What’s new in Revit 2014?

Oh yes, it's that time again when the red carpet gets deployed. There is frenzy in the Revit community; twitter goes into hyper drive & the bloggers go mad (including me), as Autodesk serve up the latest greatest version of Revit for us to use & abuse on our BIM projects.

But before we get into the juicy bits, let's pause for a second & review some Revit history. Revit 1.0 was released on the 5th of April 2000, so Revit has now been gracing our earth for 13 years. Maybe not as long as that other BIM app which begins with "A". But Revit has developed into a mature solution which will deliver model based design & can be centroid to the BIM process, but it's not BIM per say. Some will argue that ArchiCAD is better, Revit is better, blah, blah, I've heard it all before. It's actually a really boring discussion now, what is more important is whether the tools can truly talk to one another, are open & interoperable. ArchiCAD community says Revit sucks at IFC; the Revit community says who gives a stuff when it has the majority of the market share. Passionate users of both camps spend hours defending their beloved solutions on social media like it's some sort of life or death affair. The reality is that as governments start to push the whole IFC / COBie delivery requirement, all AEC solutions need to start to respect the need for data to be sharable & of an open nature. That is compounded by the recent IFC4 announcement.

Revit 2014 - Autodesk release - Building Information Modeling

Anyway, back to the Revit history lesson. What I do find amusing is in the early days of Revit, the software was initially offered on a monthly rental option. Anyone remember that? Early adopters will. It was one of the reasons; my then boss John Mullan, MD at House Henderson Architects was so interested in the product. Not only did it start to offer the office a quick building modelling system which was faster than CAD, it could be picked up or put down depending on the office's needs. Why did he consider Revit you may ask? Well John had implemented Rucaps Sonata in the office. It was an expensive system, but it was one of the earliest parametric building modelling systems. The fact that one seat was the price of a good quality family car was beside the point, it was a powerful solution. When John Mullan saw Revit, he could see the same potential at a fraction of the cost of Sonata.

In those early years, Revit went through a rapid release cycle, even after Autodesk purchased Revit in 2002 there were a vigorous number of point releases until things settled & Revit then went to a yearly release, which is what we now have. But what I would say is where once BIM managers wanted to roll the latest version of Revit out to their staff on projects, they are now taking a more pragmatic approach to deployment & often holding back for 12 months or even skipping a release. There are many reasons this might be happening. Cost of update training? Cost of deployment? Long term projects which have decided to keep with a consistent version? Anyhow, it seems to be more common place.

What's new?

Revit 2014, what's new? What's been improved? So these are the highlights, but like any release of Revit you will find minor tweaks here & there, some which get documented, others that don't, so be on the look out! I have reviewed the architectural & general platform enhancements, however I have also listed the structural & MEP improvements, but do not go into detail in this review.

* Displaced Views
* Dockable Windows Framework & Enhancements
* Material UI overhaul
* Non rectangular crop regions
* Room calculation Point
* Schedules
* Selection enhancements
* Split Elevations
* Temporary View Templates
* View navigation performance
* Multi Selection - bring to front & send to back
* Stairs & Railings
* Double click to edit
* Point Clouds

The specific structural improvements include:

* Multi-Reference Annotations
* Structural Analytical Model Improvements
* Reinforcement Rounding
* Rebar Constraints
* Welded Wire Mesh Constraints
* Enhanced Rebar Shapes
* Rebar Length Calculation for UK Shapes

The MEP improvements include:

* CSV File Removal - Ability to embed CSV data into a family.
* Divide System.
* Air Terminals on Duct - Ability to place Air Terminal families directly on Duct segments.
* Plumbing Template
* Cap Open Ends
* Angle Constraints

Building Performance Analysis

* Energy Analysis for Architectural Building Elements - Ability to automatically generate an Energy Analysis Model from a typical Revit model made of architectural building elements.
* GBS Analysis App Feature

Source: What´s new in Revit 2014?. By David Light. autodesk-revit.blogspot.com. March 26, 2013.
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