Revving up for Revit, Building Information Modeling for Landscape Architecture

Jacob Galles - Revit Guru

Jacob Galles – K&W Revit Guru

Recently, Kudela & Weinheimer has begun work on two projects that require the use of Revit, a Building Information Modeling program. Revit is a brand of Building Information Modeling (hereafter BIM) software that has proven itself a powerful tool for the AEC industry. It functions by creating a single central file, each user works on a local file (copy of central file) commanding individual consultants to work collaboratively. This keeps Revit drawings fully coordinated in terms of building, layout, and site objects depicted in these drawings. Changes made to one representation model are propagated to the other representations, reducing editing time and increasing efficiency. Projects involving multiple collaborators require the original author of a specific element to make changes, a preventive measure to eliminate editing of another’s work without notification. Program features such as this eliminate contradictory construction documents and modifications that would pass unnoticed until the construction process!

To date, Revit has not been popular in the Landscape Architecture sector of AEC consulting. Program advice and consultation are limited, and real world scenarios that relate to Landscape Architecture have yet to be explored, much less published. The program has not necessarily been designed for Civil Engineers or Landscape Architects, and at current, Revit’s main versions include Architecture, MEP, and Structural. In terms of market share, Revit remains the most popular of BIM software currently available.

However, the demands of the AEC industry are changing and the software creators are hopefully working versions for landscape and civil sectors now. Graphically, Revit is impressive, its walk-through features and rendering capabilities are high quality and extremely realistic. Revit has the power to display incredibly accurate solar and lighting studies as well. Realizing the immense benefits of this program, K&W is currently adapting the architecture and structural versions for our personal use in landscape architecture. This adaptation is being accomplished by designing and constructing various elements not available in standard versions of Revit. Common landscape elements often utilized by K&W including: fences, gates, seat walls, fountains, pools, and outdoor kitchens are being constructed and added to our Revit library as this blog is being read. [Side note: solar studies help landscape architects to determine the amount of sun available at various times of the day, which helps to determine planting, pool placement and possible rates of evaporation of water from soils.]

Kudela & Weinheimer is working on Wallis State Bank and Schlumberger Center for Chemistry Excellence, which the owners require the use of Revit based design. As our office Revit guru, I’ve been working on creating office standards within the program that are functional for landscape design. Initially, it’s quite the learning curve, but with every step we become more versed in the program and our office becomes more efficient.

Yet another fantastic element of Revit that has contributed to its popularity within construction and development is automatic adjustment of building and job cost. Changes made within the program automatically adjust material quantities and types within cost estimates, providing immediate updates. The cost and material quantity component makes BIM software important to developers and contractors adhering to strict budgets. Secondly, consultants work abreast on each project, decreasing mistakes while influencing and increasing collaboration. A central database for the software allows all stakeholders to remain updated and aware of responsibilities, thus removing design conflicts and risks.

Kudela & Weinheimer is actively involved in every aspect of Revit, and realizes the potential of the program both for our office and Landscape Architecture as an industry. Adapting the program will allow Kudela & Weinheimer to become more efficient and involved in the design process, providing our clients with better solutions and more precise cost estimates.

Kudela & Weinheimer strives to stay ahead of the curve. We are a full service, commercial landscape architecture firm dedicated to client satisfaction and creative, functional, build-able, budget conscious landscape design. Registered in 13 states, Kudela & Weinheimer works all over. Call us for your next project, you will not be disappointed! Click here to see more about Kudela & Weinheimer Landscape Architects

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