Revit 2020 – a more detailed look at the “Elevation from Level” Parameter.

Some background:

Autodesk introduced a number of new features in Revit 2020 that have added to its functionality. On first glance they might seem fairly unimportant but if you dig a little deeper there are some great possibilities. One example of is the new “Elevation from Level” Parameter that has now been hard-wired into most of the Component Families.

Up to now,  Revit Component Families have had a Parameter in them called “Offset”. This existing Parameter allows you move a Family up or down (up being a positive value, down being a negative value) in relation to the Reference Level that it was placed on.

The issues with the Offset Parameter were firstly that it only report an offset value but not what Level you had actually offset from. Secondly even though the Parameter was hard-wired (i.e. built in to the Family), you still couldn’t report it in a Schedule or Tag it – which meant you had to resort to making a labelled reporting dimension with a shared Parameter (a lot of work). The lack of “visibility” of the Offset parameter also meant that, amongst other things, you couldn’t do things with View Filters. Getting an offset Parameter to work successfully inside a Family and getting it to report in the Project was a lot of work!

In Revit 2020 the new “Elevation from Level” Parameter is added to the majority of  Component Family categories. In some cases it even duplicates the existing Offset Parameter as well (Casework being an example where both sets of Parameters exist). In other cases, due to the way that Revit works, things like Structural Columns, which are Component Families, that have a Base Offset and Base Level Parameter already built in don’t get the new Parameter. Lastly, System Families will not have this new Parameter as they already have inbuilt Parameters that deal with the Offset from their Reference Level.

So that’s the background of where we are now, but what practical application does this new wiz-bang Parameter have? Glad you asked. Here are some examples but I’m sure you could think of more:

Tagging by Offset:

This has already been touched on if you’ve read any of the whats-new presentation or watched any of the whats-new videos. Basically now that the Parameter is built-in and exposed, we can create a Tag for a Component Family Category that reports the offset of the objects from their Reference Level in a View. Here’s an example:

Scheduling using “Elevation from Level”

This is pretty straightforward. We can now select the “Elevation from Level” Parameter from the list of available Parameters in any Component Family Category Schedule. Furthermore, the new Parameter can be used as part of a Schedule Filter too:

View Filters using “Elevation from Level”

We want to avoid over-riding or hiding things “by element” in any View as much as we can. To this end, View Filters are a great way of intelligently automating the tasks of altering the way elements display or don’t in our Views.

View Filters now have access to the “Elevation from Level” parameter. This allows us to do some interesting things in our Views. For example we can over-ride the colour of the GPO’s that we had in the first example above like this based on whether they are above a skirting height:

Below we have a single GPO that is sitting at 180mm so it is not having it’s graphics over-ridden. The others are higher than 200mm and show in Red. Now that we have more powerful “OR” tests in Revit we can even extend the functionality of the Filter further so we could apply this same test to multiple Categories at once (assuming they all support the “Elevation from Level” Parameter.



Another example would be when we want to show overhead items in a dashed line. Using a View Filter will give us consistent results:



So that’s a bit more of a look at this one new feature. I hope it gives some food for thought.

Have fun!

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