abstract image of a city in the background with revit template development series text on top.
Written by Jay Zallan

Foundations of a Revit Project Template

Defining Needs, Prioritizing Wants – Episode 1

Every Revit project begins with a template, either a good one, or otherwise.

The best way to create predictable success is to plan the work first, then follow the plan.

In this endeavor we want to distinguish our “needs” from “wants,” with “needs” obviously being our priority. Assess what one needs – when and how – before moving to what one wants. Remember Winston Churchill’s related quote: “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”

Illustration of a standard planning process concept with major and minor circles labeled for each step.Standard planning process concept.


Because the act of planning allows, no, generates an environment of greater and growing knowledge and quality. In construction, planning translates to more projects and profit! Once the bullets begin to fly – when planning is done, and the project starts – the original plan may adjust a bit, but most if not all, big picture items will have been at least considered.

We will dive deeper in future posts and workshops, but first things first. What are the big buckets of items we need to develop into a project template? Well, if you hit the Internet and ask, you might find more than expected. Since we are focusing on the assessment of big-ticket items, let’s strategize the topic further.

I like to break out the assessment planning into the following buckets: 1) Content Needs and 2) Human Needs.Content will break out per each Revit category ultimately, and shall include annotations, filters, etc. Human needs such as training and more will be discussed in future sessions.

The human needs revolve mainly around training and process(es). It is important to document these plans so one can roll out any work efficiently and drive toward consistency. 😉

Content Strategies:  A BeginningA tabular list of categories and model object styles to be used in a construction project.

  • Create lists of the existing Revit categories similar to the “Model Object Styles” chart shown. Create a column for “priority” and you’re off to a great start. You might even include a list of all the agreed upon families to use for each project.
    • HINT: Find a screen capture software that can obtain “scrolling web pages” and the full categories list will be ascertained easily. 🙂
  • Suggested Priorities
    • Components (for Architects)
      • Naming conventions
      • Walls, Doors, Windows, Floors, Roofs
      • Furniture, Entourage
      • And more.
    •  Annotations
      • Naming convention strategy (image below illustrates one idea for Tag naming/numbering)
      • Create Tags for every category
        HINT: Place one Tag of each type – yes, all of them – in the project template. This alone eliminates wasted hours for each team and can be replicated on every project easily. Set it up once and use it often.

A sample of the file folder structure used to set up Revit families.

Sample for Tag naming / numbering

    As we progress through the series, we will dive deeper into defining the needs and other topics. You’ll also find how-to’s to help you get started!

    Now, go get those plans started. Alternatively, you can have Kelar Pacific guide your team through the process, or even develop a project template 1.0 for you!

    Until next time, consider either ‘library’ or ‘source’ files, or even placing ‘temporary’ content examples in a phased-out-of-date view, as shown in the image below.


    Revit image of how to store temporary items in a phased-out-of-date view.