AEC Tech News (#227)

7 May, 2008 By: Heather Livingston

Delivering the BIM Promise

Revit's 2009 offerings aim to realize the potential of building information modeling.

By Heather Livingston

Heather Livingston photo

With its 2009 Revit product line, Autodesk's goal is to fulfill the potential and promise of the building information model (BIM), according to Rick Rundell, AIA, director of product marketing for Autodesk Building Solutions and fellow Cadalyst contributor. Through the acquisition of some key applications, Autodesk is leveraging Revit to provide AEC users with a full spectrum of analysis tools that can not only enhance collaboration across building disciplines, but also deliver a project with greater accuracy, speed, and efficiency.

"We spent the last few years making tools to capture building information and design information productively and easily so that they are very capable of producing the documents that architects need and putting in capabilities for collaboration and workflow," Rundell said. "We'll continue working on those things of course, but now that we have those things well established, the real focus is moved to enabling better design decision making through analysis."

The Offerings
On April 16, the company announced that it was shipping its 2009 product line for BIM, which includes Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, AutoCAD Civil 3D, and Autodesk NavisWorks. According to the company, Revit Architecture 2009 includes sustainable design and energy analysis capabilities to assist with quantifying energy consumption and recycled content, among other measures. "The area that we have focused on is supporting sustainable design," Rundell explained. "Some of the most powerful things that can be done there have to do with quantifying the amount of energy that a building will consume, how lighting in the building behaves, and the material content — the same [information] that cost estimators want to know." Autodesk also reports that Revit Architecture's Mental Ray high-performance rendering engine also provides photorealistic images (see image) with greater ease and speed.

Revit Structure 2009 boasts enhanced modeling and documentation capabilities. The AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite now includes AutoCAD Structural Detailing, which enables steel and reinforced concrete detailing and shop and formwork drawings. With Autodesk's acquisition of Robobat, the company was able to incorporate two new technologies in its updated product. "One was structural analysis software that integrates with Revit Structure and allows for the structure to be analyzed," Rundell said. "Then, detailing software built on AutoCAD takes information from Revit Structure into AutoCAD, further details that out, and then it can be used to drive automated fabrication of the structural steel. That's another value of the type of information that comes out of BIM in terms of design to fabrication." Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cadalyst contributing editor Heather Livingston is a Vermont-based freelance writer specializing in design, sustainability, and architectural technology. She can be reached at


ArchiCAD Insights:
Using Standard Details in a Project

By Laszlo Nagy

This article explains one method to embed one or more external detail drawings into an ArchiCAD project. In this example, I will embed a standard balcony and wall-slab intersection detail into a project and place them onto a layout so they will be published as part of the documentation set.

I will also create a detail marker that contains an intelligent reference to the detail on the layout. For general information, you may want to look for Worksheets, Details or Define Marker Reference for Linked Marker in the ArchiCAD Help menu or at ArchicadWiki. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Autodesk 2009 Technology for Building Design and Engineering
May 6-20, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Presented by Avatech Solutions, the Autodesk Rollout series for architects and building systems engineers will cover release 2009 of AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, 3ds Max Design, AutoCAD MEP, and Revit MEP. Read more »

Autodesk 2009 Technology for Civil Professionals
May 6-21, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
In this free 2009 Autodesk Rollout series of events for civil engineering and survey professionals, Avatech Solutions' technical experts will take attendees on a tour through the latest features that will affect the way they work. Read more »

Field to Finish Workshop
May 27, 2008
Morristown, New Jersey
In this workshop, Autodesk experts Jerry Bartels and David Blanchette will demonstrate the new survey functionality in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition
May 15-17, 2008
Boston, Massachusetts
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) annual convention will provide opportunities for attendees to earn learning units, participate in dozens of seminars, and visit more than 800 exhibitor booths. Read more »

Webcast: Design + Construction of Hospital Renovations + Additions
May 22, 2008
2 p.m. EDT
This webcast will focus on case studies of hospital renovation/addition projects and will offer prescriptive advice for dealing with them. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on