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Top 8 Revit tools Residential Architects must know

From my experiences, there are some useful tools that are frequently used in residential projects. These tools are, of course, used in other sectors, so don't narrow yourself down to apply those. As there are some requirements for the residential projects such as area calculation, standardised layout, and finishes, it is important to know how to archive those requirements in Revit.

1. Group

Group is a great tool for repetitive layout or design. It is the most common tool to design residential buildings. It is a typical design, so it should be grouped. In a residential project, the group is commonly used for the apartment types, façade types, partition types as they are quite repetitive. It is essential to ensure that the group is being used properly. Some use Assembly for the apartment layout due to the unique function to create its own views. It is important to understand the difference between those two tools so that the workflow is flawless. The difference between group and assembly is mentioned in this article, so check it out if you want to learn further.

Group tool in Revit

  • Apartment Type including Room (per Unit)

  • Façade Type (per Unit)

  • Partition Type (per Level)

2. Assembly

Assembly is beneficial to document the objects like joinery as it will generate its own views under the assembly type. It is the same grouping system as a group, but it has quite different tools and it doesn't behave like Group.

Assembly Tool in Revit
  • Joinery

  • Façade

  • Steel Structure

3. Room

Room is used for the information management in the residential projects from identifying the apartment type to representing the finishes. It is the most significant element in the project, so make sure that it is managed and organised properly. There are some tips to work on the Room.

Room Tool in Revit
  • Don't delete Room. As the room has a lot of information, it is critical to maintain the existing rooms in the project. Moreover, although it is deleted in the view, it will still remain in the project. The room should be deleted from the schedule

  • Make sure the Room height is correct. Otherwise, it might not be shown in the plan

Room Tool in Revit
  • Make sure it is enclosed, if there is no room boundary, use the room separator

  • Make sure the computational calculation is adjusted if Base Offset is not 0. It can be found in the associated Level

Room Tool in Revit

4. Area

An area calculation is a significant part for architects and clients as they make a profit from NLA. As Room has a limited option to define the boundary in Revit, Area is used to estimate GBA, GFA, NLA, etc. However, it is a manual process to update the boundary, make sure that there is a person to maintain the area set. Otherwise, it will not reflect the latest design. The area plan type should be selected correctly. Moreover, more area types can be created as required. One Area plan can only produce one area type.

Area Tool in Revit

5. Colour Scheme

Since most information is managed in Room, using the colour scheme will make documentation easier. The colour scheme allows indicating various area types in the plan. It can be also used in other drawings, such as finishes plan or RCP to indicate the different finishes. In Colour Scheme, it is possible to assign either solid fill or patterns or both which means that you will be able to display the colour codes by using this tool. This tool can be used for other drawings such as Fire compartment plans or Waterproofing Plans.

Color Scheme Tool in Revit

6. Key Schedule

Key schedule in Revit will help to manage the typical information or to meet the client requirements. It is important to assign the information in the key schedule in the design stage to comply with all the requirements. It can also be used as a reference during the design process.

Key Schedule Tool in Revit

Find out more information at the link.

  • Door Schedule

  • Window Schedule

  • Room Schedule

  • FFE Schedule

  • Others (When information is available)

7. Linked Models

It is best practice to separate the models as the central model will exceed the recommended file size if all the elements are modelled in one file. It requires the file-separation strategy before commencing the projects as it will be difficult to proceed once the sheets are set up. If the project is a single tower, then it will be likely three models for the project, Base building, Façade and interior. Otherwise, it will be a more complex system than the previous one.

Linked Models in Revit

8. Design Option

In the residential project, there will be lots of design changes in all the phases. It is important to understand the workflow of the Design Option, then it will save a lot of time and issues. When the elements are in the design option, they can only be edited/selected in the design option. As having many design options will hinder the model performance, make sure to minimise the design options used in the project. Once the option is approved, it should be accepted. It is important to note that when the option is accepted, the elements and the relevant views in the other options will be deleted too.

Design Option in Revit


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