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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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What’s New in Autodesk Revit 2021.1

Revit 2021.1 delivers new features and upgrades to extend capabilities while reducing friction on BIM projects. I’m going to highlight a few specific feature improvements that are probably effecting all of us.  The Revit 2021 updates and hotfixs are cumulative and include all changes from previously released Revit 2021 updates.

Some of my favorites are the new sample studies for generative design in Revit. One can determine the best workstation layout that allows for proper minimum distance while considering the shorter distances to exits. The new path of travel tool, now includes the People Flow Toolkit, which includes the ability to improve upon the Path of Travel tool with multiple paths, one-way indicators, people content and a spatial grid to help visualize and understand the space. Here is a video on this enhancement.

Revit New Technology Preview: People Flow Toolkit

There are interoperability improvements in and Data Exchange. For instance one can see improvements when importing  SAT files, Rhino, and Sketchup 2020 files. They come in with higher fidelity than ever before. We no longer need a separate app and can now export STL files natively from Revit. As Microsol is a 3D Printing service provider, seeing STL files with color from Revit is exciting.

Collaboration and Coordination improvements. We hope to see up to 30% faster download times when opening, syncing, and reloading Revit models in the Cloud. This is important, because more and more of our client’s teams are obviously working from home.

Our IT partners are testing out the ability to create deployments within the autodesk account, manage.autodesk.com. We have to, I guess, I recently had a support case where we found the installation media available for download, did not have the classic deployment options.

We can now include our project stakeholders that are not using Revit with the new ability to quickly create and share 3D views with all project stakeholders without having to share the Revit model.

We always get questions about upgrading Revit models, now the entire project can be upgraded in one move. Check out my blog on the topic. https://microsolresources.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-for-upgrading-revit-projects/

I’ve included links to short topic specific videos;

Here’s the entire list of videos on the Revit 2021.1 release.

After this hotfix is applied successfully, the build number specified on the Help > About dialog will be:

21.1.10.26
20200909_1515(x64)
2020.1.1

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Tips and Tricks for Upgrading Revit Projects

Many of our clients hesitate to upgrade their Revit projects to the latest release. There are many reasons for the delay, cost, project member concerns, time, or even loss of work. There are many benefits to upgrade to the latest version of Revit. Security, stability, and new features are enough for me to want to upgrade. Here are some tips and tricks in upgrading your Revit projects.Host Models vs Linked Models
It’s best to upgrade the linked Revit projects before upgrading the host. if not, the host model will temporarily upgrade the links in order to load them in the upgraded host model. I open the host, unload all the links save it, then upgrade. Be sure to check the paths of the other linked elements once upgraded and reload. Instruct all team members to synchronize with central, relinquish all elements, and close their local copies of the central model. Backup the models and archives. It’s recommended to audit the model at this time. Why not perform the Revit project maintenance as outlined in my blog, Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines.

Upgrading Beyond 2017
The most important aspect to understand when upgrading a project is, what will change. In most cases nothing, but when our clients upgraded to Revit 2017, we noticed text problems, correction, changes. “The method for measuring text size has changed so that the Text Size parameter more accurately represents the height of a capital letter (similar to AutoCAD).” In Revit 2016 and earlier, text size is measured by the ascender height – the height of lower case letter ‘h.’ In Revit 2017 size is measured by the cap-height – the height of the capital letter ‘M.’Measuring the baseline of the top of a capital letter

After upgrading a model, review all views and sheets to verify the changes to your text instances. Note: Be sure that the proper fonts are installed when opening an upgraded model. Substituted fonts further will change text due to the font sizing changes. I recommend Bluebeam for a before and after, full set comparison. This way no changes that occur as a result of the upgrade will be missed.

Revit Collaborative Projects
When a project has work sharing enabled, the Central Model can be upgraded as we’ve discussed. However, as discussed in the Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines blog, we should make sure all parties are aware of the upgrade work being done. A new Central model will be created, then everyone can be instructed to create a NEW local file from the upgraded central.

All project contributors must have the save Revit version and Build. Refer to this Autodesk article, How to tie the Build number with the Revit update to make sure all project members are on the same version and build. When the project is being hosted on BIM 360 we can upgrade the project via the tools within BIM 360 DOCS.

Go to docs.b360.autodesk.com, sign in, and navigate to the project that you want to upgrade. Find the Navicon, Waffle, or nine dots in the upper left-hand corner of BIM 360 DOCS. go to Project Admin, you will find Revit Cloud Model Upgrade.

If you have any questions or need additional help in upgrading your Revit projects, please reach out to our technical team and Contact Us

 

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