Author: Jim Cowan Revit

A Component Model in-Place workflow is typically touted as a one-off solution for when you have a custom situation in a project, not addressed by system or loadable families, such as a curved roof or ceiling or a serpentine wall – but what if the built-in solution repeats?

The scenario covered here is for a repeatable prefabricated, modular unit, as initially explored by Eileen Gray in her Maison Elliptique (1936), where three or four prefabricated modules are combined to make a home.

Revit lets you create an in-place family for the required categories (Roof with Ceiling) but editing them can be problematic because each copied in-place family – unlike normal Revit families – is unique. Objects created belong to the datum objects (reference plane) they are created on. This makes it difficult to edit a copied in-place family.

A solution is to create a Group from the in-place family for copying and then to ungroup them for unique editing.


Two Modules with Opening


The in-place families can be grouped, copied, ungrouped and edited to add more modules.


Four Modules with Opening


For more detail on how to group and upgroup families for editing, watch my video, Model In-Place: Prefabricated non-planar building modules.

Get more Revit tips and tricks here.

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         Jim Cowan
Jim Cowan
AEC Senior Application Specialist

Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience, Autodesk design solutions expertise, and status as an Autodesk Certified Instructor have made him a sought after university curriculum developer, instructor, and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include eLearning, interoperability between solutions, and overcoming barriers to the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Educated in Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot–Watt University and in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Jim has a special focus on sustainability issues: daylight analysis, sun studies, lighting analysis, modeling buildings, and conceptual energy modeling (models with shading devices). You can learn more from Jim on his YouTube Channel.