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Working with Revit title blocks from Architects

As a MEP consultant working on a Revit project, chances are the architect’s title block will be used by all disciplines. This title block is usually peppered with parameters from the architect’s shared parameters file, rendering them blank in the MEP model. Those shared parameters can be added to the MEP model’s shared parameters file, but with multiple architectural clients, the shared parameters file for the MEP model can become a bit larger and more complicated than necessary. This post will demonstrate a method to control the chaos and free the consulting engineer from the ever changing shared parameters they encounter.

The plan is simple.

  1. Create a set of generic shared parameters to replace any architect’s parameters.
  2. Replace the label in the architectural title block family to use one of the generic parameters.

The details below may make it sound more complex than it really is. Don’t give up; it’s worth the effort.

Create Required Shared Parameters

Creating a set of generic shared parameters that can be used for architect ‘A’ as well as architect ‘B’ is what makes this plan repeatable. Once it is repeatable, it can be made into a standard procedure that BIM Managers don’t have to get involved in every time the task comes up. To create the new generic shared parameters, follow these steps.

  1. Under the Manage tab of the ribbon select the Shared Parameters tool. Use the browse button to select the shared parameters file. If a shared parameters file does not exist yet, use the Create button to make one. Save it in a location where all users have a minimum of read access to the file.
  2. Use the New button in the Edit Shared Parameters dialog to create at least 2 new parameters (TB Arch-01 and TB Arch-02). Any name will work, but the TB will put them down the list alphabetically and designate them as title block parameters. Numbering the parameters accommodates making as many parameters as the wildest title block may require. Use a leading zero to keep all the parameter in order between 01 and 99.
  3. The Discipline should be set to common and the Type of Parameter should be to Text. This will give you the most flexibility to enter required data.

Substitute Shared Parameters for Architectural Parameters

Copy the title block family out of the architect’s model, open it for edit and select a label that needs to be replaced. Pick the Edit Label tool. There is a new button in the lower left hand corner of the dialog.

Browse out one of the newly created shared parameters and use the right green arrow to add it to the label. Select the architect’s parameter and use the red left arrow to remove it.

Text font and size is predetermined by the label itself, so there is nothing left to do but repeat this process for every parameter that needs to be replaced.

Some things may not change at all, like the project name. Consider putting in the appropriate text matching the labels font and height and save the headache of inputting that data every time the TB is used.

When done load this updated title block into the project and overwrite parameters.

Make Shared Parameters Project Parameters

In the actual MEP project file, the new shared parameters need to be pushed into all the title blocks. This is done by making the shared parameters project parameters for that project. There is a good chance that last sentence made no sense at all. Just follow the steps and understand it later.

1. Go to the manage tab of the ribbon and select the Project parameters tool.

2. Click on the Add… button

3. This brings up the Parameter properties dialog which tells Revit that these parameters should be available in title blocks.
4. Under Parameter Type select Shared parameter then click the select button as shown in the image below.

5. Select the TB Arch-01 parameter from the shared parameters file. It is tempting to make this a type parameter instead of an instance parameter, but Revit will not allow type parameters to apply to the sheets category.
6. Group these parameters as desired.

Test It, Customize It

 

Make sure the results are as expected and tweak if necessary. If things are working out make the shared title block parameters project parameters in the project template. This will save everyone a step.

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