Saturday, January 06, 2007

Egress Path

[added Nov 22, 2011] I've written quite a few times about this now, more than ten times. A quick search of this blog for the criteris "Egress" will yield links to all the posts. If you just want to download examples you CAN HERE.

Often my articles are inspired by something I read on the newsgroups or forums. Other times they come from client questions. In this case it came from both and when line based families were introduced I applied them to this question, “How can I describe and then document exiting paths?” I discussed this approach at Autodesk University 2006 and the files will be available at AU Online.

This first image is the plan representation of the line-based family I made:

This image is the schedule results after sketching the segments you see above:

This image is what the family looks like in a 3D view:

I used a sub-category of generic model to allow me to turn on/off the 3D guy that’s sliding along the egress path.

This is an image of the family itself:

It is a line-based solid sweep using a silly looking “human” like form as the 3D object. A symbolic line in plan sweeps along with it. Finally a Multi-Category Tag family reports the “length” parameter (yes, a shared parameter) of each segment in the plan view. A multi-category schedule filters for just elements that have an egress related comment.

The trick to getting the Path of Egress shared parameter to report the length of the line-based family is to connect it to the default Length parameter present in line-based families already. Just entering the parameter name “Length” in the formula column for the parameter “Path of Egress” connects them.

I suppose I should have made a girl version too? Modular man? Give it try, see if the concept works for your needs?

Refer to the email instructions on the sidebar if you want to get a copy of the project file, which will give you the family, tag and the schedule as well as what you see above naturally.


Anonymous said...

That's a nice simple approach to egress. I'll be giving this a go.

Anonymous said...

Steve this in incredible, much easier then my approach. I can't wait to use this on a project.


Anonymous said...

I would like to add to my previous comment, that I have now applied this technique to fire hose reel reach/paths for our Fire protection drawings. Nice work.

Steve said...

So Chad, what is the 3D object for those? A fire extinguisher? A nozzle? Glad you found it useful!

Anonymous said...


That is great any chance getting access to the family to study it.

many thanks,

Adil Georgis

Steve said...

send me an email so I can reply to staffordconsulting at cox dot net

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Brilliant as usual Steve... just had a need for this and found the link via Augi. Cheers, Elrond

Anonymous said...


I have just done something similar independently... I created a fascia with a small rectangular profile. I could then create a schedule showing fascia lenghts. The dot on the end had me stumped. I'll email you for the file

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to download your egress2009.rvt file (which looks awesome, BTW) but it isn't working right. I'm getting a "SEEK" error when I go to open the file. Any help would be much appreciated.


Steve said...

When you download the file is the finished size 936 kb? I just downloaded it and opened it in RAC 2009 successfully. If it isn't the same size as 936 kb then it didn't completely download.

If it is are you sure you are opening it with the correct version? Don't double click the file, use File menu > Open from within Revit 2009.

Good luck!

P.S. If it still doesn't work send me an email, note the contact info at the bottom left of my blog.

Unknown said...

How did you connect shared parameter (Path of Egress) to Length by using the formula column. I tried the same thing in one of my family but it says inconsistence unit.

What are the properties of shared parameter Path of Egress? Please tell me.


Steve said...


The stock Length parameter is hardwired by the Revit developers. It is a Length data type. So your new parameter must be a Length data type too. The other possible mistake is to spell the parameter differently. Revit is case sensitive when reading parameters.

Sally Maddock said...

This is an awesome family. The download link on this page doesn't work, but I was able to find it here: (about halfway down the page under Egress Examples)


Anonymous said...

am I the only crazy person who thinks that revit should have a built-in function for calculating something as simple as length? This is a great tutorial, but come on. what year is this?

Steve said...

It does, called Measure: Measure Between Two References or Measure Along an Element. If you toggle on "Chain" (Options Bar) you can measure the overall distance of a corridor for example. It's like AutoCAD's Distance tool, not permanent for documentation, just ad hoc measuring.

If it is documentation you're after then no, there isn't a purpose built tool for doing that but several ways to accomplish it nonetheless; a railing, my egress family, adaptive point family, or the new path of travel feature in Revit.