Friday, December 05, 2014

Changing Column Types and Copy Monitor

Using Copy/Monitor Revit does not complain when we change column families or types. It does complain if the column is moved. This is different from other elements like grids and levels. My understanding is that the way they expected Architects and Engineers to use the feature is a little different for columns, something like this:
  • Architect places schematic architectural columns (different from structural columns)
  • Architect sends model to engineer
  • Engineer uses copy/monitor to create structural columns where the architects schematic columns are
  • Engineer sends their model to Architect
  • Architect adjusts their columns to be masking only (unless they are left uncovered)
The disparity between column types is intentional because an Architect's needs for the column are often different, masking a structural element versus designing/engineering the column itself. It can also be argued that it would still be better to complain when the column family is changed or swapped for another type (size). Even if, as the Architect, I've shifted my focus to wrapping structural columns it is likely worth being warned if the structural column has changed.

To be warned requires me to have a copy of the column to monitor, which I'd prefer to avoid ordinarily. In general, I encourage Architects to remove their own columns (structural or otherwise, if they use them) in their model as soon as the Engineer is hired and they send them their structural model. Now the architect can focus on using walls to wrap columns as required by Design Development and Construction Documentation. I resist the natural temptation to have my own copy of elements if at all possible, striving to avoid redundancy. Using copy/monitor (the monitor aspect only) can still alert us to major changes to location of the grids/columns.

For now Revit doesn't complain if we change the columns, as long as that change isn't its position/location. If that doesn't fit our model view then we need to let them know.

I wrote this post in part because of a thread at the Autodesk Revit Structure online user group. I wrote this suggestion to work around the lack of warning.

Since Revit is sensitive to movement, we could agree to move columns that are changed like this. If the architect is redesigning a column they can swap out the type for a new type but also move it off grid by a specific value. This will prompt a coordination review when the file is refreshed in the other discipline's file. When they examine the column they'll see the change is more about the size than position. They can respond to the change and move the column back into position, which will prompt coordination review upon return. We could agree that such trigger movement would always be East to West and always a specific distance or something like that so each team knows what to expect.

1 comment:

Andy Milburn said...

Thanks Steve

Lot's of useful ideas there. I'm still searching for that elusive "perfect workflow" between architecture & structure :-)