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From feet to meters


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Can I change the unit settings permanently from feet to Meters?


I know what I got here when I browse in templates panel are construction-default metric.rte or default metric.rte


Which one shall I choose?



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  • 1 month later...

Just a query: Why meters? In the metric world most disciplines tend to use either mm (mili meters) or cm (centi meters), with mm being the one mostly used throughout the world (close to 90% I'd say). Usually it's only surveyors who work in meters (m), though I've found some (very few) structural engineers also working in m.


Although, it's not an issue since Revit "automatically" converts any linked in / imported models / dwgs / families for you. That is if they're setup correctly of course - DWGs tend to have the biggest problem with settings being different from what they should be.

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Well I'm in Africa and here in the French system (Latin system) we work in meters, imperial system is like Egyptian hieroglyphics to European and may be 80% of the rest of the world may be 90

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No, I'm not saying "Imperial" ... actually I've found metric to be the most used throughout the world. I'm in South Africa. Here we've been using the METRIC system since the 60's. Only very old plans (i.e. stuff from the 1600's to mid 1900's) are in feet-and-inches (and yards), and sometimes variations on those as the actual lengths of feet and inches have changed over that time (e.g. Cape Feet). I've mostly worked in the Architectural profession (near to 90% of my experience since 1987), but have also done drafting for Structural Engineers, Mechanical (HVAC), Wet Services (Plumbing), Electrical and Civil.


We use mili meters near exclusively (i.e. 0.001 m = 1 mm, or 1000 mm = 1 m). Only surveyors and (some) civil over here use meters. Architects, MEP, Structural, (most) Civil, etc. all draw using mm.


Also I've worked on several other projects throughout Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, etc. All those use mm (mili meters) and not m (meters). Then I've also worked on several Indian ocean Island projects, several projects in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait), also some in India, and one in China - those also only used mm (though we had to add a secondary dimension in Imperial in some cases, but we drew in mm). Then on the other side of the planet (Chile, Argentina, Cuba) ... even those were drawn in mm. Then we also did some projects in Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy) and some others in Russia, Turkey and the last two in Azerbaijan - only in these have I seen some drawings in cm and one single Structural Engineer using m, all the rest were drawing in mm.


I've never had to draw in Inches / Feet / Yards in any of those projects. It might have been different if I did a project in somewhere like USA, but thus far no. What I have found is some consultants from USA have drawn in Inches on some of those projects I've worked on, then I needed to convert them or scale them to suit when linking / importing - though that was in the bad-old days of ACad (not Revit). The last time I had such was on a project in Riyadh Saudi Arabia - the HVAC came from a firm in New York USA, and that was drawn in Inches, though they later converted to mm too since the rest of the consultants were all using mm (it simply made life easier for themselves - i.e. no more need for conversions).


There's nothing wrong in drawing in m instead of mm, especially since converting from one metric unit to another is a calculation breeze: All you need to do is move the decimal point. But mainly the reason most building drawings are in mm (or cm) is because the short dimensions then have short numbers. E.g. a single skin brick wall (4½" for the Imperial guys ;)) is usually measured as 110 (in mm, sometimes as 115) or 11 (in cm, or 11.5), but writing that in m would mean your short dimensions (i.e. those with less space to write them) would mean something like 0.11 or 0.115. This is the main reason only surveyors and some civil drawings are in m: they tend to only dimension long distances - then m is actually more "efficient" for dimensions.


So it depends on your requirements I guess, what would the majority of your dimensions look like? Then also what are the majority of your fellow consultants using - remember nearly all your projects would require some coordination between different disciplines. Though it's "easy" to import a rvt file and have it convert to your units, it's a pain when in meetings if the dimensions are using units all over the show. On any single project it's preferable to keep consistency throughout all parties.

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