Monday, 27 August 2012

How to Create a Material Take Off

Here are the steps for creating a basic Material take off schedule in your Revit Project.

For this example I'll be using the components of an Exterior Brick on metal stud wall and quantify the amount of Brick in a project.

To start a Material Take off:

1.       Click View tab > Create panel > Schedules drop-down > Material Takeoff.

2.       In the New Material Takeoff dialog, click a category for the material takeoff schedule, (in this case Wall), then name your Schedule, and click OK.

3.       In the Material Takeoff Properties dialog, for Available Fields, select the material attributes. Such as Area, Description, Name (Volume if you require such in the case of Concrete. Sort the list in order accordingly.

4.       Use the filter to specify which material(s) you want to schedule.

5.       Sort by Material Name, specify a Grant total if you would like to itemize every Instance. By itemizing every Instance you can quickly and easily use the “Highlight” in Model tool to see the location of the material.

6.       Under “Formatting” you will need to check the “Calculate Totals” box where volumes or areas are required.

The material takeoff schedule displays, and the view is listed in the Project Browser under Schedules/Quantities.

Tip: When creating a flooring material take off create the floor finish as a separate floor, this way you can pull the material take off of the overall floor sub-assembly separate from the individual room or area floor finishes. For example typical wood frame floor assembly we can quantify the amount of plywood sheathing required as well as the area of carpet or tile on top of the subfloor.


  1. great tutorial;
    but what if there are walls with different size of bricks? (same material, different width)
    material:width is not listed to filter by?

    1. Good question.
      If it's a different size brick it's a different material. That's the only way you can basically separate them when creating a material take off...
      Thanks for the question..

    2. thanks for the reply;
      however, it is the same material, only different width. It would be very confusing to create different materials for every width-type. wouldn't it? also, defining a width-defined material to an assembly & being able to define another width, could be very strange??

      i am thinking of adding a "calculated value" to the material takeoff, where i would extract the width by subtracting material:volume / material:area ? this works, but there is a round-off error, so my values are incorrect!?


  2. I think I would still create a new Material to make it easier to schedule. For example I have different materials for each size of drywall 1/2" 5/8" etc... this allows me to create specific wall types as well as the ability to "Take off" a material list for each type. Even though it's still the same material they are still unique and thus have different "values" including cost, STC, R-value, FRR ...etc.
    Same should apply for Brick, each size is a unique material.
    I think this is easier.. keeping it simple?

    1. How about adding in the Type Name as a field, because that is how you would differentiate all of your wall widths right? And then sort it by Material first, and then Type Name after that so that it will arrange itself by wall width.

  3. Hey! I am really curious about one thing, of course if that's not too much to ask could you please tell us your place of birth?

  4. I'm an Aussie living in Canada :-)

  5. Hey Scott!!

    Neil here. When I schedule my masonry wall its shown in the schedule, but it doesn't want to show the area for some reason. It worked on one wall, but not the other. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Neil, sorry for the late reply. I've been on Vacation.
      Are you doing a wall schedule or a material takeoff?
      Are you checking the check box "Calculate Totals" on the formatting tab when creating the schedule or take off.
      Also check that there is a material assigned to the exterior finish... I know.. your thinking "Duh!" but it's happened..

    2. Hello!
      Im having trouble with step 6 - the box calculate totals is highlighted and I dont have the option to select it. Any ideas what might have gone wrong ?

      Thank You :)

    3. The calculated totals box will only be available for those values that it can calculate, for example if you select material description it is grayed out whereas if you select Area it'll become available.
      Check what is selected and see if the "Calculated Values" box becomes available.

    4. I thought I checked everything yesterday but I guess I was too tired and annoyed at the end of the day ! I changed the order in the list by putting Material Volume first and the box became available! Thank You very much!

  6. I wonder is there a work-around for the lack of a material cost total?

  7. You can use calculated totals and assign a cost per element such as doors etc, if your dealing with drywall or sheathing you can calculate a cost per sq.ft and then calculate the sq ft material take off.
    Some if it may be manual but it can be done, or easily exported to a excel spreadsheet for more defined estimation.

  8. Hi All,

    What is the charges normally applied for this kind of task?
    To model an existing 2D drawing into Revit purposely for Material TakeOff.
    I believe the model must be structural based, instead of architectural.

    What is really needed/required to develop the model in Revit for the above purpose? Which LOD (100,200,300,etc) should we prefer/suggest?

    Anyone has any idea?

  9. I cant comment as to the charges for this task, that's specific to your company and your location. It could be an added value service.
    If your modeling a 2D drawing specifically for QTO or construction sequencing it's an estimate on time and availability of information, your 2D drawings may not have all the info you need.
    The LOD for a QTO model depends on the type of building and how the model is to be used. Typically I would do similar as to what I would do for a CD set of drawings, either 300 or 350, you only need to go higher than that for a FM model or fabrication of specific elements.
    Otherwise 350 would suffice.
    Hope this helps...

  10. Hi Scott,
    Is there a way to select an item from the material take off and show it within the model?

  11. Yes, once you select the line item on the schedule you should be able to select an icon in the top right ribbon that says "Show In Model" this will take you to a view of the element in your model.

  12. I have one question Scott, will be extremely glad to hear the answer, Why the wraps are not calculated in material takeoff, I have tried to see the difference when I apply the wraps but numbers does not change.

  13. Unfortunately I dont have a clear answer for you. I dont think Revit is an "Exact" take off tool and should be used in conjunction with a calculation tool such as the QTO capabilities in Navisworks. For example "baseboards" are typically not modeled in a design but you can use the wall perimeter area calculation to calculate the total linear length for QTO.

  14. Hello, I would like to remove (with dedicated formula) some calculated Material: Area (Material assigned by paint tool) to another Material: Area.
    The above workaround should be to modify in negative whole areas calculated to some material...
    I tried with this type of formula, but the result is "Improper use of boolean expresssions", the formula is:
    IF ( Material: Name = "Wood, Formwork" , Material: Area, -Material: Area).
    Any idea/suggestion about
    Thanks in advance (Roberto from Rome)