The Role of Revit in Construction

By Anna Liza Montenegro | BIM, Collaboration, Data Management, Virtual Reality, Visualization

If you work in the construction industry, it can be helpful to know a little about Revit. This modeling tool contains many helpful aspects for engineers, architects, contractors, and more. Keep reading to discover all the features of Revit and see how to use Revit for construction projects.

What Is Revit?

So what is Revit? Formally called Autodesk Revit, Revit is a type of building information modeling (BIM) software. It has some of the AutoCAD features found in other Autodesk products, but Revit focuses on features for engineers, architects, designers, and contractors.

Revit contains a broad range of tools needed for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). It can help with everything from ordering materials to launching an opening ceremony. This software for construction products stands out because it is one of the first three-dimensional BIM systems. It’s gone through many changes over the years to ensure it’s always up-to-date with industry standards.

What Is Revit Used for in Construction?

Revit’s primary use is for designing and modeling buildings. You can load various components, such as roofs, slabs, furniture, lighting, and doors. Typically, a person working on a building project will craft a custom 3D Revit structure for their project. This scale model will show everything from elevations to rebar types. They can use this model to view their drafts in a 3D environment and adjust as needed. The models also allow for cutaways and floor plans of a building, so designers can more easily explain their projects to outside viewers. The extremely detailed, precise models you can make in Revit are a valuable part of the design process.

Revit software also makes it very easy for the various project teams to communicate with each other. All changes are documented, so everyone is updated on any alterations. The various people involved in the building can see how other teams’ designs are going and use this data to inform their own designs. In addition to helping builders manage their workflow, Revit helps with client communication. Clients can easily check up on progress and annotate as needed, so collaboration goes seamlessly.

The builder’s main uses of Revit are trying designs and communicating with other teams. In addition to these advantages, numerous small, helpful ways to work with the program exist. Revit models can provide clash detection or help you calculate materials needed for a project. All of these little perks add up to a lot of saved time. Many companies use Revit to quickly get through time-consuming tasks, so they can focus on the rest of the building process.

What Are the Key Features of Revit in Construction?

Revit comes with a broad range of features for building teams to try out. Here are some of the most popular tools available within this BIM process software.

Data-Rich 3D Modeling

3D models made in Revit are far more than just a pretty pictures. These 3D views also help with functionality. You can view specific dimensions, types of connectors, joint types, and more. All these visualizations help improve workflow and coordination.

Premade Construction Models

Revit does allow for custom modeling, but it also has some premade BIM models and templates you can use. For example, you can browse through standard types of steel connections and attach your preferred one to a beam. This speeds up modeling and ensures you use effective designs.

Fabrication Recommendations

For systems like ductwork, Autodesk Revit lets you click on a system and see a list of all necessary fabrication parts. This makes it quick and easy to order the materials you need.

Identify Clash Detection

This feature is very helpful when you have multiple teams designing different systems. Clash detection can recognize when a slab and steel column are placed in incorrect, overlapping spots.

Parametric Components

Parameters are various sets of guidelines that the system follows. It can do things like automatically offset beams from the floor. When you change the flooring, the beams and trusses will automatically adjust.

Conceptual Mass Modeling

Revit can help architects discover overall massing for a building’s height, area, weight, volume, and orientation. This is particularly helpful for more unusually shaped, non-linear buildings.

What Are the Benefits of Using Revit in Construction?

Revit’s ability to provide design plans, enhance team communication, and implement time-saving features make it very beneficial. Revit has some advantages not found in other BIM software used in construction.

One of the significant advantages is its interoperability. You can import and export with many other AutoCAD products, and it’s compatible with formats like IFC, 3DM, SKP, and OBJ. This allows for seamless coordination with any other software. Revit even allows you to load add-ons. These provide additional features not found in the base software. For example, Revit MEP add-ins allow plumbers to automate things like hydraulic design, or you can use add-ins for 3D printing.

Another perk of using Revit for construction is its sustainability. When working with BIM software, designers don’t have to manually draw designs on paper and throw them out. They can experiment with a variety of options without wasting office resources. Using Revit for notes and team communications further cut back on memos and other paper products.

A huge benefit of using Revit over other BIM is its personalization options. You can fully customize the user interface, so you get a helpful toolbar filled with all the features you need for your project. You can also further customize with parameters and other features. This can set system-wide guidelines so every part of the project adheres to your business’ construction preferences.

Furthermore, Revit is straightforward to use. The interface contains a lot of detail, but it’s easy to get started. A person who is new to Revit can produce professional models in minutes. Detailed tables and extensive search capabilities make it quick and easy for beginners to find the tools they need. Like most other Autodesk products, Revit is almost an industry standard at this point. Once you get the basics down, you’ll find yourself using it for countless projects.

Is Revit the Same as BIM?

To fully understand what Revit is, it’s important to distinguish it from BIM. BIM is short for building information modeling, and it refers to any intelligent software that provides 3D modeling related to construction. Ultimately, Revit is not the same as BIM, but it is a type of BIM.

If you hear industry professionals talking about BIM software, they might be talking about Revit or another software that fits within the same category. Revit can be used in just about any situation where you need BIM tools or BIM workflow. Just keep in mind that all BIM is not automatically Revit. There are a lot of other BIM platforms out there that provide similar services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some other helpful details to know about Revit.

Who Uses Revit?

A wide range of construction industry professionals works with Revit. Structural engineers, MEP engineers, designers, and many types of contractors use Revit. Many professionals also use Revit for architecture. It’s also sometimes used by project managers and clients who use the messaging system or look at deliverables even if they don’t use any complex tools.

Is Revit Hard to Learn?

The basics of Revit are usually easy to learn. The interface is intuitive, so you can learn a lot just by playing around with it. Autodesk also provides helpful Revit tutorials. However, keep in mind that this software is versatile and complex. People who have been using it for years are still finding new ways to work with Revit. You can make basic project files right away, but some of the more niche uses can take a little time to learn.

Is Revit Better Than AutoCAD?

Autocad vs Revit, which is best? This will depend on what you need to accomplish. AutoCAD is very helpful for big-picture design and data collection. However, Revit tends to be better at actual design and construction documents. It tends to do a better job of keeping track of the details and supporting individual phases of the building.

Ultimately, Revit has a lot of exciting applications. By learning how to use all the features of Revit, you can save time on jobs and enhance your customers’ satisfaction.

INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Construction, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering

Published on December 19, 2022 in BIM, Collaboration, Data Management, Virtual Reality, Visualization.

About the Author

Marketing Director in New York via San Francisco and Manila. Anna Liza is a trained architect and inspired by technology. A fan of traveling, slow food movement, and summers in Maine with her kids. She has been with Microsol since 2004.