How Utilizing Autodesk Revit and Building Information Modeling Saves Time, Money and Delivers a Better Design
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital 3D model of all aspects of a building including architectural, structural and mechanical elements. It creates a virtual replica of the finished building to allow us to troubleshoot the entire design as well as take accurate estimates of costs, energy use, functionality, and constructability. Revit is a BIM software program that Propel Studio has adopted that allows an entire team of experts, from architects to engineers and other consultants to access and collaborate on a single model. With everyone working within one file it is easy to see what information is missing and what areas of the design need to be focused on or refined. The program saves time by being a dynamic tool that tracks changes throughout the model. If we move a window in the floor plan, the software automatically adjusts its position in the elevation and sections, etc. It also allows quick 3D snapshots and basic renderings so the design team and clients can visualize the project as they make important design decisions.
Whether you are a client interested in a great building, part of the building’s design team, or involved in its construction, Revit design software allows the project team access to a holistic pool of valuable information. The information is simultaneously organized in both 3 dimensions and 2 dimensions, and is also dissectible into time, materials, parts and costs. As a project stakeholder involved at any point in a building design, having this information available and being able to see it in these ways leads to better decisions and better results. It streamlines the complex process of design and construction.
We have been using Autodesk Revit software in building design and construction documentation since 2006. Prior to Revit we used AutoCad, a program more like traditional hand drafting, which is typically used as only a 2 dimensional program. Since making this switch, we have continued to innovate and adapt our design processes to utilize the tools of Revit and find powerful, cost-saving ways to get mileage out of it’s abundance of quantitative abilities.
The design process is all about communication, exploration of ideas, leveraging opportunities and understanding limitations. We start by putting everything on the table, pulling as much information as we can together, then pulling it apart through analysis and reorganizing it to help inform our design decisions. This iterative process continues until the entire team agrees on a final solution. Revit helps us balance the clients needs, budget and schedule, the site’s context and climate, the architect’s design expertise, various consultant’s input and recommendations, and ensures all of this information works seamlessly together to create a great project.
Using Revit we are constantly modeling each project in 3D – eliminating the hassles of coordinating changes through independent 2D CAD Drawings. This virtual building is then sliced in order to generate 2D views for common floor plans and elevations. You may think of it as setting up a bunch of webcam’s inside a virtual building so that anytime something changes, all the webcams that are looking at that area will automatically represent the most recent state.
If your focus is engineering and construction, having the correct dimensions and coordination is only part of the equation. Revit allows these teams to go further and analyze buildings for energy use, lighting, acoustics, safety, and even calculate volume of materials without leaving the project workflow.
We use Revit for any project large and small and love it for the ability to quickly make aesthetic decisions – balancing functionality with quick references to the 3D form from unlimited vantage points. Building Information Modeling with Revit allows us to continually evolve our design, all while maintaining a coordinated document set. Our process can now be more about doing, seeing, and reacting. Managing design, rather than managing change itself.
Nick Mira, Propel Studio Architecture