Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shipping Delays for Revit 2009

Although Revit 2009 started shipping on April 15 it seems that here in Ontario there have been delays. Most should start recieving DVDs next week. In the meantime here are some links if you wish to download it:

Revit Architecture 2009:

Revit Structure 2009:

Revit MEP:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Revit 2009 Shipping Dates

An update on shipping dates for the entire Revit 2009 line of products:

April 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Area Program Technique

Below is a very useful technique from one of our committee members, written by Sheena Sharp...

A new program can be really daunting, but while I was first exploring REVIT, I noticed the area calculations and became intrigued. So I imported several AutoCAD floor plans of an 85,000 sf hospital that we were renovating into residential suites. I originally had the intention of building walls until I discovered that walls were not necessary to perform area calculations, so I could do preliminary area calculations without building a model, and with area features that are far more powerful than AutoCAD's.

It works like this:
1. Load the AutoCAD drawing in, one floor per level.
2. Go to the "Room and areas" menu and select "area plans".
3. Select "rentable" and the level you want to create. Note that there is now list of "area plans" under views. (I would recommend not creating exterior walls)
4. Select an area plan, and draw a bounded are using the Area boundary tool.
5. Next select the "area" tool which allows you to place an area tag in the centre of the bounded box.

Voila, you have the area calculated. You will find that REVIT is far more forgiving about closing areas: close is good enough. Also, each room is not a loop, as in Autocad, but a boundary forms the boundary for two rooms. Move the boundary and notice how the calculations change.

But the real power is in the schedules. Go to the "view" menu and choose schedules, Areas, Rentable. As an example, when you are starting out, you may want to keep track of the percentages of area assigned to rentable suites and those assigned to circulation and mechanical spaces.

To create that schedule:
1. Right Click on the area element (move the cursor until you see and "x" in the area and right click)
2. Change the name to something that you want to track.
3. Create a schedule in the view menu, and choose the name, the area and the count.
4. Create a calculated value called Percent, click percent, and choose OF area BY grand total.
5. In the sort by tab, choose Name, grand totals and deselect "itemize every instance"
6. In the format tab, select area and then click on the "calculate total box. To the same for Count and Percent.
7. Click OK.

The different "names", are sorted and summed. No more transferring areas to a spreadsheet. No more recalculating when an area changes. In addition, there is a really nice feature to colour the drawings. Go back to the Room and Area Menu and select area colour scheme. Insert it on to the area plan. Select it and then "edit colour scheme" on the options bar. You are able to change the colours, and the variable that is used on the legend. (For the above example, choose "name"). Again, voila, a presentation-ready plan.

I have moved on to creating multiple area analyses, in the same project. You do this by going to the view menu and choosing "new", "schedules". Click on Areas: rentable and rename the set of schedule. You will now be able to create an entirely separate set of area plans with different boundaries.

I recently moved on to using area schedules to keep track of the variance between the program areas and the proposed areas. This is done using the "key schedule" feature. The key schedule has one field which is a "key". When you assign a key name to a room, the key schedule information like "existing area" and "proposed area" is transferred to the new room. Use a calculated value to calculate the difference between the plan area and the proposed area. Even if you decide to delete that room, or change it to another function, the original program information is not lost.

Although I am getting much more comfortable at creating models and presentations, the area calculations remain my favorite part of REVIT for fact that they remove the tedious nature of one of the important tasks of initial design.