For example, an architect can view a section of a building as a floor plan, while a structural engineer can see the same section as an outline of its steel framing-in other words, only the information that he or she is interested in. Because the software is parametric, changes made by the engineer to the framing drawing will show up in the architect's floor plan, as well as in alternate displays of the information, such as a database that shows costs of materials or a 3D rendered model with surrounding terrain and vegetation.
"Before Revit added the structural component," says Richard Horsch of the architectural firm Cotler & Horsch in Albany, New York, "we had to do some workarounds. This is a huge addition." The company is currently using Version 4.0 on a number of projects, including car dealerships, restaurants, and a dance studio.
Another new feature is site modeling capability, which is also parametric. Whereas earlier versions of Revit showed projects situated on a flat plain, Version 4.0 incorporates survey information so that building components and their terrain are all part of the project. Changes to the building automatically indicate changes to the terrain, making it easier for designers to better prepare for grading and construction.
Other new features include selective open, which enables architects and engineers to open and modify only those portions of a model on which they are actively working; the use of splines to create freeform sketches; and advanced wall and roof geometry.
Revit 4.0 continues to be sold on a subscription basis, starting at $149 per month for a single user annual subscription. (Revit Technology Corp.; www.revit.com) -Jenny Donelan