Assembly Code in Revit

June 24, 2010

A resent email conversation related to Code Assemblies in Revit

Person 1

I am interested to find information on Code Assembly that is utilized in Revit.  My understanding is that it’s related to Uniformat and can be used in conjunction with e-specs.  Though there is some basic information related to the subject, I would like to find out more about how to assign a proper assembly code to different integral parts of construction.  What has been done in your office?  Could you recommend where I can find more information?


Person 2

I haven’t looked at Assembly Codes in some time and this was (is?) the way e-specs derives the data from the Revit model in order to extract the appropriate spec sections from e-specs.

As far as I know all Revit families default with a parameter to enable you to select the appropriate Assembly Code from the list found within the Revit program.

With a family open go into the Create tab and to the far right select Types.

In the Family Types select the drop-down button under the ‘value’ column for the “assembly code” you will then get the Uniformat Classifications which you can select from.

I’ve had conversations with third party software developers that would suggest this Uniformat Classification list in Revit is limited and as such doesn’t cover the full gamut of construction related Items.  This leads me to believe that there may be a more extensive UC list out there.  There does not seem to be any direct way to edit the UC list through Revit but if it’s anything like the Keynotes List you may be able to edit the text file that drives the UC list Revit calls.


Person 1

I have found the UniformatClassification.txt file that has entire list of Assembly Codes used in Revit.

Program Files\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program\UniformatClassifications.txt

But comparing this file to the list that has been published by Uniformat, they match and by the same token they differ. Per say in Uniformat in Standard Foundations (A1010) next classifications is Wall Foundations (A101001) where in Revit next classification is Footings & Pile Caps (A1010100).

The task at hands is to create a standard detail library using elements with Assembly Code assigned.  And if an element is not described in Uniformat or in Revit, when how to address that?


Person 2

I’m curious as to why you are inputting Assembly Codes.  Are you implementing Especs or is there another application you are anticipating linking to?

When I was conversing with the development team at Building Explorer they noted the short-comings of the Uniformat Classification List and inferred that they had developed a much more extensive and detailed listing.  This peaked my interest as to whether UC was really responding to the construction industry in a timely manner and if there wasn’t a more extensive Classification list being developed that might replace UC. 

This was one reason I held back on coding my family elements.  Like spec sections the last thing I wanted to do was setup all the Assembly Codes and have them change

as was the case with Masterformat 2004 which renumbered many sections and added an additional 2 to 4 digit numbering depth for an increased level of detail.  How many firms have migrated to the new spec numbering system? I know many are holding back just due to the man-hours to re-number everything.  Thus my hesitation to commit to UC for my Revit Families.

I’m just not sure it’s mature enough to cover everything, especially with the BIM industry being so young and if they are not responding to an increased level of detail needed for applications like B.E. then UC stands a real chance of being superseded by another more comprehensive Classification listing.


Person 1

We have recently had a webinar on e-specs.  It seems as a great advantage to be able to have the drawings and the specs to be in sync automatically. We thought that was definitely worth of further research, though I do not believe we are ready to implement e-specs just yet.

I have not heard about Building Explorer before.  Looking at their website right now.  Have you worked with them on a project?


Person 2

I bought into especs when it first came out.  Unfortunately my experience with the program was less than stellar and very disappointing.  The program had a lot of bugs and limitations.

Hopefully the current version is a vast improvement over that early version.  The espec concept is great, having the B.I.M. drive the spec extraction, but you still need to go through each spec section and tailor it to the specific project conditions. The trap lies in relying on the technology to much and just letting it extract the sections and considering the task done.  The specs have to many task specific variables that the BIM assembly codes do not address.  So if you wind up using especs to just extract the primary spec sections then that begs the question of just setting up a schedule in Revit that extracts a parameter to which you assign a spec section number and then using that schedule listing to help you gather your specs together manually.  Definitely a more cost effective approach but limited if the assembly codes are required for another application interface such as a cost estimating program as can be found in B.E.

I haven’t work with Building Explorer yet, I just had them do a webinar about 18 months ago.  I was researching alternatives to Navisworks.  Their presentation was impressive but I have yet to talk with someone who’s had the opportunity to use both programs.  B.E. also appears to be much more comprehensive in its applications.  Well beyond Navis and it appears to consolidate many of the features found in the VICO suite of applications including 4d and 5d analysis.  In many ways it reminds me of the early days of Revit which presented a design, cd, presentation, and for awhile estimating solution platform for architects.

One comment

  1. Other than especs, it seems like utilizing Assembly Codes – Uniformat is a nice way to filter data…View Filters, Schedules, etc…

    For example, Specialty Equipment is a pretty broad category. We deal with a lot of Medical Equipment…there’s a code for that.

    How are other filtering out data in their models…Masterformat, Subcategories, Assm. Codes, Naming Conventions?


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