When To Model & When To Detail

September 2012 Rich

When To Stop Modeling

When to Stop Modeling

Before starting out on making a Revit Model, it pays to read up on what are considered best practice procedures for the scale of the project envisaged. They are usually guidelines but can often read as directives. We offer some guidelines to consider.

What is the purpose of the Model; for Design & Visualization, Construction Documentation, or perhaps downstream Asset Management; some of the above or all of these makes a big difference on how to model and when to detail.
Some Revit owners with a background of AutoCAD believe that Revit is fine for Project design but AutoCAD is still the best tool for construction detailing.

We recommend Revit be used for Feasibility Studies, Concept Design, General Arrangement drawings and for the task of doing Construction Detailing. Once a comprehensive parametric Detail Component Library is established, detailing in Revit is very quick and effective.
Another benefit of keeping the Detailing within a Revit project file is that it allows for the use of Revit's excellent cross referencing features, for Plan, Section and Callout Detail tracking.

Given that Revit is a "change any time engine", it can handle continued ammendments whilst resolving the design and provide an efficient way to make sure that any changes to the overall project are reflected in the detailing documentation.

Some Revit Project considerations that will have a bearing on how the Model and it's Details are created are as follows...

Start With The Appropriate Template

Starting Template - Basic or Job Specific
Do the Required Families Exist
Manpower Required - Single User or Worksharing Based

Purpose of the Model

Visuals, Documentation, Fabrication, FM
Any Phases or Options Needed
Any Linked parts or Discipline Models
Any Collaboration Requirements

Model Management

Potential Size and Number of Files
Common Revit Version To Use
Local or Cloud Based Workflows
Where Will Sheets be Kept and Collated
Any Document Revisions During Construction

Generic or Detailed Families

Walls and Floors as 'location' Elements.
Will the Model be Hidden in Detail Views
Will the Model be Used for Schedules
What Level of Detail & Materials Are Required
Use of Standard Details

Create Design From References

Any Existing Site Information
Availability of Land, LA and Survey Info
Agreement on Project Grids and Datums

Create Standardized Representations

View Templates for Plans, Elevations, Sections
Linework, Annotation & Filled Regions
Cutaway 3D Geometry and Ortho Views
Suitability for Reduced View Scales

Create Any Supporting Files

Special Family Components not in Libraries
Keynotes for Design Stage, Construction or Both

Output Requirements

Digital Publication - PDF &/or DWF
Renderings, Annimations and/or Videos
Material Takeoffs & Schedules
Hardcopy Document Sets
Sub Contractor Tender Sets