Friday, March 2, 2012

Revit Architecture Family Categories - For Shame!

In Revit Architecture 2012, I've noticed something recently in collaborating with MEP engineers about the families we use and the function behind why we use them. Specifically, I am speaking about ceiling diffusers. There are other families that are just as guilty of what I am about to share, but I will focus on them for this article.
We put the FUN in Dysfunctional
We, as architects, have been happily grabbing the default families from the content provided by Autodesk without a doubt that they would function as intended. The problem is that the diffusers in the Revit Architecture content belong to the category Mechanical Equipment while the exact same family in Revit MEP belongs to the category Air Terminal. One particular call from one of my engineers got me thinking about the duplication effort it would take to coordinate something as simple as ceiling diffusers. Let me 'splain.

Architects want to put the diffusers precisely where they look the 'best' in his/her ceiling. The engineer wants the diffuser to be part of a complete system for his analysis and specification purposes, location is less of a concern. In a perfect world, the architect would place the diffuser and the engineer would copy/monitor it and swap it out for a more 'complete' version of it that meets his needs in his model.

Try doing that with families from 2 different categories.

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