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Thread: Architects using older versions

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    Architects using older versions

    MEP guy here. I'm what passes for my firm's Revit Guru. We've got this ongoing problem where a few of the architects we're working with are still using Revit 2016, which is forcing us to do so as well. I migrate our standards every year to "[Current Year] minus 1", so that means that we're currently running 2018. And a year ago we were running 2017. If we're forced to work in 2016, we have to dig up our 2016 Template and families and roll back the clock by two years. Any standards changes, new families, detail updates, etc. I've made in that time are lost. It sucks because I have people coming to me with problems that I've addressed, but those fixes are in later versions.

    I think that what's happening here is that the architects are hanging onto perpetual licenses for 2016 which (correct me if I'm wrong) aren't available after 2016. They're delaying the inevitable switch to subscription for as long as they can. I've tried to explain this to my managers but they don't get it. Their response is to appease the client and not make waves.

    So what's the best way to deal with this as a consultant? It's not "playing nice" but I think we should just work in 2018 and let them deal. Feign ignorance and let the version problem develop until it's too late. "Oops! Our bad!" We can then offer to export our plans to DWG and they can link those into their 2016 Revit model. There are MEP firms out there who still choose to work in AutoCAD when the architect is working in Revit and that's an accepted thing, and if it's okay for them to go from RVT to DWG then it should be okay for us to do the same.

    Or is there a more diplomatic way of handling this? All I know is that we have to get off of 2016...
    Last edited by Necro99; May 22nd, 2019 at 02:14 PM.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Not to start an argument, but:

    Ive been on the architecture team when an Engineer said *oops, my bad, we worked in the wrong version.* And my response has been *That IS too bad, now go redo it in the correct version, or are you arent getting paid.* BTW, if they pulled the "oh well, i guess we will send you CAD expots," i would be talking to every principal in my firm, AND the client, working to make sure they got kicked off the project for good.

    I dont disagree that Architecture Firms still being in 2016 is lousy, because it is. But the version compatibility requirement isnt a surprise, and has been widely known since long before the 2016 version. If youve chosen to only upgrade your newer standards, thats an internal issue. Its not the architects problem.

    I feel my soul get sucked out when i have to go work in 2016. But if i had to, i could start a 2016 job tomorrow, and it would have just about everything my 2019 jobs have.

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    Well, like I said, there are plenty of MEP firms in my area that will elect to work in CAD and that seems to be fine with everyone. Maybe it's a regional thing. All anyone at a manager level really cares about is 2D deliverables. Lots of times the word "Revit" doesn't even appear in our contracts. We could be using MS Paint and everyone would be happy as long as construction went smoothly. From managements perspective, this is a "means and methods" type thing for the little people to figure out among themselves.

    Ideally I'd like to spell out the whole process in our Proposals: "We will provide engineering and design services in Revit 201x. In the event of software version conflicts, we will provide exported CAD files of our deliverable drawings."

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    The Moderator with No Imagination MPwuzhere's Avatar
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    Work in the Revit version you are comfortable with and supply DWG's for coordination. If they make a fuss about Revit tell them 2016 isn't supported anymore.


    Eventually if they want to coordinate with other consultants in Revit they are going to have to update....but then again I know of a firm still running Autocad 2000 and sketchup on WinXP machines.
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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    I feel my soul get sucked out when i have to go work in 2016. But if i had to, i could start a 2016 job tomorrow, and it would have just about everything my 2019 jobs have.
    I know I should keep my content organized by years... but i don't. I'm sure it's going to bite me in the ass someday. Now's as good a time to start as any I'd say!
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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necro99 View Post
    Ideally I'd like to spell out the whole process in our Proposals: "We will provide engineering and design services in Revit 201x. In the event of software version conflicts, we will provide exported CAD files of our deliverable drawings."
    I guess if it isnt talked about in a kickoff meeting, and there is no BIM Execution Document (and it sounds like no one really cares), than yeah... I guess go nuts, and export CAD plans for them to have to use. Im still blown aware there are Design Teams that work thay way.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMcDowellJr
    I know I should keep my content organized by years... but i don't. I'm sure it's going to bite me in the ass someday. Now's as good a time to start as any I'd say!


    Its sort of a weird thing, to me. I dont know if its because i started my company AFTER so many years of watching other people make Business and Management Mistakes, or if i have become a "Doomsday Prepper" in my old age... But always planning for these things has been in my nature, at least for the last few years.

    When i was internal at Beck, i developed NEW content in the newer version we were in... Absolutely. But that was also because we moved most jobs forward, and we were prime on most contracts. But even then, the old versions were still on the server, as were the Templates, and we could use them at any time.

    Since starting Prlx, we have everything we have made in 16, 17, 18, 19, and soon to be 20. The only exception being that SOME new features havent made it back to the 2016 Template. But the differences are minor. I would feel fine starting a job in the 2016 template tomorrow, if i had to.

    This issue (lets call it... "relaxed planning") isnt just BIM folks, mind you. I JUST saw a post on Linked In, about a Connection that lost FIVE YEARS of development work, to three failed 500 GB Hard Drives. What the hell? No backups? No redundancy? No Server? For FIVE YEARS? My "prepper" mind cant understand why people put themselves in these positions. A crappy backup solution from Wal Mart will cover 1.5 TB, and itll cost 150 dollars and can run every night, with free software.

    Similarly: Organizing your content by year doesnt COST anything (other than a little server space). Just involves being methodical in setting things up, and thinking it through before rushing in to action.

    BTW, to be clear: Of course, i would totally through a b***h fit, if a client asked me to start a job in 2016. I would be flat out miserable. But that doesnt mean i wouldnt, or couldnt. We have enough real problems on our hands, without the problems we unnecessarily create for ourselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMcDowellJr View Post
    I know I should keep my content organized by years... but i don't. I'm sure it's going to bite me in the ass someday. Now's as good a time to start as any I'd say!
    The idea of keeping redundant copies of our standards updated for each version makes my eye twitch. I'm the only guy at my firm who curates and maintains this stuff and it's hard enough to keep things updated with a single version.

    "Single Source of Truth!" I keep saying that around my office but people just think I've joined a cult.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    I think its a terrible example of the "Single Source" statement, frankly.

    But regardless of what i think, it also postulates that this issue really isnt that your consultants are in 2016... its that they are in "any version other than the one you want to use." I mean, if they are in 2018, dont you have the same issue if you already upgraded to 2019?

    I know a LOT of firms that are still in 2018. And now that 2020 is completely out, i know a bunch that still havent managed to roll out 2019, let alone 2020.

    Seems like demanding the entire industry only work in the version you deem acceptable is short sighted. But thats just one opinion.

    Managing the libraries is work, sure. But all you have to do is plan ahead when you have to edit, modify, or create something. It isnt that bad.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Architects using older versions-2019-05-22_11-17-00.png  
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    Senior Member DavidLarson's Avatar
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    This kind of thing makes me wish augmented reality and VR was being adopted faster. That's going to put an end to the version conflict and CAD exports nonsense.

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    Member CRapai's Avatar
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    What if they wanted something earlier than 16? How far (back) can you bend over? What if a firm only started using revit in 2018? Even if they have 16, they don't have any content for it, much worse than out-of-date content.

    I know these concerns aren't particular to the example in this thread but at some point people are just going to have to except that we can't work in the version you want. People need to sit at the table and find a work around (DWG export) or just stop working together. If the people that end up getting screwed out of jobs are those staying up to date then that is a sad state for an industry to be in.
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