Autodesk Unveils 2007 Line-up for AEC, Part 2

7 Mar, 2006

A look at what's new in the family of Revit products for BIM

In Monday's edition of Cadalyst Daily, we offered an overview of what's coming in Autodesk's recently announced versions of Architectural Desktop and Building Systems, the company's AutoCAD-based AEC products. In Part 2 of our coverage of Autodesk's AEC product announcements, we'll look at the latest generation of the Revit family of building-modeling applications.

Revit Building 9
Revit Building 9 is Autodesk's flagship BIM (building information modeling) application. In the BIM approach to design, all design data is stored in a single model. As in 3D solids-modeling applications, the model is created parametrically, so if one part changes, that change is automatically reflected throughout the project -- model views, drawing sheets, schedules, sections and plans. Autodesk's definition of BIM is "a building design and documentation methodology that relies on an internally consistent, coordinated and computable digital representation of the building project."

Revit Building maintains a single building model, so changes in one view automatically update throughout.

Continuing Autodesk's emphasis on conceptual design this time around, Revit Building 9 can import massing models created in applications such as form*Z, Rhino, SketchUp, AutoCAD 2007 and other ACIS or NURBS-based programs. A Coordination Monitor helps coordinate changes across models to facilitate working with engineers in other disciplines. Users can approve or reject changes to grids, levels, columns, walls and slabs.

Revit Building 9 implements support for importing IFCs (Industry Foundation Classes) and fully certified 2x2 export. Export to gbXML (green building extensible markup language) facilitates energy analysis using Web services from Green Building Studio.

The detail library and detailing tools are presorted to align with the CSI format and can be customized. New keynoting features automate the creation of keynote legends, eliminating the need to manually track component and material information. A new Material Takeoff tool calculates quantities and updates parametrically when changes are made to the building mode.

Users of Revit Building 9 will be able to calculate precise areas and volumes for rooms, including rooms that extend through multiple floors. Both still and animated sun studies are supported.

Revit Structure 3
Revit Structure 3 handles structural engineering and documentation for a building model. It integrates a physical model with an analytical model that can be edited independently. It can link directly to models from Architectural Desktop and Revit Building, or users can create models from scratch or on top of 2D architectural drawings. The program also links to various analysis programs so those results are automatically propagated to the Revit Structure model.

Revit Structure 3 can check for unsupported structural elements and do consistency checks both within the analytical model and between the physical and analytical model. It provides new detailing tools for reinforced concrete, new filter selection and improved annotations and keynotes. Autodesk has improved the worksharing and linked files capabilities and added IFC import and CIS/2 export via a Robobat plug-in.

Within Revit Structure, engineers can perform interference checking to help avoid construction and coordination errors.

Revit Systems
Coming later this year is Revit Systems for MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) design within the building information model. Users will be able to create 3D models of duct, pipe and plumbing systems. Risers and drops are placed automatically as users design the plumbing system. For electrical design, circuits track loads, attached devices and circuit length. Users can define wire types, voltage ranges, distribution systems and demand factors. Built-in calculators handle pipe and duct sizing and pressure loss calculations.

Autodesk's upcoming Revit Systems will provide tools for electrical design, including lighting calculations.

Like the other Revit flavors, Revit Systems features parametric technology that propagates a change throughout the model. A system browser helps ensure that all MEP system elements are connected and contribute to system load requirements for accurate sizing.

Work-sharing features allow multiple users to work on a single model, with access modes ranging from simultaneous access to the shared model to complete separation of project elements into individual, linked models.

Correction: In the article, "Autodesk Unveils 2007 Line-up for AEC, Part 1," please note that the image provided by Autodesk for Architectural Desktop 2007 reflected features in a prerelease version of the software and differs from features in the final shipping version.