The field of architecture has gone through seismic changes in the last decade. Modern construction projects demand speed and efficiency that goes beyond the capabilities of conventional CAD software and 2D drawings. Being able to plan and visualize every aspect of the construction project through BIM (Building Information Modeling) processes has now become a necessity.
This is where Revit steps in.
Originally developed by AutoDesk in 1997, Revit has grown to become the industry-standard BIM software. Powerful, robust and efficient, Revit has helped architects completely overhaul the way buildings are planned, constructed and even demolished. It can handle everything from initial 2D layouts and project visualization to final 3D renderings and eventual demolition.
With the recent resurgence in the construction industry, Revit technicians are in huge demand all over the world. It is also a necessary skill for every aspiring architect. Learning Revit, however, is not very easy. Fortunately, with courses such as the comprehensive Revit architecture for beginners , anyone can learn Revit with just a few months of hard work.
What is Revit?
In a nutshell, Revit is a BIM software program that helps architects and designers to:
Create 2D drawings of buildings
Organize building information into schedules
Render 3D models and walkthroughs of finished designs
Beyond this, Revit assists architects with supply chain management, risk management, scheduling, engineering simulation, and project visualization. It can estimate how long a project might take to build, simulate possible engineering complications, visualize every individual event in the construction phase, and of course, create 2D/3D drawings and models.
In other words, Rivet covers every aspect of a building’s lifecycle – from design to demolition.
Why Should You Learn Revit?
Revit has quickly become a fundamental part of any construction project design and deployment. As a result, the demand for Revit professionals is huge, especially in high-growth areas of the world like San Francisco, Dubai, China, etc.
Some of the reasons to learn Revit are:
After a long slowdown, the US construction industry is growing fast – it added 190,000 jobs between June 2012-13.
BIM adoption (and by proxy, Revit adoption) has grown from 17% in 2007 to 70% in 2012 in the construction industry.
With increasing demand for skilled Revit professionals, average salary for Revit specialists has increased to $66,000 in San Francisco.
Whether you are an experienced architect or a student wanting to break into the architecture field, learning Revit will give you a huge leg up on the competition. Courses like Learning AutoDesk Revit 2013 can make learning Revit fun, easy, and surprisingly affordable.
Tips on Learning Revit
Like learning a programming language or a valuable design skill, learning Revit requires time, commitment, and most importantly, the right lessons and resources. Following the tips given below will make your Revit journey a little easier:
1. Understand the Scope of Revit
Revit is powerful – as any project powering multimillion dollar construction projects should be. This isn’t a tool you can pick up over a week as a hobby; it requires significant commitment on your part. Revit can help you visualize projects as big as the Burj Khalifa or the One World Trade Center in all its details – from the plumbing and the elevator shafts to the penthouse suites and the front lobby. Being aware of what Revit can do (and what it cannot) can go a long way in tempering your expectations from the software.
2. Understand the BIM Process
The Revit BIM model strays significantly from the CAD software you might be used to. In conventional CAD software, if you need to make a change to a design, you need to update every element manually. If, for instance, you want to change the height of the roof, you will have to manually change the height of the walls pinned to its underside.
With Revit, however, every element used in the design acts as a “smart” component. This means that every component is parametrically linked to other components (i.e. it can change dimensions dynamically) and holds its own data (properties, material type, etc.) independently.
If, for instance, you want to raise the height of the roof in a Revit design, the height of the walls will change automatically with it. Increase the dimensions of a window and the wall linked to it parametrically will reflect the change dynamically.
This BIM model can save you countless hours in the design process; understanding it is an important part of learning Revit.
3. Find the Right Resources
There are hundreds of Revit training courses out there, both online and offline. Offline classes – which can stretch from a few weeks to year-long diplomas in architectural technology – are expensive and resource-intensive, but offer the advantage of a peer group and dedicated faculty. Online courses, on the other hand, help you learn at your own pace and cost significantly less than their offline counterparts. These courses can be as, or even more effective than offline courses, provided you stick to a schedule and follow instructions precisely.
You can also take Revit courses that target a very specific function, such as this course on Revit deployment and management for medium-sized offices.
4. Model Like You Would Build
Revit has very specific applications in the industry. Any Revit related job you might take would require you to create models that adhere to the construction norms and best-practices in your local area or relevant industry. Houses in South Beach, Florida, for instance, will have very different design guidelines than houses in Manhattan, New York. Designing a flamboyant Dubai skyscraper, on the other hand, requires completely different design aesthetics and skills than a minimalist San Francisco museum. It’s a good idea to get familiar with these best-practices in your target industry or local area right from the get-go.
In other words, create models that work in the real world.
5. Complement Your Skills
Powerful as it may be, learning Revit alone isn’t enough to help you become an architect. Complement your Revit skills by learning related software such as AutoCad, SketchUp and Photoshop to not only increase your knowledge, but also improve your employment opportunities.
AutoCad, the industry-leading CAD design software, is the tool most favored by architects for creating initial 2D drawings and sketches which can later be transferred to Revit. Learning AutoCad through courses such as this quick AutoCad crash course will help you make better designs faster.
Photoshop, on the other hand, is the tool of choice for adding finishing touches to 3D models. Photoshop is primarily used for creating detailed textures, adding images, graphics, and visual flourish to raw 3D renderings. Picking up Photoshop is relatively easy, as this popular Photoshop CS6 crash course will teach you.
6. Learn Architectural Theory
Learning a tool without understanding its theoretical basis will leave you half-equipped to solve problems. Picking up the basics of architectural theory – the hows and whys of building design – will make you a far better Revit practitioner. Getting a grip on major architectural design movements, from gothic revival and baroque to post-modernist and contemporary, will also help you design better buildings.
Mastering Revit will not only make you a better architect, but it will boost your employment opportunities. With courses such as this concise introduction to Revit essentials, you can learn this powerful software in no time.
How do you use Revit in your workplace? Share your tips and insight in the comments section below!