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Forums >> General Discussion >> Revit ROI >> How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?

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Sun, Jun 11, 2017 at 12:01:09 PM | How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?




Joined: Thu, Feb 9, 2017
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I've recently joined a small practice who've been using solely AutoCAD for a decade. My request to them was that we started using Revit (which they have licences for) on all projects going forward as I'm looking to future proof myself should things not work out or I decdied I'd like a move in the future. They agreed so I've been learning Revit for the last few months (25yrs on AutoCAD). I see all the benefits but I find it cumbersome at times when creating the simplest of things and can end up being a huge undertaking, at the moment at least.


As a small practice they're trying to work out if it's economic long term to use Revit on all projects (including and mainly domestic) once we're all fully trained and up to speed on Revit or whether sticking with AutoCAD would be better. We're prepared to take the financial hit in the short to medium term to allow us all the time to get fluent with Revit but, as always, it boils down to available fee and whether it will stretch far enough to build and utilise a Revit model in the future by a competent Revit user.


What I'd like to know is roughly how long it would take to create a usable (accurate and useful) Revit model for a particular example domestic project (I can post up the CAD file) by someone who is well trained in Revit. We want to go Revit to futureproof ourselves as inidividuals (if not the practice) but we don't have any great need to do numerous revisions and have never been asked for a Revit model.


I'd simply like an idea of the number of days it would take to draw up the measured survey to create the existing set then the proposed set. Would just need a quick look at the file to say "I reckon it would take X days to complete". We can then compare this against the time it took us to complete in AutoCAD. 


Is there anyone who could help on this? Any help at all on this would be very much appreciated.

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Sun, Jun 11, 2017 at 2:45:46 PM | How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?



Beaucoupnice Avatar

Joined: Mon, Nov 19, 2007
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3.5 Stars: 6 Votes

How long is a piece of string?This is too hard to answer as there are too many variables including.Whos is modelling it. If it is you with no Revit project experience, it will take a much much longer time as an advanced user. In fact with no project experience, your firm will probably lose out on profit for this project because you will be sitting around all day trying to figure out what to do. Your firm needs to start by employing an advanced revit user to train unskilled staff properly. Larger firms employ BIM Managers to do this.Your firm probably does not have a project template or library in place, so you will need to go through the exhaustive process of creating everything from scratch.What type of project is it. Small house is much less time that a school which is much less time that a fully loaded hospital.

What level of documentation are you measuring the time on? Plans elevs sections? or all documents needed to fully build. The latter is longer but in general if the former, you can't compare it to autocad as more time is spent up front in Revit modelling. Its a different resource structure.The list goes on.


I can tell you that with a skilled team, an established template and a BIM only workflow, an office can achieve 30 to 50 % resource savings. But to get a skilled team takes a lot of lost profit.


__________I'm the guy they come to when they didn't follow my recommended workflows.__________

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Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 10:41:53 AM | How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?



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Beau has given you a good answer.   I will add - DON'T JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET!  Baby steps.... A small project with just one or two users to begin with and these users need outside training. 


Our office of 35+ started out with 4 members going to an intensive week's worth of training but our brains were full after about 3 days.  You have to immediately put that knowledge to work but don't expect miriacles.   And don't expect it to look like your CAD.  It will take you awhile to adjust your standards to Revit. and I do mean adjust your standards as well as setting up Revit to your needs. 


You need full commitment from the leaders to do this.  They need to understand this process will take some time to begin with and you can't say "... just export it to CAD and we will finish it there...".   This is why you want a small project and one that willl not need a fast delivery time.


Your rewards for this will be better profits but more importantly, better and easier documentation.

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Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:52:02 AM | How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?




Joined: Wed, Mar 2, 2011
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But, to give a more direct answer to your question, i can tell you, you can do a usable model in revit in one day, if it is relatively small, a house or a warehouse, or even a small apartments building with a typical story and if you are "well trained in revit".

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Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 1:55:59 PM | How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?



dgcad Avatar

Joined: Thu, Mar 17, 2005
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What a great question Ju, I'd say a user well trained and prepared and setup can do a nice set of permit worthy house plans (2800 sq.ft.) in 2-3 days easily. But yes a simple cottage can be pumped out in hours. The 'design application and changes' will always govern the total time involved. Having said that I can easily model / draw a basic set of house plans without all the detail 'inside 1 hour' with Sheets, 3D perspective views, dimensioned floor plans, elevations, unlimited sections and callouts, door and window schedules and a basic material takeoff.


I should point out that developing a 'Model' and creating the 'Construction Documentation' plans for the model are two different things.


However having said that as indicated above there's some serious variables that need to be ironed out before this is achieveable. Some people don't actually have the capacity or aptitude to get to that level to honest. Being a good AutoCAD user does not give you a free pass to be the same with REVIT. REVIT is not like AutoCAD at all. No layers, xref's, blocks, scale factor issues, text issues, dimension isses and it's all 3D parametric with constraints. Residential roofs can be quite a challenge as well. REVIT is all about theTemplate File, especially if you are doing houses.


The good news is that at this point in time we have already trudged through the REVIT template setup and self trained ourslves so the framework is all readily available on the shelf and once you have the pleasure of working in the ideal environment REVIT can make changes in design in seconds that would take an Autocad user 3-4 hours to complete and not be near as thurough. That's where the gravy is.


What you don't want to do is try to do this yourself inhouse (without an expert) to save a few bucks. That would be the single biggest mistake and an immediate step in the wrong direction. It would in fact be settting yourself up for defeat before you even get started. Especailly becasue you're quite late in the game.


Being a home design shop, aside from training you'll first need to develop your most popular models and this SHOULD NOT be done by a rookie. No way, no how BIG mistake. Your prototype models must be perfectly built from the ground up and this cannot be easily fixed later without a redraw.


Get in touch if you need training, help or consulting services on this huge step.





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