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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It also covers navigating the Revit interface, modeling basic building features such as walls, doors and windows, working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs, annotating designs with dimensions and callouts, and adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
So I know you're probably anxious to get into Revit right away, but before we do, let's talk about a few high-level concepts first. For starters, just what is BIM? Well, BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, and it's a term that was coined a few years back by Autodesk to basically describe the process of creating virtual models that represent building facilities. Now Revit is often heavily touted as purpose-built for Building Information Modeling, and this is true, but that often leads to confusion that somehow Revit and BIM equal the same thing.
Revit and BIM are not the same thing. Revit is a tool to help us achieve BIM, and what BIM is is a process that we follow to create building model data, that is two things: coordinated and computable. Those are the two most important tenets of BIM. If all of the parts and pieces that make up your BIM project are fully coordinated with one another, and don't require any manual updates to keep them in sync, and if you've got a robust, rich data stored of information that can be used both internally by the system and exported out to the larger project team to do meaningful computations, like energy analysis, like structural loads, like lighting analysis, air loads, air cooling, any of those things, then you've got BIM.
So there's a lot of different ways that we can achieve BIM, and Revit is an excellent tool to help us achieve that, because it does many of those things that I just described, natively. Now, it's important to understand that 3D is not the only component of BIM. Often when you hear BIM, in the same sentence, you will hear people talk about 3D. Now don't get me wrong, 3D is very important. If your primary goal is to perform clash detection between your structure and your mechanical systems, or if you want to make sure that your stair tower fits into the overall architecture, 3D is pretty important.
If you need to do visualization to get high-quality renderings and so forth, 3D is pretty important. However, 3D is not the only aspect that makes BIM special. 3D is just part of it. I think that the 'I' in BIM is sometimes even more compelling than the 'M' in BIM. Think about cost estimating tasks, think about specification writing, think about energy load analysis, think about heating and cooling, think about structural loads; all of these things require data. We have all this data. Instead of manually computing all the various things that we need to get a proper design, why not let the computer do what computers do best - compute stuff.
So this is what BIM is all about. So again, let's not focus just on the 'M.' Let's also think about the 'I,' and if we have got the two together in a fully coordinated package, in a way that Revit will give us, then what we've got is a fully implemented BIM solution. So with that introduction in mind, let's go ahead and get started.
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