Design is rarely a linear path; often we start with several concepts that we feel are viable options. It is usually necessary to present multiple options to clients so they can determine how the project would best suit their needs, or to work through different options to see how the design comes together with different approaches. Revit’s Design Options tool is intended for just this purpose. It enables us to design multiple options for a single project, and document and present them from the same file. Once an option is approved, the appropriate selection can be “accepted” in Revit and it removes other options from the file.
To create a design option, you select Design Options from the Manage tab in Revit. In the Design options dialog box, you create option sets, and options. Having multiple option sets would allow you to have multiple options for different areas that aren’t necessarily tied to each other. For example, you could have Kitchen Layout A and Kitchen Layout B as options under a “Kitchen” option set. Then you could add a “Bathroom” option set with Bathroom Layout A and Bathroom Layout B. Having the sets separated would allow you to choose Kitchen Layout A and Bathroom Layout B, or any such combination of the options within the sets instead of linking Kitchen Layout A to Bathroom Layout A only.
You can see and change the active option on the status bar at the bottom of your screen. Next to your active option drop-down menu, there is a checkbox that will allow you to exclude options from your main model if you’re viewing all options, or select to view the active option only if you have an option active.
To finalize your selection and remove design options, you go back to the Design Options in the Manage tab, make the selected options primary, then accept primary. This tool is a great way to avoid unnecessary duplication of work and allows designers to present or work through multiple designs in a very efficient manner.