View Full Version : Revit in Custom Residential Projects
2006-02-08, 03:42 PM
An Architect friend of mine recently asked me how Revit would benefit his practice. He owns his own residential design firm in the New England area and does mostly high dollar, very custom homes. His working drawing sets range from 20-30 pages each.
He is an example of a home his firm has completed:
He was very concerned over the time it would take to complete his custom details in a BIM model, etc. I was curious if anyone here knows of any firms that use Revit in a production environment for large, custom homes?. Is this a short/long transition from a previously AutoCAD based environment with lots of custom lisp routines, apps, etc. to a Revit environment? He worries the time it takes to complete modeling his moulding, usually complicated roofs, and other features may make Revit prohibitive to his practice at this time. I told him that Revit can do everything he needs, but I wasn't sure how much more it would benefit his firm in the early going... which is why I bring that question up here. The long term potential benefits are great, what types of short-term benefits or problems would he run into?
Thanks in advance!
Coordination is going to be the biggest time saver for him using Revit. But, he could be spending a lot of time trying to get the families going. It is hard to drop everything just to work on families, so creating a bunch of in place families takes more time. It would be faster to draft some things, but you lose the coordination as soon as you do that. That roof doesn't look all that complicated. Almost every roof we do will have multiple plate heights and sometimes several split pitches. It takes less than a day to have the roof fully modeled, unless Revit is acting up. The thing that works against him is all the work arounds in Revit. Even though it is now V8.1, it is still young and lacks some good working tools.
David J Krope
2006-02-08, 11:47 PM
The sample provided does not appear too difficult to model. The molding around the windows could be a interesting the first time but the people here would be able to help. Roof tools are not bad in Revit.
We have done some large single families, up to 10,000 sq ft plus in Revit. What Revit provides is a time efficient way of dealing with all the changes. Our residential work always involves changes. Revit allows the review of the dozens of what ifs and design alternatives that many high end clients demand to see. Alternative roof combinations, kitchen/bath layouts, material selections inside and out. In particular design options gives the ability to make quick rendered changes for client approval or more changes. I do not think this can be over sold to the residential architect. If he has a specific question happy to help.
Here are a series of images from one study we did for one residential renovation/addition project. We provided somewhere around 8 different studies for this project. Different type of complicated roof.
2006-02-09, 12:08 AM
He was very concerned over the time it would take to complete his custom details in a BIM model, etc.How does he detail now? He could use his same AutoCAD details, and link them into Revit (like xrefs), or import them into Revit, too.
As far as creating moldings, if he uses the same profiles over and over, once he makes the 2D profile once, its available for all other jobs. It's really easy to create 2D molding profiles that can become 3D sweeps in Revit, especially if a molding manufacturer already has DWGs of the molding shapes.
2006-02-09, 02:37 AM
We're using Revit to do Large custom homes. As in homes with 50-200 sheets and 3-5 year schedules. Revit is invaluable when change occurs, and I assure you, on homes like this, change occurs. You can see examples on our web site of our houses, though I don't think any Revit projects are up yet since we've only finished a few but every project is highly detailed and requires all custom families. We're 50% switched and trying hard to get to 100% as project schedules allow because it has clearly worked for us so far.
2006-02-09, 02:56 AM
Thanks everyone for your posts!
I'll be sure to point this thread out to him and his CAD manager tomorrow morning, please feel free to add more comments too. The information I'm getting has been very good, I was wondering if you guys could perhaps add one more thing... how long do you feel it might take an office to get up to production speed doing custom work like this? It's a rather small office with just a handful of employees. I have my own estimation, but it would be good to hear from those that have lived through it...
2006-02-09, 01:23 PM
If they are all rated as Good+ in Autocad I would estimate that 4 to 6 weeks will see them up to 80% comfortable (up to speed) in revit. The rest is learn as you need and via the forum.
Some bits of Revit I can't seem to get to use as yet (after 4+ years), but I felt happy after a month (playing at night as well) that I could use it comfortably.
Hope this helps!
Yep, we are 100% revit and have only been on it since August. We did not stop production to implement, we have been doing it as we go. Maybe not the best way since it can be hell getting the families just right. If you can afford to have one guy out of production to work on nothing but families, it would save you time down the road. When we have a job that requires making changes to existing drawings from other programs, we import the dwg into Revit and model the original, make the changes and we will be ahead on hours spent making those changes. Ditto what Scott said about the mouldings. Detailing is much faster in revit once the model is drawn. Cut a section, draw over it if needed, but the more detail you put into the section the less drawing you have to do if you leave the model on. Just depends on what you are looking for. Detailing is much faster in Revit than Autocad for us.
2006-02-11, 03:44 AM
Ok, we're going through a really tough stretch in the office. It's all good stuff, just all at once and a lot of it. Several projects which we thought would be over have expanded and continued and several others have come back from the dead... so what are we doing? Crash course in Revit for everyone who isn't already using it. We have been slowly rolling out Revit, one user and one project at a time so that there was never any stress involved, but after two years only half the office is switched. Why the sudden change of pace? (here's where I answer your original question) Better design, and faster client decisions. Not speed or coordination (though those are true) but because we feel that our projects are getting better and the level of client understanding is higher. Since we're doing exactly the type of projects you're asking about you probably understand how important these are. It's not that Revit makes client changes faster, it's that we can make our changes faster so that when the client sees it, it's right and we can move on.
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