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AUTHOR: Nick Marchek

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Benefits of Revit in Architectural Industries

Since its release in 1997, Revit has revolutionized the field of architecture and construction. The software changed the way engineers develop and interact with models by introducing automation, useful functionalities, and new approaches. Revit allowed professionals to visualize construction models in ways never before seen, thus changing the entire workflow of architectural projects.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Revit and how it works. We will also present you with the most important benefits of Revit for the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering.

 

Introduction to Revit

Autodesk Revit is a building information modeling (BIM) software developed by Autodesk. It allows for the creation of 3D models used for the planning, design, and management of construction projects. Revit helps teams collaborate better on designing both interior and exterior elements while improving the time and cost-efficiency of the project as a whole. The software acts as a single database where different stakeholders can work simultaneously on a design.

The program can be used for projects of all scopes and sizes and is an exceptionally powerful tool for the entire life of a project — from the early stages and construction to maintenance and decommissioning. There are three Revit software products, each suited for a particular field of work.

  • Revit Architecture — architecture and building design
  • Revit Structure — structural engineering
  • Revit MEP — mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering

Revit works by combining objects in groups called “families”. There are three types of families that you can create:

  • System Families — such as floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, and furniture built inside the project itself
  • Loadable Families — objects built with primitives, created separately from the project, and loaded into it
  • In-Place Families — objects built within a project by using the same tools as loadable components

 

Benefits of Revit for Architecture

Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to imagine any project in the construction industry being executed without the help of BIM software. Revit has been the leader in the field ever since its release and the tool keeps on receiving updates that improve its functionality. The platform offers a variety of options that are not available with other similar tools. Let’s take a look at the key benefits of Revit that make it the best BIM software in the business.

 

Diversity in Designing

Revit is a versatile tool that allows users to work on a project from a great variety of 3D views. You can view structural and floor plans, different elevation perspectives, and orthographic 3D models. Revit BIM has advanced rendering capabilities that can be used to create incredibly realistic and detailed 3D drawings. The platform essentially lets you take a virtual tour of the Revit model and experience its materials, lighting, and textures as if they were real. The powerful 3D design tools make Revit an ideal solution for both presentations and actual construction work.

 

Collaboration Abilities

One of the biggest benefits of Revit is that it lets multiple teams work simultaneously on a project and contribute both easily and effectively. The program utilizes different models and views that can be accessed and updated by each team member in real-time. The databases and the main project file can be kept either on a local network or in the cloud so that they can be accessed easily by anyone. Revit also provides a variety of tools for communication, annotation, and collaboration on different levels.

For large organizations with multiple teams, the best solution would be to use the BIM 360 add-on for Revit. It lets you co-create models, manage construction documentation, and monitor communications — all of that with the help of cloud technology. It provides the perfect tool for efficient collaboration between large teams with different tasks and areas of expertise.

 

Outstanding Parametric Data

Revit is renowned for its capabilities to render and present parametric data for complex 3D construction models. It allows you to easily scale projects and fine-tune where specific objects go. Revit helps you properly define each aspect of a project’s lifecycle and ensure that each design is up to specifications before the actual construction even begins. What is more, the software allows teams to arrange schedules, manage deadlines, and do project management in the most effective way.

With Revit, users can assign various parameters to each object included in a building model. For example, you can assign energy exploitation values, information regarding maintenance, or data regarding materials, logistics, or suppliers. Being able to define such parameters for complex projects is quite useful, as it allows you to keep all relevant information in one single tool.

 

3D Modeling

When it comes to the benefits of Revit for architectural design, we cannot skip highlighting the high-quality 3D modeling features that the platform offers. Revit comes equipped with a plethora of tools and functionalities that take 3D modeling to the next level. These include clash detection, energy efficiency analysis, embedded design data, and multi-monitor support. Another useful feature is the ability to generate “as-built” models for construction projects. They can be used for the renovation of existing structures, facility management, designing new buildings, and even planning demolitions.

Overall, Revit allows you to edit, customize, and review 3D models in exceptional detail. While similar BIM tools also offer advanced 3D rendering, Revit’s modeling process is the standard by which all others are measured. The platform’s 3D modeling has wide applications in all phases of a construction project.

