It is that time of year again, where we get to talk about new and improved features in the yearly release for Autodesk® Revit®. This is my sixth annual AECbytes “What’s New” article, and we appreciate the value you find in this resource. You may want to sit down, get comfortable, maybe grab a coffee first… because Revit 2022 is packed full of exciting new things!
Let’s start with my top five favorite features in Revit 2022. Keep in mind that I am a registered architect (WI) and work at Lake|Flato Architects, which is a top ranked architecture firm. Thus, no structural or MEP items in my Top 5 list, sorry. To learn more about me, check out this recent ArchDaily interview: Designing New Systems: How Lake|Flato is Looking to the Future.
My top Five New Features:
It was hard to pick just five favorites, and for number two, lifted schedule limitations, this covers at least eight things … so I cheated a little here anyway!
Although there are still some restrictions on what I can say about this, I have been involved in Autodesk’s beta program for years. Over the past year I had the opportunity to sit in on Sprint demos for two development teams, which are customer presentations on the previous two weeks’ worth or work by a specific development team. Along with a few other customers, I helped review and critique the progress of the new Export to PDF tool and the new and forthcoming tools around energy analysis (some of what’s still coming was messaged in this Autodesk University video I am featured in: Next Generation of Sustainable Design). Also, I sat in on a few demos of the core layer visibility feature for walls. Keep in mind, anyone can apply for this program and participate by installing the rolling Revit Preview release and provide comments in the (private) beta forums where many folks at Autodesk are very active. To learn more, go here: What is the Autodesk Feedback Community?
I will just be covering the bigger features, but there are easily 60+ new features. After reading this article you will have a good handle on what’s new, what applies to you, and what would benefit your workflow. From here, you can do more research or get training to hit the ground running and take full advantage of your investment.
I have grouped the new features into the following categories:
Finally, if you are a version behind … maybe your firm has not rolled out Revit 2021 since, perhaps, it came out early in the pandemic, you can check out last year’s article to get fully up to speed on new features: What's New in Revit 2021.
This section is for features that will typically benefit all disciplines.
There may be occasions where you only want to show the structural component(s) of a wall in a plan view. For example, a structural plan may only wish to show the concrete block (which is their responsibility) and not the finishes, such as metal studs and gypsum board. This is now possible via the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog, via the new Non-Core Layers sub-category under Walls.
View Filters now include Phase Created and Phase Deleted. This opens some interesting opportunities to create custom phase filters and overrides. I look forward to hearing how people use this.
Also, this filter list has ten new items in it (in this example)!
Tags have a number of #UsefulNow features!
Revit can — once again — natively create PDF files … you must have been around for quite a while to know that this was once a thing. It was removed after Autodesk acquired Revit in 2002/2003. Not only does Revit now support importing/linking/exporting PDFs, but Autodesk Design Review can also view PDF files now.
PDF Export is accessed via File > Export within Revit. As shown below, the options are similar to printing.
This one is big, and another #UsefulNow feature. Schedules can now span across multiple sheets. Simply place a schedule on a sheet, and start using the Split Schedule Table icon — which has always been there — to make multiple sections. For each new section, there is a new “segment” nested under the schedule name in the Project browser. These segments can be deleted off the current sheet and then placed and arranged on another sheet.
This is another big one … for no obvious reason, key schedules could not include shared parameters until now. Lifting this limitation will allow more sophisticated use of pre-populated drop-down lists that can also display information in tags. For example, occupancy types and the area per person can be selected from a list, used in a calculation, and (now) also tagged on plans.
Another limitation lifted from Revit schedules is they can now include system families as shown in the 2021/2022 comparison below! This is amazing … the implications of this are well said by Autodesk Revit senior product manager, Harlan Brumm: “Basically, now a multi-category schedule can show everything in your model – before it really only showed loadable components.”
It is now possible to schedule worksets. If your Revit starting view is a sheet, it could have a schedule like the one shown below, indicating which links are in the model and which workset each instance is on.
FYI: Links have both a type and instance workset, where the latter is what is scheduled (per the example).
Schedules can now be exported at a CVS file, which is the default. Previously, saving a delimited file involved additional steps to open it in an application like Microsoft Excel.
The schedule properties dialog has a new set of filters and search capabilities as shown in the next four images. Note that these only filter the “Available fields” section on the left.
Yet another big one … in the past, if the properties or schedule cell contained multiple values due to the current selection or sorting, it was just left blank. This led to confusion, as this could also just mean there was no data in these parameters. Now, rather than presenting as blank, there is a new feature called Multiple Values Indication. This works in properties, schedules, and the new multi-host tags!
