Friday, February 24, 2012

Omniclass Table 49 and the Sumex Parameter Manager

Over the past two years or so, I have been working on the development of a shared parameter file for the Omniclass "Properties" Table (Table 49). While I have finally come out with a useful version of the file that I am comfortable sharing with the world, I had also realized that in the process, impementation of the file was going to be cumbersome due to the method by which Revit sorts Parameters.
In a Revit Shared Parameter file, parameters can only be grouped once, with no further subgroupings available. In the real world, there is so much more that is needed in order to sort and organize the attributes within projects. All of the CSI Standards leverage 3, 4, 5 or more levels in their organization structures, but the parameter managment in Revit only allows for one level. The Table 49 Shared Parameter file is grouped by its highest level, and then numerically based upon the succeeding levels. Handy, but but still doesn't allow for proper management of the nearly 1000 properties. In order to combat this, rather than try to reinvent the way parameters are MANAGED, I decided to rethink how they are LOADED.
The Sumex Parameter Manager changes how we might think about the administration of project information. Instead of loading parameters one at a time, object by object, or into a project, this affords the ability to batch add parameters to hundreds of families at once, whether they are in a library on a hardrive or within an open Revit project.
The Sumex parameter manager can leverage the Table 49 Properties Shared Parameter file to build a Schema which will load various different parameters into various different families based on common attributes found whithin them. This is explained more in depth below.
The Omniclass Table 49 Shared Parameter file is available in two differnent configurations, based upon whether or not it is being used with Revit Architecture or Revit MEP. Some of the physical properties can be more accurately conveyed in Revit MEP than they can in Revit Architecture, simply based on the availability of the parameters within the software. MEP based parameters are left as simple text parameters in Architecture. Both Files, along with more information on the Sumex Parameter Manager can be found here:

What the SPM Does:
Parameter Management
The Sumex Parameter Manager allows a Revit user to Add, Remove and Replace parameters in Revit Families in bulk. This means no more opening, modifying, saving and closing every family one at a time to add the attributes. Not only does it allow for updating families in bulk, but leverages “Schemas” that can assign specific attributes based on specific criteria.
Whether you want to add parameters to your Revit project categories, the families loaded in a project, or your entire family library, the Sumex Parameter Manager has the ability to manipulate parameters in both projects and families.
Think of a “Schema” as an office master for your Revit Families. Schemas are data maps that
describe how you want information to be passed into Revit. They work alongside an existing shared parameter file, and allow you to assign or “Map” parameters to one or more
Revit Categories, MasterFormat™ Keynote designations, or Uniformat Assembly
Codes. This allows the software to work quickly and update an entire library based on information that is likely already available in the Revit families that you want to process. Schemas can be saved for future use and can be created and modified using the included Schema Builder interface or for advanced users, a text or spreadsheet editor may assist you in working more quickly.
How it Works: Let’s say that you want to add 7 parameters to all of your window families, and 5 parameters to all of your door families. Leveraging your existing shared parameter file, the Schema Builder” assigns parameters based on Revit Category, MasterFormat™ (5 or 6 Digit) Keynote, or Uniformat™ Assembly Code. You can even assign a Level of Development to each parameter to filter only those which are relevant to the amount of detail you want in your project.
Why Sumex Parameter Manager:
Since 2005, Sumex Design has been at the forefront of developing AEC content, from specifications, to CAD files, to Revit components; we have created 8000+ Revit Families for over 300 manufacturers and successfully implemented BIM into their AEC toolboxes. BIM is as much about data as it is about graphics.

Being specifiers as well as seasoned content developers, we understand that a critical part of implementing BIM is processing the information in the model. Without a painless strategy for data management, the widespread adoption of new BIM standards becomes an uphill battle. At Sumex Design, we’re sharing our expertise and techniques with the world, by creating data management tools.

We know you have options, and that you’re already spending enough for your software every year, so we’re keeping costs low. At $249.00 USD, the Sumex Parameter Manager will add invaluable new functionality to your current workflow and save you countless hours of time processing, updating and organizing your BIM library.