 

Time and Cost Efficiency

In addition to being a powerful tool for visualization and 3D rendering, Revit is also essential when it comes to time, cost efficiency, and risk management. The software lets you optimize your schedule and automate some of the mundane and repetitive tasks associated with 3D modeling. With Revit, you also get zero redundancy — since all project data is saved on a single model, any changes are immediately transferred to all other areas. This optimizes production time and also minimizes errors in the design process. Revit also allows you to easily extract both 3D and 2D drawings, saving you even more time.

Issues that are not discovered and addressed during the design phase of a construction project can have devastating results. By using BIM software like Revit, you will be able to analyze all aspects of the project before construction begins. The various tools that Revit offers help with error detection and mitigation, which can end up saving you a lot of money for remodeling and reconstruction. Also, it might help save lives, as problems with a building can lead to serious accidents.

 

Conclusion

Even though there are many BIM software tools out there, Revit is still considered the best you can go for. Since its initial release more than 20 years ago, the platform has radically changed the way construction projects are executed. Nowadays, it is an exemplary piece of software that combines 3D modeling and various tools that help professionals plan, design, and manage their projects. The software keeps on receiving regular updates that expand its capabilities even more. Revit allows large teams to cooperate efficiently, leading to shortened production times and better overall results.

In this article, we presented you with the benefits of Revit for the architectural industry. However, the platform has so much more to offer in terms of functionality and tools. It is not just a 3D version of AutoCAD — it is an invaluable asset for both small and large construction projects. On top of that, it comes with competitive pricing. If you have yet to try out the best BIM software in the AEC industry, we highly recommend you do it as soon as possible.

 

Learn More about Revit

 

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Which AutoCAD is right for you?

CHOOSE THE AUTOCAD THAT FITS YOUR BUSINESS

There are numerous products out there to help with your design and documentation workflows, but which one is right for you.  This blog article will look at the breadth of what AutoCAD offers in terms of products and specializations.  There are many benefits to using AutoCAD, but this blog will focus on helping you decide which AutoCAD is right for you.  For a more comprehensive breakdown of the benefits of AutoCAD, please see this blog post.

First and foremost, with the release of AutoCAD 2019, also known as “One AutoCAD”, Autodesk has moved away from the separate ‘vertical’ cad program subscriptions (i.e., Architecture, Electrical, Mechanical, MEP, etc.) and had now provided access to “specialized toolsets” for each discipline within the same subscription of AutoCAD.  In other words, there is no longer a need to purchase different AutoCAD products depending on your industry – instead, you now get a subscription for AutoCAD. In addition to the ‘vanilla’ version of AutoCAD, you will have the various industry-specific specialized toolsets available for download.

Please note: Civil 3D has remained a separate product outside of the new offering (more on that below).  So, while compatible with AutoCAD, Civil 3D will require a separate subscription if you intend to use it in conjunction with other cad software.

 

WHICH AUTOCAD IS BEST FOR ARCHITECTURE, MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS? 

These industry-specific toolsets provide features and libraries specific to certain trades or disciplines that are useful in automating and streamlining the design and documentation process, whether it is 2D drafting or 3D modeling.

By providing automated workflows and collections of intelligent parts, symbols, and building objects, the new AutoCAD offers more flexibility in its functionality in the ever-evolving world of BIM.  So, let’s take a look at a brief overview of the various toolset options so you can decide which is right for you.

Below are the products available to you as part of the “AutoCAD including specialized toolsets” package:

