Friday, March 4, 2016

Revit Breeds Incompetence

Another beautiful day outside the Revitsphere - the sun is shining, the birds are singing, productivity is high, and holy shit this apartment building I just got looks like somebody had a fucking stroke while they were trying to model it (which wouldn't be surprising, considering the amount of stress and frustration involved in modeling even a simple building).

Like other apartments, it is a lot of repetition - so they detailed out a pair of units (one normal 1-bedroom, one handicapped 2-bedroom).  There are a lot more variations than that - but I actually appreciate the acknowledgement that other disciplines (including those tasked with actually constructing the building) can infer the rest of the units from those two layouts.

They then proceeded to detail out every single unit on the overall plan.  Again, this is appreciated since in my current discipline I do have to show my systems throughout the building - but (of course) the devices laid out on the 'typical' plans only fit one set of apartments, and required rotating, mirroring, and then endless adjustment to get them to show up correctly.

Nearly every single unit they detailed out through the building has some minor difference in it - this as a result of someone sitting and modeling each one, rather than being able to copy/mirror throughout and retain some semblance of consistency (or detail out a handful of units - instead of every single unit).

Actual Architects (as I've mentioned in the past) appreciate consistency throughout a project because while they like to include subtle variations to break up monotony - they know it costs money, and in the case of an apartment building/hotel/etc. - very few people are going to notice that the unit across the hall from them has a slight variation.

Except the guy building it.  He will absolutely notice when he has to basically custom build every single fucking unit, modifying countertops, etc. - then the other disciplines will notice as they attempt to pack a water heater, HVAC unit, electrical panel, comm panel, etc. into a closet that got smaller because some dipshit Reviteer got bored and rotated the washer/dryer around in one unit.

At any rate - then I start noticing they have random pieces of wall and countertops (and devices) missing, more handicap units shown on their plans than their cover sheet calls for, and the third floor is missing room names/#'s altogether (meaning they might have even more) and that's when I notice even more units that have layouts identical to the handicap units, but not labelled as such.

After reviewing the room and device layouts, it occurs to me that there has most likely been mis-communcation (or more likely - a total lack of communication) between the Architect and Engineer as to what units are 'handicap accessible' and which ones are hearing impaired - exacerbated by the fact that, while every unit is detailed out, there are only two 'typical' plans.

Now, I can ignore these oversights and proceed based on their drawings, but it will require a number of assumptions to be made - all of which are likely to come back and bite me (as well as turn into a cascading series of problems as devices get added, equipment gets overloaded, etc.), but attempting to communicate these concerns can open a whole other can of worms, so I have to tread lightly.

How I proceed will have a lot to do with the attitude I encounter - which (due to Revit) has increasingly been one of indifference.  People simply don't have the time or ability to give a shit about important details anymore (for example - the address on the construction documents I received lists the building at 'the corner of x avenue and x street' rather than an actual street address).

Fortunately, I have already determined the actual address, zip code, and a few other key pieces of information missing (or shown incorrectly) on their documents, and while it probably won't get noticed by anyone that isn't seriously OCD, my project submission will be on a superior set of floor plans after I fixed all their screw-ups.

I had to leave the 'custom' aspect to make it match theirs, but damned if I'm going to turn out some chicken-scratch looking piece of shit.  My reputation (and the reputation of my firm) stands on the quality of the product that I put out - even if I could blame them for any mistakes from their drawings that make their way onto mine, it still makes mine look incomplete/incorrect.

Obviously not all of this can be blamed on Revit - if a firm hires stupid and careless people, then they are going to get bad results, regardless of the software they use, but it seems to have been a downward spiraling trend though, as firms are forced to hire people with Revit ability (but no industry experience) in order to meet the demand for Revitization.

I hear from people on a regular basis who tout the advantages of Revit, I'm just not seeing it make it's way into the quality of the product that they produce.  If I hadn't worked in this industry for several years prior to the Revitlution, I might not know that standards used to be much higher, and (like some of the Reviteers who try to sell me on it) would think this was the norm.

As always, I am just glad I don't have to work directly with these fucking people anymore, and ecstatic that I don't have to even look at Revit, even if I do have to look at the crap people using it manage to churn out.  Now I can apply my skills and abilities where they are appreciated, instead of having people blow Revit crack smoke up my ass.

Fuck Revit.



  1. WOW... I just had a conversation with one of my co-workers who is also against RevitShit. We are hiring a new designer and the first words out of a Reviteer is, "Does he know Revit." WTF are you thinking, how about if the fucking person we are hiring knows how to do design and get projects out the damn door. Most of the architects I work with are not on the Revit train. They can't afford it and none of their clients ask for it, however if a Revit job comes to them they just simply turn it down. Most of the time the client wants that architect, so it gets changed to Autocad for the win.

    1. But don't you know? Once you bring someone in who knows Revit - there's no need to design or get projects out the door anymore! You can just sit back, and let rainbows shoot out of your ass!!!

