BIM Manager’s Corner: Revit 2022 and the Case for Upgrade, part 2

Software Tips

By Aaron Maller

In our first post, we were focusing on the things to “be on the lookout for,” as a BIM Manager or as the person responsible for rolling out new Autodesk Revit software.In this post, let’s get into the specifics of some of the features that aren’t just flashy, but that can return immediate gains for your organization. BUT BEFORE WE DO THAT! There are TWO additional things to touch on for Revit 2022 that a BIM Manager should be aware of, now that you are perhaps getting familiar with what’s new.

  1. Shared Parameter Files, and Revit Version 2022: Revit 2022 sees us getting new Categories, for the first time in several years. If your firm still plans to use and support EARLIER versions of Revit, you will want to keep Family Type parameters for the NEW CATEGORIES in a different Shared Parameter file than you use in 2021 and earlier. Or, the earlier versions will suddenly become unable to read the Shared Parameter File. Keep In mind, Revit has always behaved this way. There have only been a few years where we have received new categories, however, so we often forget this.

  2. New Autodesk Feedback Tool: There is a new function built into Revit 2022, allowing users to occasionally provide feedback directly to Autodesk, through the User Interface. While there is not any *concern* with this feature, it would be courteous to let your IT department know about it, so they can decide if they want to leave the feature on or off. Similarly, with the Load Autodesk Family option, which showed up a year ago.

Revit 2022: The Case for Upgrade

When new features are released, the business-aspect of evaluating the software is: How and when is this going to save us/make us money, or save us/make us more time? (Yes, I understand that users are looking for WOW! Features. On the business side, however, it’s about efficiency and Returns) In 2022, there are several features where that question can and will have a DIRECT answer. This is not an all-encompassing list, but here are a few (not in order of priority). While some of these may sound minor in Title, their affects (written after) will be far reaching for day-to-day experience of Revit Users.

  • Native PDF Export- By now, everyone has a PDF Writer or Application they are probably “happy” with, but it has meant relying on 3rd party platforms, since the Revit PDF Writer 4.2 vanished in the mid 2000’s. Having a native PDF writer that can auto-name PDF based on intelligent data means we can stop struggling with inconsistency because of there being no native option. Will some people still opt for the 3rd party solutions? Sure. But for the shops that don’t have those options, they don’t have to take to the internet in search of a free PDF writer that isn’t terrible.
  • View Title API- I think this is one of the biggest additions that many people won’t be aware of, until the 3rd party app developers get it in play (and I’m betting some apps leveraging this will have hit the market before this article is published). Dynamo and the API have been able to Create Views, and Create Sheets, and put the views on the sheets, for years.

They have NOT been able to accurately locate the View Title, which has made fully cartooning drawings with the API, not possible. (If you made 1000 sheets, someone had to check 1000 view titles). With this in play, auto FULL sheet generation will be in play almost immediately.

