If you’re reading this article, it probably means you’re a landscape architect. And it also means you either heard about or have an experience with the difficulties of modeling site design in Revit®.
It is no secret that Revit® is the most common BIM software, and for this reason, many landscape architects find themselves compelled to start using Revit®. However, Revit® is mainly built for architecture, and dealing with amorphic spatial design can be pretty challenging, especially for new Revit® users.
Despite these hindrances, you are probably aware of the numerous benefits Revit® has for all disciplines. Working with a parametric model can save you a lot of time while preventing massive clashes with other elements in the project. Revit® also allows you to constantly look at your site simultaneously in multiple views – 3D view, plans, sections, and elevations. This multi-angle perspective can change the way you design your projects.
To help utilize all of Revit® benefits and leverage it, the Environment set of tools gives you some powerful automated features specifically tailored for landscape and site design. The Environment tools provide a range of modeling and documenting commands throughout the entire design process, thus providing a reliable solution for any project scale. Using these amazing tools, you might end up with plenty of free time, so you’ll finally be able to finish the book you started last year…
Here are six of the most incredible landscape tools that Environment has to offer:
1. Shape by topography
You have the option to drape slabs over topographies and easily update them. This is a fundamental part of the recommended workflow when grading hardscapes in your project. This workflow gives you great flexibility when designing slopes and elevation. But more importantly, it allows the needed flexibility later on when making changes to the design.
2. Set elevation (to model lines)
You can plan your slopes using contour lines, including quickly changing a line’s elevation by editing the text label on the line itself. Once the lines have elevations, turn them into topo surfaces or simply use them as a reference when creating sloped slabs.
3. Elevation and slope color analysis
In BIM you have all the information, but you are constantly looking for new ways to present and analyze it. This feature allows you to create the analysis, break it into ranges of your choosing, and show a color legend with just a click. You can also present a table showing the areas of every analyzed range. The Environment toolset provides the holistic solution you, as a site designer, have been looking for.
4. Arrange walls and Wall railings
What if you could give Revit® a set of rules to design a stepped wall instead of separately modeling each section of the wall? Now you can. This tool can calculate the height on both sides of the wall and create a stepped wall within seconds. While designing, it allows you to check yourself multiple times using different height and length parameters, giving you the desired results.
To complete all the details, you can easily place wall railings and capping. They will automatically update once you change the wall design.
5. Wall layout
The wall layout tool is one of my personal favorites. I will never forget the long hours in the office drawing wall elevations and making the calculations to present the real measurements of a curved wall. I remember the headache and time it took me to update the drawings when the design changed. Now, the ‘Wall Layout’ tool does it within seconds, and the resulting document is presentation-ready!
If watching this video made you calculate all the lost work hours, let me save you some time. This tool alone is already a significant return on investment!
6. Area scatter
Area scatter allows for mass placement of one REVIT® family or a mix with ratios of a few different families according to a selected area or a model element like the floor or topography. This is very useful when creating the exact vegetation model based on a schematic vegetation area plan. You can combine the result into an assembly to easily go back and edit this scatter any time in the future.
It also possible to select slabs or areas from a linked file, so if you are working on a large, heavy project file, you can create all the vegetation in a separate file and link it to the project. This prevents a large amount of planting elements from making your work slow and heavy.
7. (Because we just have too much cool stuff) Get Blocks
You can now extract CAD blocks into REVIT® families quickly while maintaining block rotation angles and elevation parameters.
So, if you’ve never used Revit® before, it’s not only possible but can be fun! Now is the best time to start learning. And if you’re already using REVIT®, download Environment for free and start designing great landscapes and site designs today!
Published on June 23, 2021