Structural engineers, architects, MEP engineers, and drafters argue about the value of an array of novel modeling and sketching tools utilized by them for their project specific requirements. Today, with multiple advances in Information Technology, Revit and AutoCAD has delivered maximum usability in the AEC industry. Nevertheless; drafters and design engineers argue about the value of one over the other, purely based on their personal user experience.
Although, today, Revit sees a wider scope in meeting stringent project deadlines and market demands. Information rich intelligent 3D BIM models generated in Revit suffice these needs and revolutionize the way contractors manage complex construction tasks. Though both these software generate a 3D model of the building design; there are several differences owing to which industry leading construction design engineers chose Revit over AutoCAD.
Revit begins where AutoCAD ends; the demarcation
To put it in the simplest form it would be enough to say that AutoCAD, at the most, develops a 3D model. While with Revit a live 3D model can be generated, enabling a common work platform for multi-disciplinary jobs as the first step. Revit essentially chips in for design collaboration and allows working in a shared environment for enhanced coordination between structural, architectural and MEP aspects of building construction. Revit thus creates a seamless workflow for design development throughout.
Furthermore; the real life information in Revit generates a geometry which can be extended to make as-built models and develop walkthroughs giving insights of a building facility. On the other hand, AutoCAD can generate lines and 2D views, and is applicable where there is a need of precise line work like in elevation drawings etc.
On different lines, accounting for flexibility, AutoCAD is more flexible since it offers all the commands of surface, mesh and solid geometry. As compared to this, Revit is stricter and ensures that design engineer or drafter makes building elements correctly in order to have well-coordinated designs. Although, parts library storage which Revit family enables, helps quick retrieval of standard building product models for architectural, structural or any MEP component.
As far as usability is concerned, Revit has vivid applications which are the keys to paradigm shift in construction management.
The 4D, 5D and 6D BIM models with Revit empower contractors in making informed decisions.
Not only this, it enables contractors to set the accurate bid value for projects, meet the deadlines, manage the resources appropriately and reduce the waste and hence rework to a minimum level. To suffice, Revit makes it more profitable outcomes to general contractors in every aspects of technical and management, both. All this was far from possible with AutoCAD.
Additionally, Revit helps developing a Lifecycle Management (LCM) model of the construction structure, which can be transferred to the facility owner or the individual stakeholder for the facility maintenance purpose. Survey indicates that about 85% of the operations costs and O&M teams look for efficient alternatives. The respondents said that with BIM, 6% of their time is saved on an average.
Looking at the litigation aspects
Several technologically advanced nations like USA, Canada and likes have mandated the use of BIM and Revit for all publically funded buildings.
The need is to avail LEED certification ranging from ‘certified’ to ‘Platinum’ category in most public buildings in the USA. It gives an easy access to major systems, components and other building materials; and ensures quality operations in terms of energy consumption as well as impact on environment.
A concluding picture
Though there are some similarities like 3D modeling and rendering between the two, Revit has more efficient applications. The later caters to general contractors to fetch exact information from the pool to streamline the activities, while dealing with grandiose residential, commercial, industrial or institutional construction works. The most astute contractors will quickly realize the need of Revit and it will save time, costs and construction site errors in long runs. When Revit is brought on board, bricks are placed appropriately and hard times are trashed out.