Monday, June 24, 2013

Revit MEP Template

Below is a list of things I have setup in my template over the past few years. Some items are general and I don’t go into much detail since they can be different for each company or project. Keep in mind a template is a good place to keep one file up to date with everything you have learned along the way. The idea is to make things consistent, productive and easy to find on future projects. Often I’ll be working on a project or get a call on a project and notice something that needs to be fixed, tweaked or added. I always keep a list of things that I need to remember to update. Also, remember that the “Transfer Project Standards” feature in Revit can be very useful with previous projects.


·         A template can be saved as a Revit Template file type (.rte) or a central file with worksharing enabled. If you intent to build your typical worksets into the template it has to be a central file. Also, it needs to be determined if you will build all the MEP needs into one file or separate them by discipline. It can be easier to manage one template file rather than 3-4.

·         Levels & Grids
o    It is probably best to have only one level in a template. When a model is setup adjust this level to monitor the ground level from the Architecture model and copy/monitor all other levels needed. (Note: Levels can also be copy/monitored from the Structural model depending on the project)
o    Grids are typically copy/monitored from either the Architecture or Structural model when the project is setup.

·         Starting View
o    Typically a Legend or a Drafting View with some information about the template, model setup, standards, etc. I use a Legend.

·         Annotation
o    Set up Text Styles that will be commonly used.
§  3/32”
§  1/8”
§  1/4”
§  Width Factor (ex. 1.0 or 0.8)

o    Tags should match the Text Styles (most likely 3/32” or 1/8”)
§  Remember to update the Leader Arrowhead Style for each tag

o    Dimensions

o    Callouts

o    Sections

o    View Titles
§  These can vary by project so I just use the out of the box view title in my template.

o    Symbol Families
§  North Arrows
§  Drawing Scales
§  Keyed Note Symbols

o    Title Blocks

o    Space Tags – I use Space Tags that read the Room Name and Room Number so they don’t need to be updated.

·         Project Browser Organization

o    Separate a hierarchy of Sheet Views, Working Views, Discipline Views, BIM Coordination Views, Space Coordination Views (see previous post about organizing the Project Browser)

o    Legends
§  Default Symbol and Abbreviation Legends for each trade
§  Starting View
§  BIM Disclaimer
§  Project setup notes and how to use template
§  Common Alt characters

o    Schedules - Add common schedules for equipment and managing model parameters/information
§  Space Schedule
§  Drawing List
§  Calculating Schedules (ex. Pipe volume calc schedule)

o    Sheets – Set up typical sheets with typical numbers

o    Families – I keep a minimum amount of families loaded into a template. Families should be sourced and loaded into the model as needed on a project basis.

§  Families that should be included in a template are commonly used
·         Tag Families
·         Annotation Families
·         Symbol Families
·         Duct, Pipe, Conduit and Cable Tray Fittings
·         Duct, Pipe, Conduit and Cable Tray Types
·         Valves, Dampers, Equipment Curbs
·         Other generic families that can be used on most projects

o    Links - Typically loaded when the project is setup so there are no links in a template.

·         Working Views

o    Floorplan for each level

o    3D views (sometimes helpful to create a 3D view for each level on large projects)

o    Sections (Create two sections to move around when working)

o    Working Views should be set to Fine Detail and all links should be visible

o    Working View Visual Style can be set to Wireframe for faster regeneration

o    Ceiling plans for Lighting and HVAC Diffuser layouts
§  Set Ceiling plans to Coordination under the discipline in the view properties in order for the ceiling grid to show.

·         Worksets

o    Create worksets for different system types
§  I typically model everything on “Workset 1” or I set up a workset for each system type (HVAC, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Electrical, etc) unless the project requires more worksets. I use filters to apply colors to different systems in views.

o    Create worksets for each individual link
§  The workset needs to be set in each links instance and type properties
§  Link – Architecture
§  Link – Interiors (if applicable)
§  Link – Structure
§  Link – Electrical
§  Link – Mechanical
§  Link - Plumbing

o    I put all the Levels, Grids, Reference Planes and anything else that’s annotation related on the “Shared Levels and Grids workset”.

