodesk Revit Ideas Forum.

Thank you for completing our survey! Your input will help us develop tools that address persistent challenges faced by Revit users. 

*Terms and conditions apply. See the first page of the survey for details.

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Ideate Software is pleased to present this blog post by our customer, Gautam Shenoy, BIM-VDC Director at Steinberg Hart.

As the BIM-VDC Director at Steinberg Hart, I strive to stay current on the latest BIM trends and technologies and recommend those appropriate for our company to my team and company leadership. My decision to move forward with a recommendation is predicated by two factors, the specific project delivery type and the actual deliverables per the agreement or contract with the client. Inherently speaking, the project delivery type is the biggest determining factor since it provides an outline on what the deliverables are and how will they be measured for the purpose of value engineering.

A good example is that of a GMP (or GMax) contract used frequently in Design Build projects. The guaranteed maximum price (GMP) is a type of contract that requires the Design-Build team to have a tangible set of documents identifying efficient quantities and values. This in turn informs the estimating process, thereby allowing a ‘maximum price’ to be determined. 

When I find a tool that will help our process, I need team and leadership buy in. For team buy in, I show how the technology will streamline processes, save time, and improve quality. For leadership buy in, I justify the expense by demonstrating a positive ROI based on its inference on the fee, time invested, and time spent.

From extensive experience, I have identified three different methods of measuring ROI that work in different situations. The “task” method is the one I used to demonstrate the value of IdeateApps to company leadership, who agreed that each of the 100 or so Revit users on our team should have access to the time- and money-saving applications.

Here are details of the three methods:

Task-based ROI

  • Overview:
    • Determine how much time a task takes using the current process
    • Estimate how much time it will take using the new technology
    • Assign a dollar amount to the time (in both categories)
    • Multiply that amount by the number of times the task is performed over all the phases such as Schematic Design, Design Development and Construction documents
    • Calculate the amounts in each category
    • Subtract the two and show savings
  • Use this method in these situations:
    • Large scale implementation of plugin(s) while factoring costs
    • In instances where a technology budget is not available to purchase multiple seats
    • Where firmwide implementation is needed and leadership needs to review costs

Here is the table I used to determine and present the cost savings achieved by using IdeateApps:

IdeateApps ROI Table - Gautam Shenoy - Steinberg Hart

Phase-based ROI

  • Overview:
    • Determine how much information needs to be provided in a set
    • Estimate how much time it will take using a traditional method
    • Estimate how much time it will take using the new technology
    • Assign a dollar amount to the time (in both categories)
    • Calculate the amount saved
    • Multiple that amount by the number of times the task is performed over a single phase such as Design Development or Construction documents
  • Use this method in these situations:
    • Large set of inventory items need to be swapped / replaced / retagged
    • Piloting a plugin for test purposes
    • Smaller scale project implementation 

Fee Calculation ROI

  • Overview:
    • Determine typical tasks (Eg. Tagging, using stickies, creating views, sheets, resolving warnings)
    • Assign a dollar amount to the time (in both categories)
    • Multiple that amount by the number of times the task is performed over one phase
  • Use this method in these situations:
    • A plugin is to be piloted onto a new potential project which has a really limited budget
    • Additional services need to be requested
    • Large scale rectifications are needed due to drastic changes in design intent and criteria

In each case, make sure you clearly explain via notes why the procedures are comparable yet the time and hence costs are dramatically different.

By taking the time to calculate ROI and truly understand how money is currently spent and how it can be saved, you will be well-prepared to have a discussion with leadership about your recommendations.

IdeateApps is a collection of tools that simplify the tasks that daily Revit users perform most often. Visit our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today

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Every day, our Ideate Software Support team responds to all types of questions from AECO professionals located around the world. A customer from Singapore had a great question about modifying one of the existing rules for Ideate ReNumber, which is part of the IdeateApps suite of applications that streamline the tasks performed most often by every day Revit users.

