Establish Coordinates: Acquire Coordinates from a CAD Link

I recently started a new project file at the office, and looking back over the archives, I figured it was a good time to revisit some of my workflows for file set up. At some point since I last posted about establishing coordinates, I discovered on Revit OpEd that you can actually acquire coordinates from a dwg file. Acquiring coordinates is by far the superior method for establishing coordinates. Not only is it more efficient but it is also more accurate and leaves less room for human error.

Steve’s post goes into some good detail about how to clean up your dwg file and also how you can link subsequent CAD files via Shared Coordinates once you establish coordinates. So I would definitely recommend reading his post, but if you are unfamiliar with either the Survey Point or Shared Coordinates, here is the step by step process. Continue reading


Copy/ Monitor between Site/ Electrical

Of the MEP disciplines, the landscape probably collaborates most frequently with Electrical. This is often in the form of site lighting. Depending on the work breakdown in a given firm, who drives the placement and type of lighting can vary.


In my experience, the electrical engineers/ techs are the ones who ultimately place the lights in the Electrical Revit file. This is done for two reasons: circuiting and photometrics. And while I am glad to let the electrical engineers deal with those things, having site lighting in a building-base electrical file can create 2 substantial problems:

  1. If there is any Topo/ grade change, the lights will float over or embed into the Topo (there is no way to host to Topo or Floors through a link).
  2. If the building moves, the site lighting (which is located relative to the building) will move with the building. Continue reading

Shared Coordinates: Site to MEP

There are several different ways to share coordinates between disciplines. If you are working on a site/ landscape that does not have a building and you want to link in MEP, that can simply be done via Origin to Origin. This is how all of the building disciplines (Architecture, Structure, and MEP) link together by default and it is why Shared Coordinates are only necessary when you get out on to the site.

But if you are working with building-based MEP (or Structure), coordinates will need to be shared. If you have all of your building files (architecture, structure and MEP), then you could link them all into the site using the Site to Architecture workflow for all building files. However, this requires that all building links be moved and rotated to the correct location all at the same time. There are 2 big problems Continue reading

Specify Coordinates at Point

One of the interesting things about Revit is that you will frequently encounter various methods and workflows of accomplishing the same task. This is particularly true of Shared Coordinates. Since posting about the Survey Point in March, I have started to use a slightly different and potentially more efficient method of establishing coordinates. This is an update to the previous post.

Much of what I said previously, still applies:

“The world in Revit is entirely different than AutoCAD. It doesn’t like your project/project base point to be larger/outside 20 miles. Unlike in AutoCAD, your project should never be way off in space from the project base point (origin). […] Revit has two moveable points that control coordinates: project base point and survey point. […] The survey point is key; it has northing, easting, and elevation data that you can set, relating it back to the real world, and thus AutoCAD…”

If using a CAD survey, link in the survey and move the survey so that the Project Base Point is within the survey boundary. Often, it is a good idea to place the survey so that the Base Point is on a known project benchmark Continue reading