Loading... Please wait...

Revit© Windows for Renovation Projects

Posted by

Revit renovation projects start with building a model to document existing conditions. Even if started with a 3D laser scan or some AutoCAD drawings, documenting an existing building is no small task. Using some tips and tricks for the process can make the job a lot easier.

As the BIM Manager at HOK's San Francisco office, it was my occasional task to create a model for existing conditions. This request could come from an Interiors project, a Healthcare project or another building type. The first one was a struggle. There was no budget for a 3d laser scan. The AutoCAD drawing set was from a previous interiors project (not new construction), so there were few elevation views. And since that project was done before BIM, there were inconsistencies between the plan views and the elevation views that did exist.

The schedule was tight, and there would be some demolition in the scope of work, so an existing conditions model was needed right away. Fortunately, the interiors Revit template included standard wall and door types. There was also a good set of generic furniture families. But there was one unexpected barrier to finishing the building model – windows.

My choices for windows were to use either Revit's generic windows or some manufacturer's supplied Revit window families. In this case, neither of these options were acceptable because both sources of families provided windows made from Revit's standard window family template. Why is that an issue? Because the dimension parameters in the template are Type parameters.

That meant that every time I needed a new (custom) window size, I would have to open the Revit family editor and create a new window type. Since this renovation project was in an historic building, almost all the windows needed were custom sizes. I was able to finish the project using the time honored Architect's method called “Brute Force And Awkwardness” (BFAA). The BFAA method is simple. It just requires long days and a compromise of work/life balance.

A key value of a BIM Manager is to minimize the use of the BFAA method. So I created a set of rectangular windows that could be stretched to fit any custom size window. Each window created was similar to the standard window types, but used instance parameters.

With instance windows, the process changed:

  • From:
  1. Place a window.
  2. Measure the existing window to determine dimensions.
  3. Edit the family to create a new Type matching the dimensions.
  4. Change the placed window type.
  5. Re-position the new window to match the plan and elevation.
  • To:
  1. Place a window.
  2. Stretch to fit.

The new process was much easier and had a lot less force and awkwardness. Now, renovation projects save hours in building an as-built model. And, the work/life balance is improved.

At Yellowbryk, our mission is to eliminate the Brute Force and Awkwardness method using BIM content. That is why we created a set of instance windows, both rectangular windows and special shaped windows:

Rectangular windows:

  • Fixed window
  • Casement window
  • Single Hung window
  • Double Hung window
  • Hopper window
  • Awning window
  • Fixed-Slide window
  • Slide-Slide window

Special shape windows:

  • Round (circle) window
  • Hexagon window
  • Octagon window
  • Triangle window
  • Trapezoid window

This set of instance windows is available for immediate download at for a remarkably small price.

Recent Updates

Sign up to our newsletter