Monday, November 23, 2009

Year's end, Paul Rudolph and Revit

I've been busy and this blog has certainly not been cared for enough; but I plan on changing that, though until I finish the ARE I'm not going to be very focused on updating.

I am currently working on the renovation and addition of the Paul Rudolph-designed Claire T. Carney Library at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus and last Friday was our first milestone: 70% Schematic Design. We're in charge of the renovation side of the project; using Revit for documentation and design.

The building is a bit of a beast (see the rendering of the Revit model above); beautiful, but a beast nonetheless. I've certainly had to push my knowledge of Revit and last Friday was no exception. We needed to get a complete drawing list in the set; I wanted to use Revit's drawing list tool but was running into problems sorting the sheets properly. The problem is that the set organization does not follow a strict alphabetical or numerical order (which Revit wants)--it follows a fairly typical construction document order as follows:
  • Title (T-xx series)
  • Civil (C-xx series)
  • Landscape (L-xx series)
  • Demolition (D-xx series)
  • Architectural (A-xx series)
  • Structural (S-xx series)
  • Mechanical (M-xx series)
  • Plumbing (P-xx series)
  • Fire Protection (FP-series)
  • Electrical (E-xx, EL-xx, EP-xx and FA-series)
  • Technology (TC-xx series)
I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to get the set list to sort properly. I was quickly running out of time when it dawned on me to add hidden parameters to each sheet that would trick Revit into sorting and displaying the sheets properly in the drawing list. I ended up adding three parameters:
  • "Discipline" that would act as the heading for each series, but would not be used for sorting
  • "Set Order", a letter that would be used as the top-level sorting option (the Title series is "A", Architectural series is "E", etc.) and is hidden in the schedule view.
  • "Sheet Order", a number (also hidden) that was needed to insure that the sheets in each series were ordered properly based on their floor level and not the sheet number. The project has a matchline splitting the building into north and south with each plan sheet having an "N" or "S" suffix to the sheet number. The building's basement (1.0N and 1.0S), and a basement mezzanine (1.0M) sheets were not sorting correctly with the 1.0M sheets always before the 1.0N and 1.0S sheets. The "sheet order" parameter solved this.
It may not be the most elegant method, but it got the job done…


The Paul Rudolph Foundation said...


My name is Kelvin Dickinson and I am an architect and Co-Director of the Paul Rudolph Foundation in New York City. I really like your image of the library at UMass Dartmouth - do you have any more you could show? I go up to see UMass frequently, and this has always been my favorite Rudolph project. If you could, please email me at as I'd like to know more. Very Cool!


Kelvin Dickinson
The Paul Rudolph Foundation

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