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Revit element reuse workflow

Revit element reuse workflow

It would be very helpful if Revit supported element reuse on large complex existing projects. Currently, there is no built-in way to track the removal and replacement of doors, equipment, etc. A manual effort is to create a set of custom parameters, but it is prone to error compared to Autodesk developing a built-in workflow, similar to what I suggested below.


Since element resue is related to phasing, I think there is a relatively simple way to implement this. Revit has two parameters used to track the phase an element is created and the phase it is demolished, with the latter being optional.


If an element is ever set to be demolished, it becomes available for reuse in future phases. When in a command to place elements, there could be an option to place available reuse elements... similar to how unplaced Revit room/space elements can be placed in lieu of creating a new element of that kind.


For consistency and scalability, the reuse item placed in a future phase could then also be demolished again, and reused in yet another future phase.


I am sure there are things I have not thought of, and elements within systems might have challenges. But I am sure Autodesk could come up with a thoughtful solution for this problem.


Ideal example: I have four sycamores that I built in phase 1 that I want to move to the other side of the campus when a future tenant arrives in phase 3.


Would be great if we can tell the trees to move to the new coordinates for the new phase but stay in their original location for the older phase.


This would mean that model elements could bear a history of coordinate changes logged and associated with the project phases.


I run into this all the time with mechanical equipment. We have one project where we have relocated the same unit heaters 5 times over the last 5 years. 


Relocating air terminals and lights in lay-in ceilings is also a very common practice. 


I have asked for something similar in the past, this would be great. Another example is casework, for a Home Economics classroom, where all the cabinets need to be relocated from existing to new construction.


Currently, element properties has: Phase Created and Phase Demolished. To implement this feature, add Phase Relocated? Then, like unplaced room elements, we could also pick from a list of unplaced casework, mechanical equipment or plantings.


Fun stuff!

Curious to know how the "unplaced" functionality would work...

I think it would be best if by default that parameter does not exist until a checkbox for "Is re-located" for that element is checked. This would prevent energy spent having to manage the parameter when it doesn't apply. Or were you thinking of an added functionality here?

I would think that a warning that can come up that states that something is scheduled to be re-located but has not yet been moved (or other placement error, where applies). One could batch clear the "Is re-located checkbox from this dialog.

Matt Endler

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I think it could be like the un-placed rooms, or even "reference other view" for sections / view references. When that option is checked on the Ribbon or Options Bar, a parallel drop-down appears with similar (i.e. components, doors, windows, etc.) content, but un-placed for the current phase.


I would prefer the parameter is always there, just like Phase Demolished (which is ignored if not needed).


This functionality would be beneficial to the sustainable design workflow.


It would be another tool of the phase routine. Instead of an object being deleted, you would have a "reuse" tool you'd tag reuse objects with, similar to the "Demolish" tool under Modify.


Tagging something with "reuse" would indicate it was demolished this phase and put it into a list for the next phase of "items to be reused." You could then select it from the reuse list, like a room. 


Ideally this would be something that also has a multi-category schedule associated so you can place it on sheets. 


Families components at the existing phase are reused. In Revit, only works with old phasing components generated at the current phase and demolished at that phase furture. I need to reuse those components. Thank you.

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We are undertaking an international research project ( regarding design for disassembly for the reuse of timber in construction. An aspect of this will look at how record information may be attached in BIM systems.

We would like to establish the capabilities of Revit to record not only the specification of a building element, but also the previous uses and potential future use, a passport of sorts. If this isn't a capability at present, it would be interesting to liaise with you to see how this might be done to increase the transferrability of the information. 
Is there someone I could speak to about this? Any help would be much appreciated. 
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Hi, are there any updates on this topic? If this becomes possible, it would be very useful for our projects. Thanks. By the way, I could not vote for the comment of @audigomeo. Is there an issue with the voting button?

When working with phases besides items that can be existing, new, demolished or temporary there also should be an option for moved/relocated. Especially in renovations and facility management not all things will be new or demolished but also relocated. When working with renovations or facility management typically several of the non-fixed items will be (temporarily) moved to a different location.


If you want to have different plans showing original and relocated positons, than at the moment you will need to demolish the item in one phase and then copy it to a new location and set as new. This does not seem right and possible causes for errors (e.g original item is deleted, while the relocated item remains, is overlooked). Further demolished/new is not a proper way to describe this situation.


So preferrably you would be able to move the item from one location to another and have it set as moved/relocated.

Or at least a "link" between the original and the moved element.

The phase filters should be able to mark these moved items. Also be able to schedule this would be useful (e.g. from room x to room y)

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Agreed. The phasing system is very limited, but rather than add more named phases, I think there should be even more freedom allowed. The best system, to me, would be an unlimited amount of phases, where the user can name and order them as they see fit to accommodate a wide range of potential phasing scenarios.


Although, I understand this does not address your particular needs for having the SAME element be able to move between phases. Interesting scenario you've presented here. I haven't run into this need myself, but I can see where the current system could be frustrating. Here's hoping you're heard! 🙂


These two plans could be combined to one plan with both positions visible. This way the movement could be marked (maybe a movement path for heavy objects with space needs or a text hint).

Optical this is like demolish and rebuild but the movement would have to be documented/represented within the model.

Advantage of this method would be that the count of objects within Revit would be much lower. You do not have to or more copies of the object. More copies would rise if the final position is reached by two or more steps beneath. Or an object will be located at original position after work under an out-of-way-moved machine is done.


Would be very useful to track the elements of scaffoldings.


Good idea @GokerAltuntas ! There were some similar good comments to my tweet on this here:


I am glad others like the general idea!


Currently you can use phase created and phase demolished to show stages of work. However, when working on existing interiors often we are not demolishing furniture but rather moving them into a new layout. Currently we put the existing furniture into demolished and then add a identical furniture family to the new phase when showing the furniture to be moved, otherwise it will change the existing plans layout. It would be useful to have a phase to identify furniture that has been moved and be able to schedule those that have been move and those that have been demolished.


I wish there was an option to reuse demolished building elements. there is an increased focus on reuse in the construction industry and if you have a building that is to have an extension and you want to reuse a door or window, for example, it can be difficult to have an overview of doors or windows that have been demolished and that can be used again.


We need a workflow that allows to reuse elements. Autodesk has a dedicated page on how they are building sustainability. Time to walk the talk and do tools that allow reusing materials in the existing phases. Currently i need 3 schedules to compare manually what was demolished and intended to be reused, and manually mark the new position in the new construction phase. That cannot be done manually for large projects. We need the element with the same ID to be reused.


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