BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the terminology used to describe the integration of numerous aspects of design and construction projects. BIM entails developing an advanced 3D model of the proposed project, including all structural, architectural, and MEP components.
When it was first adopted, the information-based model made project management simpler by improving collaboration between different subdomains of the AEC industry. Especially for firms like SKETS Studio, where multidisciplinary teams work in tandem, BIM became a go-to technology as early as 2008. While the BIM software were heavy in terms of memory usage and system requirements, they gradually became a key AEC solution for the construction industry.
A number of BIM software have emerged as the industry advances in technology and scope – some of the most widely recognized ones including Navisworks, Vectorworks, Rhino, ArchiCAD, and Revit.
Here are some of the most noteworthy BIM programs used by the global AEC industry –
While all the above-mentioned programs were very efficient in their uses, Revit proved to be more adaptable across all AEC subdomains. It was and still is more capable of achieving the goals of architects, engineers, and designers. As a result, it’s a highly effective collaboration tool, which is critical if the user wants to get the most out of BIM.
Autodesk Revit enables BIM architects and MEP engineers to work together on projects and produce excellent design and construction documents. Revit tracks updates to the BIM model and coordinates changes made by various team members. Construction documents including floor plans, elevations, and sections are also produced by the software.
This digital representation of built structures in Revit from the design phases to the end of the project lifecycle was conceptualized with the emergence of BIM. This swiftly became popularized as it offered much more than just a model.
In the AEC circle, BIM is not a new concept. The technology was developed as early as 1985 when the term was first used to refer to architecture designing programs. In 1986, the use of “Building Modelling” was first recorded in a published study. In this paper, the author argued in favor of BIM and the technologies needed to facilitate it. A few years later, the phrase “Building Information Model” was first used in a study by G.A. Van Nederveen and F. Tolman in December 1992 titled “Automation in Construction”.
Only the tool (2D CAD software on a computer) changed; the basic 2D representation of engineering data stayed the same. 2D CAD was comparable to the digitization of engineering drawings. When 3D CAD was later developed, an architect could utilize it as a design tool to directly represent their design concept in a virtual 3D world.
Simply said, a 3D CAD model is a collection of geometric objects like points and lines. The computer has no notion of what the combination of these geometric entities or objects really reflects in the real world unless they are grouped and properly specified.
With its popularization, project managers were able to view these components in three dimensions to better coordinate during the design phase by creating a visual model of how all these systems appear and interact. Detailed BIM models made in Revit also result in a lesser room for error to be resolved, speeding the installation of building systems during the construction phase.
It took a while for architecture firms to transition from CAD to BIM. AEC professionals initially found it challenging to coordinate CAD drawings with the BIM output while carrying out the documentation process. When it was emerging, BIM software required high-end system specifications since programs like Revit were powerful and very taxing to run.
The transition may have been gradual, but BIM eventually prevailed as the technology of choice for the industry as more and more professionals began to familiarize themselves with its merits.
The now universally preferred BIM software – ‘Revit’ was founded in 1997 and has now become synonymous with BIM.
When Revit was developed, its intent was to enable AEC professionals to design and document an architecture project. This was done by producing a 3D model comprising geometrical and non-geometrical information (BIM).
While there were other software-based methods like ArchiCAD that offered 3D models of buildings, Revit transcended the basic offerings. A major distinction in Revit was that users could create parametric components in a graphical “family editor” instead of a code. The model recorded all relationships between elements, angles, and numerical data. This allowed for edits to any object to be correspondingly executed to maintain the model’s consistency.
While Revit’s UI wasn’t always as seamless as it is today, it was a major upgrade in the industry at the time. Over the years, major plugins like DiRoots, PyRevit, and Dynamo, along with major APIs have facilitated the completion of time-consuming tasks. Several APIs have also expedited the learning curve of Revit by automating repetitive processes that would take hours to accomplish manually.
