Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Master of REVIT Architecture

By now most of us have heard about REVIT. But not many of us realize how different REVIT actually is compared to other Autodesk's programmes. I was a bit skeptical when I heard REVIT will revolutionize the industry a few years after I stepped back to Malaysia. I thought Sketchup would still be the prime game for most of us. I was told about what it can do. I was generally surprised as to how this simple programme could elegantly change how we work, teach and study architecture. So what does it actually do?

It works based on how each element in the project carries its own parameters that are adjustable and customisable. You don't draw a thick line that represents a wall, you actually DRAW a wall. The programme understands that it's a wall and its relevant properties (it has mass, bears loads, and could have openings and so on. Unlike in Sketchup, the programme doesn't care if it's a wall or a floor, it doesn't need to recognize it. But REVIT does.

This parametric system allows everything in the project to have its own properties, right down to how many layers a wall should have, and if the finishing is using Nippon Paint or cheap ‘cap ayam’ paint. And it'll do the costing for you too! Literally, as you add more things in your design, you can see the numbers add up in the schedule. You can set the exact cost of the project right from the start with little concern about contingencies.

What REVIT does is simplify all the jobs for an architect. From the initial site study/massing, up to the actual designing stage, down to the detailing and the schedules. An experienced REVIT user would be able to do presentation drawing and working drawing at the same time, convert it with a click of a mouse button. You can do photorealistic renderings without the need to sub it out to a third party.


It will put a lot of people out of business. Architects won't need assistants. They can work together collaboratively on one project without to worry about synchronicity. They won't need 3D modelers to do their presentations. They don't need to wait for QS to come up with the total building cost. They don't have to wait for mechanical or civil engineers to tell them if the design can work or not. REVIT will tell you if it can or cannot and make the decision fast.

Despite all its capabilities, REVIT is a danger to young students. If we were ever worried about Sketchup governing the students' ability to design, REVIT would drive us up the trees. It's a very dangerous tool for them. It will tell you if the rafter can but placed on the wall plate or not. But it doesn't tell you why.

Students must have the understanding about design and construction in order not to get caught up with the limitations. In my experience, REVIT have ways to get around a lot of things. But if the student couldn't realize that he couldn't do something because he's doing it wrong and not because REVIT can't do it, he will be a slave to the programme. REVIT is not a programme we can teach using typical means. I do not recommend REVIT to sem3 or sem4 students. I would only attempt to introduce them at sem5 under expert supervision. I'd say only sem6 and above should have enough expertise to master the tool.

Do not underestimate the power of REVIT. It is indeed a powerful Ring that can rule them all.
Best advice is, equipped yourself with a variety of tools and don't become the tool. You should be known as an architect first, not the Revit guy with rendering skills.


  1. 100% true bro...like 'dont become the tool' statement...

  2. 'The temptation has overpowered me,', said a novice design student, 'the tool has taken over. I'm no longer human but I found out after my results came out that I could still cry'.

    Just be careful of the tools you use!


  3. I want to be known as a revit guy with superb rendering skills. I want to work with Hijjaz Kasturi as a 3D modeller.