How to Set Up Room Data Sheets in Revit with WhiteFeet add-in

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Video (13. 28Min)

Room Data Sheets are useful, they describe the room in a multitude of detail from basic geometric layout , quantities of items in the room and even design conditions of say the HVAC system.

In a Model a lot of this data is sitting there, it is just a matter of leveraging the information to be able to present it and use it that has not been explored.

Follow THIS LINK to explore. This is an example of Room data Sheets that have been generated from a BIM model, the data was in the model already, it took 4 hours to generate the datasheets for the 25 rooms and setup  the web link structure. (See Browsable Revit Sheets on Web Page with PDF Sheet Downloads for how this was set-up).

Web layout in 2 panels, right panel shows image of drg, left panel shows list of images and link to PDF drawings for download

I have tried a number of ways to create Room Data Sheets using a DataBase & Report tools and have been a bit frustrated with the outcome. I seem never to get all the bits I need on the sheet.

I have come across the Whitefeet tools a few times and thought I’d give it a try & was really pleased with the View Tools. The plug-in has a 60 day free trial and the cost is $100US for perpetual license (not sure on upgrade cost).

In the Documentation for View Tools User Guide the example below is used, but in this example the plans/3d Views have been converted to images and incorporated into an Access Report.

 

 

WhiteFeet Plugin Database linkage issues

I have attempted on a few occasions to get the DataBase link working but to no avail so far. There are a couple of things that I have comer across before.

If you have Revit 64 bit, you must have Access 64 bit . If you have the 32 bit version of Access it don’t work.

I use MS SQL Express to link to, and cannot get the configuration to work,  even with the data uploaded from the Whitefeet Site. I am a bit disappointed with that. I don’t seem to be able to get a connection between the Database and Revit, so have not been able to explore the setup of generating report from the Database.

Overall I have only used the Plugin for the process above and have been happy with its robustness and reliability.

Thoughts

I think there is real potential in handing over to client information on their assets in either a Drawing/Document form or a Database/Excel form so that the information can be useful throughout the life of the property asset.

The Database (DB) information appeals to me as it is a dynamic tool. Unlike the Drawings that are static (until updated).

The DB would be great for movable furniture that can easily change location during the life of the building. Having a complete asset register allows for a smooth handover to Facilities Management Team.

One of the challenges is making data accessible to all, but not letting someone put erroneous data back into the Main DataSet too easily (some will always sneak past).

Using Reports from a DataBase could be a way of dispensing the data (or exporting to Excel) so that other can manage the data in a tabular form (you do not want someone copying out the data from the Sheets, a waste of time).

The 3D PDF process to Excel Sheets is a robust method. See:

How to use 3D PDF’s & Excel Macro’s to manage your assets part 1 of 3

How to use 3D PDF’s & Excel Macro’s to manage your assets part 2 of 3

How to use 3D PDF’s & Excel Macro’s to manage your assets part 3 of 3- Export from BIM

A colleague is of the opinion that most end users and FM people are only able to manage 2D plans, anything more complex and the process will fail. I do not agree with this, most people have a smart phone and are used to 3D orbiting so using 3D PDF’s and excel are not exactly dark arts.

This comes back to the 3D PDF’s containing rich data, which is exportable for use, whereas the 2D exported PDF’s cannot (as far as my research has taken me to date).

On consideration, after writing this, I think what I need to do is make available a Downloadable Excel Spreadsheet with the Data alongside the Room Data Sheets. That way the Static Data can be accessed quickly in a spreadsheet format (and checked against the Room Data Sheets for consistency).

Another thought I had was that , over time, if the room data sheets were to be updated, the condition of the Rooms could be captured and the Conditions could be colour Displayed as per Revit Internal Condition over Time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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