Here’s a list of the major upgrades Revit has witnessed over the years:
Revit 2013 – BIM Cloud service is introduced
2015 – BIM 360 enters the market
As the global AEC Industry is projected to be a USD $16.5 Billion market by 2030, the level and nature of updates to the Revit software will diversify consequently.
In 2008, SKETS Studio adopted BIM and helped the clients comprehend the benefits of BIM in terms of efficiency and reduced room for error. In the early days of BIM, the incidence of clashes was very high while working on CAD along with other AEC disciplines like structure and HVAC. These clashes arose due to the incompatibility between the model and the sketch.
The original Revit application was not geared toward mechanical detailing, but it was updated with Revit MEP, which is far more specialized for those working in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. The BIM model provides detailed information about the building, from the dimensions of each element to their position within the building.
Revit also enabled the client to determine the LOD (Level of Detail) to better communicate the scope of a project. A detailed 3D model made interdisciplinary coordination among AEC professionals at SKETS much more convenient and efficient with the software going through years of updates and optimization.
Teams at SKETS Studio specialize in several BIM software such as Revit, Rhino, SketchUp, Vectorworks, and Navisworks. SKETS Studio is often commended by its clients for the teams’ versatility and proficiency in a wide array of software & technology.
SKETS Studio has now become the second-largest holder of Revit licenses in South Asia. Autodesk went on to feature SKETS Studio as an infographic in 2017 for “BIM solutions in Design & Documentation for Best Interior Spaces”.
ArchViz in BIM has the potential to make it easier for architects and other AEC professionals to collaborate. They have the potential to address some of the most significant issues that architects encounter throughout the project lifecycle. With 3D creating tools like Unreal Engine, ArchViz has witnessed new possibilities over the last few years.
Architects can use BIM to access all of the information provided by engineers. They can collaborate to ensure that everyone satisfies all of the project’s requirements. The 3D team at SKETS Studio works alongside architects and interior designers to develop photorealistic 3D renderings with architectural precision.
More crucially, the architects, designers, and stakeholders may test the design’s practicality in real-time and make adjustments as they go.
Machine learning is used by Revit software to identify trends in data, learn from it, and make decisions about how to automate and enhance the model creation process. AI can analyze each element of a construction project and identify the optimum solution more quickly than a human mind can by using the massive amounts of data collected by Revit. This not only expedites procedures but also lowers the incidence of human error, which can increase site safety.
Having exact measurements to work with is essential for successfully developing accurate 3D models. The precision of measurements and 3D model information in BIM projects reaches new heights with 3D laser scans. A data-rich, linked, and constructible workflow is made possible via scan to BIM.
“Scan to BIM” refers to the process of taking a physical area and converting it into a digital model that may be used for project communication and information exchange with stakeholders as well as for planning, monitoring, or managing the built environment.
The Scan to BIM process is an easy approach to quickly gather crucial details about a location, produce a point cloud, and import the data into Revit.
A laser scanner is utilized in the Scan to BIM process to accurately capture a 3D scan of the project’s real-world circumstances. The scanned information is then transferred into a 3D modeling system to produce precise as-built models or to provide design information based on actual environmental conditions.
Over the years, Revit has enabled various disciplines & departments to work together, brainstorm, detect, change, and create as-built models. AEC professionals can now track, monitor, and check the progress of the work, visualize, report, interpret, and keep data throughout the project life cycle.
At the conclusion of the first decade of this millennium, Revit began to enter the Indian AEC sector. BIM, in general, was greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism by stakeholders, as is typical of the adoption curve of any technology. However, during the past 10 years, knowledge of its potential advantages, its range of use in project design and management, and its eventual adoption have all increased gradually but steadily.
Autodesk has been working on updating Revit into an interconnected cloud ecosystem of tools. The AEC industry benefits greatly from Revit, and this is expected to keep fueling the software’s longevity and applicability.
Although BIM has been around for at least four decades, the design, engineering, and construction industry is only now beginning to realize the full potential of Revit. The development of construction technology is a promising sight to behold. As for the future of Revit, the industry is expected to be dependent on its BIM capability and interdisciplinary coordination for many more years to come.
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