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Project folder structure for Revit models

posted 15 August 2010

Every project I set up has a few folders that reside with it to store linked project files (Revit or AutoCAD), project-specific Revit families, and superseded Revit central files.

It basically looks like this:

  • _ARCHIVE
  • _CUSTOM FAMILIES
  • _LINKS
  • XXX YYYYMMDDCENTRAL.rvt

Where XXX is the three-letter project code and YYYYMMDD is the date the file was created. Revit will also create its backup folder and temp folder here:

  • XXX YYYYMMDDCENTRAL_backup
  • Revit_temp

_ARCHIVE

This folder stores old Revit project files that are superseded by the current Revit file. Generally, when I want to archive a Revit file, I follow these steps:

  1. Start Revit and use the File menu to Open a project. Navigate to your current central file, select it, but don’t open it yet.
  2. Check off both “Audit” and “Detach from Central”, then click “Open”
  3. Once the project is open, do a “Save Project As…” and save it in you Revit folder with a new date.
  4. Close the Revit file you just saved.
  5. Back in Windows, right-click on the old Revit file, and select “Properties…”
  6. Check “Read-only” to ensure that no one can accidentally save work to the archived central file. Click OK.
  7. Finally, move the old Revit file and its backup folder into the _ARCHIVE folder. (Confirm any messages asking you if you actually want to move the read-only file.)

The benefit of this approach is that every time you archive, you’re auditing the file and creating a new file with no associated local users. Auditing occasionally is just good practice, and breaking associations with local files will help avoid conflicts where Revit thinks a certain team member still has checked out elements, preventing other team members from making modifications.

The downside is that each team member needs to be aware of the new central file and know to take a new local copy. Setting the old central to be read-only prevents anyone from accidentally saving new work to the old central file. They’ll get an error message saving the central file is not accessible if they open an old local file.

_CUSTOM FAMILIES

This folder stores Revit families and hatches that are specific to a project and which you don’t necessarily want to include in your office-wide Revit family repository. Generally, unless families have been thoroughly tested and remain basically static, they should not be shared among projects. You never know when someone has edited a family you had earlier inserted into your project and now need to update. Their changes may have not been for the better.

Use this folder to store modified office standard families, or families downloaded from third-party resources such as RevitCity.

_LINKS

This folder contains Revit files or CAD files that you’ve linked or imported into your Revit project. Include an “_ARCHIVE” folder in this folder as well, to file away old linked files (e.g. a previous version of the structural engineers model).

 

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