Life Safety Gnome, the official mascot of Revit egress paths.

For many versions of Revit, we have used Steve Stafford’s Line-Based Generic Model family for representing Egress Paths in our life safety drawings. It has served us well. At the time, this was absolutely the best way, given the available tool set. Certainly, you could use dumb drafting lines to sketch the path, and not have any ability to schedule or tag… but we like BIM here at Paradigm shift, and strongly believe in creating your own tools when they don’t already exist.

Revit 2013 has opened up some new possibilities. With railings, you can now schedule and tag their length. Mathew Miller wrote up a great process for documenting Life Safety / Code plans, and you should definitely check it out. Then go follow him on Twitter.

Are you back? Good. Yes, I completely agree – one could simply create a custom railing for the path. I liked this quite a bit, and the more I tried refining it, the more I didn’t like the ability to edit certain aspects. The new component-based railings cannot entirely have all components turned off – there’s always a rail at the overall height of the instance.

I think the best solution I’ve come across thus far, is from one of NBBJ’s own – Kelvin Tam in our Columbus office. It is made from an adaptive component, so the points can be placed manually where needed, and easily adjusted. There’s also some additional benefits to using this method, as you’ll see in my short video. This is a rough draft, and comments are always welcome.

Revit 2013 Egress Paths – YouTube.

Get the family here: LifeSafety-EgressPath_4Segments.rfa

23 comments on “Creating Revit Egress Paths 2.0

  • Glad you like it Hansel. It will be soon enough. The version I am tailoring is for 2013, however it would be easy enough to take the original and share it.

  • I’m just starting my L/S plans now, and am looking for the 2012 version of this. The link above (under “Get the family here” tag) doesn’t seem to work. Any way this is in the library yet, and if so, where?

  • Is there any way to use this family with Revit 2012. Or is there an “egress path family” available for Revit 2012?


  • I have had several requests for the 2012 version of this family, both internal and online. I will roll one in the next week, and would be happy to distribute to those who have expressed interest.

  • I would love this for 2012. I have something similar but since I’m new to Revit, I haven’t figured out how to change the line type and add arrowheads. I’m also trying to make a small tag that gives the total length of the line. Is a more detailed tutorial available? Thanks for your site. It’s super helpful.

  • Sure. You have to make copies of the existing family file for each number if segments you wish, and add the needed length parameter and modify the formula that adds them all together. The best way is to make on with the most segments you expect to need (10 is what I chose), and then remove the second to last adaptive point and the segment length parameter after each save as operation.

  • This is exactly what we are looking for. I saw your message about adding more segments, but I am not being very successful in adding nodes. Can you instruct? If I wanted to add one segment between adaptive points 3 and 4, how would I go about doing so? Thank you ahead of time.

  • I tried downloading the Life Safety Egress Path – 4 segment, but it can’t download. Is there another way I can get this?

  • Since there seem to be many steps involved in adding new adaptive points and the segment length parameter to get to 10, can you post additional details for the procedure required to generate of families for other than 4?

  • The best way to handle this is with a tag, which will display the total length parameter that is in the family as long as it is a shared parameter.

  • I may revisit this post after Autodesk university. What we have is a separate family for each number of segments today. I think adaptive components have become a little more powerful in the last few releases. Watch this space.

  • It should if the type parameter distance is set to what you require. As soon as the total length is exceeded it should be visible. Enable Show Hidden Elements to ensure it’s not a subcategory that is off in your view.

  • Jeff, I was wondering the same thing. Eventually discovered that the visibility/graphic overide settings for the flame was set to show only at coarse level and not medium or fine. Changing this made it appear. Hope this helps.
    Sean, many thanks for sharing this family, it’s been a real time saver. Cheers.

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