Initially released nearly 20 years ago, Revit has grown to be one of the most widely adopted BIM applications in the world. As with every robust and powerful application, there are of advantages and disadvantages of Revit. While the advantages of Revit are plentiful, there are of course limitations and constraints which can be a detriment to efficiency in your daily grind.
While the vast majority of the time we’re discussing the countless advantages of Revit, in this post we’ll cover three disadvantages that Revit introduces and how UNIFI’s suite of solutions can help.
1. Lack of Backwards Compatibility
Currently, Revit users do not have the ability to open an older Revit model in a newer version of Revit without performing a hard upgrade the model. This may have a much bigger impact on our daily workflows than we might realize. For example, consider those projects that span over multiple years where you are trapped in an older version of Revit due to fear of corruption during the upgrade process.
Unfortunately, this constraint of supporting older versions of Revit means your Revit families will need to be modeled in an earlier version of Revit. You may even get to a point where you need to manage duplicate content to support multiple version of Revit.
Solution: Future-Proofed Revit Families
UNIFI Pro provides an automated process which upgrades your Revit families in the cloud. Users have the ability to maintain multiple “base files” which serve as the source for all future versions.
The Base File Chart below is an example of how UNIFI Pro handles multiple versions of Revit. This particular family was originally modeled in 2015 and was automatically upgraded to future versions of Revit in the cloud. At some point the family was manually upgraded to Revit 2018 by a user, so Unifi again upgraded that base file to future versions while still allowing for previous versions of the family to be used.
2. Unstructured data
At the project level, Revit users inadvertently create unstructured data with every shared parameter they create. Because each shared parameter comes with its own GUID, it means schedules are difficult to manage with a project containing content from multiple sources. I won’t go into the details of this limitation in this post, but consider large projects and how this becomes a major issue when trying to build a single equipment schedule from 10 different manufacturers.
Solution: Share Standardized Schedules in UNIFI Pro libraries
One approach when attempting to create a predefined dataset in Revit is to create schedules which use a standard set of shared parameters. These schedules should only contain the proper shared parameters, so families without the correct shared parameters can be identified easily.
Unifi Pro not only provides the ability to store your vetted Revit families in libraries, but native Revit schedules as well. In doing so, you open up the possibility of applying metatags, versioning, and change management to this critical component of every Revit project.
Prior to loading the schedule into a project, you have the ability to preview the parameters and formatting. It just takes a single click to load the schedule into your active project, which is infinitely easier than the out-of-the-box workflows.
3. No Automated Changelog
Change management should be a high priority whenever collaborating on a team, whether it’s software development, marketing, or BIM. Unfortunately, Revit does not provide a robust versioning system out-of-the-box. I’ll admit, Revit’s automated backups have saved my job on more than one occasion, however there is still a lacking ability to see who changed what in these models.
Solution: Compare Changes in Project Analytics
In addition to reviewing the content within a Revit model, Project Analytics allows you to review historical changes to that content. The screenshot above displays changes to revisions, rooms, and sheets. This is a critical upgrade over simply the out-of-the-box backups as now you can track who made changes to the content within your models down to the detail of who is importing CAD files or changes the area of a room to zero.
A Few Solutions
In conclusion, there are both advantages and disadvantages of Revit just like one can expect with any platform. We’ve covered just three disadvantages of Revit and how UNIFI can help you overcome those limitations. These are just three examples of features that we’ve implemented to help you maintain healthier, high quality models. If you would like to learn more about UNIFI Pro or Project Analytics, click here.
Do you have any additional disadvantages of Revit that you face? What are some solutions, if any, that you’ve found to help overcome those disadvantages? Leave us a comment below and let’s discuss!