BIM. You either know what it means or you don’t. And even if you do, there’s still a good chance you’re off. Many people, perhaps even you, think Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a new line of software, with Autodesk Revit falling under that umbrella. Revit is not BIM. It is a distinction worth taking a few moments to understand and we have it all laid out for you to quickly get up to speed.
What Is BIM?
BIM is a process not an application. It’s based around models used for the planning, design, construction and management of building and infrastructure projects faster, more economically and with less environmental impact. These BIM models are different from CAD drawings that may be 2D or even 3D. BIM models are made up of intelligent objects that when changed stay updated throughout the design no matter who is working with it.
What Is Revit?
Revit is a single application built for Building Information Modeling with features for architectural design, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and structural engineering and construction. Revit is not BIM. Revit is built for BIM. Revit and other applications made for BIM help designers design, simulate, visualize and collaborate in order to capitalize on the advantages of the interconnected data within a BIM model.
The key word in BIM is “Information”. BIM is centered on models made up of objects. Revit creates these objects which consist of data designers can see in different views: 2D drawings, 3D models and schedules (lists). When one piece of data changes in one view, it is updated in all other views automatically by Revit because each view is displaying the same data. Objects can also be related to other objects. So, to repeat, if one object changes, any related objects reflect those changes as well.
Does Revit Do Everything?
No. There is still a place for CAD software like AutoCAD, which designers still use for detailing and documenting. Visualization software, like 3ds Max and Photoshop, are still used for highly-detailed design visualizations. Other analysis applications can perform advanced simulations to improve design efficiency as well. The BIM models Revit creates can integrate into the workflows of designers using these applications to further enhancing the effectiveness of the design team from design to construction.
With at least 6 out of 10 architects in the U.S. creating BIM models1, BIM has become almost unavoidable and there are plenty of designers lamenting a breakdown in the lexicon surrounding BIM. The best way to prevent confusion is education and Digital-Tutors Revit tutorials can teach you industry-proven techniques to take full advantage of BIM methodology so you can create your best designs faster, more cost-effective and more efficient than ever.
1 Norbert W. Young, Stephen A. Jones, Harvey M. Bernstein, and John E. Gudgel, The Business Value of BIM: Getting Building Information Modeling to the Bottom Line, McGraw Hill Construction, 2009.