Revit, Links and Phases – Part 1

When working in Revit, I often find myself quoting Spider-man.  Don’t look at me that way.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

SO true.  And very true in the world of phasing.  Phasing itself can be quite confusing.  It takes some time to get your head around it.  The best way that I find to explain it to folks (who have a basic understanding of 80’s classic cinema) is that you are getting into a DeLorean and speeding up to 88 miles per hour.  Whatever phase you set for your view, you have travelled through time to get to that spot and that’s where you are.

Then you get to deal with Phase Filters.  That adds another level of fun to the conversation, but the key to remember about the filter is that they are changing the appearance of the model BASED UPON WHERE IN TIME THAT DELOREAN DROPPED YOU.

How stuff is labeled seems to be one of the banes of Revit (How many releases did we wait through until they finally renamed it “Synchronize with Central”?) and the phases vs. phase filters are no different.  The out of the box template has a phase called “New Construction”.  There are also phase filters called “Show Demo + New”, “Show New” and “Show Previous + New”.  When introduced to the concept, most folks make the assumption that the word “New” in the phase filter relates to the “New Construction” phase, and it’s hard to blame them because they are the same word!

You have to keep in mind that the phase filter is in relation to the phase your view is in.  So even though it says “New” in the filter, if you have gone back in time to the existing phase, you will not see new construction stuff.  You will see what was new during the existing phase year.

We have even gone so far to rename the Phase Filters in our template.  Wherever the word “New” was we have replaced it with “Current”.  Not the best word necessarily, but it makes it harder for the brain to connect the phase and the filter incorrectly.

I’ve rambled a lot to get us on the same page with phases here.  In Part 2, I’ll discuss a little bit about the fun when you link another Revit file in and have to deal with someone else’s phases.