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Revit Extensions for Revit MEP 2009

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Download Revit® Extensions are a series of easy-to-use applications that extend the capabilities of Revit® MEP 2009 software in key areas, including modeling, coordination, and documentation. Specifically, the extensions provided in this executable file are: Freeze Drawings, Compare Models, Text Generator, and Elements Positioning. The file installs the Revit Extensions for Revit MEP 2009. It also includes the Extensions Engine, a platform that hosts each Extension within Revit MEP 2009.


  • “Revit Extensions for Revit MEP 2009″ may be installed by users with the Administrator” or “Power User” rights (in the Windows VISTA operating system, only by users with the “Administrator” rights).
  • “Revit Extensions for Revit MEP 2009” installed by the user with the “Administrator” rights can be launched on a given computer also by users with the “User” and “Power User” rights.
  • Before launching “Revit Extensions for Revit MEP 2009” by the user with the “User” or “Power User” rights Revit should be launched one time by the user with the “Administrator” rights (in the Vista operating system, with an additional parameter “Run as an Administrator”).


  • To launch “Revit Extensions for Revit MEP 2009” first run “Revit MEP 2009”.
  • A new toolbar is displayed containing 3 new icons:
  • Click to launch the “Revit Extensions Manager”, run a particular extension or read help for further information.
Compare models Extension
Using the Compare models extension, you can compare 2 Revit® models. The extension presents differences between successive versions of a structure project.

When the extension starts, it recognizes the number of opened projects created in Revit®. If more than 2 structure projects are opened, a dialog displays where you can select 2 projects to be compared.

Comparing structure models that were created as a result of copying elements (for example, through the Clipboard) may not lead to good quality results. Original element identifiers (ID) may be changed in the extension, which makes element identification and correct comparison of models impossible.

After you have selected 2 Revit® models, the main dialog of the extension, used for comparing models, displays. The dialog consists of 3 tabs: General information, Elements, and Report.

Element Postioning Extension
The Extension is used to create position tags for selected elements in a Revit ® model. All element types available in Revit ®, except annotations and loads, are taken into account during positioning.

After elements and positioning parameters are selected, element tags / names (for all elements or for selected ones) are generated in the Extension. Position tags are placed in the element properties (in the Mark cell), in the current (start) view, or in views you select (the option specified in the Extension).

Basic functionalities of the Extension:
· create a set of elements and divide them into categories and types
· sort elements depending on their location in the project (horizontal or vertical)
· add a tag describing a user-defined position at the location specified in a selected view.

The Extension allows loading necessary information from Revit MEP:
· object category (column, beam)
· object family (regular I sections)
· object type (I 100)
· object geometry
· object location (level)
· material of which the object is made (after you select the option)
· bars reinforcing RC elements (after you select the option).

If positioning is performed for standard levels, two descriptions may display for some elements: description of the element positioned below (for example, a column positioned on the lower level) and a description of the element positioned on a given level (see the image shown).

A solution to this problem (in particular, when dimensions of elements on two levels are identical) is to make a cross-section at a selected height in Revit ®; for this cross-section, a position number should be displayed.

All data defined during the element positioning can be edited using the Modify option.

Freeze Drawings Extension
Using the Freeze Drawings extension, you can separate a drawing / view from an object model so that the state of the drawing / view stays unchanged (frozen). The extension is based on the DWG Import and DWG Export mechanisms in Revit®.
All frozen drawings / views are placed in newly created views. Selected views are imported to DWG files with user-defined parameters.

Freezing of drawings does not include 3D views or sheets
Text Generator Extension
Use the Text Generator Extension to generate text automatically in Revit®. You can type text directly in the relevant edit field or load text from an external file, and can also define the parameters.
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Written by sbrisk

July 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Extensions, Tips

Transfer Filters from a Previous View in Revit

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There is a fast way to transfer the filters from one view to another whether you have already created the filter, or need to create a new filter for your views.

You can get to the View templates from the SETTINGS pulldown menu, and click on one of the existing View Template names on the left, and Edit the properties of that view template on the right. There you will create a new Filter that will apply to this template. You can also create a new View template on the left, and edit the view properties on the right.

Then you can apply that view template to as many views as you want. You can select multiple views, right click, and apply a view template to them.

