Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This will be a short post... Not enough time in one day to get everything done.

We are excited by the prospect that the new keynoting feature that Revit 9 brings to the table, however we are quickly realizing that in a firm of 600 employees it presents certain problems that one might not typically run into in a smaller office environment. For instance, given that we have 7 offices or so, needless to say there are a number of project managers and architects who have their own thoughts and opinion regarding how drawings should be noted and what notes should or shouldn't include. Therefore we must take the default keynote list that ships with Revit and evaluate it against what our PM's expect, and the contents of our standard outline specification.

The way keynoting works is a complete reverse from how architects have typically noted their drawings. In the past we of course drew some lines (or extruded some shapes, whichever) and the added notes later to describe what the "lines" represented. Now, with keynoting, done correctly, all the thinking needs to occur ahead of time, as the object is being modeled. Of course its possible to use more generic keynotes early on before the detailing of a building has been completely thought through (place holders as it were) (see Daniel Hughes' recent post) but needless to say this is still a new way of thinking regarding documenting a building. This is where it is important to make sure that above all else Project Mangers understand the process of BIM, even if they don't necessarily know everything about how to use a specific piece of software, BIM training.

The other opportunity that the keynote feature provides is a way to close the loop of Revit -> Especs -> Revit. Now it will be possible to model the building, extract the information from the building model to create an outline specification, have the spec writer further develop the final project specification, and then modify the keynote table to match the final specification. This shows us that for each project we need to expect to make a local copy of the BH typical keynote file, so that each project can modify it as needed per project specifics.

One last thing that keynoting now allows, 11th hour modifications to a drawing set without having to actually change the model or its geometry. For instance say you have a project where you've specified slate roof shingles, at the last moment its determined that you need to use asphalt shingles instead. In most cases you would probably want to actually change the model, but now if the shingles are keynoted, all you really need to do is modify the keynote of the roof, if for some reason you don't want to actually change the model at that time.


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