Revit for Surveillance Examined

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Feb 05, 2013

Large construction projects require constant communication among all trades, including security installers. Most are totally reliant on others to keep them informed on project changes, and even simple errors in construction design can bring a host of costly changeorders. Taking CAD a step deeper, Autodesk's claims its Revit platform can prevent communication errors, make finding them easy, and help trades like Security Installers do their job right the first time, with no surprises. In this note, we examine Revit to see if these claims bear out.

What is Revit?

Autodesk is a market leader in Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, with the Revit platform serving as the company's entry-level offering into BIM, or "Building Information Management/Modeling". In general, this class of design tools expand CAD function to include construction, testing, and maintenance activities into a conceptual design.

Instead of subsystems overlaying each other in a 2D layout, building features are shown in a single 3D model. Because a handful of specialized building subsystems all must work in conjunction with each other, Revit allows a chance for designers to see firsthand how their work impacts others, potentially avoiding conflicts (called 'clashes') and costly omissions before construction actually begins.

Revit vs. AutoCAD

Architects and engineers view AutoCAD as a universal, manual drafting platform, whereas Revit is a streamlined design and revision management tool specific for the construction industry. Revit alone does not replace AutoCAD, but adds collaboration and additional 3D modeling tools not available with AutoCAD. This comparasion chart shows the differences between Autodesk's Revit BIM and AutoCAD Drafting platforms.

Revit allows conceptual collaboration between trades in construction projects. Using 3D models, each building subsystem is first 'virtually' designed and installed. A Revit user explained the advantages of this additional function in a LinkedIn discussion:

"We had a Laboratory project with a construction cost of over $10M in an existing Building. The Architect Design was in REVIT. (During pre-construction meetings) over 600 Clashes were discovered. The 3D model was displayed for all stakeholders at each progress meeting. Over 90% of these clashes were resolved at regular construction progress meetings with the Architect and MEP at the meeting, and with no change orders.

The remaining were resolved prior to the next construction progress meeting. The entire team of stakeholders worked in partnership including Contractors, A/E firm and the owner, and at the end of project the Contingency Funds for possible change orders was not touched."

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Total Cost Examined

Because of Revit's substantial design scope, it is costly, with MSRP pricing starting at $5,775 USD. Higher priced versions are offered that bundle together CAD tools and BIM functions into a single platform.

Compared to basic AutoCAD offerings that range in price between ~$1100 and $4500 USD, Revit is more costly but many will find the interface less complex and easier to navigate (due to refined tool functions) than AutoCAD. For more details on using AutoCAD, see our 'AutoCAD for Surveillance' report.

As typical with Autodesk products, perpetual maintenance licensing and user training is often required. When costs are combined, they represent a much higher cost than a 'casual user' would be willing to pay. Because of this, Revit is a design tool catering to those regularly involved in complex designs.

Big Project Use

Because the greatest value of Revit centers around design communication it is typically employed on large, expansive, or complex building projects. Unless security installers specialize in big projects or are often engaged during building designs, they will not find many jobs that require Revit knowledge.

However, those primarily working as designers will find Revit (and other BIM platforms) are the 'common language' used to reconcile design and construction problems.

Comments (9) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Access Control Course Spring 2020 - Save $50 Last Day on Mar 26, 2020
Register Now - Spring 2020 Access Control Course. Today, March 26th is the last day to save $50. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
Train Your Team With IPVM Courses From Experts on Mar 01, 2020
You trust and use IPVM for reporting and research and you can also have your team trained by our experts. One of the most common requests our...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
Last Chance - Camera Course Winter 2020 on Jan 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training exists...
Security Sales Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 02, 2020
Notice: This is the last chance to register for the course. This sales course is customized for the current needs and challenges specific to...
Access Control Time & Attendance Guide on Sep 24, 2019
Access control systems can do more than lock doors. With little or no extra equipment, they can be used to track labor hours for employees...
Top Ways Security Integrators Improve Their Careers on Sep 03, 2019
With DIY products expanding and the future of integration debated, how do integrators stay sharp so they are not left behind? 180+ integrators...
Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Beware African 50,000 IP Camera Contract Scam on Jul 12, 2019
A “Nigerian Prince” scam for the video surveillance market is going around. You, or at least we, could be lucky enough to be the single bidder for...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...

Most Recent Industry Reports

FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus", the A400/A700...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that happened this week at ADI's Memphis location. Vehicle Smash &...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to be "Your 24/7 Watchman" with advanced analytics and object...
Free IPVM Memberships For The Unemployed on Apr 02, 2020
IPVM is giving 3-month free memberships (regular price $99) for the unemployed, no questions asked. To get it, just contact us, your request...
Dahua Faked Coronavirus Camera Marketing on Apr 01, 2020
Dahua has conducted a coronavirus camera global marketing campaign centered around a faked detection. Now, Dahua has expanded this to the USA,...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video surveillance in the next 5 - 10 years. This is part of our Video...
USA's Seek Scan Thermal Temperature System Examined on Apr 01, 2020
This US company, Seek, located down the road from FLIR and founded by former FLIR employees is offering a thermal temperature system for the...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts, Convergint is touting 'extensive research' that is either grossly incompetent...
The IPVM New Products Online Show April 2020 Opens With 40+ Manufacturers on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce the first New Products Online show, with 40+ manufacturers, to be held April 14 to the 16th, free to IPVM members,...