I was digging around in my garage the other day. I needed some screws to hang a bracket in my living room.
Now, my garage is no ordinary garage. It’s a super-garage.
It’s not pretty but it’s huge. Best I can tell, it was once a regular old two-car garage. Then a previous owner wanted some extra space to fix his cars. And the super-garage was born. The addition off the back has two 12′ roll-up doors and 18′ ceilings. Plus, it’s heated. Too bad I’m not into cars.
Now you’d think with a garage this big I’d have everything nicely organized and in its place, right?
It took me half-an-hour to find the screws I was looking for. Granted, I spent about 15 minutes just poking around. On the positive side, I found a book I was looking for, two pairs of wool socks and stack of my son’s favorite Pokémon cards. Not sure how that got out there.
Since I don’t go out in the garage too often, I don’t really have a handle on what’s out there.
When we moved into our house four years ago, we just unloaded everything from the moving truck into the garage. Over time, we moved what we needed into the house. Now we have a bunch of stuff in the garage we thought we’d need but we don’t.
It’s time to clean out the junk.
What’s in Your Revit Template?
So, what does my garage story have to do with Revit templates?
First a quick question, then I’ll get to the point (I promise).
When was the last time you took a good look inside your Revit template? I don’t mean just opening it and clicking around. I mean a REALLY good look.
It’s probably been a while.
Revit templates are often one-and-done type deals. You spend some time up-front to create the template but you don’t often go back to review and update them.
I’m guilty of this myself.
The beauty of a template is that it can evolve over time. And the more it evolves to suit your needs, the more useful it becomes.
The problem is it takes time to go through your templates. It takes time to add new elements and edit out the elements you no longer need. Too often, a Revit template becomes like my garage – a place to stash stuff you might need . . . some day.
So how do you fine-tune your Revit template? A template audit is a great place to start.
How to Conduct a Revit Template Audit
A template audit is an evaluation of your existing Revit template. It’s an in-depth look at all aspects of your template.
So how do you conduct an audit? Here’s my 6-step process:
1. Get the checklist
Start by downloading ArchSmarter’s Revit Template Checklist. This checklist outlines everything that should be included in your template.
2. Take inventory
Next, go through each of the categories listed in the checklist and write down the families, types or styles included in your template for that category. I like to use XMind, a mind mapping application, but you could also use Excel or Word.
You don’t need to capture all the data for each element. Just the family and type name (or style name) is enough.
For things like line weights and object styles, you’ll want to export this data to Excel. Cutting and pasting from the Revit table into a spreadsheet usually works.
3. Export to type data to Excel
In addition to manually reviewing your template, I also export all the family type data to Excel. I use the Revit Parameter Exporter which is available for free in the ArchSmarter Toolbox.
This tool exports ALL the parameter data for each family type. It can be a lot of data but it’s useful see it in tabular format.
4. Review, review, review
Once you’ve inventoried your template, go through each category, and review the contents. Identify what’s worth keeping in the template and what should be removed. You’ll want to have Revit open so you can compare properties and parameters of the various elements. Also, note any areas where you’re missing elements.
I use markers in XMind but you could also use color fills in Excel or highlight text in Word.
5. Develop your game plan
By now, you should have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your template. Take your inventory mind map or Excel file and make a to-do list for each category. Write down exactly what you need to add, remove, or edit. The more descriptive the better.
6. Implement the changes
Remember how long it took you to create your first template? Now that you have your game plan, updating your template will be a lot easier. Try to dedicate 20 minutes a day to work through your to-do list. After a couple of weeks of this, your template will be MUCH improved.
Conducting a Revit template audit can be time-consuming. In my experience, it takes about 12 – 16 hours to complete a thorough audit.
If you’re short on time or don’t want to dig through the minutia of your template, ArchSmarter is here to help.
With our Revit Template Audit service, we’ll review your Revit template and prepare a thorough report of our findings. We’ll make recommendations for improving your template. We’ll also give you a game plan for implementing the changes.