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Upgrading your Revit project: A BIM Managers workflow.

We all like new toys to play with new toys.

I remember working on projects and hearing the Revit buzz around the office or at a project meeting, when some over-excited person would say “Hey Revit 20 blah blah has just been released, we should upgrade!”  Well, hold on, I don’t want to give you a Mike Brady lecture on this, but let’s make sure that we understand all the Pros and Cons surrounding a new release.  So with the 2019 version well and truly out, with plenty of content and all the good things that it can do, let’s discuss upgrading your projects.

When should you upgrade?

If you have been using Revit for a few years then I’m guessing that you have this down pat, but for new users, this can be a bit daunting.  Let’s look at a few options:

  • Option 1 – New release – Revit version 2019 has just rolled out, my advice? Hold off, It may be better to wait. A fresh version …. I would never trust a fresh version for my beloved project.  If there are any bugs it will end up being me that needs to “fix” the model/drawings to issue them on time. Wait for the first update as a minimum.
  • Option 2 – New project – A project has just kicked off and option 1 passes.  You also need to see how your Revit content works with the upgrade, I don’t consider it a critical point, but I wouldn’t want to be responsible if Revit content has issues and my only answer is “I thought it would be okay.”  Revit content includes the Revit template, families and add-ins that you use for your workflow, and don’t forget your Dynamo Graphs
  • Option 3 – Existing project – If the project has a long model/drawing production time remaining and option 1 and 2 passes, there are a few more things to consider. Firstly, do you really need to upgrade? Are the new tools so good that you need to use them? If you are collaborating with other consultants, are they ready to upgrade too? Remember that there is no option to go back to the previous a version(s). This leads to 2 sub-options:
    -Option 3a – If the project is several versions old, my first question is why? I would try to stay 1 version behind at most. Unless it started in 2016 and you are avoiding that whole text issue.
    Option 3b – If the project is going to be completed within the next 6 to 9 months, “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”.
  • Option 4 – Because the other consultants have upgraded and/or we are obligated to do the same!  That’s fine, just ensure that option 1 and 2 passes.  And be aware that if anything goes wrong, it will be at a cost to your time and the companies time, nobody else will fix the bill.

Steps in upgrading a model.

·         Detach from the central.

o    Ensure that there is no connection to the previous year version.

o    It is a good idea to detach links, this will speed up the upgrading process.

·         Audit, purge, make clean.

o    Purge until there is nothing left to purge, sometimes that can be 3 to 5 times.

·         Review all the warnings.

o    If you are going to the effort of upgrading, start the file as trouble-free as possible.

o    I go by the loose rule of up to 100 warnings per 100 MB but no more than 300 warnings in total.

·         Audit, purge again after warning.

o    It is surprising what can turn up

·         Open each model version to version, don’t skip a year.

o    Ensure that you add a year for version control e.g. Building-A_V19.rvt

·         Re-link, linked files if required.

o    Remember this is done quicker if files are upgraded separately in several sessions concurrently.

·         Do a final audit once done.

o    What one-year version may audit can be different to another year.

o    Remember that auditing should happen weekly on your projects.

·         If required, remove any large families and updated families, swap out.

o    Just remember that some families upgrades will overwrite and remove parameter content from your file, test updated families individually.

·         Be careful of model groups.

o    I am not a fan of Revit groups, but I see the necessity and our clients will use them.  Groups can break, so please review their presentation/function after upgrading.

·         View template check.

o    New categories turn up in the Visibility Graphics from year to year, check that they don’t affect your model/documentation.

o    Version 2019 has new filtering options with Add and And, I think that it is too early for user feedback on how this feature affects existing filters, I advise caution until you are confident with the product.

o    Version 2019 has a whole new set of materials that can be taken advantage of for improved renders.

o    Version 2019 will not display levels in the 3D view unless they are turned on in the VG.

·         Run an Ideate explorer checklist.

o    Copy the list of each type of element in Ideate Explorer and compare it before and after the upgrade

·         PDF set of drawings before and after and compare.

o    Run a batch compare through Bluebeam so that the software can find any missing elements.

·         Navisworks compare models.

  • This is a great feature to keep on other consultants model revisions, but also in finding and disappearing modelled objects in an upgrade.

Even bim360 docs

So what are you hoping to gain from the upgrade?

Do your research, are the new features going to assist you that much?  I get a little frustrated at the think everything new is best “kool-aid drinkers” that talk of any new feature in any software like its just the bomb.  I prefer to investigate a few blogs and see what others think of the new tool.  There are always haters, that’s okay, you will learn which ones have valuable information. And think of who will be using these new features, do you need to address training? How about a lunchtime new features session with free lunch provided?

Stuff that I have found on the internet.

·         ImaginiT

·         CADD MicroSystems

·         AuntieDesk

·         What Revit Wants

·         Revit.com.au (Mr MEP)

Happy upgrading.  I would like to know what new features that you think are the best.

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