Revit 2021 MEP Worksharing Improvements

January 4, 2021 Navid Hoorzad

In Revit 2021 Autodesk has made several improvements to worksharing which have made significant improvements to model coordination.

So how big of an improvement is this update? In short, it’s huge! The potential time saved from not having to synchronize your model as often, especially in today’s world were most of us are working remotely makes this one of the best improvements we’ve seen over the years. 

The next questions you may be asking is how Autodesk achieved this. There are two main changes that led to this improvement. First, Revit no longer borrows an element based on a computed changes. What this means is if a user relocates a terminal for example, or an electrical panel - the connected pipes or conduits move but those elements will not be borrowed from the central model (see image1). This greatly improves user clarity on which elements are borrowed while working with workshared enabled models.

image1: Revit 2021 - green elements are borrowed, and location is modified.

Another common issue this improvement addresses is unintentional borrowing of the linked models. In MEP majority of components are hosted to a linked model for example receptacle on a wall or terminals on a ceiling.  This can be problematic as only a single user can borrow and edit a link model at any given time. This makes the bellow error a common occurrence in MEP which results in having to synchronize with central far too often. This improvement fixes this issue as most of changes made to a linked model are computed changes.


The second change made is the way Revit updates elements based on changes made to hosted geometry. For example, in Revit 2020 deleting a pipe accessory will heal the pipe by removing the gap resulting in one continues pipe.

image2: Revit 2020 – green elements are borrowed

However; in Revit 2021 deleting the pipe accessory will leave a gap in the pipe requiring the user to connect the two pipes manually.

image3: Revit 2021 – green elements are borrowed

At first glance this may not seem like an improvement as it adds additional work for the design time however it fixes a long standing issue with worksharing . The image below shows a pipe accessory being deleted from a pipe and based on the element Id, we can see that the pipe on the left is extended to cover the gap and that the pipe on the right (id: 531119) gets deleted. However, looking at image5 we can see that no elements have been borrowed from the central model so other project team members could potentially be working on the same elements! This was a common cause of collaboration issues or lose of work because Revit would not be able to correctly synchronize the correct changes from two sources.   

image4: Revit 2020 – green elements are borrowed

image5: Revit 2020 – checkout status enabled

As a result, Autodesk has disabled this auto-healing functionality to ensure a consistent results with worksharing and model collaboration. 

About the Author

Navid Hoorzad

Building Applications Expert<br><br>Leveraging his background in both MEP and manufacturing, Navid puts his talents to work for clients by providing insights into their BIM process and tools. With over 7 years’ experience working at large multi-disciplinary firms across Canada such as Morrison Hershfield, Arup, WSP and The Mitchell Partnership, and 6 years of consultation experience at IMAGINiT; Navid seeks to make a measurable contribution to each of our clients through creative leadership, teamwork and a passion for computational design and engineering. His knowledge of data centers design, plumbing, as well as heating and cooling systems helps him offer clients aid when streamlining their systems. Navid helps with training, consulting, custom object building, writing standards and more.

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