AutoDesk Revit Architecture…for landscape architects ? ? ?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY AutoDesk Revit Architecture…for landscape architects ? ? ?

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    Hello Land8 friends,

    I currently work at a multi-disciplinary firm. 

    I would like to know if anyone has first hand experience using Revit Architecture in the realm of landscape architecture. We are current trying to weigh the pros/cons of the program. 

    Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,


    Adam Ravestein

    Great question Andres,

    I share the same curiosity.  I currently work at a multidisciplinary firm and have been weighing the pros/cons of multiple platforms to create the best work flow with a revit model while also coordinating closely with the civil engineers as well. I feel like the biggest goal/challenge is creating an accurate 3D site “surface” for the revit model that allows for modeling and integration of site features (stairs, ramps, walls)

    The reality is that as landscape architects we still work and document in planametric views and design fees and complicated sites do not always allow for sophisticated and cumbersome modeling. I dont feel that revit is there yet as it applies to site design and terrain modeling. There are some third-party softwares being developed but none that we have felt meet our work flow needs. We actually just took a workshop using civil 3D as an option. It allows for the creation of a site terrain model that can be referenced into Revit but allows us to still work in an AutoCAD, planametric world and coordinate more closely with the civil engineering consultant.

    So to answer your question. We couldnt find any strong benifits to working in revit. 2D drafting in revit is fine but then why work in a 3D model. Good luck and let me know what you direction you decide to go in.

    Jordan Lockman

    We have been using Revit for about 5 years as a office. We are primarily an Architecture Office with 2 LA’s and an Interior Designer. Overall, I have found Revit to work better than Microstation, that we were using and sometimes still use. Revit is amazing for buildings and okay for landscapes.

    Site Modeling/Rendering – It is really cumbersome and it is hard to get an accurate site model. So we usually just get the site close for rendering and that is it. The building is always fully modeled and the program is great in that respect. The site renderings do not come out of Revit looking as nice as the buildings. Mostly it is difficult to make the trees look good in these renderings, with each version this gets a little better, but we still spend time doctoring up site renderings after they are exported.

    Landscape Plans and Details – The smart object and auto scheduling aspect of Revit make it a great for Landscape Plans. You never have to constantly update your planting schedule and you can easily compare plants between phases. You can add notes to differentiate plantings per site or portion of the site. If you take the time to customize your planting library it really makes planting plans efficient to produce. You also have the ability to make the planting symbols look however you like.

    Site plans – Again since the modeling is tough most of our site is drawn flat, that works well and makes a nice easy to read set of plans. Areas can be easily calculated and scheduled also, which can save on time and mistakes.

    Phasing – One of the best things that I have found with Revit is the ability to make phased drawings. We do many projects where there are multiple phases of building/site construction. You can easily assign a phase to an object and then filter your views by phase. This has made our city submittals go much smoother.

    Compatibility – We have had some growing pains working with consultants that are using a different program, but it is easy to convert Revit to a .dwg or other CAD platform. We can also take topo from civil 3d and make a topo surface in Revit. It is not perfect, but it works.

    Details – Details are usually done with the drafting views and function similar to CAD Drawings.

    Lauren Schmidt

    Hi Andres,

    I also work for a multidisciplinary firm and having been leading our firm’s LA transition into Revit. I would have to disagree with Adam and agree with Jordan on almost everything. While LAs do work largely in plan, our firm has found that having LAs in Revit bridges that gap between the site and building. When the building changes, we can see that update right away, rather than working with a dated savedown. It is also valuable for certain coordination items, particularly finished grade at the building, so the architects and structural engineers can actually see where grade drops along a foundation.

    Our civil engineers still use Civil 3D, so we are the coordination point for all export/savedowns into CAD. And we are currently working with civil consultants on a couple projects as well. Ideally, I would like to see Autodesk realize that they should have one BIM software that communicates across all disciplines.

    Like Adam said, Revit’s scheduling ability makes planting schedules a breeze. We had used some third-party plugins, but they are not keeping up with 2014, so we don’t really rely on them. I would like to add that details are actually much easier to construct in Revit if you utilize detail components. Our architects have been in Revit for 5 years, so there is a certain amount that I have been able to learn from them.

    I would be interested in having a discussion with you and any other LAs about your workflow in Revit. The site tools could certainly use some improvement, but there are certain things I have developed along the way (such as using Area Plans for planting areas). I would love to here other LAs’ thoughts on Revit.



    Roland Beinert

    I kind of wish this conversation had continued. There’s not a lot of information out there about how landscape architects use revit (aside from this: I’ve been learning mostly from a book called Revit 2014: No Experience Required, which is written from the perspective of an architect. I’m at the point where I think I have a lot of the basic commands down, but want more info from a landscape architect’s point of view. Where can I learn more?

    Doug Davies

    I wholeheartedly agree – there seems to be a disconnect at Autodesk around where Landscape Architects discipline lies. I am in the process of trying to integrate Revit into our practice as well as Civil3D. These two softwares lie at the proverbial ends of the spectrum when talking about rapid prototyping site design. Revit can do basic site work, limited by accuracy and compatibility with Civil 3D – and Civil3D is cumbersome and burdened by traffic engineering parameters (K distances, etc.) and specifications. Ideally a piece of software that could aid in rapid prototyping walkways, roads, parking lots, etc. that can integrate with both Civil3D so the traffic engineers can update to spec, and Revit so the architects can see whats happening outside their doors would be fantastic.

    We need to be able to produce enough information so that a Civil can take our work and easily integrate SW practices, etc. and easy enough that the Architects can have updated site grading in their Revit models. Currently Revit has almost zero compatibility with Civil3D that an engineer would be comfortable working off of, and Civil3D creates a cumbersome Revit model.

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