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.