If you already created a filter in another view, you can go to the VIEW pulldown menu and create a view template from the current view that you created the filter from already. Then go back into view template settings, and make any additional modifications to that view template. Then select all the views that you want to apply it to, right click, and apply this view template to them.

Written by sbrisk

June 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Filters, Tips, Views

Revit® MEP 2009 Software Optimization and Best Practices

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White Paper From Autodesk

View Performance
The largest impact on View manipulation performance (scroll, pan, zoom operations) is the Model Graphics Style settings. The Hidden Line Style, due to the requirement to dynamically generate gaps and hidden lines when elements overlap in the View, requires the most processing and thus results in a noticeable performance impact in Views with many visible Elements. The following best practices will help to mitigate this performance impact and streamline project workflows.

Modeling and Sheet Views
In order to streamline project workflow, it is recommended to create both Modeling and Sheet Views for the same regions of the building.
Follow these guidelines
  • Modeling Views should be configured to utilize the Wireframe Model Graphics Style.
  • Sheet Views should be configured to utilize the Hidden Line Model Graphics Style to produce the desired appearance for Construction Documentation.
  • Use Dependent Views for your Sheet Views. This allows you to have multiple regions of an overall Level in different views, while not requiring duplicate Annotations.
  • Differentiate Modeling Views from Sheet both in View Name and Sub-Discipline, as see to the right in Figure 1. This will provide a logical organization of the view for users, and help to ensure proper usage.
  • Utilize View Templates to streamline the creation of these Views and achieve consistency.
  • Utilize Duct and Pipe Color Fills only in your Modeling Views, where the Wireframe Model Graphics Style is used.

Figure 1 – Modeling and Sheet Views

Optimizing Hidden Line Performance
Performance in Views with the Hidden Line Model Graphics Style enabled is directly related to the number of Faces displayed in the View. While Elements appear as 2D Lines in a Revit View, they are 3D Objects made up of faces in the model. It is those faces that are processed Revit by the Revit graphics system and show up in the View as 2D Lines. Use the following best practices to optimize the performance of your Views with the Hidden Line Model Graphics Style enabled.

  • Avoid using Fine detail level when working in mechanical views if not necessary, as this displays Pipes as 1-Line Medium detail level is useful for Views working with HVAC systems.
  • If using complex 3D Components in your Building Service designs, turn off the visibility of the complex 3D geometry in your Sheet Views. In place of the complex 3D geometry, utilize Model Lines that convey the overall component shape in the Family definition. Make those Model Lines visible in the Detail Level defined in your Sheet Views.
  • If not necessary for documentation of working on a View, set the Inside and Outside Gap settings for Hidden Lines to 0, as seen on the right in Figure 2. This can provide substantial performance improvements.

Figure 2 – Turning Off Hidden Line Gaps

Model Manipulation Performance
Revit MEP allows users to create models of Building Services, often in the form of large connected networks. The powerful analytical capabilities of Revit MEP, in conjunction with the Revit Parametric Change Engine, allow data to flow throughout the connected network when manipulations are made.

Improper structure and configuration of large connected networks has been shown to have a severe impact on model manipulation performance. In comparative testing, models have been shown to perform up to perform significantly better when structured properly.

As a connected network grows, the performance of model manipulations (moving Elements, changing Flows, connecting new Elements, etc.) is impacted by a number of factors. Understanding these factors, and adhering to the Best Practices outlined below, will allow for optimal model performance.

Create Systems

Create logical Systems for your connected networks, rather than leaving all Elements on the “Default System”. Associating Elements into Systems helps to streamline data propagation and facilitates the analytical uses of Systems like Pressure Drop calculations.

Testing of customer models with all elements on the Default System showed significant improvements when the connected network was re-structured as logical Systems.

Set Correct Connector Flow Directions

Ensure that the Flow Direction Parameter for Connectors on Families in the connected network is not set to Bidirectional unless the Family is placed in-line with connected networks like Dampers and Valves. This can make flow determination more difficult and thus impact regeneration performance.

