Since I've started working with Revit, I've encountered a lot of resistance. From colleagues. Engineers. Project Managers. Associates. Interns. Clients. They told me that BIM and Revit was too complicated, it was not a design tool, that only drafters should learn it, that it took too long to build models, that the drawings were ugly, that it was too rigid, that it was only good for super specific projects, and on and on and on.
In the image above, the minotaur represents the BIM haters. The ones that keep spreading myths about Revit. Myths that stem from their own insecurity and resistance to change. We have to act like Thesus: destroy these myths and let the BIM prevail.
1- ARCHITECTS SHOULD NOT LEARN REVIT
This is one of the highest ranking Revit blog post on Google:
For the author, there is a choice: become an Architect or become a BIM monkey.
In this vision, the architect is a romantic artist. He needs to protect himself from the evil technologies to remain pure.
This vision is out of touch with reality. Unless you are literally Corbu, employers don't care that much about your special snowflake design skills. You need actual hard work to surround the art and the inspiration. And Revit happens to be the biggest tool used in architecture at the moment.
A few years ago I got hired as an intern, mostly on the premise that I was very good at Revit and the office needed to transition from CAD. I made sure with my boss that I would also get to do "architect stuff". This way, I am part of the design and production process while still being the BIM expert around.
If you wanted to become a starchitect but got stuck being a BIM monkey, well you might have an ego problem. You think your design skills are so good that being mindful of the technical and practical aspects of architecture is harmful to you.
Maybe you need to stop thinking only about yourself and see what your value to an architecture office is. Then, communicate with your boss to make sure both of you know where you are going.
Ask yourself: What do I actually want to do? What I am really good at? You need to reconcile these two aspects when trying to find the perfect job. Remember that if your are an intern, you are probably bad at almost everything. Being good at Revit might be one of your only asset.
2- REVIT IS NOT A DESIGN TOOL
Typical scenario: Designer builds a Sketchup model. Draft a CAD plan. Make a excel spreadsheet to calculate room areas and estimate cost. What if these 3 steps were combined together? That's the beauty of using Revit as a Design tool: everything is linked together.
These are the most exciting tools to use in design phase:
1- Schedules: Revit schedules can be used for estimation, listing quantities for every elements. They can also be used to calculate areas.
2- Curtain Walls: Such a pain to see colleagues try to model fancy windows or curtain walls using Sketchup. Urgh. Using Curtain Walls in Revit is an incredibly fast and useful way to create not only windows, but also walls with specific patterns.
3- Color Fill Plans: Remember these blocking plans you did in AutoCAD, using polylines to calculate areas? Instead of wasting your time doing that, try Color Fill Plans in Revit. Just enter the right information for your rooms to create these cute and incredibly useful conceptual floor plan views.
We are so excited by the prospect of using Revit for design that we created a complete learning package about it.
3- DRAWINGS MADE IN REVIT ARE UGLY
The designer says that Revit elevations are ugly. He says that photoshop and CAD are required to make them pretty.
The BIM community is sometimes to blame for this poor reputation. Certain more technical minded folks argue that making beautiful views is a waste of time, and that the real importance lay in the quality of the model and the precision of the drawings. While these things are true, as an architect I feel it is a duty to make views as pretty as they can be.
Autodesk has greatly improved the quality of presentation tools over the year. With the proper use of Cast Shadows, Ambient shadows, Wall Poche, Colors and Silhouettes, it is possible to create compelling views. Revit 2017 now includes a Depth Cueing feature for elevations. Our Great Elevation Guide is the most popular post on the blog so far. People like making beautiful views.
4- REVIT IS BAD FOR DETAILING
People will say: Oh, Revit is great for modeling. But detailing? We go back to CAD.
This is a CAD nostalgia issue. Some people are very attached to the idea of lines and layers. And they probably don't know about the existence of Detail Component, Repeating Details and Detail groups.
These users also need to learn about Drafting Views. This is their 2D safe space. Here, they can draft without being scared of destroying the model.
Another way to break the detailing myth is to use 3D views with annotations. This make the details easier to understand and make everything much more fun. I received feedback from contractors saying that these 3D detail views help them understand the project. If you have a good and precise model, these views can be produced very quickly.
Finally, trying to link CAD drawings inside a Revit model causes coordination issues. It is also super boring. So please, just don't go back to CAD. Ever.
5- REVIT SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR RENDERING
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to put a VR device on a client's head. Inside the goggles, he could see the newest bar design we did for his hotel project. It was a 360 stereo panorama. We watched him move his head around for 10 minutes, while we answered questions about ceramic color and ceiling texture. He removed the glass and grinned. Instead of just gazing at a perspective on a sheet, he actually experienced his project and lived inside of it. He accepted the design and we all rejoiced.
The VR trick was only possible with the use of Revit cloud rendering, which now has VR feature. Since it was a fast-track project, we had models from MEP and Structure inside the rendering, so no worries about conflict between design and reality.
Don't care about VR? 360 panoramic images are also quite awesome and easy to produce. Try this one:
With old-school rendering techniques, you had to take 1 hour coffee break while your computer calculated millions of photons going into collision with your model. With cloud rendering, just let Autodesk do the dirty stuff while you keep working on your project.
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