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Strategizing design options

From: Phasing and Design Options in Revit

Video: Strategizing design options

In this movie, we'll discuss some considerations that you should keep in mind when using Design Options. Design Options is a very powerful tool, but like all tools, there are some limitations. The goal of this movie is intended to help you factor these issues into your workflow to take best advantage of the tool. So let's start with Accept Primary. We use Accept Primary when we have decided that one of the options in our model is the one that we want to go with, and we want to roll it back into the main model. So let me show you how that works.

Strategizing design options

In this movie, we'll discuss some considerations that you should keep in mind when using Design Options. Design Options is a very powerful tool, but like all tools, there are some limitations. The goal of this movie is intended to help you factor these issues into your workflow to take best advantage of the tool. So let's start with Accept Primary. We use Accept Primary when we have decided that one of the options in our model is the one that we want to go with, and we want to roll it back into the main model. So let me show you how that works.

I'm in a file here called Design Option Strategies, and I'm looking at the lobby of my office building here, and perhaps we've talked it over with the client and we've decided that we like the balcony treatment here and we want to accept it. So the client signed off on it, and we're ready to go. So I'm going to go to the Design Options dialog, and you'll see the Balcony design options set listed here with each of its options, and this one right here is the primary option that we want to accept. In order to except the primary, you start by selecting the option set itself, then over here, you'll see the Accept Primary button, I'm going to click that, and then Revit will warn me that by accepting the primary, it's going to delete everything else.

So when I say Yes here, it will remove the option set, it will delete the two options that I no longer want, and it will take all of the geometry that's in the Bowed Balcony option, and it will roll that into the Main Model. Now I'm going to get another warning when I say Yes, and this has to do with the views that are in my models. So it's not specifically because of anything that I'm doing in this particular options set. It has to do with the way I've set up my project browser over here. In my Project Browser I have several views that are dedicated to specific options.

So what happens is by removing those options, the other balcony designs in this case, it makes these views no longer valid. So unfortunately, the only remedy here is to delete those invalid views. So I have to click Delete here, and those views get removed from Project Browser. Notice also that the option set is no longer there, it's gotten rolled into the main model, and when I close this, you can see that now the floor slab and the railing highlight just along with all of the other model geometry that's part of the main model.

It's now a part of the main model; it's no longer part of an option. It's really important to understand that when you choose Accept Primary; it's somewhat final. There is no reversal of this tool. You can't go back and restore a previously deleted option set. So I highly recommend that you keep a backup of your project. So before you do Accept Primary, save a copy of your project off in an archive somewhere, it doesn't mean that it will be any easier to get that option set back. But a few weeks from now, if the client decides that they've changed their mind again, even though they signed off, at least you can save some work by going back to this archive copy and copying and pasting geometry out of it to reuse back in your project.

If you don't do that, you really have no recourse but to re-create those missing Design Options. So there won't be any way to get them back again. Okay, the next concept that I want to talk about is what about alternatives to Design Options? Is Design Options the only way that we can consider more than one scheme or more than one alternative in our design projects in Revit? Well, certainly we could use the more traditional approach of doing a Save As, that's certainly perfectly fine in Revit. You can do Save As, give the file another name, and keep multiple versions of the model.

Generally speaking it's not really a recommended approach because Revit models tend to be rather large, and you're saving an entire copy of the entire building model just to consider the options in the lobby, that could be a bit excessive. So Design Options are usually a much better choice for the kinds of things we've been considering throughout this course. However, there are some types of design schemes that might lend themselves to more of a Save As kind of approach or as an alternative, let's consider the outside of this building here, I'm going to switch to an Aerial View perspective, and let's zoom in over here, there is this tower element here in the building.

Now if I hover over it, you notice that the tower is actually a Revit link. Now in some cases like in isolated elements such as this, you might decide that in order to consider another design alternative for this tower, rather than go to Design Options that it might be easier to just do a Save As, but you're doing a Save As of just the tower file, not the entire project. So the way this might work is all you have to do is create two copies of the tower, make the variations that are appropriate, and then go to your Manage Links dialog, I'm going to select the Tower and choose Reload From.

I can choose this one right here called Tower Option, load that, click OK, and as you can see, it's loaded in a different variation of the tower design. So it's not using Design Options at all, it's just simply swapping out two different versions of a linked file. So in some cases, that can be just what you need, and it can save you any additional effort or overhead that Design Options might otherwise introduce. Now, speaking of overhead, Design Options can have an impact on performance.

Even though you're only seeing one design option at any given time in a view, all of the various Design Options are part of your model. So file size will increase. So if you create lots of Design Options and keep them in the model indefinitely, then expect the file size to increase and in some cases expect that to affect performance. Now, I'm not raising this as a deterrent to your using Design Options in your projects. I'm bringing it up simply so that you can include this is as a factor when you're devising your overall strategy and workflow for using Design Options within your projects.

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Phasing and Design Options in Revit

25 video lessons · 3924 viewers

Paul F. Aubin
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