Tuesday, 31 July 2012

So what is an 'advanced' Revit assessment?

We've had some interesting discussions with customers in recent weeks, about what type of topics should be covered in an 'advanced' Revit Architecture assessment.

Ace KS Author, Paul Aubin, has been collating the feedback, in his efforts to create a harder test, for those experienced users, who have cruised through the 'fundamentals' level material.

But is it as straightforward as just throwing a handful of tough questions in the pot?  Well, judging by the comments from a variety of experienced users and Revit-savvy firms, the answer is, 'not really'!

One of the key points where several users disagree is on the general skillsets to be covered by an advanced test.  Our brief for Paul is quite simple; write a pool of harder Revit questions!  However, some of the feedback has branched out into the realm of broader BIM concepts, the modeling process and/or wider construction process knowledge.

My opinion is that this is perfectly valid feedback, but, as Paul points out in an interesting discussion thread over on LinkedIn, that's not relevant to this particular assignment.

So what kinds of answers have we received from KS users, on the most important parts to include in an advanced question set?

Here are some of the best replies:

Comments from a BIM leader at a large UK Design firm:

These are the issues we come across on a regular basis:

Resetting Shared Coordinates (when they go wrong – which they do!)
Use of Copy Monitor & Limitations
Use of Phasing & Limitations
Managing Project / Shared Parameters
Wall / Window / Door layer clean-ups
Managing who draws / owns cross discipline elements such as Ceilings / Slabs / Stairs

Comments from a mid-sized Design firm in Aus/NZ region: 

The questions we would like to see are:

Types of schedules
Getting a schedule to display per sheet, i.e. Keynote and Revisions
Revit server theory
Links, Worksets and Shared Coordinates
DWFx Export and linking DWFx markups into Revit
Setting up Revisions, and rolling them back (archiving etc.)
Reference plane naming (simple but essential)
Family behaviour (e.g. line based, face based, etc.)
Visibility troubleshooting
Visual editing tools e.g. linework tool, cut profile tool, paint and split face – all essential in retaining model data as opposed to 2D overlay.
Calculated values and conditional formatting in schedules
Editing a wall parameters before placement (setting constraints etc.)
Predefining wall sweeps in the wall type
Door schedule with room parameters (To Room , From Room)

Notes from a BIM leadership meeting at a large AEC firm, based in N. America:

More advanced ways to control the top condition of walls (for example, using a reference plane to control a top condition at a curved wall)
A user can’t modify an element – what are potential reasons they can’t? (Constraints, locked, on a design option, etc.)
Copy/Monitor – common warnings
Advanced manipulations of walls – variable thickness of layers, extension distances, etc.
Layered assemblies and core relationships
Shared coordinates
Families – nesting/shared nesting and the implications
Families – reporting parameters
Project Parameters and Shared Parameters
Key Schedules, Tags and Schedules
Adaptive components (families), parts and assemblies

BIM leadership meeting feedback at a large International Design firm:

Family topics such as:
o Nested Families
o Shared Parameters
o Adaptive Components
o Lighting
o Hosting behaviours
o Materials

The new Stair Tool


Collaborative tools like:
o Shared Coordinates
o Copy/Monitor
o Clash Detection
o Survey/Base Points
o Project/True North


Curtain Wall Construction (Interior and Exterior)
o Horizontal CW’s
o CW’s driving by massing
o CW corners
o Paneling Theory

Specific feedback on a particular Revit issue:

There was one issue that stumped me for a little while earlier this week until I found it…How do you make a floor or a ramp with a variable thickness to the base rather than a constant thickness? The answer is that you need to edit the structure of the floor and tick variable thickness. Pretty simple but not everyone uses it!

Other comments:

I would add new railings and stairs features, I would also add complex form making using the massing tools. This area is a black art, but a suitable area where knowledge needs to grow.

Some of the new features of 2013. For example, materials – how do you change the emissivity of an asset?

Setting up materials is a job I always see as half done. Often the Name and the Graphics tab are paid attention to and some of the identity data however more often than not the Appearance tab isn’t visited, and the material class is rarely set. Some questions about setting up material appearances would be useful.

So, as you can see, quite a mixed bag of issues, which affect firms who are using the software from day to day, on live projects.  Lots of common areas, too.

We'll keep you posted as the first set of questions nears completion.  I have a feeling that we will split this set into two or three parts, in order to cover all of the necessary ground, in sufficient detail.

We'll also put a call out for beta testers in a month or so, to give us a preliminary round of comments, prior to release into the live KS library.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the good article.
    In our company, we used a similar approach to test employees for data rooms acknowledgment which should have been implemented.