Revit 2016 R2 – A look at the new features

Just like last year, Autodesk have opted for a mid-life release in the form of Revit 2016 R2 but a few less structurally orientated tools than last year’s Revit R2 release! Never the less, some of the Platform tools are very useful and make the user experience even better.  Let’s take a look at some of these new features in a little more depth. I have opted just to show the most relevant tools for the structural workflow. Before we start here is a list of all the new features.

Multi-Disciplinary Enhancements

  • Global parameters
  • Cancel Print and Export
  • Family visibility preview
  • Filter Voids and Solids
  • Performance Enhancements
    • Occlusion Culling
    • Export to DWF/DWFx
    • Colour Fills
    • Background Processes
    • Object Styles
  • Revisions
    • Sheet Issues/Revision Dialog Box
    • Revisions on Sheet Dialog Box
  • Revit Links
  • Work sharing

Architectural Enhancements

  • Perspective Views
  • Spot Slope
  • Wall Joins
  • Railings
  • Autodesk Raytracer Rendering
  • Energy Analysis

MEP Enhancements

  • Fabrication
    • Insert Part
    • Connect as Tap
    • Rotation Tools
    • Show Service
  • Electrical Settings
  • Assigning a Distribution System

Global Parameters

This is probably the most interesting of the new features as it now allows control of multiple elements with a single parameter. In the example below I have used two Global Parameters to control the floor to floor levels in a structure. I have the typical Floor to Floor height of 3600mm and a service level of 4000mm.

The first stage is to create the levels and dimension these levels with Aligned Dimensions.

Revit Global Parameters - Floor to Floor Height

You then select the dimensions that you would like to assign a Global Parameter and then click the Label tool on the Options Bar (Similar to the creation of parameters in a family)

Global Parameters

You can then control the various values of each parameter by first selecting the dimension and then clicking the small ‘pencil’ icon or using the Global Parameters Icon on the Manage Ribbon.

Global Parameter - Edit Parameter Icon

Revit 2016 R2 - Global Parameters Icon

You will then see the Global Parameters Dialog where you can create new parameters, edit existing parameters or delete parameters. What is quite interesting is that you can use Reporting Parameters to control your own user parameters.Revit Global Parameters - Floor to Floor Height Change

A good use for this is possibly setting steelwork to the base of a floor slab. In the image below you can see that a reporting parameter has been added to the floor slab (225) and this has been referenced by a Global parameter (Beam Control). You can then assign this parameter to the beams offset in the Properties Palette.

Revit Global Parameters - Beam Offsets

Linking Revit Models

A simple but useful new feature is to link Revit Projects from Project Base Point to Project Base Point. This can be useful when each model has set the geometry out from this point.

Revit 2016 R2 - Link Revit File by Project Base Point

Some of the other features are more ‘cosmetic’ in nature but all add to a good user experience in the day to day use of the software.

Here is the reworked View Range dialog box which is ideal for new users who wonder about the various settings such as View Depth, Top Range etc.

Revit 2016 R2 - View Range Dialog

The Filters dialog box has had a bit of reorganisation by separating Rule Based and Selection Filters to reduce the amount of filters displayed in the dialog box.

Revit 2016 R2 Filters

Reference Planes can now be renamed directly within the graphics screen for ease of use.

Revit 2016 R2 - Reference Plane Naming

You can also select multiple sub categories in the Object Styles dialog box which increases productivity when creating project templates.

Revit 2016 R2 Filters

So there’s a very quick ’round up’ of the new features. Again, not too bad for a mid year release.


9 thoughts on “Revit 2016 R2 – A look at the new features

  1. Hi Lawrenceh

    I am having some trouble getting a elevation into my floor tag.
    Well I do get the elevation of my slab tag in the tag but it is not referring to any base point that makes any sense. Is there a way to get the elevation in my floor to show the actual level?

    1. Hi Gert, It really depends on how you have coordinated your model. The normal approach is to have the Survey Point at 0 and then your Levels should all be set to read from the Survey point if you require levels Above sea.

      1. The problem is that the elevations in the slab does not refer to the survey or project base point. Does not matter how much I play around with survey and project elevation the elevation of the slab in the tag does not change.

    1. Jip the building levels are showing correctly. To what reference does elevations on the slab refer to usually?

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