Satisfy your BIM requirements with our new Land F/X Revit Plugin! Download and install the Revit add-on. When you're ready to get involved, ask questions and get in touch with other users in the community forum.
Revit is an incredibly useful architectural building design software platform offering a high level of capability far above and beyond that of CAD. We’d argue that this capability exists because architects didn’t have a plugin that did what Land F/X has done for landscape architects over the years – tailoring CAD specifically to their discipline.
Thus, Revit evolved, out of necessity, into what it is today: a powerful tool for architects that connects them effectively with other disciplines. That’s great for architects. Unfortunately, although Revit has always provided much of the capability that architects need, it didn't necessarily work well for other disciplines – until now!
The problem that has historically arisen for those in other disciplines is that architects often require that plans be submitted in Revit. (It’s understandable – they want their subcontractors to use a tool that is familiar to them.) Some architects will even go as far as to say that if you plan to spend money on software, it should be Revit (or BIM) because it will be an absolute requirement in the future.
Looking for information on how Land F/X relates to BIM? See our Land F/X & BIM page.
In reality, even architects don’t use Revit for every task. For example, they might create their details in CAD and their general notes in a word processing program like MS Word, then import these items into Revit.
Architects will often give irrigation designers and structural and civil engineers a free pass on the Revit requirement. You’d be hard pressed to find an architect who requires a civil to use Revit. So why isn’t this courtesy extended to landscape architects as commonly as it is to other disciplines? We’ll withhold our speculation.
That said, we offer that allowing landscape architects to create and submit their plans using other software will only help the architect on a project. After all, the landscape plan helps a building design fit more naturally and aesthetically into its surroundings. Rendering plays no small part in this goal – yet Revit lacks landscape rendering capability. Further, AutoCAD and Civil 3D are much better suited for terrain and land than Revit – which is why we've made plugins for these programs, and not for Revit, in the past.
Fortunately, we've engineered a way to expand our software's vast functionality into the realm of Revit. Our Planting F/X Revit Plugin uses our 3D Connection tool to connect 2D CAD with 3D Revit just as it's connected CAD with SketchUp for years, bringing our extensive plant database and planting tools into Revit.
What happened (before our Revit Plugin) when a landscape architect was forced to use Revit?
One major issue with Revit, as it applies to landscape architects, has been that it is objects based. For example, an architect drawing a wall using Revit doesn’t draw a line and then use a tool to keep track of which wall it is, as you would do in AutoCAD. Instead, Revit has a wall button, a window button, a door button, etc. These tools are great for architects, but they simply don’t work for landscape architects. (For example, trees and shrubs are covered by a generic Site Object type, which also applies to people and cars.)
Here's a common customization of the default fields of Model and Manufacturer in the Revit version of a planting schedule. (Image courtesy of landarchBIM.)
"Revit’s planting tools haven’t been improved since they were first created so the default plant is not equipped the the right parameters. But most of these default parameters can actually be used (not as intended) for your planting purposes." –landarchBIM, "Planting Plans Part 1: Schedules and Tags" (February 28, 2014)
Here’s another example: Revit provides no native ability to draw a curb.
The image to the right, straight from the Revit documentation, shows the official technique for creating a curb island in Revit: "creating two closed loops to approximate the desired shape of the island."
The instructions then go on to suggest that the civil engineer on the design team "refine and clarify these details to achieve the design intent."
In this case, the total length of curb would be inaccurate. Added up over an entire plan, these inaccuracies could create utter chaos (not to mention the need to rely on a civil to correct the inaccuracies).
(Image from Autodesk Revit documentation page "About Curbs")
For an additional perspective on Revit's suspect level of functionality in site design, see this post on the Autodesk Community forum, which also attests to the limitations of Revit in "regular" architecture. Also note the lack of response – a good indication that native Revit simply isn't being used very widely in landscape architecture.
Native Revit also lacks the capability to create groundcover. If you wanted to place a groundcover in Revit, you'd need to use the flooring tool and then run a custom parameter to turn the flooring into groundcover. You’d then need to run separate schedules for "groundcover" flooring and "non-groundcover" flooring. Even then, those schedules would only calculate the "groundcover" in square feet or meters – no plant spacing quantities.
What about group plant labels – that is, the ability to label multiple instances of the same variety of plant at once?
We cannot stress the importance of this feature for landscape architectural construction documents – not to mention for pure time savings – yet it's not possible with Revit.
"[Native] Revit has no real way of grouping plants together with the ability to tag the number of plants in a group. Ideally, it would be nice to do this, but having a tag count (as an instance parameter) is a simple, effective work-around. When I have groups of plants ... the one plant that is tagged will have the tag count (entered manually)."
–landarchBIM, "Planting Plans Part 1: Schedules and Tags" (February 28, 2014)
Our Planting F/X plugin gives you powerful labeling capability in Revit.
Then there's how to handle terrain and slope – needless to say, integral parts of landscape design. We'll leave it at this: A 3D Revit model is broken into Levels: perfect for designing a building, pointless at best when attempting to deal with any topography.
Although many of these essentially landscape design phases are better handled in CAD, our Planting F/X Revit Plugin bridges what was once a gap between Revit and the actual design needs of landscape architects. By giving landscape designers the ability to both export your planting design from CAD to Revit (and back again), as well as adding (specifying) and placing plants in Revit just as they would using our CAD plugin, we've brought about no less than a revolutionary breakthrough in the landscape architecture field, and BIM as a whole.
Ready to jump into Revit?
Our Planting F/X Revit Plugin brings landscape architecture tools directly into Revit just as our AutoCAD plugins have adapted CAD for the landscape design field for more than two decades. Ready for Revit to start working for you? Download our Revit plugin, available for Planting F/X users.
Don't have Planting F/X, our landscape design plugin for CAD (and now for Revit), yet? Request a 30-day trial.