Using Revit Shared Parameters for Facilities Management

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Revit Shared Parameters

Autodesk Revit has always been positioned as the best project-centric BIM tool on the market.  Autodesk’s own website describes Revit® as building design software that is “specifically built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), including features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction”.  Many building owners and operators are now receiving Revit models at the end of construction projects for new buildings and are asking if the model could be usable for operations?

I’ve written on this topic extensively and the definite answer is yes as long as facilities management requirements including attribution and LOD were included in the modeling guidelines as design, engineering and construction proceeded.  That being said, models delivered once a project is complete are for the most part created for a single building project and Revit is a project-centric modeling tool.  The question is, can a model developed as part of a project-centric process be successful for a building owner for lifecycle operations when the owner has an entire portfolio of facilities to manage?  Having a one-off FM solution for each Revit model doesn’t work for facilities teams who have to manage multiple buildings and potentially millions of square feet and thousands of employees.  Revit does have a capability referred to as “shared parameters” that provides an ability to share data attributes across multiple project files.  This can help building owners and operators share a level of consistency at least from a data standpoint across their facilities portfolio.

According to the official Autodesk Revit Knowledge network, the definition of a shared parameter is “Shared parameters are parameter definitions that can be used in multiple families or projects”.  In the image below I have created two new shared parameters including Asset_Tag_No and Serial Number.  These are common pieces of information that facilities teams need to track but they aren’t typically included in the out of the box Revit families.

Shared parameters are actually saved in a text file that is easy to share and access from other Revit projects which means that you can easily import your common shared parameters into the project parameters of all of the facility models that you have developed for Revit.  If you would like to have Asset_Tag_No and Serial Number available to all of your Revit families (or just some of them) it’s a snap to import them into your project parameters.  Image 2 below shows that I have imported Asset_Tag_No into this project which means I can now start populating attribute data into the Revit families where I would like to track that piece of information.

There are great resources online such as the Autodesk Revit Knowledge network to show specifically how to create Revit shared parameters and import them into your project parameters for the Revit families where you would like to track a common list of facilities attributes such as those I created above.  Four our purposes as facilities professionals just knowing that there is this small but important feature available can help you to ensure data consistency across all of the facilities in your portfolio where you have a Revit model available for your use.

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