An Organized Family

The title requires a little understanding of Revit. I note this because the as far as I can tell the term is unique to Revit. ArchiCAD uses term Components & GDL. Vectorworks calls them Plug-In-Object (PIO). I can keep dissecting the term but for now, I wanted to focus on the software I utilize for my production. In the days of CAD we had Blocks. These were small drawings that could repeat the graphical part of a drawing over and over while holding different attributes of information. 

Fast forward into the 21st century and we have BIM. As noted above, I will be focusing on Revit since that is my day to day production software. The benefit of organizing your families is quick access to placing them in your model. The second is utilizing the power of the Information for creating your schedules. As soon as you start drafting in Revit (or generally BIM) is your are manually inputting the information with no cross checking.

Let’s break this down into a few steps. Revit’s families are organized by what I would call the basics. Unfortunately, when it conceived 20 years ago it did not follow any standard format. I remember when I started using the program, I wanted to organize the families by CSI Masterformat divisions. I jumped in and was immediately lost in that I could not change the family type names. The list in the screen shot is not complete, but what I typically utilize during a project. The majority of the architectural elements live in Specialty Equipment. Think of this as the bucket for Division 10 and 11. 

In an effort to organize my Specialty Equipment, I put a little effort in the family name. In order to organize the family name, I start with a 3 to 5 letter ID. Acc = Accessory or MedEq = Medical Equipment, etc. Then I break those down to the Mark type which align with the specification. Finally, a short description. 

  • Acc G1) Grab Bar 18”
  • Acc G2) Grab Bar 24”
  • Acc H2) Double TP Holder
  • MedEq ME04) Sharps Container

In the schedules, I create a new text parameter called “Identity” and place this in the Identity Data group. This allows me to create smart schedules based on this new subgroup Identity. Once you create a parameter in one Family Type, all of the families have access to parameter. This lets me break down the schedules in the parts I may need on the drawings.

  • Accessory
  • Medical Equipment
  • Signage
  • Storage
  • Wall Protection

By keeping your model organized, you will save time. Create better schedules. Improve communication with the entire design and build team. These efforts will increase productivity and help to eliminate errors. All I can say is being organized makes your daily life easier and more manageable.

…and now for something completely different.
There is a fear of happiness and fun and it is called cherophobia.


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Monday, 05 December 2022