Controlling Revit model “bloat”

The following tips have been compiled from various web sites and from project experience.

PURGE UNUSED FAMILIES

Purging unused families and types can remove megabytes worth of data from the project model.  Don’t feel like you need to keep everything all the time.  Get in there and clean up the model every once in a while.  Besides, if you find out later on that you need that VAV box family that you purged last week, you can always reload it.

Related to this, you may also have families which contain nested families.  In the Project Browser, it may appear as though there is one family, but that one family could have 4 or 5 or more nested families.

CONSTRAINED ELEMENTS

Try to avoid locking (constraining) elements to other elements.  By having constrained elements, Revit needs to review the which items are locked and to where.  If you have multiple items locked to one another, you run the risk of possibly moving all of those elements out of their intended location.  A few constraints are okay, a lot aren’t.

AUDIT AND COMPACT CENTRAL MODEL

It is recommended that the central model be audited on a weekly basis and compacted on a regular basis – maybe every other day – to help keep the model running smoothly.  If you’ve ever experienced any random crashes or odd errors, try auditing the central model.

Likewise, compacting the model on a regular basis – every day or every other day, if you can (once a week at minimum) – will help keep the file size down which translates to faster load times.

OVERWRITE THE MODEL WITH A NEW COPY

This should be done on a weekly basis (say, every Monday).  It will help clean up older backup and temporary files.  Or, you can manually delete the temporary and backup files.

LINKED MODEL WORKSETS

If you put links on their own worksets, you can choose not to load them when opening the model.  This will speed up load times and will reduce regeneration times because Revit can’t regenerate something that isn’t loaded.

REDUCE DESIGN OPTION USAGE

A long list of Design Options will slow your model down.  When you’re done with a Design Option, DELETE IT!

IN-PLACE FAMILIES

In-place families should be used sparingly.  If you can, create an “outside” family (an RFA file).  Copying in-place families is also discouraged as it can create bloated models.

UNUSED VIEWS

Revit is great when it comes to cutting sections to see how parts of systems are interacting with other components in the building, however…  An excessive amount of views, especially 3D perspective or isometric views, can begin to weigh down a model.  Try to adopt the following philosphy – Name It Or Delete It – to help you keep track of views that are being used.

OVERLY DETAILED FAMILIES

Whenever possible, use a basic family to represent the equipment being modeled.  For example, a simple “cube” family could be used to represent a chiller rather than a highly-detailed Revit family showing nuts, bolts, logos, etc…  Families should also incorporate symbolic lines to represent plan and elevation views rather than using the 3D geometry to control the display of a family in different views.

DETAILED MODEL FILL PATTERNS

Model fill patterns that either:

  1. were created using a detailed .PAT file or
  2. contains a large number of segments

will greatly increase a Revit project size.  Whenever possible, avoid the use of detailed custom model fill patterns.

WARNINGS

Review and address warnings on a regular basis.  Models left unchecked can quickly amass thousands of warnings which can make the model slow and unresponsive because it keeps lookingg to see if the problems have been fixed.  When multiple modelers are working on a workshare-enabled model one of the largest contributors to warnings are duplicate marks.  This is because Revit automatically gives every new element a “unique” ID number, however, when multiple people are working on the same project model, USER A and USER B could possibly end up with elements in their local models that have conflicting type marks because Revit doesn’t keep track of the type marks outside of the program.  These should be addressed as soon as possible  Some of the easiest warnings to fix are those relating to overlapping lines or duplicate elements in the same location.  More complicated warnings, like those relating to calculations, are known to slow down model performance due to Revit constantly checking systems.

A clean model is a happy model!

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