Revit MEP

Posts: 228
Registered: ‎08-11-2008
Message 1 of 11 (778 Views)

Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

778 Views, 10 Replies
01-25-2011 02:46 PM

I am still fairly nre to Revit and have been visitng this site often.  My issue revolves around a family of panels that I have edited.  I added the connector and entered the values.  I tested the panel  in a blank project and everything works great. 


The issue is when I try to do the same thing in the current project my compnay is working on.  Every panel board I enter comes in at 4'-0" no matter what the mounting height value I used in Family Editor.  The question is where in the project or what setting dictates the elevation of ALL panels coming in at 4'-0".  Or a beter question is what setting did I foul up?


Please see the attacments

Issue 1 is part of the company project.  4'-0" constraint is not what I want.  Outsied of project the panel comes in right as specified in family editor.


Thanks in advance.

Distinguished Mentor
Posts: 772
Registered: ‎08-10-2009
Message 2 of 11 (777 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

01-25-2011 02:56 PM in reply to: RedMan77

The panel's default elevation of 4' 0" should be able to be changed in the family editor. Under "Family Types", there should be a "Default Elevation" parameter.  Change that, and load it into your current project.  If you open the family separately, change it, then save and close, It won't change automatically in your project.  If it had already been corrected, open your current project up, and "Reload" the family.


Good Luck.

Posts: 228
Registered: ‎08-11-2008
Message 3 of 11 (775 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

01-25-2011 03:07 PM in reply to: asommer

I could be VERY wrong but from what I could see, there wasnt a default elevation to change, like the 4'-0" elevation under constraints.  That Field didnt exist within the family editor.  Another reason that leads me to beleive this is that the panel works as designed everywhere except the "real" project we are working on.  Everywhere else, the mounting height field in the editor is the same as the constraint in the instance properties heading Constraints-Elevation.  So basically the issue has been pinpointed to one area and not one family.  I do appreciate the help.  I will go back and the Family Editor and check again.  Thanks.

Active Contributor
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎01-20-2011
Message 4 of 11 (772 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

01-25-2011 03:21 PM in reply to: RedMan77

Any face based object has the elevation parameter built in.  It  seems to define the elevation at which the "Center (Front/Back)" plane will be inserted above the working level.  If you build your panels centered directly onto the "Center (Front/Back)" plane, the elevation would define the center elevation of your panel.   The elevation parameter is an "instance" by default, so you should be able to change the 4'-0" to anything you want once they are in your model.

Yay I'm talking about Revit and stuff
Posts: 228
Registered: ‎08-11-2008
Message 5 of 11 (733 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

01-26-2011 06:42 AM in reply to: RedMan77

asommer, you were right and I was mistaken.  I got the default panel that comes out of the box (with the defautlt elevation constaint of 4'-0") confused with a plain panel I addeed a connector to (which didnt have the constraint elevation of 4'-0").  Thank you asommer the default elevation is coming in where I want it to.


  I also wanted to thank LittleBluedog, because your post was able to help me figure out how I can get the default measurement to measure from the top of panel instead of the center.  This way there is no math or confusion for the user this way.  Most, not all panels are 6'-6" from the top even if they are different size panels.  In the electrical field you would never measure from the middle of the panel.  Everything is working great.

Posts: 228
Registered: ‎08-11-2008
Message 6 of 11 (728 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

01-26-2011 08:33 AM in reply to: RedMan77

Ok.  There is a problem.  I have a much better idea of whats going on without realizing why.  Everything that was suggested works in ANY other project, BUT the one the company is working on.  This project is the very reason I am making the panels in the first place.  I moved my origin for the panel at the top of the panel so all measurements for elevation are measured from top.  My irigin for the panel is at the top.  It works beautiful in ALL other projects. I was able to edit the default elevation constraint from 4'-0" to 6'-6" as suggested by asommer. Why on earth would the instance of the panel I inserted into the project, when highlighted say 4'-0" in properties.  If I highlight the panel in the project browser and look at properties (greyed out), the default elevation constraint says 6'-6".  Where is that 4'-0" coming from??


Does anyone have any idea whats going on?  Its leading me back to the idea that it must be a project setting if it works in all projects but one.  Many thanks in advance.

Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 131
Registered: ‎09-12-2008
Message 7 of 11 (624 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

02-11-2011 01:07 PM in reply to: RedMan77

Well, you aren't alone. We have a project here that is doing it with multiple families.


So here lies the question to an ADESK rep. The family contains and default elevation and in the case of my families, it's a type parameter. When I load it into a 2011 file, there is an instance parameter labeled as "Elevation". This parameter is randomly updating within families and it takes precedent over the type parameter.


So the questions are:


  1. Where is this instance "Elevation" coming from if it's not in the family itself? It must be some sort of project setting.
  2. If this parameter MUST exist because of programming, how do we ensure it sync's with the TYPE we are designating?
  3. When I place these exact families in a 2010 model, there isn't an issue. Is this isolated to 2011? (Mind you, I've been using this exact same content for well over 2 years).
  4. It's causing us to "select all instances" of an element and universally update the instance parameter to ensure elements are properly elevated.

This is causing MAJOR headaches. I will open a ticket if I don't hear back from an ADESK rep on this issue.


Thanks in advance,


Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
Message 8 of 11 (406 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

05-12-2011 06:36 AM in reply to: bcaudill

Has a solution to this been found yet? I've had similar issues with this - I've created some fire alarm devices that default properly to the elevation that I set up in the family originally in the Default Elevation parameter.  However, for some odd reason, now my electrical receptacles that I place in the model, are placed at 0'-0" Elevation with respect to the floor they are placed on.  What's weirder, is that at the start of the project, the receptacles DID come in at 4'-0" as is shown in the Default Elevation parameter within the family itself.  Why or how the "Default Elevation" parameter in the family and the "Elevation" parameter when the device is placed gets seperated, I don't know.  I guess that's the overall question.


Any solutions yet from AutoDesk or others?



Posts: 228
Registered: ‎08-11-2008
Message 9 of 11 (404 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

05-12-2011 06:41 AM in reply to: RedMan77

Not a peep.  I was hoping folks from autodesk would help but that unfortunately hasnt happened.  Hopefully the issue will be resolved in 2012.

Posts: 25
Registered: ‎08-24-2007
Message 10 of 11 (386 Views)

Re: Electrical Family Constraint issue effecting elevation

05-12-2011 07:44 PM in reply to: RedMan77

I think what you're running into is the way Revit utilizes temporary variables.  There is a placeholder for items such as "Elevation" that are in the properties palette.  The value can not be blank, so Revit uses a temporary variable value often based on the last value entered for this item.  For example, if your default value for a receptacle is set to 18" inside your family and you place the receptacle in the project at a 24" elevation, then the next item will be also placed at 24".  It will stay at this 24" value until you change it to something else.  The same thing happens to panelboards.  So...  the next time your placing something, take a look at the properties palette to make sure it's at the elevation you want.  I believe there was an article that Jeremy Tammik wrote that explains this in more detail.   Sorry, I don't have the link for you.

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