Sunday, 7 May 2017

Lots of Revit Schedules - Managing Your Model Data

Schedules aren’t just there for documentation purposes. They can be a great tool in managing your model data and components.
Take a basic room schedule for example; even though a room schedule may not form part of your typical documentation set, they are the best way to quickly identify rooms ‘not enclosed’ or ‘not placed’. When you delete a room from the project, doing so from the model environment prompts the following warning…
‘A room was deleted from all model views but still remains in this project. The room can be removed from any schedule or placed back in the model using the Room command’.
Use the delete row button in the schedule ribbon to completely remove the room from the project.

Another example of a must have schedule in your project is a ‘View List’ schedule. Large projects can have hundreds if not thousands of views to manage. Ensuring all the right data is in place through the properties panel of each view is a tedious way to manage so many views. A view list schedule will give you a global look at the parameters related to all your views in the project. View templates can expedite much of this data entry. 
When it comes to sorting your schedules, there isn't much choice. Naming convention is the only option really. You can't custom sort schedules in the project browser the same way you can for views. We all wish we could! It has made its way to the Autodesk Idea forum HERE, but in the meantime I typically prefix schedules created solely for data management with '_Manage'. This keeps them together and clearly identifies there purpose to other users.

I make 'working views' of most schedules. This allows me to place instruction for users to help with data entry and I format a number of columns to make it clear where data is needed. All working schedule headings are shaded yellow for easy identification whilst in the schedule.

Another advantage of separate working schedules is the issue with text wrapping. Only when a schedule is placed on a sheet does text wrapping occur. The schedule itself, does not text wrap. A few releases back, Autodesk made a change that meant the column width adjusted in the schedule, matched the column width on the sheet. The downside to this is narrow columns adjusted on the sheet, makes the column difficult to read in the schedule view, because there is no text wrapping. Staff would adjust columns to work in the view ruining the formatting of the schedule on sheets.
Hopefully one day schedules will be viewed as 'what you see is what you get'. 

Don't limit your use of schedules to just what you need for project output, use them for model management as well, it will save you a whole heap of time. Combine this with Dynamo or addins such as Ideate BIM Link and you have some very powerful tools for controlling data.  

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