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Thread: Best Practices for Groups in High-rise Tower Models

  1. #1
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    Best Practices for Groups in High-rise Tower Models

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to start a thread for best practices for groups specifically in high-rise tower/condo models. Please feel free to add anything! I know this topic may seem a bit redundant on this forum, but I feel it is necessary. Below are links to related posts as well as a list of items we have found to be make groups run smoothly.

    The List:

    1. Be smart about what is in your group. Plan out a way to organize your groups. Do not group an entire floor plate with exterior walls (basic or curtain), floors, balcony slabs, railings, ceilings, interior walls, stairs, etc... and expect that when that group is copied and mirrored all over the place that there will not be a performance hit when editing. There defiantly will be. This is not to say you can never do this. Just consider keeping it simple, as simple as possible.
    EDIT:
    If you find that you MUST group an entire floor plate, you might need to consider linking instead of grouping. This also requires a lot more planning. Do a search for AU Class AB4532 to get more info on this as Aaron suggest below, there is audio and handouts to follow.

    I like to organize groups the same way as we organize worksets. We try to also minimize the amount of worksets in a project (which is entirely a different discussion) and the organization of the groups will follow the same organization of the worksets.
    For example: Typical worksets we use right out of the gate are, envelope, interior, structure.

    Groups get created using the same organization. The shell/envelope is its own group. The interiors are their own group. Floor slabs are typically part of the structure, so they are their own group. This may include the balcony slabs.

    2. Make wall heights unconnected. By having unconnected wall heights, walls are less constrained. If Revit doesn't have to process constraints when finishing a group, it seems to work faster. Much faster.

    Another thing to add to this point is that this procedure forces us to think about floor to floor heights. Groups in Revit can vary in definition but not if it's trying to make two group instances have two different floor to floor heights. This only causes errors and slows down the process of finishing a group.

    3. Make sure there are no pre-existing errors/warnings in any of the elements you are trying to group. Especially overlapping walls. This is includes walls that may be overlapping in the x,y direction as well as the z direction.

    4. Disallow the joins of any walls inside the group, to walls outside of the group. This is only a recommendation. I have read other posts that argue this is not as critical. But in my opinion that depends on the situation and building type.

    We create models with a lot of suites. The suites are groups. The groups are copied all over the place. The less constrained they are, the better. Automatic joins are a type of constraint.

    5. Structure. Model structural walls from "zone to zone" (EDIT: Previously stated "Lift to Lift" which also means "Level to Level". Model the wall through the building, until the wall thickness changes (like a shaft). I am open to a challenge on this, but the Revit Structure guys we work with like this better. If the wall is 12" (300mm) thick on Level P3 and the thickness doesn't change until Level 12, draw the wall from Level P3 to Level 12. Then you don't have to group any of the structure.

    6. Railings. Railings are usually part of the envelope workset, but they should be placed in a seperate group so when we update wall group, Revit isn't also updatin the railings and floors as well.

    I will add to this list as more items come to light.

    Other Threads Relating to Groups: (That I have found)

    http://www.revitforum.org/architectu...ing-revit.html

    http://www.revitforum.org/architectu...31-groups.html

    http://www.revitforum.org/architectu...-vs-links.html

    http://www.revitforum.org/architectu...ng-groups.html

    http://www.revitforum.org/architectu...sidential.html

    edit: added additional links -cellophane
    Last edited by cellophane; April 11th, 2014 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Updated point number one

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Use Links instead of Groups.
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    BIM there, done that cliff collins's Avatar
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    Use Groups inside of Links.
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    Forum Addict sdbrownaia's Avatar
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    Gotta love you guys, I hope Beck group Hires Cliff and Thalden Hires Aaron. I would love to hear how that goes.