  • AutoCAD (Windows & Mac)
    • Used by designers from all trades and disciplines.
    • Often referred to as the base or “vanilla” AutoCAD, where all of the below is built on top of.
    • Provides tools for drawing and annotation tools for 2D documentation, as well as modeling and visualization tools to create 3D models.
    • Can be customized to meet the unique workflows for each user/office.
  • AutoCAD Architecture
    • Used by architects and designers.
    • Think of AutoCAD Architecture as the midpoint between regular AutoCAD and the parametric modeling offered by Autodesk Revit.
    • Provides tools to automate the process of setting up 2D drawings, schedules, and various documentation tasks.
    • 8000+ intelligent architectural objects and styles.
    • New/Featured Tools:
      • Architectural Renovation: Ability to display existing, demolished, and new construction all in the same drawing file rather than edit multiple files.
      • Walls. Doors, Windows: Real-world behavior and construction built into the elements.
      • Design & Documentation: Utilize detail components and keynoting tools to cut down on drafting time.
  • AutoCAD Electrical
    • Used by electrical engineers and users involved in documenting electrical control systems.
    • Supplies tools to create panel layouts, schematic diagrams, and other electrical drawings.
    • 65,000+ intelligent symbols.
    • New/Featured Tools:
      • Automatic Report Generation: Generate and update customized reports.
      • Customer & Supplier Collaboration: Easily share DWG drawings with stakeholders.
      • Easily Manage Projects: Use folders to organize drawings and reorder files for electrical drafting purposes.
  • AutoCAD Map 3D
    • Designed for users who need to utilize and maintain CAD and GIS data for planning, design, and data management.
    • Equips users with tools to create, maintain, and communicate mapping and GIS information within the AutoCAD drawing environment.
    • Manages GIS data and uses task-based tools to aggregate with design data.
    • New/Featured Tools:
      • Use Feature Data Objects (FDO) Technology: Work with spatial data from a variety of CAD and GIS data formats and coordinate systems.
      • Connect to ArcGIS: Streamline the flow of data between ArcGIS and Map 3D and keep features information up to date.
      • Convert Data Between DWG and GIS Data: Perform high-fidelity data conversions using MapImport and MapExport.
  • AutoCAD Mechanical
    • Used by manufacturing, product, and mechanical design professionals.
    • Provides tools to automate mechanical engineering tasks such as generating machine components, dimensioning, and creating a bill of materials.
    • 70,000+ intelligent objects.
    • Key/Featured Tools:
      • Layer Management: Isolate and restore layer groups and specify line types and line weights.
      • Hidden Lines: Update geometry automatically when a change occurs and minimize rework.
      • Machinery Generators & Calculators: Efficiently analyze designs, including shaft, spring, belt, and cam generators.
  • AutoCAD MEP
    • Used by mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection professionals.
    • Supplies tools to help draft, design, and document MEP building systems in both 2D and 3D cad.
    • 10,500+ intelligent MEP objects.
    • Key/Featured Tools:
      • MEP Workspaces: Workspace environments include individual palettes and domain-specific ribbons.
      • AutoCAD Block Conversion: Batch-convert single or multiple blocks and symbols.
      • Styles Browser: Get more MEP components and add folders to the Content Library.
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D
    • Used for 3D design of plant models.
    • Provides tools to generate and share isometrics, orthographic, and materials reports.
    • Also provides tools to create schematic diagrams, plant layouts, and other drawings necessary for plant design.
    • 400+ intelligent plant objects.
    • Key/Featured Tools:
      • Collaboration for Plant 3D: Collaborate on plant models across project teams and maintain compliance requirements, all in a cloud-based environment.
      • Quick P&ID Drafting: In-context AutoCAD commands help P&ID drafting easier.
      • Data Validation: Quickly identify possible errors by scanning P&IDs for data consistency according to user-defined rules.
  • AutoCAD Raster Design
    • Designed to help users edit scanned drawings and convert raster images to DWG objects.
    • Key/Featured Tools:
      • Image Editing & Cleanup: Despeckle, bias, mirror, and touch up your images.
      • Raster Entity Manipulation (REM): Use standard AutoCAD commands on raster regions and primitives.
      • Vectorization Tools: Create lines and polylines from raster images, and convert raster files into vector drawings.
      • Image Transformation Functionality: Show and analyze geo images in Civil 3D engineering software and the AutoCAD Map 3D toolset.

To find out more about AutoCAD including specialized toolsets, click here.

For an overview of new features in AutoCAD 2021, please see here.

 

WHICH AUTOCAD IS BEST FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS? 

As mentioned above, AutoCAD Civil 3D is still a separate product outside of the new bundled offering of AutoCAD including specialized toolsets.

AutoCAD Civil 3D is built on top of AutoCAD Map 3D and the base AutoCAD.  It has all of the features of both but also provides dynamic tools for civil engineering tasks such as grading, road design, pipe networks, and profiles.

Civil 3D is a civil engineering design software that supports BIM with integrated features to improve drafting, design, and construction documentation.

