Solution provide by Steve Stafford for Tim Ulrich, Houston:
You need access to your Revit model and don’t want to interfere with the live project model or are concerned about altering any work that has been completed thus far. List of Steps:
1. Open Revit
2. Open the project and select Detach from Central
3. Click OK to accept warning message
4. Inspect the model – do what you need to do
5. Close the file
6. Close Revit
Open Revit: Double-click the Revit Architecture 2008 icon on your desktop.Open the Project: Click the File menu > Open. Now use Browse to the server and folder that your project files are stored in. You can check with your team’s data leader for precise location information. THIS NEXT STEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT! Check the Detach from Central check box!
Inspect the model - As a project manager it may be unrealistic to expect that you become completely savvy with Revit. It is completely realistic to expect to be able to poke around your project so you can stay involved and connected to your team’s progress and how the model and documentation is tracking expectation. You may need a quick review of how to open views, spin a 3D view, print views or sheets.
Close the File: If you choose the File menu > Close Revit will close the project file without saving anything you have done. In fact the entire time you have been working within the project you have been working in a temporary file, with no name at all. If you decide to save anything you have done you must use File menu > Save and choose a directory to save the file in. You must NEVER save the file in the same folder as the actual project or use the same name as the original.
Close Revit: File menu > Exit
UPDATE: December 2013:
Now, Autodesk provides a "Revit Viewer" that is installed with the regular version of the application. This will also allow a team member to view a model without fear of interfering with the active project team.