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Linked models vs a single multidisciplinary model

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    Linked models vs a single multidisciplinary model

    We are about to kick off a project for a waste treatment facility. It will be a concrete box with steel substructure and a large amount of predescribed equipment. I am being given Revit lead, as I have the most experience, and the office has never completed a full Revit porject. We will be doing the arch/struct with an outside consultant providing MEP (hopefully in Revit MEP, with a little arm twisting and support). I am confident in being able to produce a smooth and complete project using an architecture model and a structural model linked together. Since the building is extremely utilitarian, the architectural component is limited and tied more closely than usual to the structural component.

    So finally my question, what are the advantages/disadvantages to using Revit Arch and Revit Structure in the same file? What are some pitfalls to avoid, and how should I approach the project differently? Thanks.

    I think your actually better off since the two are so closely linked to each other, you should actually avoid alot of the pitfalls with doubling up on walls and floors and have a better co-ordination over all. We model our structures and services in the same project on multi-discipline works with great results.

    Just keep an eye on file size and it depends on whether the Arch team is located inhouse or outside.


      I worked on an addition for New Belgium Brewery out here in Colorado and it sounds pretty similar, it was pretty much a concrete box and the majority of the structural was also architectural other than some of the finish work (ie finish flooring) in the building. I set this project up as a single Revit file and it work great!! One catch however is that it was a small and quick project I was the only person ever in the model, so I am not sure how it would work with many people, but I still believe it would work out well as one.


        Bringing up an old topic.... How did it go? With Architecture and Structural in the same model? Did you actually do it that way?

        We are thinking of a single model route on our next project, but we are weary as there are a lot of visibility differences between architecture and structural. The nice thing is we are in the same office and network.

        Some of the issues we can see is worksets, project browser visibility, line styles (luckily line weights we share), fill patterns, etc....

        Reason for this is currently we double up on walls and floors just so we can host our doors and windows and floor based families...stuff like beams and columns are in the structural model, but make joining the two impossible (we do lots of buildings in concrete and CMU). So our sections we have to put fill patterns over all the concrete to make them appear as one and not overlapping. Oh, and we use separate walls for furring its necessary to join the walls together to make the openings for doors and windows.

        Chris Price is having a course on the "one model" scenario at RTC next week and my structural counterpart is attending that one.... just wondering if anyone else has tried it? I figure if MEP can figure it out so should we....
        Michael "MP" Patrick (Deceased - R.I.P)


          Glad you brought this back up, I rarely think to go back and answer my own questions once finding out more information.

          We did end up using a single model for Architectural and Structural, and it has worked out better than I expected it to. We submitted our 60% review a few weeks back. Revit's view parameter for Discipline really streamlined the process and took care of a lot of my fears right off the bat. We (arch/struc) are able to have our own plans, sections, all referenced but only visible on our own drawings (I was afraid that I'd be hiding section cuts throughout the project, or developing extra view templates). Organizing your project browser by discipline keeps things very manageable.

          Workset organization made overall visibility pretty easy (once we realized structure cant see non-bearing walls, obvious now but raised some issues early on). I ended up adding a couple extra architectural worksets, because structure would complain when they could see things like gutters and downspouts on my normal A_Exterior workset.

          We ran into a few issues when exporting our to RISA for structural calcs but I believe we would have had similar issues regardless. Overall there have not been any show stoppers and any issues we have run into have been well out weighed by advantages and weren't any more than I would expect with linked projects (duplicated walls, problems copying sloped floors, etc). I also believe that working in the same model improved our communication and coordination as changes occurred.

          If you have any more specific questions let me know and I can try to field them.


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