Ever wondered what's in a Autodesk Revit Multi-Category schedule? Here's the skinny½ while a regular Revit Schedule reports on a single category of data such as Doors, Plumbing Fixtures, or Structural Foundations, a Multi-category schedule can report on many of the Revit model categories at once, which can be useful for quantity takeoffs. Sounds straightforward, but the catch is that some of the model categories are being excluded. What's missing are the system families such as Walls, Floors, etc.

The good news is that Ideate BIMLink not only includes all the model category data that you need to do a comprehensive takeoff, but it also lets you select, on a per category basis, which elements you want to include. Furthermore, you can include not just the Length and the Volume, but also the Area, which is slightly important.


Here are the steps required to use Ideate BIMLink to quickly extract your quantity data from a Revit Building Information Model:

  1. Within Ideate BIMLink create a New Link that is based on  
  2. On the Multi-Category tab review the items to decide which you need for your takeoff. 
  3. Export to Excel. 
  4. Ideate BIMLink will create a row of data for each instance within your Revit project. If you want a summary, to include counts and totals, you can use Excel's Pivot table. Refer to the quantity takeoff topic for an example of a pivot table used in this way. 

That's it. You now have a comprehensive list of the model elements and proceed with your estimating with confidence.

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 11.14.2013


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A big thanks to everyone who graciously gave us their input last month for the third annual Ideate BIMLink survey. Our winner from this year's Ideate BIMLink survey is Trent Best of Rosendin Electric. Enjoy that iPad mini Trent! When you purchase Ideate BIMLink you're buying not only a piece of software, but also the email support, online classes, and development efforts that are on-going. For example, your past input has resulted in the following "point" releases:

2013.0 :: March 2012, Revit 2013 ships, and so do we, with new and improved workflows!

2013.1 :: August 2012 - improvements for ease of network deployments

2013.2 :: December 2012 - Top 3 user requests added plus many improvements.

2014.0 :: March 2013 - Revit 2014 ships and so does Ideate BIMLink 2014.0

2013.4/2014.1 :: July 2013 - We provide improvements for both 2014 and 2013 users. What's New Video

2013.5/2014.1 :: Give us a bit of time, we just got your feedback!

In addition to some great ideas about how to make Ideate BIMLink even more useful, users are reporting an average of ***23.7 hours saved per project***, meaning that for most customers they re-coup their initial investment within the first project. Sign-up for online training to learn how you can make the most of Ideate BIMLink. Missed the survey? You can always provide your input from within the Help menu.

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 10.15.2013


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A few weeks ago we gave a gentle nudge to BIM Managers to take the courageous step of actually executing on their workset plans. That post generated a lot of positive feedback and discussion. Including this follow-up question.

Q: Can I use Ideate Explorer for Revit to generate a list of elements per Category or by Workset for offline review? 

A: Yes, any elements selected within Ideate Explorer can be exported to Excel from the Detail View. After Exporting to Excel the information can be easily transformed to include element counts by using a Pivot table.

Related video: Auditing Worksets with Ideate Explorer  

Try the Ideate Explorer for Revit Free Trial today.

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 11.11.2013


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You've spent the time to devise a great way to organize your Autodesk Revit project with worksets. Your plan is excellent and will decrease time wasted opening unnecessary information and ensure that only the desired information will be printed within the deliverables.

BUT½ are you actually executing on this plan?

Ideate Explorer for Revit knows, so take a peek at your project today and be sure that you are executing on your workset plan!

Try the Ideate Explorer for Revit Free Trial today.


This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 10.30.2013

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  1. Your engineer/architect has modeled your new facility in Revit and the building is done
  2. Get your hands on the Building model, you own it, right?
  3. Open up Revit
  4. You launch Ideate BIMLink and you export the COBie_Type and COBie_Components to an Excel file. Whether you intend to do COBie or not these links are a great way to quickly get all of the asset list that you need to get started.
  1. If your budget permitted, you required the model to be updated to reflect as-built conditions. Congratulations, you get to skip ahead to Step 7.
  2. If the model does not reflect the as-built conditions then you should pay your architect and engineers to fill out the Excel files from step 4 above or have your own staff fill out any missing info. This can be done with a tablet as outlined in this earlier post.
  3. Congratulations, you now you have a complete list of all the building assets for use in managing the building's maintenance and operations. That was easy!

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 9.25.2013


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, Revit expertGlynnis Patterson, NCARB — Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for ECLC of NJ and Grow it Green Morristown. Follow Glynnis on Twitter.

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