Revit Phases – What you need to know

Revit Phases are a great feature when it comes to building projects with different stages in time, such as renovation projects for example. With renovation projects, you can think about the existing phase and the new phase, where each represents a distinct period of the project lifecycle.

Revit can track different phases in which elements and views are created or demolished. You can use Phase filters to manage how building model information appears in your views and schedules. This feature is valuable as it enables you to access the precise information relevant to each project phase.

In this article, I will explain the basics of Revit Phases, and how to create different Phases and Phase filters. Additionally, I’ll share valuable tips using Phases in your projects

Revit Phases Overview

The Revit Phases feature enables the effective management of renovation projects across various stages in the project lifecycle, including demolition, temporary construction, and newly renovated elements. You can apply different Phase filters to views and schedules for each stage in the project.

You can track the phase of each element you model in Revit, whether for creation or demolition. The Phase filters allow you to control the information you get from each view or schedule. This is great for having the right quantities for each Phase.

For example, a default schedule containing all windows might become unclear when demolishing 125 of the 200 windows in an apartment block. In this case, you can create a schedule for all windows slated for demolition and another schedule for all new windows requiring installment, by applying the right Phase.

revit phases
I. Existing Plan II. Demolition Plan III. New Construction Plan

Create Phases in Revit

Now that it’s clear what Phases in Revit are used for, we can continue by creating custom phases. Most Revit templates have two phases by default, which are “Existing” and “New Construction”. These two default phases cover the most common scenarios.

To add or edit phases, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the Manage tab > Phasing panel
  2. Click Phases > Phasing dialog opens
manage revit phasing
  1. In the Phasing dialog, open the Project Phases tab. Note that the Phases are arranged from the PAST (top) to the FUTURE (bottom).
  2. Select an existing Phase and click Before or After to insert a new Phase.
  3. Give the newly created Phase a clear Name and an optional Description > Click OK

Optional: You can modify the names of default and newly created Phases whenever possible.

revit phasing dialog

The Phasing dialog does not allow the rearranging of created phases, requiring them to be created in the correct order initially, using the Insert Before or After correctly. Also, notice that you can’t delete any Phase, but you are allowed to combine them with the Previous or Next Phase [A].

Tip

It is advised to refrain from creating a separate demolition Phase because you can set the model elements for demolition in the New Construction Phase. You can control this with the Phase Demolition parameter in the Properties Browser.

Create Phase Filters

In Revit, you can create custom Phase Filters that you can use to control the appearance of elements depending on their Phase Status. Each view has adjustable Phase and Phase Filter parameters for modifying element display.

phase filters revit

The Phase Status consists of four types, which are:

  • New: This status is for elements that you create during the current view’s phase.
  • Existing: When elements created in a previous Phase continue to exist in the current phase.
  • Demolished: This status is used for elements you created in a previous stage and have now demolished in your current phase.
  • Temporary: A not-so-often-used status, which shows elements that are created and demolished within the same Phase.

Revit templates have seven Phase Filters by default, covering most project situations. The “Show All” filter is the only one that you cannot delete, while you can modify or remove the other ones. To create or customize existing Phase Filters, open the Phasing dialog and follow the steps written below:

  1. In the Phasing dialog, open the Phase Filter tab
  2. Click New to add a Filter
  3. Give the Filter a Name
  4. Change the display of each Phase Status by choosing one of the three options: By Category, Overriden, or Not Displayed. > Click OK
modify phase filters

Filter Options Explained

  • By Category: Using the “By Category” option displays model elements as defined in Object Styles.
  • Overridden: This option allows you to display the override settings, which you can adjust on the last tab of the Phasing dialog.
  • Not Displayed: This option allows you to hide every element on that specific Phase within the view.

Phase Graphic Overrides

If you set the Phase filters to Overridden, the view will display the settings specified in the Graphic Overrides tab of the Phasing dialog. In this dialog, you are allowed to change the Projection and Cut settings for each Phase status.

To change the graphical settings open the Phasing dialog and follow the steps outlined below:

  1. In the Phasing dialog, open the Graphic Overrides tab
  2. Select any of the Projection/Cut settings you wish to adjust. For example, you can change the line and hatch settings.
  3. Optional: You can customize the appearance of the Phase Status to Halftone and adjust the Phase Material to show different Phases in 3D with specific color and transparency.
  4. Click OK
graphic overrides

Working with Phases

After adjusting Project Phases, Filters, and Graphic Overrides, continue by setting elements and views to your requirements with Phase Properties.

