By: Melanie Simmons
Time is more valuable than ever these days, in our personal lives, and especially in our day-to-day operations as designers, project managers and design firm owners. With the increasing popularity of Revit and other BIM applications, the expectations are at an all-time high for deliverable lead time. So the important question to consider is, does Revit really save you time? How can it streamline your productivity?
The answer is yes, even more so if you set yourself up for success by learning to use Revit correctly for optimization of its benefits. Revit is not AutoCAD , nor is it to be used like AutoCAD. When compared to AutoCAD, Revit may require a bit more work on the back end, but the time saved over surpasses the initial input. A more efficient BIM workflow can streamline project timelines and reduce overall costs, benefitting all project participants.
In Revit, there is a single intelligent model in one file where the work is done. This means changes to any element update everywhere, whether in the 3D model or an element on a sheet. Elevations, sections and 3D views are automatically created with the click of a button. A great example of how the intelligent model saves time is with your levels. If you need to change the height of a given level, it will update in elevation, section and 3D, therefore eliminating the need to constantly update drawings to reflect tiny changes.
Parametric family design
Parameters offer more flexibility to your modeling by aiding in the coordination and managing of families. Editing the families is much easier when you are manipulating data/parameters that are a part of the element, rather than a disconnected schedule or element. Also the associativity in the model, being that every element is connected, means all elements move together and you don’t have to spend time cleaning up the model every time you make a change. Parametric modeling means the model is always consistent and coordinated within itself.
Utilize best practices
By implementing project templates and view templates, you can start out of the box with an office template that is ready for modeling and data, rather than having to set up every time a new project is started. Detail components and families are premade features used for drafting and modeling so you don’t have to painstakingly create every element from scratch. Visibility graphics and view templates are settings that can be saved and applied to multiple views at once, allowing the user to focus on other tasks.
The main problem with AutoCAD is that it is too easy to draw in lines to represent an entity. In Revit, it is more important to think about what you are drawing. A valuable way to look at it is “You’re no longer drawing, you’re building a structure.” If you do it right from the beginning and think about what you need to show, you can focus on what matters for your documentation. It is very easy to get caught up in the details of what you are modeling. Don’t over model or overuse detail lines and 2D lines that you may need to change later.
Revit has a plethora of add-in applications that aid in increased productivity for a given task. For example, there are apps for creating enhanced sections, exporting, and automating data into Excel spreadsheets. The add ins are created to help you navigate more clearly and efficiently through your model.
The most important advantage that Revit has over other design software is its collaboration abilities. Revit promotes improved communication between team members and outside disciplines, instant access to latest files, and a reduction in change orders and RFIs. McGraw Hill’s SmartMarket report on the “Business Value of BIM in North America” reported that 57% of architects surveyed rated reduced document errors and omissions as a top benefit of BIM.