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Successful Grouping In Revit

Group is one of the most used tools in Revit, it is quite convenient if you are familiar with Block in Autocad. However, it is not perfect and has some limitations and constraints that limit its possibility. There are already tips and best practices for using groups, but I would like to share my own workflows from the experience.

Group once, not twice

no nested group

As Group is a great tool to make a component, it is often over-used by Revit users. The most common workflow is grouping a group with groups and groups and groups and so on. I understand it is quite convenient and it will save lots of time if Revit allows it. However, you soon will realise it was a bad idea when Revit is corrupted breaking groups and causing lots of errors. Alternatively, you can create a super-family, which is a parent family, including many nested families. It will act like a group but impact the model performance if there are too many of them.

Plan how to break into Groups

how to break groups

It is essential to plan how to group the elements. What do I mean by this?! It often occurs that there might be unnecessary groups that contain very similar elements, but really small differences or you have to create another group due to this variable. Therefore, highlight the repetitive elements first and make sure it is repeatedly used without exception in the project.

Host + hosted family in Group

host hosted family in group

Simply saying, if the host and hosted elements are not in the same group, you may consider not grouping them. For instance, if you have a full-height wall and want to copy the group, which contains a hosted family, per level, it will break the group at some point. It could work for now, but I can tell you it will be your troublemaker.

Mirror a Group and re-Group

mirror group and re-group

Mirroring a group works fine in Revit, but it will present wrong information. For instance, all the plumbing fixture connections will be mirrored as well, which we don’t want. Moreover, sometime, the surface patterns won’t match the original group. I believe it might be a bug, but still happening. If you are fine with some minor issues, you would just let them be mirrored (not all projects require 100% BIM modelling).

Some elements are not working in Group

some elements are not working in group

Some hosted-based families don’t like being grouped. For instance, line-based families are not acting correctly when it is grouped. Changing the level of the group will break it.

Treat Group as a family

group naming convention

Many Revit users disregard the importance of naming groups. You will find group1, 2, 3, 4…..etc. in any project. No one knows what it is and what to use apart from the group creator. It is the same logic as family. If your wall has wall1, wall2, wall3, you wouldn’t know which wall you need to use. That’s why you include some description in the family name and types. Moreover, you can also change the insertion point or origin, so place it where it makes sense.

Better be in the associated level

All the elements included in the group should have the same associated level. It is not essential to follow this suggestion, but it will often confuse the users and Revit. Potentially, your group can be broken. I have experienced that all the elements are sitting on level 3, but the base level for the group was level 2. Therefore, I have to paste those groups to level 2 to populate level 3. Not Good At All.

To Sum Up

Now, you should get some ideas of how the group is working in Revit. It has lots of limitations and bugs, but it is still one of the most used tools for all architects. I hope Autodesk will make the group more flexible and functional without limitation.


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