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Worksharing and information uniqueness – Why is it important to work in a shared environment?

Valerio Vescovi
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News, Revit, Workflow, Worksharing

More and more often today we hear about worksharing and a shared working environment, especially when referring to particularly complex works that require integrated planning and a high level of detail. But the question that arises, now more often, when it comes to the BIM environment is: what does it mean in practice worksharing?

With the development of ICT technologies – Information and Communications Technologies – and the advent of the concepts of interactivity, networking and connectivity, the organizational and management level of work has changed radically. And this was also reflected in the processes related to the areas of design, construction and management of the works

When we talk about BIM methodology, in fact, where the concept of informative modeling plays a central role, worksharing (and therefore information sharing) is very important, since at the same time more team members can manage different information related to functional areas or specific systems. This method of organizing work takes place through the creation of a “central” model , thanks to which it is possible to create a series of “local” copies, which allow to separate data, manage them independently and optimize the workflow of activities. This method allows to monitor the project step by step in its development and to share in real time all the information present in it.

But how is the worksharing by multiple members of the same team?

Within the Revit Autodesk software, using the “Collaborate” panel, you can set up the sharing model on the local network or in the cloud, depending on the working environment in which you are working. After this first step, proceed with saving the model as a central file, on a shared network drive accessible to all team members (in the case of sharing in the local network) or in the cloud (in this case it will be necessary to installing Revit Server on each computer).

Once this is done, as many local files as desired can be created, depending on the users who will interact with the central model and perform, when necessary, the synchronization with the latter, so as to save and publish all the changes made, making them visible to other users.

Subsequently you can create and set the worksets, an indispensable tool for worksharing, since through the selective opening and closing of parts of the project, they optimize the workflow, allowing the simultaneous modification of entire sections and the control of the global visibility of the project, object of the modeling. The collection (group or set) of elements within a workset can be defined on a functional basis (Architecture – Structure – MEP for example) or for specific systems (hydraulic ventilation, HVAC).

It is good to underline that there is no real rule to create workset, as we can satisfy the most disparate needs according to the case or the type of design to be faced. Another useful recommendation is to avoid working in multiple users in a single workset, as you may experience software crashes or issues during synchronization.

Each workset is linked to the owner who created it, which assumes the exclusive property of all the objects contained in it. All users can view worksets owned by other members, but can modify them only upon request to the owner. It will be possible for the latter to grant or not the modification of the elements, to avoid the occurrence of conflicts within the project. However, through the worksharing view mode, you can view the extraction status of the elements and their owners, the elements assigned to specific worksets, those that have not been synchronized with the central model or those that have been deleted. In Revit this additional module is called Worksharing Monitor and allows to facilitate the management of the sharing job, verifying access to the project files and any notices related to change requests and notifications.

Conclusions

In conclusion it can be said that the worksharing and the consequent use of the workset are an indispensable working method to allow the members of the same team to better manage an interdisciplinary work, satisfying the needs of the client and significantly reducing the management times and the project coordination. Using tools of sharing and collaboration is not only important for recognizing organizational aspects, methodological choices and strategies undertaken within your working environment, but it is also an unparalleled opportunity to share with colleagues the sense of work and the ability to put oneself in relationship with others.

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