What is Autodesk’s Revit and Why Is it Essential?
What is Revit, what are the benefits, and why is building information modeling (BIM) the future? If you already know how objects work in AutoCAD Architecture and you know how a building is put together, then you’re more than halfway there. Before digging deeper into Revit, let’s learn more about BIM and its benefits.
What is BIM?
BIM has become an essential part of any design project by facilitating smarter, faster, and stronger designs that make economic sense while reducing environmental impact. BIM provides support every step of the way, from design and visualization to simulation and construction.
Autodesk explains BIM as the process that begins with the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination, and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build operation, and maintenance).
To simplify, previously we had 2D printed drawings created through CAD software by architects and engineers. A single project could contain hundreds of drawings, and once a project had been signed off, it got filed, never to be looked at again. With BIM, we enrich a 3D virtual model with endless amounts of data, which can be used throughout its life cycle. Some of the benefits of using a BIM process is better project coordination and collaboration between the architects and engineers, efficient workflows, 3D visualizations, and improved project outcomes.
The original software was created by Charles River Software in 1997. In 2000, with the help of a public communication consultant, Revit Technology Corporation was born. There are rumors the name came from a brainstorming session where the words ‘revise’ and ‘instantly’ were thought to define the most revolutionary aspect of the software: revising an element anywhere changes it everywhere. Whether this is true or not, I find it to be very fitting for the software. Then in 2002, Autodesk acquired the company and shortened the name to Revit.
What is Revit?
Autodesk’s Revit is a BIM software specifically designed for Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) applications. The tools were designed with the AEC professional in mind and act as the professional would expect. Revit helps teams collaborate, innovate, and connect with clients in more productive ways.
Revit allows the user to model accurately and precisely in 3D as well as automatically update floor plans, elevations, and sections as the model develops. Meaning, once you change the position of a window, the changes take effect on all relevant views, saving you countless hours of amendments, while eliminating the possibility for errors. Revit will handle the routine and repetitive tasks automatically so you can focus on higher-value work, something 2D CAD software doesn’t offer.
The three main disciplines which use Revit are:
- Structural Engineers
- MEP Engineers
Post-construction, the Revit model can still be used for many purposes. BIM data can be used throughout the building’s lifecycle for cost-effective renovation or efficient deconstruction during the operations and maintenance section of the BIM cycle.
Benefits of using Revit
- A Revit project builds a single 3D model, so all plans, sections, and elevation views are generated from that model.
- Your documentation and coordination will be more accurate when all disciplines on a project are working in Revit.
- Revit’s BIM 360 Design, previously known as Revit Collaboration, uses cloud work-sharing to allow all disciplines to work together on one mode, regardless of their location.
- The Architects, Structural, and Electrical Engineers models are combined into one, meaning clash detection of structure and services are picked up instantly, making coordination much easier.
- When used properly, all your sheet reference tags for sections, elevations, or enlarged views are coordinated automatically. If you change your plan reference tag, the corresponding reference tag also changes. This makes a time consuming, tedious task easier.
- Door and window schedules and material take-off sheets are more time-saving features. Not only can you schedule many components — your equipment, lights, furniture, etc. — you can add the cost of these components to get an estimate of the job’s cost. Throughout any stage of the project, if you need to change the size, price, or material of a component, Revit will automatically update the relevant schedule.
How to get started with Revit
1. Autodesk offers a free 30-day trial for business users, by simply creating an Autodesk account. After the 30-day trial, you will no longer have access to the software
2. Students can receive a one-year free license, but they must confirm they are a student with a student email address and student ID card.
3. Stand-alone licenses are included in subscriptions with single-user access. A subscription with single-user access is a good choice for organizations that need one or more stand-alone licenses. Stand-alone licenses are assigned to individual users. These subscriptions cost less than subscriptions with multi-user access. The software will work offline for up to 30 days, after which time users must connect to the internet to validate their Autodesk ID.
4. Network licenses included in subscriptions with multi-user access are no longer available as of August 2020.
Ready to make the move?
Revit isn’t daunting software that will take years of practice to push through the learning curve. I have created my course in a simplified manner to make the transition as easy as possible. Once you have completed the beginner-to-intermediate-level course, you will be capable of undertaking almost every task.
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