The form creation engine in Revit does not really know about flat vertical zero thickness surfaces. However, with DirectShape, we can make almost any type of mesh geometry. One interesting idea coming out of the RTC ANZ event this year was creating these flat surfaces to display grids in 3D. This lets us do things like dimension easily in Navisworks or Revizto. I wanted to use them to add some flat datum lines to a construction setout point family.

Here is the Dynamo Script that I used (Download Make Flat DirectShape From Line):

Basically, you select a Detail (Symbolic) Line and run the script. In action:

Playing around with the lines a bit, I built this geometry for use in the project:

Under-slab insulation (fitted or fixed below a concrete slab) is a legitimate coordination item. Typically it is installed first on site, so other trades and services must fit in around it.

This means it needs to be modelled by someone, which can be a headache in Revit. The slab soffit (underside of slab) often moves up and with concrete beams and pads. If you have access to editing the structural model, you may look for a way to incorporate slab insulation into the floor items themselves. However, this still does not work well for the vertical faces of a slab setdown.

To solve these, I created two families:

  1. A line-based, face-based Generic Model family that can be simply placed and stretched
  2. A 4-point adaptive component for irregular shapes. After placement, the four corners can be selected and moved into place.

You can download them here:

Slab Insulation shapes

And this gif shows the rectangular version in action:

Building Design:
Design Continuity; Building Performance Analysis throughout the Design Process
May 21, 2015 11am PDT / 2pm EDT

Live Webcast: Keys to a Successful BIM Pilot Series: Piloting your first BIM Program. See how one company did it right
May 27, 2015 11am PDT / 2pm EDT

Reduce Time Spent on Construction Documentation
May 28, 2015 8am PDT / 11am EDT

Count on BIM: Exploring the productivity benefits of enhanced model based quantification techniques
June 10, 2015 8am PDT / 11am EDT

Conquering the chaos: How BIM can help improve project coordination
June 25, 2015 8am PDT / 11am EDT

Read more:
Building Design, Fabrication, Construction and Infrastructure Events Center

“The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), in a tripartite project with the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning National Association (SMACNA) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), has published Achieving Spatial Coordination Through BIM – A Guide for Specialty Contractors.  Dubbed “the Guide”, the publication was conceived, developed, and published to help MEP contractors negotiate one of the most challenging issues in the modern construction industry: how to best reconcile and incorporate leading edge technologies and processes into their projects’ spatial coordination efforts.  Click here to get more information and download the Guide.

Lessons learned by early BIM adopters like MCAA BIM Committee Chairman Steve Shirley (University Mechanical & Engineering Contractors) and fellow members of MCAA’s BIM Committee members were combined to develop a set of best practices and proven, how-to information. The result is a guide that will help contractors better navigate this complex issue and make more informed business decisions about spatial coordination and BIM.  It will also serve as an educational resource for their employees who must act on those decisions.”

The purpose of this Guide is to:

  • Provide MEP contractors with a roadmap for implementing spatial coordination in their businesses;
  • Identify factors MEP contractors should consider when adopting BIM technologies;
  • Help MEP contractors align their spatial coordination processes with industry best practices;
  • Enable MEP contractors to critically evaluate emerging BIM and spatial coordination software solutions and select the solutions most suitable for their own work;
  • Promote collaborative and fair contract language; and
  • Increase MEP contractors’ profitability and reduce customers’ costs by implementing best practices that increase prefabrication, optimize systems installation, minimize or eliminate rework, shorten construction schedules, reduce waste, and produce a better result.

Download at:

Authored by Dave Quigley:

Thanks to Cindy James for referring me to this document.

“on a building project that is made more efficient by VDC it is the subcontractors that have most to gain particularly when you also recognise that subcontract margins are up to seven times that of a head contractor. It makes sense really because it is the subcontractor that is actually doing the construction work.” 


A new challenge faced by collaborative design teams – how to work concurrently, yet not do the same thing four times?

