Managing Design Alternatives
When doing design work, it is often handy to develop several design alternatives and have the ability to easily present each alternative side by side.
Revit has a built-in feature called Design Options which are intended to help with exactly this. This can be a powerful tool for managing your various design proposals. But Design Options do have a couple of important caveats to consider, particularly when it comes to performing lighting analysis using ElumTools
Caveat 1: Design Options can be challenging when working with Linked Models. Linked Models are, of course, read-only, and cannot be modified from the Host Model. This means that all Design Options must exist in the Host Model (typically the electrical model for Lighting Professionals).
Caveat 2: When using Design Options, all ElumTools calculations must be done using the Calculate View commands. The other calculation commands will not respect Design Options, and will always only consider the geometry which is defined in the main Design Options. This is due to limitations of the Revit API.
How about Phases?
Revit is a 4D BIM program (perhaps even 5 or 6D, depending on who you ask). As such, it includes functionality designed to manage different project phases. For example, it is common on many projects to have a Phase for existing conditions, and another for new construction.
You can find detailed information regarding creating and managing Project Phases in the applicable Autodesk Documentation.
You can also use Phases as an alternative to Design Options, for managing competing design proposals. Phases in Revit tend to play more nicely with Linked Models, making this a popular technique.
When working with Linked Models while using ElumTools, it is always recommended that you set the Filter by View Visibility setting to “True”. This ensures that the Phasing for all elements is considered correctly.