  2. I got a little defensive about your previous post. Plenty of stupid architects out there, I don't deny -- but we are victims of this crazy software, as much as you engineers are -- even as the youngest among us are cozy with it, and not much interested in the old ways. I think I may have some insight on the 5,000-element drinking fountain. The Revit Guru of our firm recently cautioned us to be careful with adding a Family to a model, as some of them are corrupted and can cause the project to crash! And if you are creating Families yourself, follow the guidelines in the Revit Model Content Style Guide. This guide runs 67 pages and gets into the weeds as far as how to set adjustable parameters, categorize your components and get them to show in varying levels of detail depending on view. I can only surmise this information is really for manufacturers/suppliers. Who in the A/E world [working with a bare bones fee, usually] has any time to learn this stuff? So, seems like if you're doing anything at all out of the ordinary [even only a minor departure, say, a frame with both a door and transom lite instead of a door by itself] you're faced with either trying to vet a third-party Family, or fumbling through creating one yourself. Because, Grasshopper, ALL objects are required to be smart objects now!! No deviations! On page 18, there's a rundown of suggested file sizes for object types. Apparently, a BIM model of a chiller can be a 300 k file, and the same is true for a table! Heh. Later in the document [saw this skimming through the first time but can't find it now] the reader is cautioned to make sure that door and window handles are not set to display at other than detail level in CD phase. Handles are a spec item and not supposed to be shown in drawings at all! You will want to know about them, and be able to coordinate their function with Electrical and Fire Protection designers, but that's it. It's got to be a trap. It just won't turn out to be possible to fit most components of buildings into this kind of rigid format. Once we tried to use a toilet accessory manufacturer's Revit Family of toilet partitions in our building model. Screwing around with it a whole afternoon, call to the manufacturer, and follow up the next day with their BIM people and it still didn't work. Back to Detail Lines, and copying them between views! I am taking a Construction Specifications Institute class that's preparation for a CDT exam -- something I should have done years ago but getting around to it now. Thus far, in their written material they seem completely bewildered by BIM. One session instructor went as far as to say, many are using it and it looks inevitable for all, but is really never going to materialize according to its vision and supposed reason for existence -- because it sticks a fork into decades of Division of Work, agreed upon phases of project development standards and roles of participants. If a BIM object of a common piece of equipment such as an elevator is inserted into a model by a Technician [aka Reviteer or lackey] and it's deficient in some way [either doesn't meet unique local codes; power requirements don't match the elevator to be used; shaft dimensions aren't correct or any number of other potential snafus -- then whose fault is it, when it blows up and becomes a giant problem in construction? The old way of doing things used to naturally prevent such scenarios.

  3. Thank you for seeing past your defensiveness in order to post an extremely detailed and insightful response!

    Obviously my attitude towards Revit is one of total derision - and this often spills over onto individuals who may or may not have chosen the Revit path if it had not been for the 'inevitability' myth perpetuated by Autodesk and their army of Revitbots.

    I had seen that style guide before (I think I used to have a printout on my desk). I like how it spends several pages (and a graph) describing how the size of a file will increase the bigger a project gets, and the more fully rendered the graphics are.

    That guide pretty much sums up the Revit experience - Autodesk released a set of software that could (in theory) do 'anything', instead of developing one that could actually do (out of box) what those of us in the design community actually need it to do.

    Their fundamental lack of understanding about the very industry that they claim to serve is pathetic, the way they shoved it down users throats is unforgivable - and the fact that so many people were unwilling to resist makes me sick.

    They deserve every second of pain and misery - but they have forced you to join them in their suffering.

    Stand up and fight back.

  4. I have to ask; What's your new job sir? I want OFF the Revit train but am struggling with what to transition into, as I've put so many wasted years into Revit. Any advice about moving my career away from Revit and into another job? Any advice would be awesome. Thanks REVIT-MeP-SKULLF*CK!


  5. Congratulations on your decision to get the fuck away from Revit! I was fortunate to land at a firm that designs and installs low-voltage systems. They had been an incredible resource for us at my previous job, and after a few weeks of searching, I gave them a call on a whim. I didn't realize it at the time, but the owner of the company used to work with my old boss at another engineering firm years ago. I interviewed, and they basically hired me on the spot.

    They had been having difficulty with finding someone who had the right combination of design skill, cad proficiency, and work ethic necessary. The drawings, schematics, diagrams, and details I design and draw now are almost exclusively for in-house use by our installers (although they do have to get approved by the relevant AHJ).

    This means nobody dictates to us what software we use to document our work - with ACAD being the primary tool (along with a handful of spreadsheets, and a toolkit that I will be working on improving as time goes on).

    It's good to be back to feeling appreciated again - instead of having my efforts overlooked and listening to morons without even a fraction of my formidable skills and abilities telling me that I need to Revit.

    I need to Revit like I need a fucking hole in my goddamned head.

    Good Luck!

  6. please keep using revit. it creates tons of change orders and in ssome cases is the reason that jobs make us money!

    1. lol - I can see the reasoning there...

      The fuckups I've seen using Revit, thinking they are some kind of Architectural/Engineering geniuses could easily drive a project into dozens (if not hundreds) of change orders.

      Of course, if they bankrupt their own firms in doing so, then they won't be able to generate jobs for you to do!