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Thread: Template File Best Practices

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    Template File Best Practices

    Hi Gang,
    I have seen post concerning Template File Best Practices, but not quite like my question.
    We have multiple offices in multiple states. We are wondering what others in the industry are doing as far as project template files are concerned.
    My thinking is to have a different template file for the different states along with their location specific content already in the template, but since some designers and architects are working on the different projects in the other states, my thinking is that the project browsers setup (views and sheets) should mimic the other offices so that people can easily jump into a project without much explanation or study of what is where.
    Some have suggested we strip the template file of any location specific content and bring that information into the project after it has been created.
    Some had suggested we have all the location specific content in the template file and remove any content that wouldn’t be useful for the state in which the project resides.
    Either way, this seems to me as being a lot more work than what is needed.
    What are your thoughts? Ideas and suggestions are welcomed.
    Thanks,
    Don

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory View Post
    Hi Gang,
    I have seen post concerning Template File Best Practices, but not quite like my question.
    We have multiple offices in multiple states. We are wondering what others in the industry are doing as far as project template files are concerned.
    My thinking is to have a different template file for the different states along with their location specific content already in the template
    Heck no. One template for the entire company, no differences.
    , but since some designers and architects are working on the different projects in the other states, my thinking is that the project browsers setup (views and sheets) should mimic the other offices so that people can easily jump into a project without much explanation or study of what is where.
    Some have suggested we strip the template file of any location specific content and bring that information into the project after it has been created.
    With the exception of the Titleblocks, these people are correct. Pick the biggest office where the most work is done, and use that Address in the titleblock. The other offices can switch the address parametrically, on their jobs.

    Some had suggested we have all the location specific content in the template file and remove any content that wouldn’t be useful for the state in which the project resides.
    these folks are 100% wrong. The ONLY content that should be in the Template is the content that has to be there to set the template up, for Legends, and whatnot. Content should be loaded as needed, not all packed in to the template.
    Either way, this seems to me as being a lot more work than what is needed.
    What are your thoughts? Ideas and suggestions are welcomed.
    Thanks,
    Don
    Done as multiple templates, or done with all the content loaded in, it WILL be a lot more work than needed.

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    The Moderator with No Imagination MPwuzhere's Avatar
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    One Template....if you need localized content then keep another "container" type file of everything that office needs. What is in that container file should fall on an office Revit leader and not on the Company BIM Manager/Team.

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    We're an MEP firm and I've adopted what I like to call the "Heavy Template" approach. I load almost every current standard family to the Template. I also have the RFAs saved to an organized folder structure on the network, but the Template is the place where "latest and greatest" families live. Lots of people disagree with me on this but it's been working well for us. The downsides that people caution about for this approach have never materialized for us.

    We actually have two Templates: one that I call the "Master" and the other that's the actual Project Template from which projects are created. The Master contains instances of every MEP family, connected to example duct and piping systems. Every schedule is also loaded, so this gives me a "sandbox" environment where I can make sure that the schedules and systems are functioning correctly. New families are tested here as well. We also use schedules for our drawing specs, so this gives us a place to review view all of the standard specs. There's also a lot of explanatory text in the main HVAC and Plumbing New Work views, describing design standards and Revit procedures. The general idea is that this Master Template is a Standards Document, a one-stop-shop for pretty much everything. (Except details, those are in a separate, and single!, file.)

    For the second "Project Template" template, I simply erase every instance out of the Master template and do a "save as" to the Project Template file. Every family and Type Parameter value is still loaded, but it's a geometrically blank file so that the user doesn't have to mess with deleting all of the extra stuff. If individual users want to Purge out families,that's fine. They can always go into the Master Template and get them back.

    This approach guards against the problem of users pulling obsolete information from old projects, and it also enforces consistency. If everything is loaded and verified to work, they're a lot less likely to go off and do their own thing. As for file size, our Master Template weighs in at around 60MB. We haven't seen any performance issues related to file "bloat". Our individual families are homemade and pretty lean, so I think that helps.
    Last edited by Necro99; March 14th, 2019 at 04:07 PM.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    hehehe. My *empty template* comes in at 134MB, currently. There arent any performance issues related to the size of the template, period. It just takes longer to hit File > New.
    GMcDowellJr likes this.

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    As to the content being preloaded, I have used both methods described already. I like the middle of the road approach. Just the families that are used for most projects are preloaded. Most users prefer to have the basics pre-loaded so they can jump into a project and get rolling without having to load the same stuff every time a new project starts up.

    If you were to have multiple templates you would have to maintain them also. It creates a lot of unnecessary work.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Well, there is something you have to keep in mind:

    If you use a good content management solution for PLACING families, its the exact same process for the user to LOAD the content, as it is to PLACE the content. So even if i had all my cabinets loaded, the users would do the same exact thing (drag it from the Content Browser) that they do to load it (Drag it from the content browser). No one (that i work with) uses the Component button or the Project Browser to place content.

    The items that are in my template need to be there, because they are present in Legends, or in views, or they are in use already in the template. And some nested shared families are loaded so users dont have to pull those in, when they want to change parameters for other Parent Families.

    My entire Door library is loaded, but thats a throwback to when the nested shared family selectors didnt auto alphabetize. I could remove my entire door library, and my template would drop in half, size wise. And the user experience would be identical. I never have because.... no good reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    hehehe. My *empty template* comes in at 134MB, currently. There arent any performance issues related to the size of the template, period. It just takes longer to hit File > New.
    Yeah, I think what saves our MEP template is that almost all of our families are simple combinations of cubes and cylinders. They're very parametrically controlled cubes and cylinders with lookup tables and formulas out the wazoo, but none of them are larger than 500 or 600kb. It's the needlessly complex manufacturer families that really bloat a model quick.

    When we first started out, we were using a duct elbow family in which each of the curved turning vanes were individually modeled. All of those little curved surfaces were being replicated across our model hundreds of times for absolutely no reason. I got rid of them and the model size dropped by like 40%.
    Last edited by Necro99; March 14th, 2019 at 06:20 PM.

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    I just joined a firm with no real BIM savvy manager previously (posers really) in their previous 8yrs of utilizing Revit (mostly for Schools). So putting them on the right track now. My only conflict was with California "DSA" requiring/demanding space on the Top Right or right dead center of the TTLB. So I'm just Grouping some content to shift down with a DIM parameter with a formula to it to allow a Top Right space.

    FYI, Using a Generic Family for Addresses. Has anyone done formulas that would read these types of parameters in formulas. Like this; if(or(or("Param Name" = "Type Family"...~3 level boolean....)))), "DIM", "DIM")? This instead of a Yes/No param if it's a Cali project to make it harder on myself, lol.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    So what you want to do is.... Instead of making them change a Yes/No, they change a Family Type Parameter?

    They have to change something either way. Frankly, the check box is the better answer.

    Or just make a separate DSA compliant titleblock. Thats what i do for my clients doing schools in Cali. Really, of all the hills to die on, forcing parametrics in to the titleblock just to slide stuff up and down the title bar, isnt the one i would pick. Just save as that thing and call it a day. Then you dont have to answer support calls on non DSA jobs when someone accidentally puts it in DSA mode, and doesnt know what that is. Hell, i wouldnt even load the DSA one in the template, unless its ALL they did.

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