What are Revit Families?

In the last chapter ‘Concept of Revit Elements‘, we learnt about how Revit elements are organized in a hierarchy of,

Elements -> Categories -> Family -> Type -> Instance.

Now, let’s dig deeper into different kinds of Families available to use in Revit.

System families are predefined in Revit. You do not load them into your projects from external files, nor do you save them in locations external to the project.

Examples of System families include Walls, Roofs, Floors, Ducts, Pipes, Levels, Grids, Viewports, etc.

Unlike system families, loadable families are created in external *.RFA files and are loaded in the project. Building elements that are usually purchased, delivered and installed in/around a building such as windows, doors, electrical fixtures, furniture, mechanical equipment, plumbing fixtures, etc are examples of loadable families. Some annotation elements that require customization, such as symbols, title blocks, tags, etc are also loadable families.

Learn more about how to use a loadable family in a project in this video – by Autodesk Building Solutions

If you need a projecet-specific component that is unique to your project condition, you may use In-Place Families. In-place family take reference to the geometries in the project and can be resized or adjusted according to the referenced geometry. However, you cannot create multiple types of the same family. Each individual component that you create will be considered as individual family.

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