·         Manage Tab on the Ribbon

o    Mechanical Settings – Go through the mechanical settings and make sure they apply to your firms standards. Some common changes are below
§  Hidden Line
·         Inside Gap, Outside Gap and Single Line (1/32” or 1/64”).

§  Duct Settings – Rectangular/Round
·         Go through these and uncheck any sizes that are not needed in both the Size List and Used in Sizing

§  Pipe Sizes
·         Go through the pipe materials and select which sizes are needed. For example in a typical domestic cold water system pipes might be copper if they are 2 1/2” or less and steel if they are 3” and above.

§  Slopes
·         Set all slopes used.

o    Electrical Settings – Go through the electrical settings and make sure they apply to your firms standards. (I don’t get to work on electrical much if you cannot already tell)

o    Project Units

§  HVAC – Duct Size
·         Change Units to Decimal Inches and round to zero decimal places to remove the “ from duct sizes (ex. 10x10 rather than 10”x10”)

§  Piping – Slope
·         Change Rounding to the nearest 1/8” or 1/16”


o    Additional Settings – Line Styles

§  Add Line Styles for Detail line weights if applicable
·         Thin, Medium, Heavy (see blog post about revit detail libraries)

o    Additional Settings – Line Patterns
·         Add Line Patters for pipe types if applicable

o    Additional Settings – Tags
§  Edit Callout Tags
§  Edit Section Tags
§  Edit Arrowheads

o    Starting View – Set starting view to a Legend or Drafting View

·         Filters – Use filters to add colors to different systems in a view and to turn systems on/off.

o    Workset Filters – Filter by workset. Create a workset for each individual system type and create a filter for this system type. This works similar to layers in AutoCAD where you can assign a certain color to each workset filter.

o    System Filters – Filter by System Classification, System Name or System Abbreviation
§  System Classification – Used for systems where you might have multiple different Revit systems in one model. For example Supply Air Systems.
§  System Name – Used for systems where you only have one system in the entire model. For example a domestic cold water system.
§  System Abbreviation – Used for systems where you could have one or more systems in the entire model. For example domestic cold water (CW). This is what I use as a standard in my template.

o    Categories – Be sure to check all applicable model categories for each filter. I don’t check mechanical equipment or plumbing fixtures since these could have more than one system connected to one element.

o    Filter Rules(Equals or Contains)

·         View Templates – You can create view templates for use but keep in mind that since the template does not have any links loaded you will need to update these view templates after the project gets set up with the links. It might be a better idea to set up some general views for each discipline with the correct view settings.

o    View Detail – Fine for Working Views, Medium for Sheet Views

o    Visual Style – Wireframe for Working Views, Hidden Line for Sheet Views

o    Scale – Varies by project setup. 1/8” is a good scale to have as default.

o    Model Categories – All on

o    Annotation Categories – All on

o    Filters – Add filters to the view based on the discipline

o    Worksets – All on

·         Duct, Pipe, Conduit & Cable Tray Types

o    Duct
§  Rectangular and Round
§  Taps and Tees
§  Rectangular Beveled Tap
§  Round tap with damper

o    Pipe – can be more complex than duct depending on the system and material types. Keep in mind if you add custom fittings with custom lookup tables every user will need to install those lookup tables on their PC.
§  Sanitary
§  Vent
§  Copper (domestic water, hydronic, etc)
§  Steel (domestic water, hydronic, etc)

·         Print Setups

o    Add a setup for all possible sizes you might need to plot.



  1. Hi Phil,

    Wondering how you get around pipes under plumbing fixtures such as toilets, basins etc not being affected by the hidden line setting? We have our single line gap under mechanical settings set to 1mm in order to show breaks in crossing service lines. The problem is they are constantly breaking under the plumbing fixtures from the linked architects model.
    Wondering if there is a work around?

    Jayson Dickerson

  2. Interesting article ! Thank you for sharing them!