BIMBOOMBAM_Revit_Revit Collection2Today I want to write about a topic that has been on my mind for some time. I am going to discuss some of the content (in general terms) that we have recently purchased from for use at a global architectural firm.

I have hesitated slightly in posting about this specific range simply because I know that my post could be misunderstood and the intention twisted by the community if not read in the correct context. I have positive and negative feedback to give about the Revit Collection Revit content range but do not misinterpret my review as saying that the Revit Collection content is not worth buying. Because that is not what I am saying.

Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series were admittedly extremely long blog posts because I needed to be thorough in establishing the foundation and context upon which to present this and future Revit content reviews.


  • Let me be clear in advance. I have no interest what so ever in trying invalidate any efforts on the part of the Revit Collection content creation team. I admire the initiative that has been taken by this team to make content and to set up a website that clearly offers and an extensive range of budget interior design families.
  • I hope that this site continues to sell content but I also hope that perhaps some of my feedback will be taken on board to help make the content more user-friendly for large firms to use on projects.


I feel that it’s important to share my views in the hope that the industry receives the feedback needed to continually improve. Things to know and understand before I post my findings below:

  • I have outlined the legal licensing agreement which was current at the time when we purchased their content but you will need to confirm if any legal permission have changed by contacting Revit Collection directly prior to purchasing any content.

I am only going to highlight a few key points in regards to the Revit Collection range, in general.


BIMBOOMBAM_Revit_Revit Collection3

  • The Revit Collection range in general would appeal to Interior designer the most. Most of the range includes content that is furniture or accessory based.
  • Revit families can be purchased individually and you are not forced to buy a large batch of content.
  • We did find that a small percentage of the Manufacturer specific Revit Content has been superseded and was no longer available. So please be mindful that the entire range might not reflect current Manufacturer ranges. I think that this is understandable to some degree since it would be hard for Revit Collection to keep up with the status of all Manufacturer Specific ranges.


  • The Revit Collection has an excellent licensing agreement that makes it very appealing to large firms to purchase their content. There is no licensing limitation based on number of users. In other words each component is sold as a once of purchase.
  • BEWARE: Some content creators sell their content under quite stringent legal conditions that may even insist that if a model is handed over to the client that an additional copy of content or an additional licence is required for the client’s use. This type of legal agreement can be extremely restrictive for firms that want to hand over BIM models. Fortunately this is not the case with Revit Collection.
  • None.
  • The Revit Collection families are extremely cheap to buy.
  • Most content ranges from $2-$10 per Revit family. (Initial purchase: Crazy cheap but see Disadvantage)


  • On face value this seems like an absolute bargain but unfortunately the content itself needs work so be mindful of this when purchasing it.
  • That being said – I still think it has some value to the industry if buyers are made aware of what they are buying and for some firms it will work out moderately cheaper than building it from scratch. (Depending on how much clean-up or standardization needs to done.)
  • I have to say it is THE one feature that would almost put me off this range because it is so problematic, costly and time-consuming for firms to convert such content to be Non-Face-Based.
  • When we purchased this content we literally converted almost all of the content to be Non-Face-Based because we have very specific standards within our firm regarding Face-Based content use.
  • We find that the time and money invested in removing the Face-Based functionality outweighs the project and management issues/ risks that can arise from using Face-Based families blindly for no good reason. This expense which we have had to wear could however been completely avoided if the content creators were more mindful and respectful of the need for flexibility within the industry in terms of Face-Based preferences instead of imposing Face-Based workflows on their potential clients.
  • Unfortunately I found that Revit Collection was not open to my feedback in this regard and they were unwilling to consider making their content Non-Face-Based. So be mindful that their content might take some significant investment if your firm is more particular about where Face-Based content is used within the project environment.
  • Families have been assigned materials for the most part.
  • My second biggest surprise with the Revit content was in terms of materials. The website boasts images of families that seem to display really well in rendered views the families that we purchased do not include the same render materials settings even though they contain Manufacturer specific materials.
  • The material naming is inconsistent across various products and be careful to check that some families have materials included that are not part of the actual model or range.
  • These are extremely cheap Revit content that can be useful if you don’t have enough content creators in your firm to be producing interior design content.
  • It could also serve companies well who are less stringent about Revit or content standards and who are willing to use the content directly in their projects without cleaning up the content.
  • Large firms may be able to afford reworking the content to justify a boost within their library of interiors accessories and furniture.
  • Many of the items listed in Part 2 of this blog series have not been consistently applied across their content range.
  • I would consider the content to be problematic from a standardization and quality point of view but most of the content can be cleaned-up.
  • We will have to rebuild some content from scratch but simply because we have very high standards in terms of how we build and approach parametric family creation within our company standards.


