Autodesk Revit

The Deeper Story

BIM is a process not an application, but that process relies on applications to drive it. One of the most basic, and most popular, BIM applications is Autodesk Revit.

Nearly everyone in the design and construction world has at least a nodding acquaintance with Revit. It’s the go-to software application for architects in the AEC industry and has been gaining market share in residential.

Architects use the software to create 3D building designs, but those designs are just the surface layer over a deep well of underlying information. Design files created in Revit are supported by an underlying database of intelligent BIM objects that model each part of the building in detail. This information can be imported into a construction management app such as BIM 360 or a collaboration tool like PlanGrid (both of which are owned by Autodesk).

Information from the model can also interface with other programs such as visualization (AR/VR) technologies like Unity, scheduling apps or ERP programs for the factory. Revit files are used by some truss and panel manufacturers to run structural analyses and to drive their machines.

These sharing capabilities make Revit a powerful collaboration tool.


“We make it possible to digitally share information in a common way so people can design and build in a more productive way,”

says Michael Gustafson,
the company’s Senior Industry Strategy Manager for Structures.

Let’s say a file for a particular home is being used by all members of the design and team—architecture, purchasing, construction and so on. If one member of the team makes a change to that file—which could be something as simple as a bigger window or door or as complex as a new duct layout—that change will update everyone else’s file.

And because revising the file also revises the underlying database, elements such as the takeoff and the scheduling software will automatically adjust as well.

In fact other BIM providers who offer these capabilities more often than not rely on Revit files and objects to make that possible.

There is also a larger ecosystem of technology partners that create additional tools on top of Revit’s Open API (application programming interface), many of which are specific to industry sectors like residential. These partner apps or services deliver customized solutions that improve the speed, accessibility of data and quality of the BIM deliverables.


We’re working on a Roadmap to BIM. View an introduction to the systematic way that we will delayer this key area for innovation in the industry from a production building perspective, and the structure by which we organize and share actionable insights. Learn the big WHY, the what, the how, the who, the investment, the wins, and the risks.