    • Key/Featured Tools:
      • Collaboration for Civil 3D: Securely access Civil 3D files, data shortcuts, and xrefs from multiple locations and companies, all in a common data environment.
      • Connector for ArcGIS: Streamline the flow of data between ArcGIS and Civil 3D.  Access the latest data and keep features information up to date.  Task-based tools to manage GIS data and aggregate GIS data with design data.
      • Dynamo for Civil 3D: Use the Dynamo visual scripting environment to develop routines that automate repetitive design tasks and expedites workflows.
      • Bridge Design: Coordinate workflows more efficiently across the various disciplines working on complex bridge design projects.
      • Pressure Network: Use enhanced tools for more efficient pressure pipe network layout and design.
      • New Transit & Rail Design Features: An expanded toolkit for transit and rail design including spirals, dynamic alignments, profiles, and superelevation design.
      • Design & Documentation: Create plans, profiles, and cross-sections for roads, land development, and other civil designs.  Consistent project standards with drawings organized in a project-based structure.
      • Access to Information: Standard data schema, automated business workflows, and report templates for Electric North America, Electric Europe, Water, Wastewater, Gas industry.
      • Intelligent Objects: Intelligent civil objects that interact to create interconnected designs along with configurable styles to conform to nearly any graphical standards.

To find out more about AutoCAD Civil 3D, click here.

 

SUMMARY

Choosing the right AutoCAD software can be confusing.  With the all-in-one offering created by Autodesk for AutoCAD starting in 2019, that has become a little easier of a decision.  You may still have the decision as to whether you want to move forward with AutoCAD or possibly go to a solution that leans more toward full BIM, like Revit.  Or, you may be looking at other 3D modeling software like Rhino, Solidworks, Sketchup, or again even Revit.

These decisions will come down to what you are trying to accomplish with the software – are you drafting and creating construction documentation, are you preparing models for renderings or 3D printing, or are you simply looking for the most affordable solution that meets the need of your team at this time?

You want the features and licensing options that make you and your team more productive. The truth is – it isn’t just the price you pay that matters. The right software will likely include features that save you so much time and labor costs that it more than pays for itself.

There are a lot of options out there.  This blog, hopefully, helps walk you through the options when considering AutoCAD as the solution that best fits your needs.

For more information on pricing and options, please email info@microsolresources.com.

 

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Top 10 Benefits of Revit

When using CAD for building design, you focus on creating drawings. When using BIM (building information modeling), you focus on creating a building model, and then the drawings can be generated from the model. 

Autodesk Revit is a type of BIM (building information modeling) design software used by the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.  One of the most popular BIM solutions, Revit moves beyond simple 2D drawings and facilities the 3D modeling and documentation of architectural, structural, and MEP systems for a project’s full lifecycle from the early stages of design through construction.

NBS' BIM Report 2020According to UK-based NBS, in their annual BIM Report, in 2011, only 13% of respondents were using BIM tools.  Today, 73% of respondents are now using BIM software such as Revit.  In fact, 50% of those respondents use Revit software (whether they are architects or MEP or structural engineers) for their everyday 3D modeling workflows, followed distantly by other 2D drafting software like AutoCAD. 

The benefits of BIM (and Revit specifically in the case of this blog) are numerous, and this article will highlight the top ten benefits of Revit and its key capabilities as one of the leading tools for creating and managing building models.

Benefits of Revit

 

1. Parametric Modeling

Parametric modeling is an all-inclusive phrase referencing the creation of 3D models from a set of rules.  Revit uses parametric modeling via “families.”  Everything in Revit, from title blocks to 3D views to building components such as walls or floors, is part of a “family”; some are built into the software, some accessible through libraries, and others built from scratch.  A family can be created by assigning dimensions and properties to 2D or 3D information, which can then be modified by a Revit user by changing those parameters (for example, height, width, or thickness of a door family).  This gives Revit models greater control over building design.

 

2. Automation

All information that is used to create a Revit model is housed in a single database.  This means that whenever you make a change in the model, the database gets updated. The changes are carried throughout the entire model, enabling automation and making the building design process more efficient (and also eliminating some of the rework that comes with ‘chasing’ changes around our various project files).

