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Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines

By Roger Liucci | BIM

The first step of any Revit Model Maintenance process is Detach from Central with Audit. However, there is more to cleaning a project than this. This article is a cumulation of thousands of tech support cases, solved and logged in our CRM system.

When a model is not maintained, it takes more system resources, performance is reduced, packets of information lost and corruption in the data is the result. I’ve organized them in the best order possible, but it takes a team to get it all done, while in production.

Here are our recommended procedures for a terrestrial and cloud project.

  1. Sync with Central
  2. Close all local and central files
  3. Detach from Central
  4. Check the Revit Journal
  5. Purge Unused
  6. Export Families to review and audit
  7. Check Worksets
  8. Review and address Warnings
  9. Delete Backup and Temp Folders
  10. Create a new Central Model
  11. Create new Local files

 

  1. Have all users Sync with Central, SWC, and relinquish all borrowed or owned worksets.
    • Tip: I believe no one should own a workset, only borrow from them.
  2. Close all Local Files. In the BIM 360 world, we have no local files, other than the local cache in APPDATA
  3. The BIM Manager will open the Central model, by selecting “Detach from Central” along with “Audit”. In BIM 360 we can select the project we want to open on the Revit Home page. choose “Open and Audit” at the ellipsis, ” . . . “.
    • When the BIM manager works in the Central Model. No one should attempt to open or create a new local.
    • All work is stopped at this point.
  4. Check the Revit Journal.
    • Journal review can help determine corruption, We can use the Journal to check the Revit build version, locate errors, and even identify bad work habits.
    • I will create a separate blog for this.
  5. The BIM Manager should use the “Purge All Unused” tool.
    • Why not create seed projects that the team can open, browse and copy elements from?
  6. Export Families to review and audit. Use “Save As / Library / Family”. This tool will add all the families from the project to the folder you select. Careful, this could take a while. Don’t drop them on your or your client’s desktop. ;-). Note any warnings and the family name if any errors occur. The warning will pop up and interrupt the Save As process. The Status Bar will have the name of the Family, Revit is exporting.
  7. Check that the worksets are being utilized properly.
    • I create a 3D view for each workset in the project. I then isolate the workset in each view. This allows me to review the project and ensure elements are on the right Workset.
    • I’ve seen elements on the Shared Level and Grid workset. How did that happen?
    • Be sure to create worksets for links and to utilize the opportunity to close worksets when creating new locals.
    • I recommend we use worksets to allow a local user to close the worksets they do not need to be loaded in their local file. Experience has proven this is an enormous opportunity to increase project performance.
  8. Check and resolve all Warnings.
    • Easier said than done. It’s best to address every warning as it happens. This should be an ongoing effort from the start of any project.
    • Microsol Resources offers a Revit Model Health Check service. Contact me for more info.
  9. At this point the Backup and Revit Temp folders related to the Central Model are useless at this point, they should be deleted.
    • .slog file, Worksharing Log File, is part of the _backup folder for the central model. It is found inside the folder Central_File_backup where the Central_File.rvt is located. This file contains information on the Sync with central progress, element borrowing, and users accessing the central file.
    • An example of a permission issue is when someone can’t edit the element because it is being edited by another user, but this user is not currently in the model.
    • The Revit SLOG file could be corrupt and will be re-created after performing these maintenance steps.
    • The backup folder is useful only when the project is in production and the team wants to Roll Back the project to a previous date, indication in the project history.
    • BIM 360 does not have a .slog file.
  10. Once the backup and Revit folders are deleted the BIM Manager can create a new Central Model by performing a save-as and choosing “Make this a Central Model after save” in the options dialog with “Compact Central” checked. While in this dialog always ensure the following
    • Indicate the “Maximum” number of backups. 20 is the default. These backups are usable when the team chooses to Roll Back the project. Not my first choice.
    • Choose the option of “Specify” under the section called “Open Workset Default” This gives each local user the option to close worksets when creating their new local file.
    • When we close DWG Links worksets we see an enormous performance benefit.
    • Choose a simple drafting view, “Bulletin Board” as the source for the “Thumbnail Preview” section.
    • Lazy parsing plays a role in this performance gain.
      “Lazy parsing” means that the data for each element isn’t converted until it is actually needed. The main uses for the data in an element are to display that element or to regenerate it when there are changes to other elements it depends on. Thanks to Irwin Jungreis and their forum contributions
  11. All users can now Create new Local files.
BIM 360 Model Maintenance

When a project in the cloud, in BIM 360, is seeing signs of possible corruption we should use the same maintenance procedures on these files as well. First, one would need to take it down, or copy the RVT to a local computer and preform these maintenance procedures. But we shouldn’t just copy and paste.

There are many instances of the model in the BIM 360 project. We have the version we open and edit while using Revit. We have the published version in BIM 360 Document Management, which is viewable when using the browser via docs.b360.autodesk.com. We even have copies of the file in various shared folders or even within coordination spaces.

Because it is sometimes difficult to determine what has been published most recently and what sets are included. It is our recommendation to open the RVT via Revit.  Open your model, Sync with Central, and Relinquish all editable items.  use the “Save As” function to save a copy of the file to your desktop or the local machine. Make sure you check the options in the File Save As dialog, choose “make this a central file after save”.  Perform maintenance starting from step #3 above.

Let me know your thoughts on this process. You may have another tip I can add to this resource.

INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Construction, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering

About the Author

Roger, our senior BIM specialist, specializes in all things architecture & construction and has been with Microsol Resources since 2001. He provides technical support for our architectural, interiors, construction and engineering clients.

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