The best new feature of Revit 2023 (maybe!)

The 2023 release of Revit have been out for a few months now and we've had time to go through the new features and work out which ones are the most useful to us.

There is lots of features in Revit that are nice to have, including:

  • Being able to taper walls.
  • The improvements to linking CAD models.
  • The improvements for rebar.
  • The ability to swap views on sheets.
  • The ability to add parameters, tag and schedule groups and links.

And those are just a few of the many new features to the 2023 release of Revit.

But a feature that can have a big impact on workflow and result in real time savings is in the shape of a checkbox which, when selected, enables the “Filter by Sheet” function for schedules.

The ability to add information via parameters onto objects in the model, as well as the nature of the object-based modelling itself, has led to the whole Building Information Modelling revolution in the Construction industry.

Being able to create a schedule for all the objects in the model, and to have any of the parameters, be they built-in parameters or custom defined parameters, listed in the schedule has been a real game-changing feature when moving over from traditional CAD workflows.

The time spent creating schedules based on 2D CAD drawings is virtually unimaginable now compared to the few minutes that it takes to generate a schedule in a Revit model.

However, we still need to spend time adding the correct information into the objects, and it’s likely someone still needs to check that all the information is correct. Although automation can check if specific parameters are present and have been filled out, it cannot check if the information is correct. Someone with experience and knowledge of the project must do that.

Back to schedules in Revit and yes, they are very quick to create, even on large projects with hundreds of objects to schedule. Thinking of the number of doors and windows that could make up even an average size project, or the amount of furniture, equipment, lights, smoke detectors, etc. that go into most projects, it’s easy to see the list stretch into thousands of objects.

A seemingly endless Revit schedule
A seemingly endless Revit schedule

Obviously, that means a very long schedule to manage and, if left as one schedule, would need to be split across several sheets to be readable. The Split and Place function in the 2022 release has made that easier too!

However, it’s common to want a schedule for a specific set of objects. For example, maybe just a particular floor level or zone of the project. It may be that a view on a sheet is showing a specific area, say a plant room, classroom or individual apartment and a schedule showing details about the objects in that area is required for the sheet too.

Up until 2023 the only way to do that would be to create a schedule specific to that sheet and use a common parameter value on the objects to filter the schedule to only list the required objects. This often meant creating a parameter for the sole purpose of filtering the schedule.

It’s likely that this would need to be repeated for every apartment or classroom, meaning the schedule would need to be duplicated and the filter value changed to suit.

This may not be too difficult to do. For example, if we wanted to schedule doors by level and we have three or four levels, then a door schedule per level is not too difficult or time consuming to set up and manage. However, if we had 20 or 30 levels then that's quite a few door schedules that need setting up and managing.

Filter by levels
Filter by levels

Equally, if we want to produce some kind of room or space data sheet, where we have a plan and elevations of the space, along with a schedule to detail the equipment in that space, then we would need to produce a separate schedule for every individual space. It’s easy to imagine on a healthcare or education project, as there is the potential for hundreds if not thousands of spaces.

In this scenario, the fact that we can create a schedule in a few minutes doesn't really offer much comfort when we have hundreds of them to do. If it takes 2 minutes to duplicate, rename and edit the filter value of a schedule, it will take a whole day’s worth of time to create 200 schedules. If the schedule needs altering, for example, having to add another column in or adjust the way it displays, then this needs to be repeated on every single schedule, which will probably take longer than creating them in the first place.

Now, Revit 2023 has been released with one of the many new features in the shape of a checkbox that enables a schedule to be filtered by the visible objects on a sheet.

Filter by sheets
Filter by sheets

This is a completely new concept for filtering schedules in Revit. Previously, a filter had to be based on the object’s parameter values, hence creating custom parameters to use for filtering is common practice. Now, in 2023, a schedule will dynamically filter itself to show just the objects that are visible on the sheet upon which the schedule is placed.

Editing the crop region or scope box, or even hiding objects in the view, will affect the display of the schedule on that sheet. A schedule can be placed on multiple sheets and each time it will dynamically filter to match the objects on the sheet.

Now, even if there are several hundred rooms, only one room schedule is required, it just needs to be placed on each sheet. It could be placed on one sheet to set its position and adjust column widths, etc. Then it can be copied to the clipboard from that sheet and, using the “Paste Aligned to Selected Views” option, pasted into the exact same location on multiple sheets and obviously filtered to the objects on each individual sheet.

Schedule dynamically filtering to match the view
Schedule dynamically filtering to match the view

If the schedule needs to be altered, for example, to add an extra column or change the formatting, it's just the one schedule that we need to edit which will update on all the sheets.

The Filter by Sheet function in 2023 seems quite insignificant at first glance but has the potential to save a lot of time on projects, and may even enable a different way of presenting information that was not feasible until now.

In my opinion, this is typical of the way Revit is evolving. It may not be revolutionary but does have meaningful impact on the everyday tasks carried out in Revit.

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