Ideate, Inc. recently hosted a couple of Revit user group roundtable discussions in the Bay Area and asked the audience the following questions regarding Pre-Design & Programming:

  1. Are you actively using Revit as part of your pre-design process? If so, which elements are being used and what are the pros and cons?
  2. What are some ways architects might use Rooms, Areas, Spaces, or Masses?
  3. Ways engineers might use Masses or other elements?
  4. Which third party tools are you using to manage pre-design process?
  5. Regardless of your pre-design solution, what are the challenges in taking that information and moving it forward into the schematic design

As you can imagine, we found that the answers varied, from using hand sketches and manual calculations to 3rd party applications and plug-ins for Revit. For those that used Revit, many used rooms with room separation lines for pre-design tasks but found that it was difficult to manage the rooms and lines, especially if changes to the required area needed to occur. We also found that several folks are using AutoCAD because creating shapes is a relatively fast process. Others said that they were using Sketchup but once they transitioned to Revit, they started over completely because they found that using the Sketchup model was too difficult, especially for complex forms.

Nonetheless, the conversation proved to be very valuable and inspired us to share information about a Pre-Design & Programming workflow that has been well-received by our Ideate BIMLink customers.  This workflow, documented below, in now possible with the latest version of Ideate BIMLink because it supports the creation of new mass elements.

With Ideate BIMLink, you can easily take your Excel based programming data, such as the Mass Number, Mass Name, Department, Target Square Footage, and any additional requirements to create unplaced Masses in your Revit model. In addition, you can create a Programming Mass Schedule in your Revit model that can calculate the percentage difference between your programming areas and actual areas and have it flag the major deviations with a color code, allowing you to quickly identify the Masses that will need adjustments.

You can use Ideate BIMLink to create and place masses with data, for the purpose of programming and pre-design.

For a complete how to video on this process, be sure to view it on our YouTube channel. Existing Ideate BIMLink customers can request the sample dataset used within the video example.

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - ACI, LEED AP AEC Senior Application Specialist Sash brings proficiency in Autodesk solutions including AutoCAD and Revit Architecture to Ideate customers. His industry experience includes project management, BIM Management, and design for Architectural firms in California, Montana and Oregon. He is LEED accredited professional and is on track to achieve California licensure with Oregon to follow. In his academic life, Sash was awarded a variety of college scholarships, earned a BA in Environmental Design, a MA in Architecture from Montana State University (MSU) and taught Building Information Modeling courses at MSU Gallatin College. As a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. @sashpdx