Shared Coordinate Best Practices - Part 3

March 4, 2024 Gregory Lee

Revit Version: Applied to all Revit Versions


Aligning multiple buildings using shared coordinates in Revit


Establishing shared coordinates can be very confusing if it is not defined early in the pre-design stage and not clearly defined in the Building Execution Plan. This cheat sheet will explain everything you need to know about setting up a shared coordinate from the very beginning to end in detail.

This cheat sheet will be divided into 3 different parts to explain the entire process as follows:

Part 1. Defining the Shared Coordinate base with the Civil model

Part 2. Setting up shared coordinates in Revit using Civil Registration Model

Part 3. Troubleshooting Shared Coordinates

Troubleshooting Shared Coordinates:

Many things can happen during the project duration. Share Coordinate alignment issue is a very common one to happen.

1.1 Re-acquiring Shared Coordinates from a base model:

If the project model lost the shared coordinate and does not align with the base shared coordinate model, you can simply reacquire the shared coordinate from the base linked model. I will use the Civil registration model as an example in the following instructions. If you like to know more about the Civil Registration model, please see part 1 of the Shared Coordinate Best Practice.

1.2 Check List before re-acquiring the Shared Coordinate:

Before re-acquiring the Shared Coordinate from Civil Registration Model (Project Shared Coordinate Base model), verify the following behavior is occurring in your project model.

  • Your project team or consultant notifies you that your project model is not aligned with everyone’s models
  • Your project survey points location does not match the Shared Coordinate Base model’s survey points location.                                                                                                                               
  • The linked model properties panel indicates that Shared Site is using <Not Shared>

Consider re-acquiring the shared coordinate when all 3 conditions are met.

There are a couple of different approaches to re-acquiring the shared coordinates. The different approach is dictated by the version of Revit. Any version before 2022 won’t have the Reset shared Coordinate command. Therefore, you will need to reset the coordinate manually. 

1.3 Troubleshooting the Shared Coordinate on Revit 2020 and earlier versions.

The absence of the Shared Coordinate Reset command on Revit 2020 and earlier versions make it difficult to reset the shared coordinate. The best way to go around the issue is to create a dummy shared coordinate file and acquire the shared coordinate from the dummy file.

1.3.1 Shared Coordinate Reset using dummy coordinates base model

  1. Create a new project using the Revit Out of the Box template
  2. Draw simple walls on the plan view
  3. Publish the Shared Coordinate                                               
  4. Save the file and close it.
  5. Open the project file that you need to reset the shared coordinate
  6. Use Insert > Revit link to link the Dummy Shared Coordinate model into the project using center-to-center coordinate
  7. Acquire the shared coordinate from the Dummy Shared Coordinate model to reset the shared coordinate of the project model
  8. Remove the Dummy Shared Coordinate link from the project model
  9. Sync to a central model

1.4 Shared Coordinate Reset for Revit 2021 and above

After version 2020, Autodesk Revit added reset shared coordinate function.

  1. Open the project model
  2. Select Reset Shared Coordinates under Coordinates ribbon in the Mange tab
  3. Sync. to central model

1.5 Reacquiring Shared Coordinate after resetting the shared coordinates.

The step of reacquiring the shared coordinate is exactly same as acquiring the new shared coordinate from shared coordinates base model.

  1. Open Civil Registration model (or Project Shared Coordinates base model)
  2. Link your project model to Civil Registration Model (or Project Shared Coordinates base model)
  3. Align your project linked model to Civil Registration model (or Project Shared Coordinates base model)
  4. Select the inserted link from the 3D view. Click the <Not Shared> button on Properties panel under Shared Site.
  5. Select the first option “Publish the current shared coordinate system to “<Your Project Mode.rvt>”. This will modify all Named positions of the linked model. Then click Reconcile.
  6. Synchronizing the model will update the link’s shared coordinate. Click Save when prompt.
  7. Open the inserted link from the Project Browser by Open and Unload.
  8. Open Site plan view. Select the Survey Point and unclip it to make it independent.
  9. Move the Survey and Project Base Point to match the Civil Registration model.
  10. Save the file. The shared coordinate is applied to your project model.

1.6 Simple model mis-alignment issue due to user error.

Linked models can lose its alignment due to user’s error. This type of alignment issue is easy to fix if it was detected early.

Check following to identify the issue:

  • Models are not aligning each other
  • Linked model properties panel shows that Shared Site is <Not Shared>

1.6.1 Troubleshooting Simple model mis-alignment.

  1. Select the mis-aligned linked model
  2. Select <Not Shared> button from Properties panel
  3. Select Move instance to (Shared Site of linked model)
  4. Linked model will automatically re-align to correct shared site location.

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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