    One nasty thing to remember about groups is Doors and Rooms and how schedules lock out items in groups. IE to edit or fill in schedules you need to edit the group. PIA. Makes me make more parameters Type based.
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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    The other issue with floor plates is it becomes too big of a group. Rooms (imho) are the perfect sizes for groups, so yes... We use Groups inside of Links. A few key things about groups:

    1. They dont always check for item editability rights until you hit FINISH group. This one kciks a few asses here weekly.
    2. Everything gets lost fi you cant succeed in finishing the group.
    3. They break apart often if they have conflict resolutions

    I did an AU class on using Links as a replacement for groups in taller buildings. The handouts are on my blog. I even talked about a slightly unconventional approach we use with a single floor plate and Design Options, which makes it so you only have one floor plate modeled, for all variations in upper floors. It works fine, as long as you dont try to use the upper plate models as Room Bounding. Its not an issue for us, since we put our rooms IN the Upper Plate model, for those floors. The only other drawback to it is it cant be Space Bounding (Room Bounding) for MEP, either. Room Bounding properties of linked files do not respect any option other than Primary, since Linked File Room Bounding is a File Type selection and DO is a view selection.

    So in the MEP model, the spaces have to manually get seperated. As someone in architecture, i tell the MEP engineers im willing to do the space divisions for them, if they have an issue with it. The process is still that much more efficient, working in the TypUpper model that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    Use Links instead of Groups.
    I agree, but only if the situation warrants it, and I also agree with Cliffs point, and I think this goes to point number one. Be smart about what is in your groups. Plan them out carefully. Depending on the situation, I think linking instead of grouping is a very good idea. Especially if you NEED/WANT to make the entire floor plate one repeatable element.

    This debate is a classic one. But there is no right answer.

    Only problem with a lot of high-rise projects is that when even a slight variation comes into the picture its, via some design change, now Links become very cumbersome.

    Linking instead of grouping also requires a pretty high level of understanding in Revit to properly document the model after the design has been finalized. There are also work flow considerations to be aware which are very nicely documented in Aarons AU lecture from this year.
    Last edited by Jj Mac; September 25th, 2012 at 06:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdbrownaia View Post
    One nasty thing to remember about groups is Doors and Rooms and how schedules lock out items in groups. IE to edit or fill in schedules you need to edit the group. PIA. Makes me make more parameters Type based.
    I find we have to do this anyway. For our door schedules, all the doors in suites are organized by type anyway, so we just make everyone aware of this beforehand. It has been working out pretty well so far. You can also edit type properties through the family list in the project browser without even going in to edit group mode, or if you are in edit group mode, you can duplicate through the project browser to make new types. It is a PIA, but it is what it is.

    Rooms are a different story : ) They do require a lot more attention and management. For our workflow, we don’t need to schedule rooms within suites, so they are not modeled. We just have a generic legend for these conditions. It’s not very BIM, I know, but at this point it doesn’t need to be.

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    BIM there, done that cliff collins's Avatar
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    "so yes... We use Groups inside of Links."

    Wow! We just agreed again!!!!

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    At what point do you switch from groups to links versus just modeling it?

    At the moment we have several hotels in the works - I'm working on one now and there are a few coming up quickly. All are low-rise (less than 4 stories) and other than the 1st floor the floor plans are identical. The floor-to-floor height varies, particularly at the top level. I modeled the entire building in one file and just copied to level from 2-4 and used groups for things like bathrooms and CAD underlays since they are identical in every room. I know that there are issues with how it's done but I'd like to be able to streamline more for the next one while I try to clunk through the one that is on my desk now.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Hard to say.

    I strategize that way from the beginning. If the floor plates are all different, i dont bother with the links since there isnt much of a benefit. But if they are all different, the groups dont help much either. IF they are similar or the same, i go straight to Links. Groups (imho) WILL fail as floor plates.

    For me its not even about low rise/high rise. Why NOT get the performance gains from a streamlined setup? It is a deeper complication, and some people dont like that. Sure, with super hardware, you can just stuff everything in one file. But ive got some buildings that push past some of our current hardware, and i cant justify having a 600MB centrail file, when i dont need to.
    tidalwave1 likes this.

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