Scheduling those damn doors

The bane of any architects job is to schedule those doors. Trust me, I’ve been there. Some poor sap has to deal with it, usually the BIM Lead on a project. Why, coz they are the most organized and care about data management. Looking across my colleagues desks at work, you can tell those fastidious employees from the more ‘creative types’. Those that possess the zen are the ones that you want to target for door schedule duty. This duty should not be scoffed at. There is something really nerdy about it: ensuring you get all your parameters organized and your data contained.

For those working on large complex projects, the nightmare of doors accidentally being deleted can make even the seasoned professional nervous. Precautions are instigated: pinning doors and not allowing for re-selection, using BIMLink to record the parameters and push the data back into the model; have back-ups, even checking out a ‘DO NOT DELETE’ Workset. The list goes on. Wouldn’t it be cool if Revit doors maintained their information, much akin to room information remaining in the project? I digress…

Back to our doors… they were like a clipper with barnacles. We needed some deep clean to make the ship run smoothly again. The years had added parameter on parameter and were confusing – who added what and what did they do? Compounded to this was that some of the fields are hard wired to Revit. The ship would certainly flounder in troubled waters with parameters coded incorrectly to either Instance and Type Parameters, such as Fire Rating and Frame Type. Even our families were a challenge for the novice to edit with multiple panels nested into the door family. This caused even further confusion with having only one thumbnail to preview multiple panel types. So it was time for a change, especially during the cathartic time of the beginning of a New Year.

First we compared the parameters we needed scheduled and aligned them to our Shared Parameters. We outlined those parameters that were redundant or could be deprecated. Those that were hardwired we used (except Door Rating which we added a ‘Rating’ instance Project Parameter to the template). We created separated render materials to those materials and finishes that were scheduled as instances.door-families

Rather than alter our existing doors, we decided on rebuilding from scratch using Assa Abloy’s Opening Studio. Their application created great looking doors that did not use much system resources. We named the doors to our convention, tweaked parameters to avoid user confusion using CTC’s Family Processor and ensured the thumbnails looked decent. After a final QA, we uploaded our finished articles to our content management portal at Unifi. A little documentation on our Wiki to which parameter did what, followed by ensuring our template file referenced the appropriate parameter in the schedule, completed our task.

Hopefully our ship sails a little more smoothly and the operator gets to where they need with minimal confusion.



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