Friday, 15 July 2011

Revit Standards

There has been much discussion in recent months, surrounding the topic of common methods of 'good' working practices, in particular for firms using Revit.  Earlier this week, I attended the Leeds RUG and enjoyed listening to visiting speaker, Neil Munro, from Opus NZ, talking about Revit Standards & Protocols.

Just a few weeks ago, whilst attending RTC AU, I sat in on an interesting presentation from the committee responsible for the Australia & New Zealand Revit Standards document.  Here is a link to the ANZRS site, which is definitely worth a look:  http://www.anzrs.org/blog.

And of course we have our own home-grown initiative, the AEC (UK) BIM Standard for Revit, which has been making impressive progress over the past couple of years, with a strong committee-led approach:  http://aecuk.wordpress.com.

There is a useful discussion thread on standards to be found over on Revit Forum.org.

And this month, the Twittersphere has been ablaze with postings about the new Open Revit Standard, led by industry stalwarts, Sean Burke and David Fano, among others.  For those Twitterers among you, search for the hash-tag #OpenRevStds, to follow the ongoing dialogue.  And check out the new wiki-style site: http://openrevitstandards.com.  This promises to be a fascinating initiative.

So I got to thinking.. as Revit is already a hugely popular topic for skills assessment material, how useful/feasible would it be, to create a series of KS modules which cover 'good' practices for Revit standards?   

I'm thinking of modules covering the following core areas:  Creating a Revit template file, Installation & setup of Revit, Project start-up process, Work sharing, Creating & managing Revit Families, Collaborative working, Draughting standards, Model management.  Anything else?

And whilst I appreciate that such modules would naturally vary from firm to firm, is there sufficient common ground, to enable the creation of a 'generic' set of Revit standards questions, which could then be edited by individual firms, to wrap around their own in-house standards & protocols?  Would it be too much to suggest that anyone starting a new Revit project, must first demonstrate to the team Principal or Job Captain, that they have taken (and aced) the project start-up module?  That they do, in fact, understand key 'do's and don'ts' before being allowed to start work on a live Revit project.

Further, what if, instead of one individual author doing all the heavy lifting on this one, we employ the concept of 'crowdsourcing' the content, one module at a time?  For example, if we start with Revit project start-up process and deliver a module of 20 questions on this subject.  This makes more sense than 200+ firms all reinventing their own version of essentially the same wheel! In my experience, it is far easier to start with an existing set of data, than to write everything from scratch, each time.

So, to start the ball rolling - and to see if the concept has potential - what if we invite 10 KS-friendly firms, to write two questions each, on general Revit standards for project start-up?

My thinking is that this could be a 'free' resource, for any firms using Revit, who want to assess their users' understanding of in-house standards.  The 'cost' of entry to the club, however, could be to submit two (or more) questions to the overall Revit Standards 'pool'.

We have a number of Revit specialists whom we can call on, to sanity check the content and generally ensure that it is fit for purpose, prior to release into the Revit Standards library.

We'll be speaking to the team behind the Open Revit Standard, in more detail over the coming weeks.  It will be interesting to see if we can align any assessment content for Revit Standards, with the community-led initiatives currently taking place.

More to follow on this topic..

R

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