Revit for Surveillance Examined

Author: 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 Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

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) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
ONVIF Video Surveillance Tutorial on Jan 29, 2019
ONVIF is well known within the surveillance industry as an interface to connect IP cameras and VMS systems. However, new users may find it...
Access Control Turnstiles Guide on Jan 28, 2019
Turnstiles control pedestrian access to secured areas, essentially becoming moving portions of fences, walls, or barricades for physically stop...
Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprisingly complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...
Ideal SecuriTest IP Vs Unbranded IP Camera Install Tool Tested on Nov 21, 2018
In our recent IP camera installation tool shootout, multiple members questioned the Ideal SecuriTest IP's features compared to low-cost unbranded...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Eagle Eye Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 21, 2019
Eagle Eye has been the biggest spender in the cloud VMS market including (via their owner) acquiring Brivo for $50 million and CameraManager from...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek on Mar 20, 2019
Covert cameras were one of the last holdout areas for analog cameras. However, in the past few years, IP / HD covert cameras have become...
Top Metrics For Ensuring Integrator Profitability - Statistics on Mar 20, 2019
How do integrators ensure the profitability of their projects? As part of our profitability study, 100+ integrators answered the following...
Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...
Hanwha Tax Evasion Probe, Camera Division Implicated on Mar 19, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Genetec Security Center 5.8 Tested on Mar 19, 2019
Genetec has released Version 5.8. This comes after a wait of more than a year that caused frustrations for many Genetec partners. Our previous...
Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact