The Benefits of Using Revit in an Office Setting

Technology is always advancing. This holds true in the field of architecture. Architects and engineers need to keep up with the constant changes of the world, whether it is how designs are generated, or how designs are constructed.

No longer are we sitting at a drafting table using a Mayline ruler and drafting pencils to draft entire projects; that is no longer efficient.

Computer programs have since replaced hand drafting. Knowing how to use these computer programs, such as AutoCAD and Revit, is now a requirement for every employee in the architectural field. Computer drafting is simply more efficient than hand drafting.

There comes a time when computer programs outgrow each other, and some may become more inefficient than others. AutoCAD and Revit may seem like similar drafting programs to the outside user, but they could not be any more different. While both are used to draft a building design, AutoCAD is best used entirely for 2D drafting and Revit is the more successful 3D program, by far. Revit allows the user to open multiple views at once, so a drafter can view the components being drafted in a plan view (or other 2D view) and a 3D view simultaneously.

AutoCAD was once the primary drafting and design program in the field, and as technology advances, we can see that Revit is more beneficial, especially in office settings.

Considering CBI’s realm of work usually involves upgrading or repairing existing buildings, there needs to be demolition, as well as new plans, elevations, and details. In AutoCAD, this can turn into a nightmare with overlaying external references and layers turning off or on. AutoCAD works well if there is a single drafter throughout the project, which is seldom the case. The single drafter knows which external references and overlays will have certain layers turned on or off, and adding more drafters to a project like that disrupts the flow of drafting. Working on a project entirely in AutoCAD that focuses on an entire building can create unnecessary issues.

Revit allows the model to be accessed by different users at the same time, using a central model that each user’s local model can sync to. It is more appropriate for new construction and new design projects, and is also better for large-scale projects, or those focusing on the building in its entirety. With an existing building project in Revit, the phasing option allows for the drafters to focus on what is needed. The model’s phasing can show what will be demolished, what is new, and what is existing to remain. If needed, the model can show all phases at once. That way, the model is more complete, and there does not need to be any layers turned on or off.

Revit may seem like it is better for only large-scale projects, but it is more efficient than AutoCAD for any size project. If there was a minimal structural foundation repair, the drawings in the project may only need to be in plan or section. If the drafter was to model the view needed in Revit, the 3D aspect allows for there to be multiple views of it created simultaneously. If the project only calls for a section view, the plan view is automatically generated, and vice-versa.

Revit also allows for views that are “drafting views,” separate from the model. If there needs to be a detail, and the model’s views of that detail were unclear, the user can create a drafting view and draft the detail separately, but still reference it to the area in the project. Each of the model’s sections, details, and other views, are linked to the model. This allows for an easier way to navigate the project. That way, the user can click on a section tag and immediately view that particular section, instead of seeing the section marker in a plan in AutoCAD, and searching through that project’s folder for AutoCAD detail files for that one specific section.

Revit may seem intimidating at first, however, it is simply just another computer program that takes time to learn, just like AutoCAD. There is no way to learn a new program without jumping into it. Once a drafter learns these computer programs, they become second nature. You may learn Revit and wonder how you could have ever used AutoCAD.