This feature can be found via Manage > Additional Settings, and on the Formatting tab within the Schedule Properties dialog.
Previously, deleting a parent view that had a callout defined in it would also require the callout to be deleted. For example, say a wall section has a callout defined in it to detail the parapet. Deleting the wall section would also delete that top of wall detail. Now, when the parent view is deleted, you get the following prompt, which provides an option to preserve the dependent view(s).
We now have additional model categories we can use to create families and control visibility. These new categories will be very helpful, for sure.
The new model categories are:
This is a feature I am really excited about. It may not be super useful now, for many, as it only provides access to Autodesk content. But if this continues to develop into a customizable content management tool, it would be widely used, I am sure. This feature came out in a 2021 update, but is now built into 2022, and the 2021 Download Autodesk Content tool has been removed from the Insert tab.
As an author, I like this method for students to access content. The old way was prone to install errors, since it involved a separate download during installation, and of course required an internet connection at that time. This alleviates those issues and reduces frustration with readers not being able to find content specified in a specific tutorial. (Learn more about my Autodesk Revit books by clicking here.)
Shared Views now support 2D views. If you are not familiar with shared views, the idea is that specific views can be extracted from your model and hosted in the cloud for others — who don’t need to have Revit — to view and comment on them in a browser. The process to create a shared view is shown below.
Another #UsefulNow new feature! We now have the ability to create any number of custom revision numbering schemes. Anyone who works on construction administration (CA) for a project will now be jumping for joy.
Like levels showing in 3D, we can now see grids in 3D. There is a new Show Grids parameter in the properties of 3D views. Now, all we need is to see room and spaces in 3D. :-)
Dimensions now have an option to have a type-based prefix and/or suffix as shown below. Also, notice how the two sets of units (primary and alternate) have been pulled out of the Text section, for more clarity!
In addition to the “platform” enhancements to Revit 2022 which will certainly benefit a lot of architects, there are several discipline-specific new features and enhancements.
Building on the success of slanted walls, we now have tapered walls. This includes a number of new parameters to control this behavior, including a Variable toggle in the Edit Assembly dialog, similar to what we’ve had for floors and roofs. Openings have the ability to slope aligned to the exterior or interior side of the wall (as shown in the inset image).
By default, the walls taper such that they are thicker at the base. It is possible to taper the walls the other way, but the process is a little confusing … the third image below shows the process. You have to start without having an instance override, and then you may apply a negative slope angle once the type properties have been adjusted.
We can now use the Edit Profile tool on slanted walls, which were added in Revit 2021.
It is now possible to link Rhino .3dm models into Revit. Previously, they could only be imported.
The makers of RPC, ArchVision, have made some improvements to the way their content works, and Autodesk has worked to incorporate those improvements. This includes a nice array of higher quality free sample content shipping with Revit, with a few examples shown here. Notice there are performance controls in the Graphic Display Options dialog and new editing capabilities, such as the ability to change the color of the Honda CR-V in the image below.
Accessing this content is a little tricky. You must first place one of the provided (original) RPC families, like the trees or people. Then, in the Type Properties you will want to duplicate the type and select a new RPC Render Appearance and specify the desired Height.
In addition to the content shown, ArchVision also sells additional content. Currently, this new content is not supported in Enscape, the popular Revit add-in supporting real-time visualization; hopefully, it will at some point, as you can never have too much entourage in AEC.
FYI: The new RPC content shown below is in Revit, using Realistic mode.
“New” might not be the right word here, as this is really a lot of content that was never ported over from an old web-based content storage location Revit used for support. It is now defunct, but you can learn a little more via this blog post I wrote a while back, if interested: Friday Fun Post: Old Revit Content Website Still Live. Revit 2022 includes over 300 (imperial units only) new items, here are a few examples:
Autodesk is providing more tools based on Route Analysis in Revit, to automate, visualize and analyze the routes within the buildings so that designers can understand the impacts of physical distancing in the context of the building.
Several tools are provided in the Path of Travel – People Flow toolkit.
Spot slope and elevation annotation can be placed on ramps now.
Here are some of the new MEP features found in Revit 2022.
Revit Systems Analysis has added a new feature that allows users to get more detailed outputs related to loads and psychrometric charts of their system from within the Revit context.
On a single screen, the user can:
Important: Reports are saved on the local computer that created the report. The default location is: .\<ProjectName>_Reports, and can be changed within the Energy Settings dialog.
With this improvement, the shading can automatically adapt based on the panel configuration.