Create Strategic Breaks and/or Use Multiple Files

While maintaining the entire design for a building service in one well connected model allows for full data propagation, the size of the connected network is directly related to its manipulation performance. Testing has shown a linear decrease in manipulation performance as a connected network size grows. The rate of decrease is directly related to the topics mentioned in this section. As the performance of connected networks decreases with larger size, the benefits of data propagation and connectivity are overcome by the need for better model manipulation performance. Thus, for large projects it is a best practice to employ one or both of the following strategies to ensure productive manipulations of your connected networks.
  • Strategic Breaks – Creating disconnections in a connected network stops data propagation during model manipulations, as well as the constraints engine that maintains connections. Product Team testing has determined that strategic breaks in a connected network produces the most significant improvements in model manipulation performance. The recommended practice for this strategy is to create disconnections at logical sections of the connected network. For example, in a VAV air distribution system, create disconnections at the upstream connection point on the VAV box. This allows the VAV flow to still be calculated based upon the downstream Air Terminals. A Duct System Schedule can then be used to manually coordinate flow at the Air Handler or Package Unit. The most efficient way to accomplish such a disconnect, while still maintaining proper appearance for documentation, is to model the upstream element without connecting to the VAV and then using the Align tool to locate the end of the Duct at the same location as the VAV connection. To download a video showing this procedure, click here.
  • Multiple Files – For large, complex buildings, using strategic breaks as well as the aforementioned best practices may still not provide optimum model manipulation performance. In these cases, the model should be built across multiple Revit Project files. There are two fundamental ways to structure the MEP project files, by MEP discipline and by region of the building. Both of these approaches have their benefits and drawbacks, and ultimately it is the choice of the BIM/CAD Manager.
  • By Discipline This strategy creates separate Project files for each MEP discipline, such as a Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection files.
  • By Region This strategy creates separate Project files for different regions of the building, keeping all disciplines in each file.
In order to achieve optimal coordination between the MEP disciplines, each discipline must be within the same Revit Project file. This allows disciplines to connect to each other’s elements directly, like electrical connections or drain connections on mechanical equipment. Additionally, Product Team testing has shown that separate connected networks do not have a significant impact on each other; a duct network does not have a significant impact on model manipulation of a plumbing network in the same Project file. With these considerations in mind, it may be helpful to structure large projects by region of the building.

Simplify the Display of Architectural Elements
Simplifying the display of architectural elements may help improve performance by reducing the visible elements that must be generated and maintained within the view. This may be done by overriding the Detail Level in the view.

For example, the Coarse Detail Level may be applied to walls even when the view is configured to use Medium or Fine (refer to figures below). In the Visibility / Graphics Overrides for the view, set the detail level of the appropriate components to the simplest level acceptable.

These settings may be configured in view templates and applied to your views to quickly simplify the detail level throughout your project.

Figure 3: Wall with medium detail level in medium detail view.

Figure 4: Coarse detail overrides for architectural elements.

Figure 5: Wall with coarse detail level in medium detail view.

Written by sbrisk

June 13, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Performance, Tips

Revit MEP Coordination Views

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When you are using either a Mechanical or Electrical view disipline, the view will display those objects darker than the architectural objects or other MEP objects. You can see from this Mechanical 3D view below, the walls are light, and you can see the piping going through it.

If you change the view properties so it is displaying using a coordination disipline instead, the walls will become darker, and the piping will be hidden behind the wall objects. But it will not display the piping with hidden lines.

If you create plan views using Coordination disipline, you can see the pipe that goes through the wall or under a light fixture or another pipe as disappearing.

When in plan mode, and the view set to a mechanical disipline, you can see those pipes passing below other MEP objects as hidden lines, but not shown hidden through the wall objects as shown below.

To do this, you’d probably need to use a basic line tool for this. Perhaps there will be more control provided for this feature in the future. For now the above workaround may help.

Written by sbrisk

April 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Posted in Support, Tips

Worksharing Monitor for Revit MEP 2008

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If your Revit MEP is on subscription, you can download the new Revit 2008 Worksharing Monitor Extension from your subscription website.

The Worksharing Monitor facilitates the use of Revit software in a worksharing environment, in which multiple people work on one project. For workshared projects, the Worksharing Monitor answers questions like the following:

  • Who is currently working on this project?
  • Is my local copy of the project up to date?
  • When will my Save to Central operation finish?
  • Has my request to borrow elements been granted?
  • Are any issues interfering with my work on a Revit project?

NOTE: The Worksharing Monitor is not useful for standalone Revit projects, which do not use worksharing to divide the work for a project among several people.