Whilst this content can be useful for quick solutions on a project or to fill a gap in your company library please be mindful that the Revit Collection family range will take some significant investment to incorporate into your company if you have medium to high company or project library standards. After fixing each family the cost per family was on average $45 – $60 per family (some were more) but in most cases it was marginally cheaper than building it from scratch (but that was not always the case). So please be mindful of the appearance of it being super cheap.

I think my biggest frustration around this range would be that so much of the items that needed repairing were things that could easily be done well in the first place and the Face-Based feature adds so much extra cost to the end-user, when making it Non-Face Based would make so much more sense. For clients who prefer Face-Based content – they could alter the Non-Face based content in less than 2 minutes by using a simple (a) nesting solution or (b) add work plane based functionality. (This would be far more cost-effective for their clients!)


Please be respectful to The Revit Collection if you discuss this topic afterwards within the industry. Be mindful that as an industry we should foster a space of open learning and improvement and that is the only purpose for my continued blogging on the topic of Revit families.

In summary, I appreciate the efforts made by Revit Collection and I know that the purchase price is incredibly cheap but my best feedback to Revit Collection would be that I would much rather pay more for this content upfront ($15-$20 per family) and have it be Non-Face-Based, but only if was made consistently so that we did not have to wear such a high post-purchase clean-up cost.

I trust that this blog post series was helpful in some way.

Cheers, Michelle

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Please click LIKE and/or  SHARE this post if you enjoy these blog posts. It makes my day a bit brighter and it helps make it feel like the effort taken to prepare these posts might be worth it ;-)


My role in ANZRS has changed

BIMBOOMBAM_Revit_NewOpportunitiesThe biggest change in recent weeks is that I have officially resigned from ANZRS as Project Facilitator and as part of the management board. I remain interested in ANZRS and completely supportive of all the work that we have put into this project.

Chris Needham and Belinda Hodkinson will now be the primary deciders on the future direction of ANZRS. I am unwavering in my confident that whatever choices they make on behalf of ANZRS will be well-considered, responsible and with the most appropriate outcome in mind.

ChrisNeedham      BIMBOOMBAM_Revit_ANZRS_Belinda_Hodkinson

I would like to acknowledge and thank Chris and Belinda for bravely joining a project that they never signed up for in the first place. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with them both. I remain proud of what we have already accomplished with this initiative. I am delighted to say that the quality of shared and sold Revit content is improving slowly, but noticeably, so all our effort was not in vain. There is still much work to do in this sector to improve the integrity and quality of Revit content and I will do my part in creating further awareness on this blog.


For me, personally, I feel that it is important to remind the industry (and this committee of volunteers) that ANZRS was always intended to be issued as 95% complete in version 3. The reason for this strategy was clearly defined early on in the project. Our promise to the industry was that no more than 5% of all ANZRS content would be refined or altered once the official completed version (namely version 3) had been released.

I wish Belinda, Chris, ANZRS and the ANZRS volunteers all the best for 2015 whilst I look forward to a year of change and much-needed variety.

Regards, Michelle


Fortunately my Co-Author of ANZRS title remains after all those years of enormous effort ! “That’s Mrs. Author, thank you very much”

ANZRS – Version 3 Pack released

Well, this post is overdue, for sure. Please forgive the short posts on this blog these days. I am juggling several projects at the moment and the ANZRS project has taken up much of my spare time for the past few years.

