One of the best ways to get really efficient with Revit is to use templates. Templates let you configure your project file once and re-use it over and over again. A good template is a force multiplier. It helps you work smarter, not harder.
The big issue with templates is that they’re time-consuming to create. Even if you use a well-defined approach, like the C-B-T method, an effective Revit template can easily take 40+ hours to create. Yes, you’ll get this time back the more you use the template but it’s often hard to find that time when there’s deadlines to meet and billable work to do.
But what if you could download a pre-configured template that was optimized and ready-to-go? Sound like a good idea?
ArchSmarter reader Mark Bruce posed just this question to me last week. Mark writes:
Would it be good for the AEC industry if there was one ‘ultimate’ Revit template that was made available for everyone? I understand each office has their own standards, graphic requirements, and building types so a one size fits all template would be hard, but I guess there is so much time spent on BIM management, content management, training, deployment, etc. . that it become such a beast in itself and detracting from the point of it all.
Mark has a really valid point. The purpose of a template is to save time. But what happens when we lose control of our template because it’s too difficult to maintain? Let’s face it when faced with a list of competing priorities, who really wants to spend time editing and updating a Revit template?
But by not updating your template, you’re squandering the potential for significant time savings.
That’s why an open-source Revit template makes a lot of sense.
An Open-Source Revit Template
Open-source projects benefit from the collective input from a community of dedicated users. Rather than relying on the experience of one person or one firm, an open-source Revit template would represent the best practices of potentially hundreds of users and firms.
True, a one-size-fits-all template wouldn’t work for every firm or every project type. However, it would represent a starting point that’s based on a wealth of experience.
Jared Banks writes about all things ArchiCAD on his blog, Shoegnome. He has created an open-source template for ArchiCAD, which is freely available on his site. The template has evolved over time with each new release of ArchiCAD. Jared incorporates user input and meticulously documents each version. It’s a great model for an open-source template.
What do you think?
Creating an open-source Revit template is something that’s been on my todo list for some time. Mark’s email spurred me into action. I heartily agree with him. This is something the industry needs. And it’s something I’m willing to spend some time on.
So what do you think about an open-source Revit template? Is it something you would use? If so, what should be included in the template? How specific or generic should it be? What standards should it follow?
Also, should it be hosted by a site like ArchSmarter or through an online version control site like Github?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.