  • Shared Parameters in Key SchedulesKey Schedules have long been ignored or set aside, by many of us who use Shared Parameters for a lot of our data fields. For many of us, the moment we see Key Schedules has been a “wow, cool!” moment (2006, for me). And the moment you learned they didn’t work with Shared Parameters was a “well, that’s useless” moment (2006, for me). Finally, a feature that can shave hours out of a week, is ready to be leveraged without restrictions or Dynamo being required.
  • Filter Schedules by Family and Type A long standing request, this will make purpose-specific schedules MUCH easier to create, as users often only want to schedule one Family, or one group of families. Workarounds a plenty have been used for years, to make this happen.
  • Material Takeoff Category Inclusions- This is another one that won’t seem or feel like a big deal, unless you are thinking about the implications: Currently, firms leveraging Revit’s power for Material Finish Schedules, are more than likely using Material Take Off schedules, for this purpose. They have unilaterally LEFT OUT several important categories, since their inception. This means HOURS of workarounds, OR creating the Finish Schedule in a completely unintelligent way. This 100% solves that issue. Overnight, a massive thorn in the documentation side is just gone.
  • Multi Category Schedules (System Families)- Like the Material Tag Off issue, an MCS is your “catch all” schedule, which is VERY useful both for documentation and for QA/QC. Except… it has always excluded all system objects. Removing this limitation means a single schedule can accomplish what needed to have at least five schedules, if not ten, previously.
  • Multi Category Tags on all CategoriesLike the previous two, it is a convenience and efficiency thing.For years, certain categories simply could not use MC Tags.This means less Tag Types to maintain, less explaining “oh, it doesn’t work here, sorry” and so on.
  • Tags on Curtain Wall MullionsSo, everyone must “eat their veggies” in some of these blog posts, and for this one we must tease Autodesk a bit: Curtain Wall Mullion Types have never been able to be tagged. They make up a considerable amount of Façade articulation and variation, and we have had to resort to (all very awful) workarounds to tag the different mullion sizes, types, and configuration, for as long as I have been using Revit. Regardless, it is here now: Workarounds using unintelligent faked tags, redundant Materials (and lossy error prone duplication), Text Notes, and the like, can all suddenly go by the wayside.
  • Revision Settings UpgradesMeant to service parts of the world where strict new BIM standards have… “more complex” revision naming standards (I’ll leave it at that), the Revision Settings Taxonomy now allows MUCH more flexibility. Ancillary benefit? A single Revit File can now properly handle Revision Naming for multiple Permit Sets or Drawing Packages, in a single File. While Revit has always had Phasing for the model, it has not had a way to handle multiple drawing packages revisions. It has been worked around, by teams saving off model copies, just to issue Revisions. My first Revit project was 2m square feet, 7 phases of renovation. I can feel the relief coming from this new feature, deep in my soul).
  • Callouts can be saved when Parent View Deleted- This is a welcome change, to something that ranged from minor nuisance to extreme annoyance: If you had a Callout (Plan OR Section Detail) and the originating Parent View was deleted: The callout was deleted as well. While logical, many users have longed for a way to “re-home” the callout, so they do not have to go create another, and then migrate all their detailing work. Now, its an option. Its also handy, because “creating a new one and migrating the detail augmentation” doesn’t pop into mind as a possibility, for a lot of folks.
  • Sketch API- This is one of a few improvements specifically for folks programming for Revit: Floors (in the Revit API) could be created but couldn’t be edited. This meant if someone needed to edit a floor, they would destructively delete it, and replace it with a new one. This will be a vast improvement. Also, Floors in the API will now allow “sketching a donut” to make a floor with an opening or hole in it. For automation of Finishes, Slab Openings, Depressions, etc, this will be a massive time saver.
  • Phase Information in FiltersPhasing information in modeled items has always been a bit interesting: Its legitimate model data, but you can’t leverage it in a Visibility Graphics Filter, making Phase Filters the ONLY mechanism for controlling graphics based on Phases. That is tough, since Phase Filter’s always have one point in time they are with respect to. (Showing Future Phases is not possible without workarounds, or multiple phases at once (color coded) isn’t possible) In 2022, its all 100% possible. Stacking views on sheets will fall by the wayside and setting up views showing what we want will be MUCH faster.
  • New Category ImprovementsThere are two aspects to this, both have far reaching implications:First, there are new categories.Generic Models and Specialty Equipment have been catch-alls for large groupings of items, and adding new categories helps with that. Second, the NEW categories have “user controls” for Cuttability in a view, which is one of the reasons a lot of content is built as Generic Models. This will mean a lot of content can be moved to a new category, AND can still look correct, the way GM’s have for years.
  • Maintain Annotation Orientation on more Categories- An interesting feature came out, at the time when (I think?) Face Based families were created (for MEP): The ability to have an Annotation Object keep its orientation in a model, even when the object was hosted on different planes. Once users saw the functionality, new concepts of where it could be used started popping up. Finally, that feature is being expanded to more categories of objects, too!

We will be sitting down with The Revit Kid (Jeff Pinheiro) on his weekly broadcast, to show off- not just the new features- but some of the implementations mentioned above, and how you can leverage them to have an immediate impact at your firm, to make people more efficient. If you have time, join us at 7:30pm EST on 4/8, to see more!

Parallax Team is a Practice Technology Consultancy, that focuses on practical aspects and technical details of software use and implementation, to help our customers (some Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Owners) create and leverage a higher fidelity model, that has more benefits up and downstream.For some customers, we handle their BIM Management roles on a day-to-day basis. For others, we provide advisement to their BIM Management teams.

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