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Specification in Revit 2017

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    Specification in Revit 2017


    I'm wondering how everyone is doing their specifications in Revit and whether or not the Revit 2017 text editing upgrades have changed workflows.

    Almost a year ago, I started work at this interior architecture firm where I was immediately bumped up (notice I do not use the word "promoted" because that would imply a pay raise) to more of a BIM manager role because an employee had to leave suddenly due to a family situation. This is my first official Revit job, and I've been thrown into the fire.

    The good news, even with my lack of experience, I became the person with the most Revit knowledge in our office. Therefore, everyone respects what I say when it comes to Revit, and I've been able to make a lot of positive changes. (For example, replacing sections that were used as elevations with real elevations. Yeah, I know!)

    The bad news, I inherited a bunch of outdated Revit processes and methods, and I don't know how to fix all of them. I am not an architect or an interior designer. My design background comes from the media and film/video world. I don't always understand the architectural process. I still have a lot to learn, but hey, it keeps things interesting. On that note, I don't know the best way to incorporate our specifications using Revit. Currently, they are placed in our template using drafting views and text directly on sheets. They're not consistent, and there's no way to control them. It drives me crazy!

    I've looked into several different ways to do the specifications including key schedules, writing them in word/excel and copy/pasting them, writing them in a program that I can save as an image file and import into Revit, AutoCAD linking which won't happen, outside spec software, and a few other ways I'm forgetting or don't understand. I don't know the best method for our situation.

    Here is a list of what I need to accomplish:
    • I need to be able to separate them per section. Please see the attachment for some sample text.
    • I need to be able to easily place them and pull them off sheets in column format where the text will automatically go to the next column (similar to schedules).
    • The font sizes and styles need to be consistent with the other fonts in the project.
    • I need to be able to teach our Revit-reluctant spec writer how to edit the specs and ensure he doesn't mess anything up.
    • It would be great to be able to lock them where others can't touch them or remove them.

    I want to do them the "right" way and make them clean, consistent, and easy to read. Thanks in advance for any help!
    Attached Files

    Text changes in 2017 made large text blocks work MUCH, MUCH better than before. We do specs on sheets for smaller projects, and I just did my first project spec sheet with the new 2017 text. It took awhile to update it from the previous version, but it works and looks good.

    What I did was set up a drafting view for the specs, with ref planes representing the columns and indents for the headings and spec body text, and the right side justification for each column. All text boxes are set to that width of the left and right ref planes. Then for each spec section, I have one text object with the numbered list and hierarchies. In 2017 you can specify how your lists are numbered, and what number/letter system it will use for each indented portion, which is pretty handy.

    In the example, the Division heading is one piece of text, the section heading number and title are separate pieces, and then the whole block below the section title is a single text object.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by PatrickGSR94; July 19, 2017, 03:49 PM.


      Specs are still done in Word format Revit we are using Keynotes based on them.
      Michael "MP" Patrick (Deceased - R.I.P)


        Originally posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
        In 2017 you can specify how your lists are numbered, and what number/letter system it will use for each indented portion, which is pretty handy.
        Thanks, PatrickGSR94! Can you further explain the above? I'm not sure I'm following.

        I do love reference lines. They come in handy for sure.


          So you use keynotes that refer to a separate document or you copy/paste the keynotes from the word document into each Revit project?


            Originally posted by MPwuzhere View Post
            Specs are still done in Word format Revit we are using Keynotes based on them.
            Yes that's one way to do specs (I personally can't stand this way, makes plans very hard to read). Another way is with a spec program like SpecLink which is what my firm uses for larger projects needing book specs. But the OP was asking about specs on sheets, which is quite common for consultant drawings and especially on smaller projects where book specs are not needed. Hence my example posted above.


              Spec Section / Description

              So something like this: 076200.B3 GUTTER or 055000.B4 PIPE BOLLARD

              Use Keynote Manager to add/remove and modify keynotes in the keynote file. Our Spec Writer does everything in Word and then saves as a PDF all the sections at submittal time.
              Michael "MP" Patrick (Deceased - R.I.P)


                An alternate image-based method is explained here:

                If you ever do happen to find the "right" way, please post back here and let everyone know!
                Chris Ellersick


                  I think that the more formal your specifications are, the more you'll need to stick with a word processing approach. Even with the improvements, Revit just has very few options for numbering and formatting. If it must look a certain way, Revit will frustrate you.

                  If you have some liberty with how the specs are formatted, doing them in Revit makes good sense. That's what I do, and I format them to work with the things Revit does easily. Although some of the examples posted look nice, i'm not gonna lay in ref lines and have all those text objects. Too much trouble for not much benefit, and the contractors frankly will not care.

                  Only the largest jobs see benefits from a full project manual / book spec in the private sector. It's better to get it all on the drawings if you can, as long as it's clean and legible and you don't make it harder than it needs to be by trying to make Revit do things that it won't do, or won't do well.
                  Last edited by bt.comm; July 21, 2017, 07:24 AM.


                    Download classification manager plugin, and build your own database for classification.
                    It's a ton of data entry work (not very interesting but not that difficult)
                    Then the classification manager will let you assign classifications and extract them easily in schedules

                    Also you dont need to reinvent the Wheel, there are already omniclass and uniformat (and several other codification specs) with databases already prepared.
                    Last edited by Karalon10; July 21, 2017, 07:48 AM.


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