ArchiTech Tuesday: Revit File Performance Optimization

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Date: May 5, 2015

By: Richard Binning, Director of BIM Technology. See his blog at:

Revit is a complex program and it is relatively easy to get caught up in the day to day design tasks without paying attention to how Revit is performing.  You get used to Revit performing like a racecar, but suddenly the project seems to grind to a halt with long save times, long load times and large central model size.  To prevent this from happening on your project, pay attention to the following recommendations:

  1. Do NOT save rendered images in the in the project, rather always export them out.
  2. Compact Central models regularly.
  3. Remove unnecessary design options – make the decision and accept as primary as soon as possible.
  4. Make component families, rather than using groups or “in-place” families in your project.
  5. Do NOT save from a 3D view – always save from your “Open & Save” view, legend, or sheet.
  6. Open only necessary worksets – you can set the options to “specify” so that whenever you open a workshared file, you are prompted to select the worksets to be opened.
  7. Remove linked drawings as soon as possible; unload them if you don’t need to see the cad data in that session.  In general try to eliminate the cad data that gets imported into Revit whenever possible.
  8. When you must load a new cad link, only bring it into the current view.
  9. Limit locking of objects.  Don’t constrain things just because you can.
  10. Clean (purge unused) families on a regular basis.
  11. Minimize the use of imported geometry whenever possible.
  12. Use only the level of detail you need in your families and in your views.
  13. Do NOT “over model” For example: don’t put in 100 3D toilet families when you can use a smaller 2D toilet family in your project.
  14. When you Sync with Central, do it from a 2D view – better yet, create a “Open & Save” view as a legend or drafting view and always sync from that view
  15. Turn off the shadows and shading before you sync with central
  16. Use groups and arrays sparingly when possible.
  17. Regularly review and fix warnings.  Especially duplicated instances and overlapping items like walls and room separation lines.
  18. Revit makes it easy to create new views and sheets whenever you feel like it.  Practice good housekeeping by deleting unused views and sheets when possible.
  19. Get rid of the excess baggage.  Over the course of a project, you’ll find lots of extra fill patterns and linestyles – purge them out.
  20. Sync with Central on a regular basis.  When you wait too long to sync with central you run the risk of your local file becoming “incompatible” with the central model.  It also takes longer to save.

If you follow these guidelines, you find that your project model will exhibit better performance and your project team mates will be happier as a result.