ACC Best Practice Part 4 – Design Collaboration Set Up

June 12, 2023 Gregory Lee


  • The shared file is not available to link.
  • The shared file is not the current file.
  • The ACC/BIM 360 dashboard keeps showing up errors that the folder is not available.
  • The shared project file size doesn’t match the file size on Document Management.
  • Users don’t understand the difference between consumed and shared folders.


Each issue listed above has various causes. The majority of the issues on ACC/BIM 360 are due to a lack of understanding of how ACC/BIM 360 Design Collaboration works. This cheat sheet will explain the Design Collaboration workflow from set up to practical use, helping users troubleshoot the issues.


Set Up:

  1. Enable the Design Collaboration module (product) for the appropriate user. 
  2. Access the Design Collaboration module from the selector, and a welcome message will be generated. Click the "Get started" blue button. 
  3. The first task is selecting the shared folder location. Generally, the default setting is fine, but you can define a different location that works for the office folder standard. 
    • The shared folder is a required folder for ACC/BIM 360 to operate properly. Once a folder is created using the default setting or an existing folder defined by the project admin, it becomes part of the system folder. The system folder is a critical folder that cannot be modified or deleted once defined.                    
    • The main functions of the shared folder can be categorized into two specific uses:
      • Linking Source File Location: Models that were included in the package will be duplicated to the designated team folder in the shared folder, which can be linked from Revit.
      • File Sharing with Non-BIM 360 Design Collaboration Project Members: Not everyone would be participating in BIM 360 Design Collaboration. Users who only have access to Docs can download files from the shared folder to coordinate the project file.
  4. Once the shared folder location is set, the ACC/BIM 360 set up screen will prompt the team set up screen. If Revit files are already initiated, the setting screen will pick up those folders that contain initiated Revit files. You can create a team folder from an existing folder that you have set up in the Docs also.               
    • As mentioned in Part 1, there is a file path character limit in ACC/BIM 360. Therefore, it would be recommended to have a shorter file path by limiting the number of sub-folders and using shorter file names. The following is an example of team folder set up: 
    • Each discipline folder becomes a team folder. Once a team folder is set up, the "consumed" folder will be automatically added to each defined team folder. 
    • The above example is a common folder structure that works well with ACC/BIM 360. Each team gets its own space for working on the Revit project file and also prevents unwanted parties from accessing the project file by limiting permissions.
  5. After setting up the team, the set-up will ask to select a coordination space. This is required for clashing space for model coordination. Creating a coordination space in the shared folder will allow for easy model federation and clash review between teams.
  6. The last step is to set up the Main Model, which is used to derive details for levels and phases. Typically, the architectural model containing the base grid and levels is designated as the Main Model. If the Main Model is not selected, the largest model in the project will be used as the default.                                                                  

Once the set up is completed and the Main Model is designated, the model is ready to be shared through the Design Collaboration Module. This enables multiple teams to work on the same model simultaneously and review it for coordination issues in the Coordination Space.

About the Author

Gregory Lee

Sr Technical Support Specialist<br><br> Skilled in AutoCAD, Mixed-use, Renovation, Revit, and Sustainable Design. Strong arts and design professional with a BA in Urban design focused in Architecture from University of Washington.

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ACC Best Practice Part 5 – Design Collaboration Workflow
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