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Thanks for your comments, Don.
They are consistent with everything I’ve
heard about Revit.
You’ve already offered the caveat
that you can’t answer interoperability questions, but that’s one of
my Big Questions™. As many others, I rely on a floor plan produced by an
architect. I attach it to my foundation and framing plans by using the
architect’s plan as an XREF. I then draw the structural elements, usually
represented by lines (beams, footings, etc.), text (notes and dimensions) and
symbols (detail and section bubbles).
When I start to think 3D, I wonder how
these files would be exchanged. Is there a Revit equivalent to XREF’ing?
It’s not an issue for an AE firm where all disciplines are in-house, but
that scenario doesn’t represent the majority of the market, particularly
the smaller market.
As it is, I have a difficult time getting
my architectural clients to draw to scale, use associative dimensioning only, use
color by layer, create blocks on layer 0, etc. I can only imagine that
the nightmare would explode when going to 3D.
What about exchanging files across
software platforms? I currently have one client who is quite proficient at ArchiCAD,
one who is learning ArchiCAD and another who is comfortable in Revit. ArchiCAD
and Microstation export files to AutoCAD. Will these other programs be able to “talk”
in the near future?
With regards to analysis software, I haven’t
used it myself, so the following comment is based on hearsay, but I believe the
analysis module is only really valuable in a practical sense when it comes to
steel and concrete buildings. Wood buildings and the hybrids (metal deck over
concrete fill supported by masonry or tilt-up concrete walls, etc.) would
probably not be able to use this feature. Of course, as always, I could be
T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.
Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 •
From: Donald Bruckman
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:07
About a year ago I let the board know that
I’d started with this BIM software from Adesk, “Revit”.
So, briefly, a report.
I am extremely pleased with the system, really
like what it can do for an architect like me that works alone. But rather
than extol the virtues of the system from an Architectural standpoint,
I’d like to let you know first impressions of its usefulness to
First, I don’t know a single SE that
uses Revit Structural, so any questions about trading files and the like will
have to wait. Revit has a structural sister program that is supposed to
be able to be plugged into analysis software, but I know nothing of what
software or whether it works. I will say that even on the architectural
side, if I drop a 6x12 or a W24 into a drawing, the computer has the requisite
section moduli, etc. already established so I can see how this might sometime
be fed into some kind program that will eventually be able to juggle a lot of
balls at once. Dynamic analysis in wood? Maybe this kind of program
will eventually allow it.
But here’s the thing. The BIM
system is stunningly good at recreating any issues or allowing the view of
obscure areas of work that just can’t be adequately explained in a series
of 2D drawings. If an engineer is unclear about a specific area, I can
cut, (or if he has Revit too), he can cut a section anywhere in seconds.
You can take perspective camera shots anywhere, anytime in seconds. For
this, BIM is unbeatable. It’s been as large a jump for me from ACAD
to Revit as it was from hand drawing to ACAD. It’s THAT much
But there is some downside. In order
to get it to be able to see an issue, you have to have already drawn the entire
building correctly. This is a good thing for large buildings and even new
small projects. It’s not such a good thing for very small projects
and particularly bad news for remodels and additions. As I noted above,
if eventually all this structural data can be evaluated by some kind of
program, that means you need to feed all this stuff into the computer to allow
it to effectively model an outcome that is relevant. That means a lot of
data entry for perhaps a very limited structural need.
But for anything brand new, I would
heartily recommend it. I would also let you know that for Architects,
this is so much better than 2D cad that I don’t think many architects
will be using 2D for much longer. So, perhaps to get a jump on your competition,
you may want to look into it.