This customer wanted to:

  • Change the target parameter that updates when running the specific rule and the increment value that updates as you use the rule
  • Use a custom Revit Shared parameter for the target
  • Change the ability to choose even or odd values as the number increments.

We were pleased to report that you can change the target parameter to ANY text-based Revit parameter, and that includes a Shared Parameter. Take a look at this Help file for instructions.

And, in case you haven’t heard, we updated our latest release of Ideate ReNumber to support an increment size option that allows the user to control whether it’s even or odd, or even incrementing by any value such as 10. For example, you could have a room number that is 100, then 110, 120, etc. You can also set when the increment resets.

In the images below, when I’m renumbering rooms, I’ve set the increment size to two. If I started on Level One with 100, the next number would be 102, 104, etc. Then when I jump to the next level, the rule will automatically increment based on level, so it would start at 200, then 202, 204, etc. 

Ideate ReNumber
Within the ReNumber rule, the target parameter can be set to any text-based Revit parameter.


Ideate ReNumber
The new increment size can be used to have odd, even, or any value increment.


Ideate ReNumber
There is even an included Room - Skip renumbering rule within the Basic Rules that has the increment size set to two. There is also a Parking – Skip rule included in the Bonus Rules.

To learn more about our Revit productivity tools, visit our  website. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today. 

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.

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Here’s a link to the recording of our webinar on Ideate ReNumber, our tool that makes it easy to update element number and names. 

The webinar was hosted by our Customer Success Manager, Sash Kazeminejad. Sash is a California Licensed Architect and a Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and AutoCAD Certified Professional. He has been with Ideate for more than six years.

During this webinar, Sash focused on the Ideate ReNumber application in our IdeateApps collection and specifically:

  1. Creating custom rules
  2. Renumbering data outlets
  3. MEP fabrication renumbering

Here are a few comments from attendees:

  • “I now know how I can easily renumber ductwork that requires a new naming/numbering convention.”
  • “I am now able to renumber telecom data jacks easily.”
  • “I will try to use it for fire alarm sequencing.”
  • “Sash made the presentation brief and to the point.”

The recording is open to all, so please forward the link to people you think would benefit from its content.


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


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CBT Architects is a leading design firm headquartered in Boston, MA. Its 230 professionals create tomorrow’s landmarks through a broad range of local, national and international projects in architecture, interior design and urban design.

The CBT Design Technology Team uses Ideate Software applications to help project teams validate their project data and resolve individual model issues, and they proactively support all projects by incorporating the applications into model management processes.

Nirva Fereshetian, CBT’s Chief Information Officer and Associate Principal said, “Revit software is one of our Design Technology Team’s primary tools, and we use add-ons, including those from Ideate Software, to make Revit processes more efficient.”

Here are some examples of how they use our tools:

  • Fix Visibility Issues with Ideate XRay
    Rood Vincent, from the Design Technology Team, said, “We get a lot of calls from Revit users who place an object into a view in Revit and then can’t find it anywhere. With Ideate XRay, the solution is fast and simple.”
  • Ensure Accuracy with Ideate BIMLink
    When the Design Technology Team’s Lynn Quagliato talked about a hotel project that included six buildings, 700 guest rooms, and furniture counts for all the rooms, she said, “Getting the furniture data through Revit wasn’t ideal, because the software can’t show it all. It was easy with Ideate BIMLink.”
  • Keep Models Stable with Ideate Explorer
    “Ideate Explorer give us deeper insight into Revit model elements and allows for enhanced selection options,” said William Paquette, CBT Design Technology Team. “This significantly aids in model management, allowing us to quickly identify where issues may be and areas that can be cleaned up.” 

“We appreciate Ideate Software’s tools as well as its support,” said Nirva. “They help us ensure our people get the most of out their software by providing training, how-to videos and Help files that our Design Technology Team can dig into, and then showcase highlights to our designers using one of our real projects.”  

Read more about how CBT Architects uses Ideate Software tools. 

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