Revit Tip: Using Revit’s Phase feature for renovation projects

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by Dennis Collin


“How do I use Phasing in Revit?” is a common question I receive from users. Phasing is where we can provide a concept of time within a model, as to when elements are built or demolished. All of this can be done within one project rather than in separate files. The key thing in the project is to create a phase for each construction stage and then apply a phase filter to each view to document the different construction stages.


Fig. Simple Phased project example, showing an existing and proposed layout in their respective views. Note the new walls highlighted in red.


Once the phase and the filters have been set to the views, elements drawn in those views inherit those properties. For example a wall created in an existing plan, set to an existing phase, will automatically be set as an existing wall. Elements created in new construction will not appear in the existing plan as they haven’t been built yet and are effectively filtered out.


Fig. Setting up an Existing and a New Build Phase


When defining phases the oldest moment in time is at the top, progressing to later stages of construction downwards. To help clarify there are Past and Future labels within the Description field.

The phases once created will then be available to Revit views.


Fig A wall created in an Existing Plan will inherit the phase of the view it was created in.


For a typical existing plan, the view phase is set to ‘Existing’ with a phase filter as Show complete. This will mean Revit will only show elements that exist before new construction takes place.


For a renovation plan, there is a need to differentiate between existing elements and elements that are created or built in the New construction phase. This is achieved with a Phase filter, ‘Previous + New’. In this example the filter will override the normal display and show the existing structure as a halftone grey and new construction as red.


Fig. Editing Phase Filters & graphics overrides (below)


Once the phase properties are set, create a renovation plan view and set the phase to new construction with a phase filter of Previous + New.


Fig. Typical View Properties of a Renovation Plan


In the event of objects not appearing as expected, check if the respective view properties have been set correctly and unset any view specific object overrides to any elements that may have been applied previously.


Fig. Simple renovation plan with new walls shown in red.


Information defined with Revit’s phasing tools can also be accessed when working with Navisworks’ TimeLiner and the BIM360 set of tools. Phasing tools are discussed in more detail with our follow-on Revit courses and bespoke workshops. For more information visit or call one of our team on 01784 419922.

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