First Thoughts on Using Revit for Quantity Take-Off

Some thoughts, doubts, suggestions and questions after using Revit to help on a project quantity take-off process.
Català - Castellano - Deutsch

I've been working for the past month and half (really 3-4 weeks if we don't count the Christmas break) building a Revit model of a residential project in Barcelona. The model is being used in a pilot project to extract quantities, check for undefined elements and of course help visualize the building. The initial aim was to be able to do a complete quantity take-off from the Revit model, based on the drawings already finished (finished is a very optimistic term here...) by the architect.

I just wanted to share some thoughts I've been having the past weeks about the workflow and problems I encountered so if you are doing something similar either you ca give me some feedback or avoid doing the same mistakes as I have.

To put this in perspective, all this process has been done trying to follow certain Spanish (or Catalan) standards. I really don't know how you guys do estimations in other countries, what I explain here will be based on the way we do, or we try to do certain things.

Let me be more concise and put an example. The first time I showed someone the Schedule of Structural Beams, everything was WAWS and OOOH!. Soon I realized though, that the amazing automatic schedule that Revit was providing was:
A) Not showing the Steel Weight (which is the standard way to do Take-offs here when describing Steel Members and
B) Not splitting the Elements by Floor in the schedule (which is also very necessary in case some cost analysis needs to be run, to be able to say for instance "if we reduce one level, we would have this less steel")

The way I went around point B, was using Phases. I Created a Phase for each level and moved all Columns and Beams of each level to the corresponding Phase (20 minute work, no big deal). This way, I could visualise the schedule using Revit Phases, and could export the quantities for each level separately (showing the phase as a property in the schedule is still something I am trying to figure out how to do...any ideas?).

Point A was a bit trickier, so I will write a second post about it soon to not bore you all with so much text. I will also post soon about an Allplan 2011 demo I went recently, and my first thoughts on how Allplan related to Revit, what is better, what is worse, etc.

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