Pretty Pictures, But So Much Moreby David Barlew, Jr. on 05/04/11
I completed my class yesterday on Revit Architecture offered by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The class was excellent, and I now feel very confident in using the software. As part of our final assignment for the class, I produced the renderings included in this post.
Revit Architecture is a revolutionary computer program, and its use is having profound affects upon the architecture profession. Whereas manual drafting and previous computer drafting software communicate building information with individual 2-D drawings, Revit Architecture is used to create a digital, virtual model of the building that can be understood in three dimensions. For this reason, Revit Architecture is best understood as Building Information Model (BIM) authoring software (Goldberg 1). "Instead of depending on 2D views, they [designers] are designing buildings virtually." (Goldberg 1). The software permits the designer to view the virtual building model from any angle, including perspective views. These views can then be developed into attractive color renderings like the ones in this post.
The benefits offered by Revit extend well beyond the production of pretty pictures.
First, Revit Architecture greatly simplifies drafting by automatically coordinating column grid lines, section markers, drawing numbers and all the other graphic indicators that visually organize a set of construction documents. The time saved by this one feature is phenominal!
Revit Architecture also takes the considerable time and effort out of producing the numerous schedules that are referenced in construction documents. Door schedules, window schedules, finish schedules, etc. can be produced quickly and accurately with ease. Again, the time saved is simply extraordinary.
Third, this software gives the designer "the ability to test, analyze and quantify the building." (Goldberg 1). In other words, with just a few mouse clicks, the computer can tell us how many lights are in the building. Or how much volume is contained within a particular room. Or how much square footage is available within a certain tenant space. This quantification of information can be useful to the architect, the contractor, the building owner, potential tenants, investors and many others.
Finally, the greatest benefit of using Revit Architecture is that a change made to one portion of the construction document package, for example one of the elevation views, is automatically made throughout the rest of the drawing set. With hand drawing and 2D computer drafting, a single change to the building can mean many hours of work simply because the change has to be documented in so many places: the floor plan, the elevations, the sections, etc. With Revit Architecture, the single building change can be made by the designer on the elevation view, and the computer will automatically modify the other views accordingly! This not only saves considerable time, but also reduces the likelihood of discrepancies between drawings. It is amazing!
Building Information Modeling is certainly the future of the practice of architecture, and I am so glad that I took the time to learn the software at UTC.
Source: Goldberg, Edward H. Revit Architecture 2011: a Comprehensive Guide. Upper Saddle River and Columbus: Pearson Education, Inc., 2011.
Written by David Barlew, Jr. for David Barlew Architects, Inc.