Revit users are familiar with work sharing, a design method that lets multiple team members work on the same project model at the same time, which is critical for collaborative design in BIM.

However, a key part of collaboration is person-to-person communication, and the more dispersed teams are, the more important efficient communication becomes.

Good communication means you not only chat between designers but also that you have a near real-time understanding of the changes that all designers on a BIM project are implementing. Communicating in real-time can reduce project error by helping you resolve issues as they occur, rather than collecting and waiting to address them later.

This communication is enabled in Collaboration for Revit via the Communicator, a chat-based communication platform integrated within Revit. It allows you to not only communicate with individual designers, but also to share information with the whole design team, share screenshots of key discussion areas in the design, send emails, and more. Even better, Communicator is integrated within the work-sharing mechanism in Revit, which means that Communicator will inform all designers working on the project when someone uploads design changes to the central, cloud-based model.

This ensures that everyone is informed as design changes occur. No more versioning control headaches! Even non-Revit users —such as the project/ building owner—can access model information without the need for data translation (for example, .rvt to PDF) via BIM 360 Team. BIM 360 Team lets you share your design and project files with designated project members, without the need for Revit or additional software. This reduces the threshold to implement a cloud-based collaborative environment and helps you deliver the right data, at the right time, to the right people.

Aside from that we can look at other common issues that professionals come across that Revit can solve (Taking a case between MEP engineers and Architects!)

  1. Poor Visualization

  • Revit offers various Visibility and Graphics settings that allow the user to customize what they want to see and what they don’t want to see. For example, an MEP engineer could create a View Template that only displays mechanical equipment and structural components, such as floor joists.
  • Revit offers color coding tools that can automatically display properties of spaces (i.e airflow requirements).
  • Similar to creating custom View Templates, the user can create Worksets, which are groups of elements in a model, allowing users to specify who can edit certain types of model. This helps to avoid inadvertent changes by other users in the same model.

 

2. Inconsistent Information

Revit offers tools to the MEP engineer that can extract the analytical components of a space, such as a volume, surface characteristics, and intended use. These are only useful if the information is representative of the current edition of the model.

Revit Worksharing allows users to work on the same model remotely, which means that the users are constantly updated with the current edition, reducing the need for file transfers. The file management starts with the creation of a central model, which can be backed-up to the cloud services provided to Revit subscribers or to a local server. Each user in a team project is encouraged to make a copy of the central model which they can edit and then synchronize with the main model as needed.

Additionally, all views, sheets, and schedules are backed up to the same database, which means that any change is propagated to all views and representations of the design.

3. Interference of Interdisciplinary Components

  • Revit offers an Interference Check feature in the Collaborate tab which allows the user to define which components to compare, and from which model the components are located (i.e. a linked model or the current model).
  • A mechanical model can be linked into an architectural model to check if ducts or piping will interfere with any structural components.[3]

4. Redundant Changes

  • For any project, there will be certain levels of dependencies for the location and size of elements.
  • Revit users can create a Global Parametersthat can drive the location of one object, such as a floor beam, by the dimension of an adjacent element, such as the slab thickness. This can help structural engineers and architects coordinate better by reducing the need to make repetitive changes to each floor beam.
  • Revit also defines Shared Parameters, which are saved separately from a project file, so that they can be used in multiple projects.
  • Using Project Parameters can help all team members get organized by defining a parameter that categorizes views.

In Summary

Revit is useful for professionals who need to collaborate with other disciplines because:

  • It keeps all parties updated with the current project via Worksharing backed by Revit cloud services.
  • It allows key design features to be communicated effectively via Visual Templates and color fills.
  • It allows users to divide the model into worksets, which can be made editable or not editable by the current user to avoid confusion and lessen computing load.
  • It allows users to define parameters as the design progresses, to make model-wide changes quick and easy.

 

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