By Garry Stockton
Essential steps for creating a Revit template
Delivering a Revit Essentials course recently I was asked by a delegate to explain how to create a good Revit template for their projects. Creating a good template is essential to working smarter and faster, becoming more productive and saving valuable time. It is the best way to ensure consistency among your design team and ensures your models and drawings are consistent. Put simply, a good Revit template is essential!
Creating a Revit template is a big undertaking, so ensure you have enough time to really commit to creating it. Keep in mind that creating a good Revit template now will save you so much time in the long run! In this blog I’ll share what I feel are 13 essential steps when creating your Revit template.
What to include in your template
Your Revit template should save time and be consistent. Each time you start a project you don’t want to have to load the same elements every time – you want the elements you regularly use to be in place so you can hit the ground running. With that in mind, think of all the things you use consistently on every project and go from there. The list below is what I have in my own Revit template, along with some helpful tips:
- Cover page & Titleblocks – Every project has a cover page and at least one drawing sheet. Make sure you add your cover page and titleblocks to your template file, but not only that, create drawing sheets you always have e.g. Site plan, Ground floor plan, elevations etc. And don’t stop there either, do you have a general note that goes on most drawings? Create it and add it to the sheets. Create and add a sheet list if it goes on the cover page etc. Do these things once in the template so you don’t have to do them repeatedly in each project.
- General Notes Sheet / Standard details – Following on from Cover pages and titleblocks, I have our General and Structural Notes sheets which contain reinforcement, steel work notes, lap tables, bend diagrams and other standard details. These took a while to get right but once they are correct in the template, I don’t have to touch them again.
- Schedules – I always have Column, Framing, Floor and Foundation schedules in my projects. These have been set-up and organised in my template so as I model, my schedules update on the fly.
- Project and Shared parameters – Following on from schedules, I have custom shared parameters already loaded into my template file which are included in my schedules and Titleblocks/cover pages.
- Views and View Templates – This is a big one. Take the time to create some really good view templates which you can use for several situations. For example, I have a ‘Foundation plan’ view in my template already set-up with exactly how I want the foundations to look (floor not visible, walls as hidden lines with foundations surface pattern set to light grey etc.). I have a floor plan template with my ideal view range, scale and detail level already set-up. I have steelwork templates, concrete templates, stair plan and section templates. All these view templates are ready to go so that when I actually do create these views they will look and behave exactly the way I want them to. Create these things once in the template so you don’t have to do them repeatedly in each project.
- Text & Dimension Styles – Have all the text size, font, leader head etc. set-up in the template. Limit the number of variables and make it clear which style should be used for each situation. That’s the other good thing about a template, it eliminates other staff from guessing how your output should look and keeps everything consistent.
- Tags – Load all your company specific tags into your template. Set-up the default tags so users can just go ahead and automatically use the correct one.
- Fill & Line styles – Create the standard fill patterns and line styles that you use. A good tip is to name them as their function not what they look like e.g. Brick Cut Pattern instead of diagonal down 1.5mm, or Rebar instead of Medium +1 etc.
- Object Styles – Go over the object styles and ensure things look right. Best to get it right in the template than changing it in every project.
- Detail components – Load or create your typical detail components e.g. I have my ‘rebar’ repeating detail components ready to go such as D16@200crs and D16 Fixed No. etc.
- Phases – This is another one that often gets overlooked, but if you work with a lot of existing structures then this is vitally important. Make sure your Phase filters and Graphic overrides are set to how you want them so that everything looks correct.
- System Families – System families are predefined in the template and are not loaded into the project. These include walls, floors, ceilings and roofs. This is a good chance to set-up your most common types and follow a naming convention. For instance, I have my common wall types set up and named by <Wall type>_<Sub wall type if needed>_<wall thickness> e.g Concrete_Precast_200mm.
- Model components – Finally, insert relevant model components for your structural Revit template. There are certain components I always use – particularly steel beam types such as UB’s, PFC’s, SHS’s, EA’s, some steel connections, timber framing and various concrete beams. I choose to load most if not all the types within these families. There is a theory that you should be prudent with the number of families you load into your template to avoid large file sizes. While that makes sense, I feel it’s more worthwhile to load all your most common families so you can save time having to load them in each project. In my opinion it’s much more beneficial from a time perspective, and I have never had a really slow model due to too many families loaded in the template. So it’s up to you, it’s good to try and find a nice balance (if you do experience a slow Revit session read this to help speed things up).