Revit Terminology: What You Need to Know to Implement the BIM Software

A mandatory step in implementing any new software is learning the unique language that goes along with it. Revit terminology is no different, and is particularly complex. Basic modeling in Revit is typically considered extremely user-friendly, but once a user starts to dive into some of the more advanced features, they can quickly get lost in all of the technical Revit terminology.

In an effort to help with your adoption of Revit, we’ve put together a list of technical terms that are unique to Revit. While you may not have a need to use these features today, you will undoubtedly need a thorough understanding of Revit Terminology as you progress to more complex projects and larger teams.

1) Central ModelRevit Terminology Central Model

The central model is a necessary component to enable worksharing in Revit. The central model must live in a location that is accessible to all team members, whether it is a network location or Autodesk’s BIM 360 cloud platform. The central model is where changes are saved when users sync to central.

2) WorksetsRevit Terminology Worksets

Worksets are a way to apply permissions to objects in Revit. There are many strategies revolving around how worksets are to be used, but their most common uses are for collaborative worksharing and improving performance.

3) Shared parametersRevit terminology shared paramater

Shared parameters can be considered containers for data that needs to be made accessible and shareable among multiple families and projects. The shared parameter file is an external text file stored outside of Revit families or projects. Shared parameters are required to build schedules in Revit.

4) View RangeRevit terminology View Range

View range is the setting in a plan view which allows users to control the visibility of objects along the z-axis. For example, if you needed to see objects that exist below a floor, set the bottom of your view range to a negative value.

5) Hosting

Hosting in Revit entails families that are dependent on a host and do not stand alone. For example, a family of sconces will require a wall or vertical face to host to. Hosting is helpful when you would like an object to “attach” to another object because the hosted element will move along with the element that it is hosted to.

6) Object StylesRevit Terminology Object Styles

Object styles are used to specify various objects in categories and subcategories of a project. These setting allow users to specify line weights, colors, and patterns as well as the materials for model,annotation, and imported objects in a project.These settings are similar to what you would see in Visibility/Graphics, except Object Styles are applied throughout the project rather than a specific view.

7) View FiltersRevit Terminology view filters

View filters are created to override the visibility and graphics in a model which share common properties. View filters are based on model categories and give you a set of rules to control the visibility and graphics of a specific set of elements. Use this tool if you need a more granular way to control graphics of elements that share common properties. For example, you can set the linetype of all pipes that are below grade to dashed lines.

8) Copy/MonitorRevit Terminology Copy/Monitor

Users have the option to Copy/Monitor elements from linked Revit models. Often times, Gridlines and Levels are copy/monitored into each discipline’s model to ensure the entire project team are sharing the locations of these critical elements. If copy/monitored elements are modified, users are notified and can evaluate changes using Coordination Review.

9) CAD links / Imports

Revit Terminology Cad links/importsCAD files can be linked or inserted into a Revit project which are often times used as a starting point to modeling a project or family. Linking CAD files is the preferred method for use in a Revit model, as it’s elements remain an external reference to your project. This means users can remove the link without any risk of issues and bloating of the Revit model. On the other hand, when a CAD file is imported, the objects are “embedded” into your Revit model which can cause undesired elements to be loaded and effect model health.

10) Revit warnings

Revit Terminology Revit warningsRevit warnings are crucial when it comes to monitoring your project health. A warning will alert you when there is an issue that might require review and resolution, so it is a good idea to pay attention to these as they appear before you encounter a crisis with your project. If you opt to not address the warnings you receive right away, it is a good idea go through and correct them on a regular basis. Here is a list of Common Revit Warnings you may encounter.

In conclusion, when you start your first project in Revit you can expect to encounter a steep learning curve. On the surface, Revit has a set of straightforward modeling tools, but as you progress towards more and more complex projects you will be exposed to some of Revit’s intermediate features. A good understanding of the aforementioned Revit terminology, tools,  and settings can make the process of adopting Revit a little bit easier.

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