EVstudio is Upgrading to AutoCAD Architecture 2009 and Revit Architecture 2009 – Why Support Both?

by Sean O'Hara on October 30, 2008

EVstudio is upgrading to the latest versions of AutoCAD Architecture and Revit Architecture. We currently use a previous version of AutoCAD on the majority of our projects and Revit on select projects.

There is a lot of debate on the advantages of one software program vs the other. At this point it seems that neither product is the right solution 100% of the time so we’re supporting both and carefully choosing which gets used for what. There is cost associated with this approach but it is the only approach that insures the quality product that we create. We won’t let the software dictate the design or the documentation.

Revit is a software package that originated as a competitor for AutoCAD but ended up being bought out by Autodesk to compliment their products. To design a building in Revit you actually build a model of the building and then represent that model in different views rather than drawing the views themselves. Revit has a lot of advantages in visualization, for creating a building information model and drawing management. Most likely, Revit will be the dominant software at some point in the future. It is exceptionally effective and quick for putting together many building types. Where it is lacking is in the drafting tools, complex residential building shapes and the visual representations of the model. When it comes time to document a building, Revit does not produce as nice a set of drawings. With EVstudio’s commitment to drawing quality we can’t fully commit to Revit.

AutoCAD Architecture (which used to be called Architectural Desktop) is a version of the venerable AutoCAD that I first learned in 1991. It is a 2D drafting program that has been enhanced to include many of the features of a full fledged building information modeler. While Architecture is not the easiest or best tool for any one task, it can be customized and utilized to produce a drawing set without compromises. We’ve built a complex graphical menu system, many custom routines and even a set of structural routines for calculating the residential structures that we design. The software has been set up to create a quality set of drawings and I expect that it will be a part of our workflow until Revit catches up on drafting tools and modeling options.

There are a number of other factors that go into the decision of choosing Architecture vs Revit on a project. Most architects and interns know AutoCAD and only a handful know Revit so staffing and support is harder. AutoCAD allows a floor plan to be developed without the elevations and sections where Revit makes you do them all at once. A very different workflow, both with advantages. Many of the large clients who we work with like Aardex and the University of Denver have large libraries of AutoCAD drawings to use as a starting point on projects. This is also true on many of the tenant improvement jobs that we do where we may receive CAD backgrounds. Some engineers want to work in Revit, some only work in AutoCAD.

I hope that further explains why EVstudio is upgrading and maintaining licenses for both Revit 2009 and AutoCAD Architecture 2009. It will be interesting to see what new features are in both.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean O'Hara September 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Roberto, I don’t think we have that block, but maybe someone else does who can email it to you. Good luck

Roberto Castro September 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Hy I`m looking for a dentist chair for revit architecture 2009, please help me and send to my email robertojosecastro@hotmail.com that file thanks

Angelo November 5, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Nice blog – very thorough and informative! Luckily we shed the baggage of AutoCAD about two years ago and have been growing in both the way we document and think about describing a design solution. We recently have begun to realize that BIM has become an invaluable tool in our design process. Yes, there have been challenges, but the improvement over the old 2D process easily trumps any hiccup we have experienced to date. Coordination has been improved dramatically in that so much more is identified and fixed in the virtual model before construction begins. Basic drafting tools are plenty adequate for detailing, if not equal to what we used AutoCAD for.

As for interns or architects not being familiar with the software – if you hear that on a regular basis, look elsewhere for talent! Architecture students are learning the basics of BIM in many architecture programs across the country, and if you are a young architect and don’t have at least a familiarity with it, you will quickly go the way of the dinosaurs!

Unfortunately there are only two great packages out there now – ArchiCAD and Revit. Autodesk bought Revit and have improved it immensely (however, too slow for my tastes). I wish there was more competition to keep the bar high. Another disturbing trend is that Autodesk has been buying up important BIM collaboration and green oriented tools like NavisWorks and Green Building Studio. This provides the potential for incredible built-in functionality, but stifles competition.

Anyway, as you can tell, I feel strongly about pulling designers perceptions out of the 2D mentality of yesteryear and into our current dynamic environment where collaboration with consultants and clarity of design intent is paramount.

Dean Dalvit October 31, 2008 at 10:27 am

There is no doubt, however, that the entire AEC industry is moving to BIM at a radical pace. The technology has finally made 3-D design tolerable. I say tolerable, because it has a long way to go yet before you can efficiently navigate Revit and customize its tools like you can in AutoCAD. We all know that there is no one-size-fits-all software and that is exactly why AutoCAD has become the industry leader for so long. As BIM continues to gain widespread acceptance, those Revit tools will see advancements in the next several years that will be similar to the AutoCAD development between versions 12 and 2000. Any long-time CAD user will know exactly what I mean here.

My advice: learn both as they will both be important tools for our industry.

I predict that the two will ultimately merge for the AEC industry within the next 5 to 7 years, so if you’re not getting on the BIM train now, you will quickly become a legacy resource no different than manual drafting tools that clutter the back offices of large architectural firms. As an AutoCAD veteran since verion 9.0, I resisted Revit for a long time, but I now realize that this technology is changing the way we do business.

AutoCAD Drafting Services October 31, 2008 at 2:53 am

Using Autocad or Revit is the matter of opinion and of satisfaction, but after visiting many a blogs on Autocad drafting or Revit i found that people feel easy while using autocad for there designing project.

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