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Free Revit Family Standards

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You probably know it. Revit families are a mixed bag. Some are good. Some are dangerous. What they seem to lack most is consistency. Our industry cannot even get the naming of objects consistent.

This is N OT a rant. I just want to remind you that these every-day frustrations cause a big loss of productivity. The lack of consistency is huge hidden cost.

There IS a solution. Fortunately for us all, there are people that have been working on the consistency problem for years. Some groups what to charge you for using their “standard”. Other groups realize that charging for a standard is a good way to limit adoption (and defeat their stated purpose).

This post is about Free Revit Family Standards

Those of you who are “old timers” will remember that Autodesk wrote some guidelines in 2009 – The “Revit Model Content Style Guide”. The document was not great, but it was a start. That standard no longer exists. It went away when SEEK went away.

The first family standard I want to mention was developed by an industry group. Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) created their own industry-specific standard. I was particularly pleased since foodservice equipment is in the catch-all Revit category of “Specialty Equipment”. The naming standard includes a prefix, so that all foodservice equipment sorts together in the project browser. Parameters are clearly defined, including those for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing connectivity. A shared parameter file is available for download. This Revit Family Standard is available here: https://www.fcsi.org/about-fcsi/divisions/the-americas/revit-standards/

The grand-daddy of quality, public standards is ANZRS (Australian and New Zealand Revit Standards). Don't be scared off by the 2012 date – This one is good, in my opinion. It includes checklists, shared parameters and guidelines. You can download it here: http://www.anzrs.org/blog/

There are over 20 sources of Revit families created by manufacturers. (see Bluebryk: http://www.bluebryk.com/ ) These commercial consolidators host BIM content from multiple manufacturers. There is considerable variation and considerable overlap in their offerings. A couple of them have made their internal standards available publicly:

For internal family development, we recommend starting with the ANZRS guide. It is both educational and practical. And, it has been downloaded in over 70 countries across the world. Perhaps it is the closest thing we have to a true Revit Family Standard.

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