Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Revit Model Maintenance Best Practices

Once a project is in CDs, or when it starts getting to be about 200MB, you should start doing weekly maintenance on each Revit model for that project (curious is others have a different opinion on the when and how big). I recommend these steps be followed while no one else is in the  project (use Worksharing monitor to confirm). Below are the steps to perform weekly maintenance on your Revit model:

Audit the Central File Weekly

In the Revit’s Open dialog, select the Central file, check Audit and un-check Create local

Compact Central

Use the Sync w/ Central dialog to...
Compact Central
  • This should not be done by each person during the week as it slows things down for everyone in the model
  • The benefits of compacting a central model do not extend to the local file. So make sure to create a new local file every day

Purge the Model

Warning, do not use Purge too early in a project as required content will be removed and have to be manually reloaded.

Use Purge to delete unused content, including materials and groups. Purge may take several passes as shown in the next few images. This is because an unused family may use a specific material. The first pass will removed the family but the material will appear to be in-use. In the next pass, the material is removed as it is now seen as not in-use. Unfortunately, Revit does not have a ‘purge nested’ option like AutoCAD.\, so run Purge until zero elements remain.

After purging, you will want to do a Compact Central again (or just wait and do it once at this point). 

CTC Express Tools Project Cleaner

Excess Revit views can be quickly deleted using CTCs Project Cleaner.

We can also easily find rouge links and delete them here. Otherwise, you have to find the view the imported DWG is in and selected it (and it is hard to select if it has been hidden). BTW, never Import a DWG.

Review Linked Files

Verify the number of links and look for imported DWG files. Here we see only one DWG link (which is a good sign).

To verify there are no imported DWG files (which make the Revit model larger and can degrade performance) look at a view’s V/G dialog. Any DWGs listed here, that are not in the Mange Links dialog, are imports. This sample model has a couple, but at least they are small files, and not entire site plans from Civil 3D.

Manage Revit Warnings

This last section is actually one of the most important things you can do to ensure project stability and performance. Revit project file size is NOT proportional to performance.

Look to see how many warnings there are by scrolling to the bottom and expanding the last one. This project has 722, but reducing the total is not necessarily the goal here. Look for specific warnings such as walls and room boundary lines overlap, or elements are in the same location. All of these warnings are constantly being checked and slowing Revit down.

Don’t Save Renderings to Project

Do not save renderings to Revit. Rather, save them to a file, and then import only the ones you need, if any. The sample project I am using did not have any, so I added one to show what I am talking about.

Views Not on Sheet

Another way we can clean house in a Revit project is deleting views which are not on sheets. You need to be careful not to delete a view that is needed, but often, if a view is not on a sheet it is no longer needed. The view is from the original template or the design changed, details where deleted from a sheet, but then the views themselves were not removed from the project. Also, after deleting many views Purge and Compact should be run as previously described.

Follow these steps to find views not on sheets. Warning: only dependent views are typically placed on sheets. The 'master' view will be listed as ‘not on sheet’ so be careful not to delete them.


Again, file size is not the main goal, but following these steps the sample project dropped to nearly half the original size.

Everything above is proactive... here is a related post on what to do when you need to reactive: Problems With Revit Local and Central Files - A Self-Help Post

Related post: Create a New Local File Daily

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  1. We find the Ideate tools really helpful for file cleanup and auditing.
    using the explorer tool we can find Imported DWGs easily.
    we can also see all the element counts to check if anything strange is going on, like a file the other day we received with over 4000 detail groups.

    another good one to check is loaded images. you are looking for unplaced images (they don't purge) or large images that should be resized. it's amazing how much performance you loose when you have a heap of 4K images loaded especially if your not even using them.

    if you have a bit more time I recommend using the Save as->Library->Family option to save out all the families in the project.
    you can then organise them by size to look for any big ones. I try to review any families over 1mb. it only takes one person to load a 40mb family and the entire team will suffer.

    good file maintenance can save you a fortune in lost productivity.

  2. Good stuff, Joe! Thanks for sharing. Also, here is a related post I wrote about exporting families: https://bimchapters.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-free-tools-in-ctc-bim-batch-suite.html

    And, I just mentioned your name in this post last week:) https://bimchapters.blogspot.com/2019/01/podcasts-i-have-been-guest-on.html


All comments with unrelated links will be deleted - no spam!