Advice for sorting lists of Revit Mass values for writing to Excel

Hey guys,

I’m devising a masterplanning workflow that involves using revit masses, mass floors, GFAs, Uses, etc. The goal is to be able to iterate quickly within this building matrix created by the Revit masses and floors connected to levels that correspond to each building use across the vertical extent. Additionally, I want to be able to create spreadsheets with Dynamo for the different schemes (like snapshots of different design options) as the project progresses, evolves and gets increasingly complex. The tricky part for me is making sure that the data stream is sorted the same way every time, regardless of masses being moved deleted, etc. I.e, uses and GFAs in building 1,2 or 3 are sorted accordingly to write into excel. Would this method achieve this?

Thanks a lot


Write an identifier (Id or UniqueId) to excel aswell, that way you can easily write new data from excel back to the correct instances in Revit, and do your sorting in excel, not with dynamo

Hi Marcel,

When you say “new data” do you mean inputting everything that is non numerical? Or are you also suggesting controlling areas withing Excel as well? I’m not sure how to do the latter since the workflow involves in place masses and I don’t know if you can control those parametrically. On the other hand, what problems do you foresee with sorting within Dynamo?


I dont know why you would want to use in place mass, i’d go for conceptual mass instead.
Conceptual mass can have parameters, so data exported to excel can come back in Revit to update your model, including the dimensions of the mass.
New data could mean the modified dimensions, family, parameters, or other functionality.
The sorting in Dynamo is mostly done as a list action to reach for a particular element to edit.
If you do that in Excel, and have the Id or UniqueId of the object, Dynamo will select the object for you and write back the data in Revit.

Interesting. I had no idea conceptual masses were parametric. The good thing about in place masses is that they’ve got that Sketchupish flow to them that people love (-_-) and for very early stages in a masterplan, the less parameters the more user friendly the process becomes. I can definitely see the value of controlling everything via Excel since the point of the whole exercise for developers is the data (heights, FAR, etc) and not so much the architectural form itself. The one problem that comes to mind is controlling the direction or how the mass would change in size via Dynamo since these are not really simple boxes, they have jogs, ins and outs, zoning setbacks, etc. But I will try your suggestion and see how cumbersome this could be for the common Joe. Thanks a lot Marcel, I will post back when I have something and see if you or anybody else can pitch in some wisdom


If you create family solids bound by ‘strong’ reference planes driven by instance parameters you will get grab handles for a push and pull feel (I can upload one if you’re interested).

I agree that for very site specific forms, In Place Masses are intuitive in a way that is hard to predict in a family environment.

However many people will shout at me for that statement…!

It may be that someone here is using Formit or similar to use parametric form finding, my trials weren’t great, but that was a couple of years ago now :slight_smile:

Hope that’s of interest,