What is “Revit”?

A building modeled in Revit with a section showing structural steel
Revit building or building Revit?


What is Revit?  According to Wikipedia, it “is a building information modelling software for architects, landscape architects, structural engineers, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineers, designers and contractors. “

“The software allows users to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model’s database.”

The key word is “database”.  This is a database program. Programmers write algorithms that work with data.  Revit’s data is any information related to the building.  Each physical component of a building has information that Revit will use.  A brick, for example, has color, weight, dimensions, density, physical location, and orientation.  These are examples of data that Revit uses.


Programmers use object-oriented programming to work with the data.  Revit associates data with objects.  Objects are elements.  The data associated with the elements are parameters.  Revit is the interface between the user and the elements that comprise a building.

The beautiful feature of a building database is that every person who designs, builds, operates, maintains, or uses a building can make use of a database associated with their building.  Designers can use data from the path of the sun to determine building orientation and window locations.  HVAC engineers can use that same data plus the insulating properties of the building envelope to select and size heating/cooling systems. 

Builders can package building components by location, so they’re in the correct location when installers arrive.  Eventually, robots will assemble buildings using the data in Revit.  Cost estimates will soon be an automated part of the design process.  For example, every part of a building can be assigned a purchase cost and installation labor hours.

Building automation systems will use the design information from Revit to control lighting, cooling, heating, and security.  Alternately, developers may incorporate building automation into Revit.  It will know the location, manufacturer, model, and serial number of every part of the building.  Building maintenance will be automated through Revit.


Revit will explode as developers create more uses.  Dynamo is an add-in node based program that is automates tasks and manipulates the database.  Revit API is easy to learn and opens an unlimited world of creations for every Revit user.