As the modern architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects demand using building information modelling (BIM) for many reasons, mastering the nuances of Autodesk Revit has become a sought-after skill. Revit has become an industry standard BIM tool used by all major project stakeholders: architects, structural engineers, and MEP engineers. Right from concept development, space planning, and detailed design development, to construction documentation, quantity take-offs, and construction scheduling, a single parametric model can take care of everything.
Whilst formal Revit Architecture training courses can help students willing to enter this field, becoming an expert requires much more than that. Revit is a comprehensive BIM application and can mean different things to different people. For instance, a Revit workflow for an architect will be quite different compared to that of a building services engineer. Understanding the BIM process as a whole and knowing how it differs from the conventional CAD-based construction documentation techniques goes a long way in helping you become a Revit expert.
The basic element of the BIM process is a smart parametric model wherein every object is linked to every other object in the model. Also, unlike CAD drawings, all the views, including plans, sections, and elevations are generated from the same parametric model. For instance, every plan, section, and elevation has to be manually changed when using 2D CAD-based documentation techniques. But when using Revit, a change made to a model automatically updates all the views associated with it.
After gaining clarity on the key differences between the conventional construction documentation techniques and the BIM process, it is imperative to gain formal training in Revit. The training modes range from instructor-led Revit training classes and self-paced online lessons, to instructor-led onsite training, virtual classrooms, and blended training. Whilst every channel has its own benefits and relative drawbacks, it is important to structure your training to meet your specialised needs. For instance, if you are an architect ensure your training is designed to leverage Revit to achieve tasks related to architecture.
One of the key aspects often overlooked during initial training years is the importance of level of development (LOD). Having a clear understanding of LOD expectations is a good practice to be developed during the early years as Revit technician. In the real-world projects, LOD levels set clarity on the details that the Revit model will include or the depth of information that it will contain. This helps the internal as well as external project team members (of other disciplines) align their expectations throughout the lifecycle of the project.
Furthermore, an effective Revit technician should work towards developing skills closely related to Revit. Important ones include gaining familiarity in applications, including AutoCAD, 3Ds Max, and Adobe Photoshop. Though AutoCAD is still used by many AEC firms to develop construction documentation, many architects who adopt BIM workflows use it to develop preliminary concept drawings which are later linked or imported into Revit. 3Ds Max can also be used in tandem with Revit to develop flythrough animations for marketing purposes. Adobe Photoshop can arm you with all the image editing capabilities that can be applied to raw Revit model renders.
Considering that Revit is a massive tool to facilitate the BIM concept, learning it requires a structured approach barring which it is easy get lost in the maze. The key components of such an approach include knowing the differences in the BIM workflows and the conventional CAD-based processes; formal training tailored to your specialisation; gaining clarity on the concept of LOD; and developing proficiency in applications closely related to Revit.