Consider these comments from Glenn Jowett:
“If you look at the process of designing a steel framed building there is the potential for at least four steel frame models to exist within one design team, four models that have been built from scratch by different people within that design team.

The design team should sit down at the start of a project and map out who owns what elements at what stage of the project

The copy monitor tools within Revit are far from perfect, but this seems to be the only option for walls at the moment.

In traditional 2D, drawings would be issued and revisions clouded; in the 3D model revisions can’t be clouded and drawing issues between the design teams are becoming less and less frequent.”

Finally, some great ideas of what to discuss at a pre-project BIM meeting from the same post:
“An initial BIM or Revit meeting should take place at the start of every major project, purely from a Revit and collaboration point of view items for discussion should be:

· File format for data exchange

· How often are files exchanged

· Clearly define what the model is to be used for at what stage in the design process

· Who models what and when

· Who owns what and when does element ownership go from one discipline to another

· Level of development (LOD) – what level of model information should I expect to receive at what stage? And does that meet my expectations

· How often should clash detection take place

· Project coordinates and project north position.

It is important that the above items (at least) are discussed before a project really starts to evolve, and the decisions on each item should be documented and set out in a BIM Execution Plan. Collaboration will be much easier to manage if every member of the design team has the same set of core principles to follow from start to finish.”

To the above list, I would add at least the following:

  • common list of Phases
  • common set of Worksets (or at least exchange Workset lists)
  • how many models will a multi-disciplinary consultant firm be providing?  One combined?  Or multiple?
  • discuss if any particular Copy/Monitor Revit Categories will be key to the project 

I think that every BIM decision, for standards, LOD, deliverables etc will always be project based, and while you can have a preferred company standard and champion it, different requirements will mean it’s all about the BIM Execution Plan.
– Cyus

Coordinating amongst just the design teams is cute, but it’s not the real world.
– Aaron Maller

when I first started using Revit 3.1, BIM was all about production with a capital P. It seemed that Revit’s development was heavily focused on how to help me do my work faster & better.

Now you’ve got a lot of people online, in articles, and at conferences talking about BIM who haven’t actually delivered a project in BIM, and saying things like “everything has to be modeled down to the hinges otherwise it’s not BIM”.
– JeffreyMcGrew

Thread link:

Have you ever used Reconcile Hosting?  When you click the appropriate button in the Ribbon, a new UI panel appears (see image below).  You can also assign a Keyboard Shortcut to this panel, although it doesn’t appear as a checkbox item in the View — User Interface list.

You can use the “Sort” button to change the way the list is sorted, and the Show button will take you directly to the appropriate place in the Model to view and “Pick New Host”.

Simply viewing the Reconcile Hosting panel gives you the View Name and Element ID of the orphaned elements.

The panel can be closed by using the X in the top right corner.

Read more:
Reviewing Orphaned Elements from Linked Models – WikiHelp

A recent article on describes the basic tools used for coordination between disciplines in Revit.  Its worth a read for “Revit coordination beginners.” 

It covers the three primary coordination tools in vanilla Revit:

  • Copy / Monitor
  • Coordination Review
  • Interference Check

Here are a few little gems from the article:
The elements that can be included in the copy/monitor process include: Levels, Grids, Columns, Walls, Floors, and Openings

Coordination Review actions:

  • Postpone: take no action on the element
  • Reject: makes no change to the element in the host file
  • Accept Difference: Accepts that a change has been made between the monitored elements but no change is needed between the elements
  • Modify/Rename/Move: If the element is renamed/moved, this option will rename/move the element to match the monitored element
  • via

    Heads-up: Daniel Hughes on LinkedIn

    BIM Coordinator for AutoCAD® Civil 3D® and Autodesk® Revit® software is a free* technology preview that assists project team members with building and site grids.

    Go to:
    Autodesk Labs Utilities BIM Coordinator for AutoCAD Civil 3D and Revit

    Heads up from BIM Apps: