Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Projects with Shared Details

These projects typically have "standard/common/shared" details AND "specific/custom" details. It's a pretty common question, "How do I manage the shared details?". In an earlier post I wrote about the Insert Views from File tool that Revit added several years ago. The overall strategy I like boils down to this list:

  • Do all the detailing that they share in "one" project
  • Do all the detailing that is shared in Drafting Views, not model "live" views
  • Use Insert Views from File to pass them to the other projects.
    • This allows for local view referencing of callouts/sections etc
  • Do all shared detailing in the "master" project
  • Only worry about keeping the sheet and detail numbering updated between all sheets
  • Don't bother to update the details in each other project, the views could be blank for that matter (except for a piece of text, has to be something in the view)
  • Print all shared details from the master
    • Strategically use a separate sheet numbering scheme for shared details so they don't compete with project specific details.
    • Only necessary to manage sheet reference and detail numbers during the course of the project and add new shared details if they arise.
    • Easiest when detailing is done in later stages of documentation naturally

I think that it's easy to miss that it isn't really necessary to put "finished" details in all the other project files to keep them "up-to-date". The only thing we need to keep "up-to-date" is the sheet number and detail numbers, assuming that detail sheets are printed from the master project instead of from each individual project. That's why I suggest a separate sheet numbering scheme for these shared details, so they don't compete with the rest of the set.


Duncan Lithgow said...

I've described my proposed solution here at AUGI:

Steve said...

My post describes a workflow that lives within the confines of Revit processes, intentional process. Revit was never meant to do documentation in a separate project from the geometry.

Over time it has expanded on what is possible through links but it is never as integrated as a single model. Fundamentally Revit is meant to do one building in one file (per discipline).

The effort required to pull off what is described in the AUGI post will be much more tedious and finicky than the process I describe.

Duncan Lithgow said...

I appreciate that what I've described is more complex to set up. But once it is set up (by one or two people) - then Callouts to details in each building are placed via the linked view without having to open each project. I don't have to make a placeholder view to refer to, and I don't have to check & recheck that where I have placed it in my model is the same as where it was placed where it's been drawn. References just appear in the right place as long as RVT link to 'Details_project' on Level x is shown by linked view to Level x.

Boyd Johnson said...


Your blog is great resource. This post is almost 3 years old, but it deals with the issue I am trying to solve. I agree, attempting to document (details) outside of a single model goes against the principles of Revit.

Obviously this desire comes from a CAD mentality - wanting to pull blocks from a master detail library as needed into your project.

That said, projects are getting bigger and bigger and more complex. Do you have any new insights on using "live" details across multiple projects (rvt files)?

Ideally, where a detail can be modified in master file and it will update in other linked models. I know, it goes against the principle of Revit...but I thought I would refresh the question to see if there is a new way.



Boyd Johnson said...


I agree with the principle of Revit being a single model and attempting to link a detail "master file(details.rvt)" goes against core principles of Revit.

This desire stems from years of linking/viewing detail blocks from a master detail dwg file into projects as needed.

Since this post in just over three years, I thought I would see if you had any new insights on this process or is it the same workflow you have described above?

Thanks - your blog is a great resource.


Tim M. said...

Our firm made the jump to Revit from AAD two years ago. That being said we are still in the "learning" phase. What frustrates me (a Autocad user since 1994) is that the KISS principle is completely missed in Revit. For example, it took how long to have a callout shape other than a rectangle? And to hear "sharing details between projects violates the core principles of Revit"? Really? The whole idea of construction documents is to work smarter and not harder. The quicker a set of CDs can be completed the quicker you can move onto the next project. In this day and age time is still money....And from what Im hearing, if I cant share sections and details on a multi- building project in Revit (a simple principle), than why should I continue to use the "square wheel" instead of the "round wheel", i.e. Revit vs AAD? This is the major frustraition in our office, tasks which should be simple, take hours or "cant be done" in Revit and therefore require workarounds. Ridiculous.

ambrozote said...

Hello, not sure if this helps.

We have a different situation where we need to reference views from another linked Revit model.

In the process, we created a Dummy Callout Boundary and Dummy Tag to suffice.

Link to screencast provided.


Steve said...

This post pre-dates the more recent tools that Revit Workflow offers to manage external references to details. Check out Revolution Design's Revit Workflow.

ambrozote said...

looks good.

thanks for the tip.