There are many reasons why BIM managers should be careful of just downloading families and plugging them into a BIM model.
Consider the following scenario. An MEP consultant links in an Architectural model and then tries to highlight the plumbing fixtures in the linked model by overriding its model category in blue color.
However, the elements are not overridden.
To understand the reason for this, open the Architectural file and edit the family directly.
We select the geometry to find that that element is a nested family.
Note there are no instance properties to apply materials.
Neither are there any type properties to control the material.
This means the geometry was imported, so we must try and explode it. However, when we explode it, there is a warning.
A warning is received that the geometry could not be exploded. The explosion destroys the component, and we are left without solids to assign materials to.
What is there to do? Well, you are welcome to model the family geometry from the first principles in Revit. So here it is evident why a BIM manager should have a look at an imported family before adopting it into the project. One may also try to download other formats of the family and import it into some other intermediary to see if one can not import that into Revit as geometry instead. AutoCAD is always a good bet. Unless one can do not get that geometry into Revit the material assignment will not work.
If you need help adopting Revit or BIM in your practice, please contact Micrographics so we may be of assistance.