What Should Revit Be?

2 Nov

I received a comment on my post “Report Revit Unconnected Wall Heights“:

LOL… as long as you don’t mind inaccurate results! If the wall in question has door/window openings then your wall area figure is not that of the entire length of the wall. Autodesk needs to address this now – it’s ridiculous that we even have to have these conversations….. just make the damn paramter accessible!

The comment is correct, of course if there is an opening the formula is off. But it’s algebra and I assume you know that. But, this post gets at an important question: what should Revit be?

I alluded to the answer in “BIM: Split vs Merged Models.” Revit should not be what I think this commenter wants it to be – all things. I hear this a lot – Revit should do this and why can’t it do that? Because, it cannot do everything. What it does is one thing really well – model. AutoDesk has included the tools in Revit for you to make it do anything you want – the Revit API. Can’t program in .NET? Then hire someone who can and build what you want. You need to learn to modify your tools. Look at Ghery, HOK and SHoP Architects, they do. Call Case Inc – they can build it for you. But if you expect an out-of-box application to provide every functionality that only you may want – you’re SOL.

I think Revit should stick to modeling. What I would like is for Revit to allow me to export my model to a database just by clicking R–>Export–>SQL Server. And bring it back – or at least join a DB to Revit. Then I can use the database to handle the data. And I can use Crystal Reports.

We can disagree on what Revit should be, but we should be able to agree that an architect must learn to modify his/her tools and to be able to create their own tools.  If you have a pen that only writes in green – replace the cartridge, don’t cry to the manufacturer to make it in red. Want to use “sf” in Revit schedules but hate that you can’t sum in excel because the field is now text? Write a formula like INT(=LEFT(A2, LEN(A2)-2) ) to strip it. Don’t cry to AutoDesk that when you export it doesn’t export as an integer.

Architects need to learn to use information – it is the I in BIM. To learn, you need to go outside of architecture to the land of information systems, computer programming, and statistics. – they exist but outside your site boundary line. It’s alright to cross it, I promise, it’s safe…


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