Advantages of Revit BIM Software
Revit software is currently the most popular solution for building information modeling (BIM). Unlike older types of design software, Revit is highly sophisticated and capable of automatically generating three-dimensional (3D) models from two-dimensional (2D) drawings. The software provides insights into projects, and it facilitates accurate prototyping and real-time scheduling.
Building information modeling, or BIM, is a collaborative process where engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers, developers, and other construction professionals join forces to make sure the planning, design, and construction of a building is on track. BIM is also used by governments, municipalities, and other organizations to make smarter planning decisions before building construction has begun.
BIM software represents both the physical and intrinsic properties of building. By tying construction and building elements to a single software database, MEP engineers are able to optimize specific taxonomy and programming environments to create accurate model components. Users can actually interact with models in 3D views.
Revit is the most popular BIM software, used by all top MEP engineering firms and architects.
History of BIM and Revit
What CAD did to blueprints, BIM is doing to CAD. Blueprints and drawings were once the de facto standard when it came to building plans. Eventually, basic 2D renderings were replaced by CAD drawings, which allowed drafters to visualize building plans in more immersive 3D environments. Now, BIM has become the gold standard for building modeling.
The evolution from blueprints to CAD to BIM has gradually occurred over the past two decades. The percentage of companies using BIM increased from 28% in 2007 to 71% by 2012.
Growth in the field of BIM software led to the development of Revit and ArchiCAD. Revit and ArchiCAD were created by Leonid Raiz and Gábor Bojár. ArchiCAD was developed by Bojár in Budapest, Hungary in 1982. Bojár’s original goal was to develop a type of architectural software that would be able to handle complex projects. As the demand for BIM software increased, the scope of Bojár’s project continued to grow. By 2000, a program called Revit was introduced to fill the widening gap and satisfy industry demand.
Revit BIM software was developed to embrace revision and speed. The software was originally written in C++, using a parametric change engine. In 2002, Autodesk acquired the company that owned Revit. The software has gone on to revolutionize BIM with an advanced platform that uses visual programming to create parametric families. Revit also allows for time attributes to be added as a fourth dimension in building modeling. Contractors utilize this feature to develop construction schedules based on BIM models. One of the earliest known projects to use Revit for both design and scheduling was the Freedom Tower project in New York City.
Benefits of Revit
BIM would not be where it is today without Revit. One of the biggest reasons why so many architects and engineers have made the switch to BIM in the last decade is because of Revit software and the features it provides.
MEP engineering firms are using Revit to develop more sustainable, environmentally-friendly buildings. They are also relying on this software to cut down on the manual work in construction development and help their own teams work more efficiently.
Top Advantages of Revit Software
1. Parametric Components
Revit organizes parametric components into families to streamline the modeling process. Every element, from 3D views and title blocks, all the way to individual building components, is part of a “family” in Revit software. “Families” are created by assigning dimensions and properties to information, which a Revit user can then modify by changing specific parameters. Parametric components, or parametric modeling, gives engineers, architects, and other users more control over the total building design.
2. Collaborative Tools
Collaboration is how top builders achieve their greatest successes. An advantage to using Revit is that all aspects of BIM are collaborative. Multiple users can work on the same model at the same time. A useful “Sync with Central” tool allows users to push their changes to a central model to avoid overwriting or duplicating their efforts. Revit is also fully interoperable with other Autodesk software, including FormIt and AutoCAD, to facilitate collaboration between outside organizations.
3. Lack of Repetition
Revit’s database plays a big role in the software’s overall usefulness for MEP engineers and architects. Specifically, the software database decreases the repetition that is usually involved in BIM. Rather than making minor changes across multiple drawings, engineers that use Revit make changes once in the centralized database, and the software automatically updates all drawings with the latest parameters. One of the biggest benefits of Revit is that it decreases repetition, which increases productivity and accuracy.
4. Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is a topic that’s coming up more and more frequently in the construction world. Thankfully, the features in Revit software make it easier for engineers to develop and implement eco-friendly designs. Specifically, Revit software includes analytics tools to measure the environmental impact of building models and a Green Building Studio to conduct energy analysis. The Green Building Studio is a cloud-based service that engineers and architects use to run simulations and optimize energy efficiency. It is particularly beneficial in projects that are working toward carbon neutrality.
5. Sustainable Processes
How many pounds of paper are wasted over the course of a large-scale construction project? Revit decreases the waste and cuts down on paper printing costs. Models are all developed in virtual environments, which means users do not have to print each new version on paper. Revit software automatically saves the data from each version, along with every edit, so users can revisit past models at any point in the future.
6. Project Scheduling
Teams that use Revit software for scheduling are able to minimize the time spent developing and managing project workflows. Revit can be set up to automatically update project schedules as changes are made to the building model. This is a major benefit of Revit over other competing BIM software since manual project scheduling is a time-consuming task that adds hours each week to the overall project. Revit schedules can be exported to other project management software, which is useful when collaborating with external teams and organizations.
7. Software Libraries
Revit’s digital libraries have become a useful tool for MEP engineers. Libraries serve as repositories for parametric components, which engineers can pull out and edit based on the specific needs of a current design. With unlimited storage, engineers can store new components, as well as edits to existing components. Any of these designs can then be accessed immediately from a connected device.
8. Landscape Design
Outside of traditional building modeling, Revit software stands out for its landscape design features. Specifically, construction professionals using this software are able to build actual landscapes around their 3D models, so clients see realistic representations of what their projects will look like once they reach completion.
9. Remote Access
Cloud-based computing has become the norm in today’s world. Revit BIM software takes advantage of cloud-based access, so users can access models and database files any time, from any location. BIM 360 from Autodesk is one of many cloud-based platforms that work with Revit. The platform acts like a server, allowing remote users to save models and push changes through a web browser. Using a cloud server extends the capabilities of Revit BIM software.
10. Realistic Viewpoints
Revit software is capable of making photorealistic renderings of projects based on basic models. These renderings are far more realistic than what users can create with competing BIM software. Revit’s realistic renderings allow engineers, architects, and other construction professionals to keep clients involved in the development process. Real-time rendering views can be completed in mere minutes. Revit’s renderings are a convenient way to show realistic views of ongoing projects to clients without lagging the system.
BIM Software Disadvantages
Businesses considering BIM software should take a close look at the time and costs involved in implementation. For some projects, sophisticated software like Revit may be overkill. Some basic design tools, including meshes and commands, are not built into Revit. Additionally, Revit’s default isometric perspective can make it challenging to see certain planes. However, most large-scale construction projects do benefit from BIM software.
Today’s top MEP engineering firms all use Revit BIM software thanks to its collaborative features and high focus on sustainability in building design. To learn more about KMB’s mechanical engineering design process, click here.