The good news: We made a lot of effort to make sure that the most recent ANZRS, version 3, pack would be easier to use, better presented and had more checklists than all previous released versions. The pack can now also be viewed as  in iBook on ipad. In order to download the latest version of ANZRS pack you will need to formally register as a member of the site. The instructions are easy to follow so please do register and get access to the latest version of the content creation standards. We have received great feedback in the ast year and we were surprised and delighted to learn that the pack has now been downloaded in 72 countries. Given that we only thought we could impact Australia and New Zealand when we first started, it is certainly great news.


Here’s the link.

Have fun and if you wish to be on the committee or to assist further with Discipline specific content requirements please contact us through the feedback tab (link below)

Take care, Michelle

Revit Family Standards for Australia/ New Zealand – UPDATE

Hi everyone

This is just a quick update. I know in my previous post I had suggested that the Peer Review set for the ANZRS (Australia, New Zealand Revit Standards) project was almost ready. Well…. I was wrong…. we worked on it for hours, and then some, and now… I can say that we have finally issued our first formal Peer Review set to selected members who were originally part of the project. We have reached a huge milestone in this project and we have had more than 100 people contribute during the past 20 months on this project. (To varying degrees of course.)

Because the new ANZRS document set is at the Peer Review stage I can’t share them, just yet. We will run this set through this 6 week Peer Review process, respond to all feedback and then formally launch our proposed solution at the next Australian Revit Technology Conference this year, on 21 May 2011. I would expect that the documents will then also be available shortly thereafter to all of our industry at the following website:

Thank you for your continued patience and support. It is my hope that all this effort will certainly have been worth it and that we would hope that these standards will become a common and useful resource for best practices when creation Revit content.

Please note that the is no longer active and you will be re-directed to our new website, as listed above. More information will be listed on the new site, once it can be released to the public.


Regards, Michelle Van Kolck (Co-Author and Project facilitator of ANZRS)

Revit Family Standards for Australia/ New Zealand

Some of you may know that I have been leading a project that involves defining content creation standards across Australia/ New Zealand. The truth is it has taken so much longer than I ever imagined it would take and in fact the process has been tedious and frustrating at times. But at the heart of it I believe in the mission and in the project goal.

Many of us won’t use any shared or sold Revit content because it has been made poorly and often with little discipline and consistency.

Well…. the peer review draft of the Family creation Compliance standards is almost ready for release. I am working hard to try get them ready by end of October and I have a few helpers that are jumping in to help finish it.I will post a copy of the package or a link for download within the next 6 weeks and look forward to your feedback/ responses. Please note that at present the WIKI site which we used for collaboration of ideas and for collating targeted feedback is not the most up to date version of the evolving protocols.

I look forward to sharing the standards with you all shortly and hope that all the hard work that has been put into this project will at the very least contribute to a new, improved level of shared and sold content across Australia and New Zealand.

I will keep you posted. We are almost there!!! I can’t wait to have it all done.


Cheers Michelle


In my opinion I believe the ultimate aim of a Revit® Manager should be to duplicate good quality Revit® knowledge and best practices and standards to all drafting staff within the office.

  • Document Revit® standards in your office. In my experience such documentation results in fewer questions, interruptions, mistakes and unknowns. I even use it as a reference myself if I can’t recall why I set up something a certain way.
  •  Document Processes
  • Have a training strategy in place for training staff of various skill levels, keep expanding and investing in staff training
  • Consider independent review?
  • Teach, monitor, audit and teach some more
  • Auditing can be an invaluable training opportunity


In my experience I have found that there is a vast difference between a well designed and a poorly planned Revit® System. It is well documented that the efficiency of a Revit® System is largely affected by the quality of Revit® families that have been created as well as how this content is then maintained and managed. The discrepancies between a “well-made” or “badly-made” family may seem slight at times but the gold really is in the finer details. The quality of the family created can make ALL the difference to the accuracy, stability, performance and data output achievable from a Revit® System. This is why it is important to create neat and smart Revit® families.

© Copyright Reserved by Michelle Louw (Excerpt from My speaker notes at National Revit Technology Conference 2008.)