Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process of creating a 3D database which represents the design of the building. Revit is a software application which creates a digital replica of the building. Several applications exist for this technology in the construction industry, however, BIM and Revit are the most popular applications.
The confusion between BIM (building information modeling) and Revit is that BIM is considered a piece of software and Revit is BIM. Revit is one of the BIM tools which includes CAD software like AutoCAD, ARCHICAD and Microstation.
Building Information Modeling uses three-dimensional, real-time and dynamic modeling software which increases productivity in design and construction as it maintains drawing consistency to eliminate error. It is used by architects, engineers and construction professionals to more effectively plan, design, construct and manage building projects and infrastructure. BIM allows us to see the building and objects in different views during the drawing production.
Revit is a 2D/3D modeling program developed by AutoDesk with a powerful database which contains project information at different stages in the project building life cycle. This database uses a Revit file for storing BIM models. A building is created using 3D objects to create families i.e. walls, floors, roofs, windows, doors and other objects. These families are saved and imported into a Revit database when needed. A Revit model is a single database file represented in different ways that are important for design which includes plans, elevations, sections, and schedules.
There are three different versions of Revit used for disciplines. The general process of working through the system initiates with the architect building the model in Revit architecture. This architectural model is then sent to structural and MEP engineers. After this, each department links the architectural model into their own workspace and begins work by inserting beams, columns, pipes and other electrical connections. The engineers send the model back to architects, so the architects can finish the process by linking each newly created model to the main model. All the work created by engineers and architects will finally show the original files which were created before initiation of the process. Revit is currently one of the best techniques for the implementation of BIM in the construction industry.
Building engineers face constant challenges of limited manpower, tight budgets, conflicting requests, and accelerated schedules. BIM helps these professionals detect issues in the early stages and identify the exact location of discrepancies. BIM is also used to bridge the information loss gap between the design team, the construction team, and the building owner, allowing all parties to always be on the same page.
In summary, when it comes to managing your building project from conception to construction to managing the asset, BIM offers a great many advantages to the building owner.
-Kipp Happ, Assoc. AIA