When automatic shading is applied, it has the following effects:
With this improvement, Maintain Annotation Orientation has been added to the following categories:
Here are some of the new features for structural engineering in Revit 2022.
You can now model rebar using the real bar diameter, which takes into account the ribs so that you can avoid clashes, especially in concrete elements with a lot of large diameter bars. Properties like the reinforcement volume, hook lengths auto-calculation, and rebar couplers all take into account the nominal bar diameter.
You can now move or remove individual bars, in rebar sets, area or path reinforcement, and avoid clashes with other rebar, openings or other elements, while still maintaining the rebar set/system logic. Removed bars don’t appear in any views and are not counted in schedules.
A new Edit Bars command is available to isolate selected sets, path or area reinforcement, select one or more individual bars and move, remove or reset the bars. Several sets, path or area systems can be edited at the same time.
Structural engineers can now automate the process of placing steel connections using library .rvt files, relying on rule-based solutions according to standard provisions or company good practice guidelines. The Connection libraries with ranges of applicability feature is meant to save time invested in placing simple steel connections to better invest it in more complex ones.
This section lists several miscellaneous features that don’t fit into the categories above, or I am just not as familiar with them at the moment.
This one applies to both MEP and Architectural. It mainly involves the movement and consolidation of two similar toolsets to create and export an energy analysis model. Unfortunately, this might make things a little more confusing for both …
For MEP folks, you will have to open Insight and download the gbXML (or EnergyPlus) file(s) from there.
For architectural folks, using this workflow for early energy analysis via Insight, you will want to ignore the “Advanced” settings in the Advanced Energy Settings dialog, and avoid using Use Rooms and Spaces. This workflow is more for Mechanical engineers to get data into an external tool, such as Trane Trace 700.
The generative design tools get the following enhancements in Revit 2022:
Revit 2022 offers more support, including certification for IFC 4.
Inventor is used by a lot of manufacturers to design products. Revit can now link Inventor assemblies.
Many more dialogs can now be resized, which can make it easier to read information. These include: Transfer Project Standards, Sync with Central, Purge Unused, Wall Sweeps, Warnings, View Filters, Edit Multi-line Text Parameter. Notice, in the example below, we can finally read the entire path to the central file!
We can now select more than one View Filter, to mass-toggle visibility or remove them, for example.
If you work on the Appearance asset tab and then close the Materials dialog, when you open it again, the Appearance tab will be current.
Anything 40% faster in Revit gets an “A” in my book.
I don’t do anything with the API, but I have heard others get pretty excited about these long standing requests being fulfilled:
Similar to the API enhancements, there are now many more built-in nodes to work with in Dynamo.
Civil engineers now have new features and support for designs started in Autodesk Infraworks:
Revit 2022 is packed with new features, of which this article has just covered the bigger ones. Hopefully, you will have a good handle on what’s new, what applies to you, and what would benefit your workflow.
Daniel John Stine AIA, CSI, CDT, is a registered architect with over twenty years of experience in the field of architecture. He is the Director of Design Technology at the top ranked architecture firm Lake|Flato in San Antonio, Texas. Dan implemented BIM-based lighting analysis using ElumTools, early energy modeling using Autodesk Insight, virtual reality (VR) using the HTC Vive/Oculus Rift along with Fuzor & Enscape, Augmented Reality (AR) using the Microsoft HoloLens 2, and the Electrical Productivity Pack for Revit (sold by ATG under the CTC Software brand). Dell, the world-renowned computer company, created a video highlighting his implementation of VR at LHB.
Dan has presented internationally on BIM in the USA, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Slovenia, Australia and Singapore. He was ranked multiple times as a top-ten speaker by attendees at Autodesk University, RTC/BILT, Midwest University, AUGI CAD Camp, NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference, Lightfair, and AIA-MN Convention. By invitation, he spent a week at Autodesk’s largest R&D facility in Shanghai, China, to beta test and brainstorm new Revit features in 2016.
Committed to furthering the design profession, Dan teaches graduate architecture students at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and has lectured for interior design programs at NDSU, Northern Iowa State, and University of Minnesota, as well as Dunwoody’s new School of Architecture in Minneapolis. As an adjunct instructor, Dan previously taught AutoCAD and Revit for twelve years at Lake Superior College. Dan is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and Autodesk Developer Network (ADN), and is a Construction Document Technician (issued by CSI). He has presented live webinars for ElumTools, ArchVision, Revizto and NVIDIA. Dan writes about design on his blog, BIM Chapters, and in his textbooks published by SDC Publications:
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