Phase Properties

In Revit, you can assign elements and views to specific Phases to control the visibility and appearances. The Phase parameters in the Properties Browser enable this functionality. Note that, you can change the Phase properties at any given time.

Elements

  • Phase Created: You can use this parameter to set the phase you add the element to the model. The default setting for the parameter is the same as assigned to the current view.
  • Phase Demolished: Use this parameter to set the phase where you demolish the element.
    The default setting for this parameter is None. When you demolish an element with the Demolish tool, its corresponding parameter automatically updates to the current phase of the view you are working on.
phase properties revit

Tip

Did you know that you can use the element’s Phase Created and Phase Demolished in the view Filters in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides settings?

Views

  • Phase Filter: You can use this parameter to control how and what elements are displayed in the current view.
  • Phase: The Phase parameter defines the current Phase of the specific view you are working in.
phase properties

Phases and Schedules

In Revit, you can use the Phase settings in schedules which is a great opportunity for having the right quantities for each Phase. When creating a new schedule, you can set the Phase to your requirements. It is possible to change the Phase and Phase Filter afterward in the Properties Browser.

schedule with phase
Set Phase to schedules in Revit

Tip

If you’re interested in learning more about Schedules in Revit, you may find this article helpful: How to Create Revit Schedules – Basic Guide.

Infill Elements

When demolishing hosted elements, such as windows, doors, etc. Revit will automatically place an infill element to patch the hole. This occurs when the element and its host do not align the same values for Phase Created and Demolished.

Note that the infill element takes the same structure as its hosting location. In some scenarios, you can change the type of the infill element, but deleting it will also result in deleting the insert.

infill element revit

Mapping Phases Linked Model

If you work a lot with linked files in Revit and also use it in combination with Phases, it is possible to synchronize the Phases between the host model and the linked model. You can do this by following the steps outlined below:

  1. Select the Revit Link
  2. Go to the Properties Browser > click Edit Type
  3. In the Type Properties search for Phase Mapping and select Edit…
  4. Align the Phases of the linked file with the Phases of the host model > Click OK
phase mapping revit

Tip

It is also possible to apply Phase Mapping in the host model by going to the Visibility/Graphics settings > Revit Links tab > Display Settings and setting it to By host view or Custom.

Phases in Progress

In the examples below you will find the most commonly used phases and settings you can use for your renovation projects. Note that each step is a different view that I have created and set to another Phase and Phase Filter. You can change anything to fit your project requirements.

1 – Existing Plan

You can make an Existing Plan view to show all elements that exist already when starting the renovation.

existing plan

2 – Demolition Plan

Create a Demolition plan that shows which elements you have demolished during the new construction phase and which ones will remain.

demolition plan

3 – Existing and New

This view is very beneficial to showing what elements exist and what is new to the construction. Note the importance of high contrast in graphic settings to differentiate between old and new elements.

existing and new

4 – Complete New Construction

This view displays the final stage of your renovation project, presenting everything as a fully completed construction.

new construction

Tips & Tricks for Revit Phases

Here are some additional tips and tricks to enhance your efficiency when working with Phases in Revit.

  • Instead of using the Phase Demolished parameter for model elements, you can use the Demolish tool. The Demolish tool can be found in the Modify tab > Geometry panel. Clicking an element with this tool sets its Phase Demolished parameter to the current Phase for demolition.
demolish tool
  • It is recommended that you use individual walls for renovation projects instead of using multiple layered walls. This gives you the flexibility to demolish a part of the wall. It’s also worth noting to keep wall corners unjoined when demolishing them.
demolish wall revit
  • Rooms and Room Tags can only exist in one Phase at a time regardless of Phase Filters. When you place a room in the Existing Phase it only stays there, so you have to place a new room in the New Construction Phase. Fortunately, you can copy and paste rooms between the different Phases.
rooms and phases
Rooms exist in only one Phase (Phase parameter greys out)

Wrapping Up

Revit Phases can be used to place elements in a theoretical timeline when working on a renovation or large-scale project. The Phases represent a distinct period of the project lifecycle. Revit can track different phases in which elements and views are created or demolished.

Working with Phases in Revit can be challenging at first, but it can be highly beneficial for your projects once you create the appropriate Phases and Phase Filters and know how to combine them. To achieve this, I recommend minimizing the number of Phases.

I hope this article helped you to learn the basics of Revit Phases, and how to use them effectively. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, tips, or tricks I did not mention.

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