Consolidate Autodesk Revit® Room & Asset Data to Populate FM & GIS
Portsmouth, RI. February 11, 2019: As the industry leading BIM platform for architects, engineers and contractors, Autodesk Revit is used to design, document, coordinate and construct building projects world-wide. Building Owners are the next logical recipients of the project BIM data. From an Owner’s perspective, the first step to having a “Sustainable Design, Operations and Maintenance” facility is to accurately locate within each building and level, every room and every asset per room. Ideally, these BIM models should provide the Owner with those lists which could be used to populate their various FM and GIS programs. For smaller projects with a single model, Autodesk Revit is ideal for listing all rooms, assets and data per room. Unfortunately, for larger multi-model projects, the limitations of Revit begin to exhibit themselves and negatively impact downstream uses by not providing an automatic, accurate and complete list of family assets & data per room.
A typical building project consists of multiple design consulting teams creating their own separate Revit models. The architects create their model which would include the Revit “room objects” defining the overall project program. The structural engineers create their own Revit model which is linked to the architectural model. The MEP engineers create a separate mechanical model with Revit “spaces” as well as electrical, plumbing, fire protection and storm drainage models, all of which are linked to the architectural model. There could also be a separate equipment model from a medical planning consultant and a separate furniture model from an interior design consultant, both of which are linked to the same architectural model. This single building project is now made up of nine separate Revit models. Each are linked into a Revit site model to properly position the building, its levels, rooms and family assets in GIS via Revit’s “shared coordinates” feature. During construction, the contractors and sub-contractors will sometimes use these same AE models or create additional Revit models for their own coordination needs.
At the completion of the project, the final set of 9+ as-built Revit models from the contractors are submitted to the building Owner. If they wish to maximize the usefulness of these BIM project models, the Owner’s next step is to populate their CAFM, CMMS and GIS programs with the list of all the project Revit rooms, family assets per room, and their associated type & instance parameter data.
Autodesk Revit has no data transfer feature to GIS.
The Owner’s CAFM and CMMS programs typically provide a direct link to the Revit architectural model which transfers the list of project rooms (via the Revit “room objects”) and the list of families per room object into these FM programs. However, since the remaining Revit project models do not have Revit “room objects”, Autodesk Revit has no ability to automatically & accurately list the “families per room” from the remaining 8+ project models. Therefore, the Owner is unable to populate their CAFM and CMMS programs with a complete and accurate project family asset list per room. Even though the mechanical model can list “families per space”, the MEP space names and numbers do not auto-update when the room names and numbers in the architectural model have changed.
If the Owner needs to populate the full project list of assets per room, they need to create a new parameter per family category called “Room Number”. Then they need to open each of the remaining 8+ Revit project models and MANUALLY ENTER, the room number value in each family, one at a time. This is extremely time consuming with no guarantee of accuracy. Then, in the future when the room number in the architectural model is changed, the Owner needs to repeat this manual parameter update across the same 8+ Revit linked models.
Another suggested solution is a COBie Excel file which is a “snap-shot in time” of a room and asset data export from the Revit model. A complete project COBie file requires this same manual edit per family in each of the 8+ linked models as listed above and again, with no guarantee of accuracy. From the Building Owner’s perspective, this workflow is un-sustainable both within the Revit linked models and with the COBIE Excel file exports.
However, there is a solution that is far more automatic, efficient and accurate. It’s a veteran SQL Server program called CodeBook. It manages and consolidates all the Revit rooms, MEP spaces, family assets per room and their type and instance parameter data into an external SQL server database. Each building project has one SQL database that is linked to all 9+ Revit project models creating a single list of project rooms and a consolidated list of assets per room. As changes occur in the Revit models, the changes are updated in CodeBook’s SQL database. As type and instance parameter changes occur in the CodeBook database, those edits can be pushed back into the Revit model rooms and assets. This includes updating the MEP Space names to always match the architectural model Room names.
At the end of the project, the CodeBook database is the “Single Source of Truth” which can then populate the complete and accurate list of all Revit rooms, family assets per room and their type and instance parameter data to FM (via CodeBook’s Excel and/or COBie file reports) and to GIS (via Codebook’s XML reports). There is no need to manually enter any lists of families per room from any Revit models nor from a COBie Excel file export. Unlike a COBIE excel file, this SQL server is a live database with a live link to the Revit project models.
If the Owner prefers a more seamless data transfer, this same SQL database has an “open-architecture” which can link DIRECTLY to the Owner’s FM & GIS programs for bi-directional FM & GIS room and asset data flow.
For more information or view a webex presentation of this topic, click: Consolidate Revit Room & Asset Data to Populate FM & GIS