Autodesk Revit: An introduction to Phases

In this Autodesk Revit tutorial we are going to take a look at Phases. If you’d like to watch the video version of this tutorial first, simply click in the box below….



Many architectural projects involve the adaptation of an existing building. It is either refurbished or extended- or both. A common dilemma for new users is how best to handle this in Revit- i.e. where you have “Existing” and “New” elememnts. This is exactly what Revit Phases are for. Let’s take the following simple example…




We have an existing building to which we want to:-

  1. Demolish an internal wall
  2. Add a small extension to the one side

First of all we need to set up our Phases. You can think of Phases as Milestone along a timeline. The date & time at which these occur is NOT important. What IS important is the ORDER or SEQUENCE of these Milestones. i.e. Does one Milestone come BEFORE or AFTER another? Switch to the “Manage” menu….




And select “Phases” from the “Phasing” panel….





This brings up the Phases dialogue box. Let’s break this down into it’s separate areas….





  1. Project Phases: This is where you create a list of your Phases (or “Milestone” if you’d like to think of them like this)
  2. Phase Filters: You can create Phase Filters which allow you to display your elements indifferent ways, depending upon the value of their Phasing properties- more on this later.
  3. Graphic Overrides: Change the look of your Phase Filters using these settings
Next I want you to look at the View Properties for your Floor Plan View. Scroll right down to the last group of View Properties. Here you will find the “Phasing” group….



  1.  The Phase Filter: Use this to change the look of your view- i.e. to show you elements are due to be demolished for example.
  2. Phase: This drop-down contains a list of the Phases currently setup in your project. Pick the Phase that you would like this view to show.
In the Project Browser I have duplicated the Floor Plan view. I have then renamed both of them- one has the word “Existing” in it’s name and the other contains “Proposed”…




Now that we have 2 Floor Plan Views we can set one to show us the Existing Phase and the other to show us the Proposed Phase. The   “Existing” Floor Plan view was already set to show the “Existing” phase- remember, we just checked it’s View Properties. So now switch to the “Proposed” Floor Plan view and change it’s “Phase” View Property to “Proposed”….





We can now go ahead in our PROPOSED Floor Plan view and add the walls (1, below) and door (2, below) to form our new extension…



All that is left to do is demolish that existing internal wall and door. To do so switch to the “Modify” menu (1, below) and select the “Demolish” tool (2, below). The icon is a big hammer- this is going to be fun!





Go ahead and click on the internal wall with the hammer! It instantly disappears. PLEASE NOTE: It has NOT been deleted from the model- it has just been designated as “Demolished in this Phase”- hence it is being visually filtered out of this view…




If we switch back to our “Existing” Floor Plan view we can see (or not as the case may be) that our building extension is not shown. That is because it does not “exist” yet. Those elements (i.e. the new walls and door) only “come into existence” at the “Proposed” Milestone in time. So because this view has it’s Phase set to “Existing” we do not see them….





I’ve now gone and duplicated one of the Floor Plan views again and this time named it “Demolitions”….





I am now going to change the Phasing View Properties for this “Demolitions” Plan to:-

  • Have the Phase set to “Proposed”
  • Have the Phase Filter set to “Show Demolition”
This view now shows us the existing building in a light halftone style and uses a dashed line style to represent the walls (and door) that are to be demolished.




So how does Revit know which walls are new, which walls are to be demolished, etc. Well, EVERY model element has 2 properties relating to Phasing:

  • Phase Created: This keeps track of when the element comes into existence (i.e. when it is born!)
  • Phase Demolished: This is when the element ceases to exist- it may be set to “None” if the element remains in the design





Phases can be also be used for complex multi-phase projects- i.e. Build Phase 1 of the project first, then build Phase 2. Now move the occupants of the existing building into Phase 1 and undertake a refurbishment or the original building, etc, etc. Basically Revit Phasing allows you to add a Fourth Dimenison of time to your model.

Key Points

  • Use Phasing to show how your model “changes over time”- i.e. from an existing building to a refurbished building
  • Revit objects have to Phasing Properties to track when they are born and when they die!
  • Set the Phasing properties for your views- to show you project at any partuclar Milestone in time
This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
This tutorial and over 80 others are available as a PDF Ebook. For details please Click Here
Posted in Autodesk Revit.