To install and run Worksharing Monitor for Revit 2008, you need to have at least one product from the Revit 2008 product family installed on your computer. You must have a 2008 version installed, with SP2 or SP3 (also known as WU or web updates). Available products include:

• Revit® Architecture 2008, SP2 or SP3
• Revit® Structure 2008, SP2 or SP3
• Revit® MEP 2008, SP2 or SP3

Written by sbrisk

January 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Sharing, Tips

Setting up a Revit MEP Project from the Revit Architecture Project

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With any software program, different users use it in different ways. All of the methods and documentation has always been gears towards architects and how they should use the software. But what about the engineers? They use a different workflow than architects. Is the software capable of performing tasks much easier than documented for engineers?

When engineers get the architectural background in a Revit project format, how can you, and how should you create a new MEP project based off of the architectural views for that particular project? Every project is unique, and requires new views to be created. Architects start their projects using a project template, as should engineers. But the same MEP views will need to be created based off of the various Architectural views and levels that the project requires. Why recreate all of that when it’s already in a Revit project?

This blog describes a method where you can have the best of both worlds. You can use the architects project to create the MEP views the project requires rather than creating all of those views a second time yourself as the engineer. Then you can transfer your MEP project standards such as family types, line weights, materials, view templates and object styles into your project.

  1. Open the Architects model. Switch to the Default 3D view and erase all of the elements, switch to a few of the floor plan views to confirm all elements have been deleted.
  2. Use the Purge Unused (FILE->Purge Unused) command to remove all of the Architects “stuff” that is no longer needed.
  3. Use the Transfer Project Standards command to transfer the Family Types, line weights, materials, View Templates, Filters, and object styles and any other settings that you have changed in the template.
  4. Switch to a floor plan view and from the File pulldown and pick Import/Link ->Revit. Browse to the Architects model and link it in. Make sure to use Origin-to-Origin as the Positioning setting.
  5. Select the views that you would like to use for your MEP plans and go to the view properties and modify what view template you want to apply to that view. Or you can use the Apply View Template command from the Right-click menu. This will apply your MEP view template that view.
  6. With the views still selected, Right-click again and select Properties. Change the Discipline catagory to whatever discipline you want that view to apply to, and also set the Sub-Discipline.
  7. You can copy those views and apply other discipline view templates and descipline catagories to them if you are a multi-discipline MEP firm.
  8. Switch to a Floor Plan, and here you can turn off unwanted elements such as furniture. Type VG to start the visibility graphics. You can also control the elements in the Architects Model separately from the elements in your model by going to the Revit Links tab. One example for doing this would be to turn off the Architects plumbing fixtures after placing your Revit MEP fixtures that have connectors on them.
  9. Use the Monitor option from the Copy/Monitor design panel and select the levels to copy from the Architects linked file to your MEP file.
  10. Repeat this step for each of the levels, pick Finish mode when all of the levels have been selected.
  11. Select the button under Display Settings, and choose Custom. Under the Basics tab change the Linked view: to a view in the Architects model that looks the way you want. Then switch to the Model Categories set the Model Categories to Custom and turn off elements you do not want to see.

Now you have the start of your MEP project. You can now begin to lay out your equipment and create your systems. When the architect sends you a new background and you replace the old version with the new version, your project link will update the background. You can then use the Coordination Review tool from the Tools Pulldown menu to see what changes were made. If new levels or views were created, you will need to create new MEP views to display those changes.

In any design software program, that are multiple ways to get similar tasks completed. This is just one way that you can start a project in Revit MEP.

Written by sbrisk

December 26, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Posted in Tips

Displaying Revit MEP Systems by Color

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If you look at your Revit MEP model, and you see the confusing winding of piping and duct running through your model, and wonder what system that pipe or duct belongs to? There are ways to show your systems in various colors to make it easier to understand and view your model at a quick glance. You can set up a filter to apply colors by System Type, or by System Name, whatever you want. Check out the Filters applied to the default template in RME 2008 as a guide.

Line Styles by Pipe Type
You need to use View Filters to accomplish this task.

1. Settings -> Filters… Here you define the Filters that will exist in the project.

2. Select a view in the Project Browser that you want to apply these filters on, go to Properties -> Visibility Graphics Overrides… -> Filters tab. Here you will select a filter you defined in step 1 and define visual overrides for elements that are returned by the filter.

3. Go to that view, note that your Filters have been applied and there is a visual difference between your systems.

Keep in mind that Filters can be part of a View Template, so you don’t need to define these for each individual view.

Written by sbrisk

October 10, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Filters, Tips