A Dozen BIM Mistakes You Should Stop Making

15 March 2023BIM, Collaboration, Design, Project Collaboration, RevitApplied Software, Cloud Worksharing, Model, standardization, Templates



You and your teammates all work together to deliver a successful project. Whether you make a mistake on the Revit model or someone else does, the damage will need to be mended. With some mistakes it takes time to repair the problem caused to model files or recreate work. With other mistakes, the model will become unwieldy and slow. If you are the person who is responsible for fixing problems, mistakes in the Revit model can be especially agonizing. Following are a dozen BIM mistakes you should stop making:

Learn Revit specialist Lance Kirby’s advice on how to avoid wasting time and money on BIM. Download the free two-volume eBook: “Avoiding the 7 Deadly Wastes in Your BIM Process.”

BIM model hologram in light blue, person looking and pointing at it with VR glasses, background wall with banks of computers with amber lights
  1.  Not using the cloudCloud collaboration, cloud storage and worksharing when working with multiple users can save untold time and result in better BIM model quality.
  2.  Overusing levels – Only use Levels for the main slabs and roofs. If too many levels are used, families or views can end up being hosted to them. Then, when  the Level gets deleted, the hosted elements go with it.
  3.  Saving a project (RVT) as a template (RTE) – Pay attention to the extension when you’re opening and saving Revit files.
  4.  Skipping software updates and disk cleanups – Passing on updates and cleanups will eventually cause problems with your files. Murphy’s Law applies.
  5.  Double-clicking a Revit file to open it – For files developed in a previous version of Revit, don’t double-click to open them. If you do, they will open in the current version of Revit.
  6.  Not enough use of Smart Tags and Keynotes – Typical, simple details can be identified by text. But smart components like ceilings, floors, etc, should be identified by category or notes linked to the elements (keynotes), such as material type or room number.
graphic of BIM building model in black, red, green and yellow
  1. 7.  Not setting options or units – When you start a project, set Revit options such as selection colors, text size and ribbon tab switching. Be sure to set metric or imperial units in your model.
  2. 8.  Ignoring reminders and warnings – Take time to save your work when you get the reminder. Some Revit warnings are more dire than others, and many have consequences. So even if you’re rushed for time, it is good practice to export a report of warnings and resolve them asap.
  3. 9.  Not using templates – Project and view templates make modeling easier. Be sure to use the right type of template for what you’re doing (for instance window instead of a door).
  4. 10. Exploding AutoCAD files – If you import AutoCAD files, find and remove them before someone explodes them. Otherwise, you could end up having to delete a plethora of little pieces – line patterns, fill regions, text and dimension styles – that trash up your model.
  5. 11.  Not purging unused elements – Unused elements will bloat your project, making files sizes big and load times increasingly long.
  6. 12. Selecting All and Move – Doing this can result in unexpected objects being moved, copied, deleted, etc.

Consistency in your Revit modeling helps ensure office standards are followed, which is the best way to reduce confusion and questions during the project. Sometimes, you may not see the mistake you make right away, if ever. However, somewhere down the line, someone will notice and have to spend time fixing it. The mistakes you make in a Revit file will eventually affect you, the rest of your team and potentially the project as a whole.


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