Design Automation

3. Collaboration

One of the more distinct differences between Revit and AutoCAD is the ability to allow multiple users to work in the same Revit model at the same time, as opposed to AutoCAD, where only one user can make changes to a .dwg file at a time.  By using the ‘Sync with Central’ tool in Revit, users can push their model changes to a ‘Central’ model while also pulling any changes from that same ‘Central’ model made by colleagues into their ‘Local’ copy of the model.  This process enables full collaborative functionality for the project team.

The interoperability of Revit with other Autodesk software, such as AutoCAD or FormIt, along with the extensive plug-ins being created by other software companies and applications helps facilitate collaboration between multiple teams and disciplines as well.  

 

4. Coordination

Whether coordinating models as part of the architectural design process or performing constructability reviews from users in the construction industry, Revit provides numerous useful tools for coordination between different models, file types, disciplines, and trades.  Tools in Revit allow users to monitor changes from a linked model, review notifications of those changes, copy elements from a linked model into their base model, and communicate those items that need a resolution to other teams working on the same project.  

Collaboration

5. Scheduling

In the same vein as a Revit model functioning as a single database of all information in a model, scheduling in Revit cuts down on the time traditional workflows demand.  As changes are made in the Revit model, schedules that have been set up will instantly update as well with those changes, streamlining one of the more time-consuming processes in the architectural design process.  To help with project management, schedules can also be exported out of Revit, modified, then imported back in with those changes.

 

6. Energy Analysis

Sustainable design is crucial in the design and construction process these days, and Revit features several analytical tools that can help measure the environmental impacts of your building design.  Specifically, the ‘Energy Optimization’ tools built into Revit (as well as additional plug-ins available), in conjunction with “Insight 360” in the cloud, designers can visualize the impact their design could have at any phase of the design process, and without the need to create a new model or user other software. 

Autodesk Insight Energy Analysis tool

7. Rendering Presentation

Using multiple pieces of software for rendering and presentation materials is a time-honored process in the design industry. Still, Revit provides tools to create these materials all in one platform.  While 3D modeling programs such as 3ds Max are certainly useful for some like the animation industry, the ability to create 3D drawings and renderings directly in Revit, rather than import your model into a different piece of software, saves quite a bit of time.  Revit provides tools for 2D presentations and 3D visualization deliverables using Revit’s extensive material libraries and rendering plug-ins.  There are also other applications and plug-ins that can be used in conjunction with Revit models to review and present your model in VR (virtual reality) settings – thus allowing your team to collaborate from anywhere in real-time.

 

8. Construction Documentation

By utilizing the 3D modeling capabilities of Revit and the coordination tools at our disposal, users can quickly review clash detection and identify other coordination issues.  With these changes, and in conjunction with the dynamic nature of how changes are populated throughout an entire model, users can generate high-quality, coordinated, and error-free construction documents rather quickly.

Additionally, the creation and use of Revit project templates internally will maintain consistency across your team’s construction documentation, keeping project delivery uniform across all projects in your office.  

 

 

9. Drawing Sheet Set-Up

Because all information is intelligently connected in Revit, changes made in one view are carried through to another.  For example, if I move a wall in a floor plan, that will automatically be updated in other plans, sections, perspectives, etc.  When views are dropped onto a sheet, users can be assured that changes no longer need to be chased around an entire drawing set housed within multiple files. Instead, the user makes a change in one view and can confidently print the drawing set right away, knowing that the waterfall of changes tied to that one edit will automatically be carried through the entire drawing set.

The cloud has become the biggest game-changer in collaboration practices in our time.

10. Cloud-Based Access

These days, remote work is becoming the norm, if not necessary, for many offices.  Housing a Revit model in the cloud gives access anytime and from anywhere to your Revit models.  There are a number of cloud-based platforms that can work with Revit. Still, the most obvious is the BIM 360 platform sold by Autodesk – this platform acts as a “server in the cloud” where users can save their models, push changes to said models, mark up models and sheets, communicate with team members, and even help with facility management after construction completion handoff  – all through a web browser.  This connection to the cloud extends the power of Revit and its collaborative capabilities.

 

 

Do you have other suggestions on the benefits of Revit not included in this article? Looking to start using Revit for your firm and have questions? You can email us at info@microsolresources.com.

 

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