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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 what's so special about Revit anyhow? Well, there are many possible answers to that question, but in this movie, I'd like to focus on one of the easiest and most immediate benefits of using Revit. Whether you are an architect, or an interior designer, a draftsman, a contractor, or other building professional, you'll likely spend a lot of time looking at and working in Plans, Elevations and Sections. In Revit, work you do in Plan is immediately reflected in Elevation and Section, and vice-versa. I'm in a file called Office, if you'd like to follow along, and I'd like to start with the 3D view.
Notice that in Revit we have a full- blown 3D model that's generated as we work. We can orbit the view around, we can study the building from various angles, we can see through transparent surfaces and into the building and begin studying design ideas and see how they react to the overall whole, and we can even select elements directly in 3D and begin to make modifications.
When you select an element in any view, including 3D, and you make a change, that change is instantly reflected in all views. You'll notice that I moved the door here, and it moved instantly in the Plan view. You could start in Elevation, and you could select the door here. That door would be selected here and here, and whichever view you decided to move it in, that change would apply instantly to all the other views.
Perhaps you are working in Elevation and you decide you want to add some new windows. You can add those windows, and just like that, they will appear immediately in your Elevation view. But this sort of behavior is not limited to just graphical views. Perhaps I want to get a better look at Door Number 110, which happens to be here in this Conference Room. You'll notice how when I select it in a Schedule view, which is not a graphical view at all, it highlights the door in the Plan view as well.
If I were to make a change to that door number and make it door number 120, that change would occur instantly in both the Schedule, which would sort it further down the list, and the Plan view, which would already reflect the change of 120. Suppose that 120 no longer wanted to be a Single-Flush door, but I actually wanted that to be something larger and more open, and I switched it to a Double-Glass door. That change will take place instantly throughout the model.
It will get larger in Plan, it will change type in the Schedule, and the new sizes will be reflected in the Schedule, as well. Perhaps Door Number 110A, which also is part of the Conference Room, is no longer needed. I can select Door Number 110A in the Schedule and delete it. A warning will appear, but then I can confirm that warning, and Revit will then delete the door everywhere in the model, anywhere that it happens to be shown, whether it's the Schedule or the Plan. And how useful is that that I know, with confidence, that I can make such changes, and I don't have to chase them down in drawing after drawing after drawing, like the traditional process would have me do.
But perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of having a single model in multiple views is that you can create a new view anytime you need to. So if I look at the options available to me, I can create 3D views, Callout views, Drafting and Plan views, but perhaps one of my favorites is the Section view. With just a couple of clicks, I can cut a section through the building anywhere that I like, double-click that Section head, and I'm looking instantly at a full section of the entire building in the location that I indicated.
Should I want to make a change in that view, I know with confidence that I can make the change in that new view, and I won't have to worry that later I'll go to the second floor, and I'll have to coordinate that change separately. The change has already taken place. So Revit offers us some amazingly powerful benefits by simply keeping all of our views coordinated, and the way it does that is that all views are like windows looking in on a live virtual model of our building. So we are creating a virtual modeled representation of the building project that we hope to create, and then Revit coordinates all of the different ways that we can view and print and convey that information for us.
In traditional architectural design and documentation procedures, drawings are the result of carefully reasoned thought and design. A process of draw, erase, redraw, does eventually lead to the desired result, which must then be replicated over and over again to other drawings like Sections and Elevations. Such changes need to be manually coordinated and kept up-to-date with one another when they change. Each drawing conveys only a small abstracted part of the whole, and can easily get out of sync. In a Revit BIM workflow, all modifications are performed directly on the model in any view that's convenient to the task at hand.
Revit views are live representations of the model data, displayed through the prism of conventional architectural drafting types, like plans, sections and schedules. However, since each such view is really just a window looking at the whole, the various views cannot get out of sync, and therefore always accurately convey the current state of the design, and that is the power of Revit and the power of BIM.
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