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Features Autodesk Revit 2008 Graphisoft ArchiCAD 11 Bentley Microstation

Overview Revit is built upon the Modeling The Virtual Building™ works better with Bentley was designed on a code that
strategy of full integration in one versions of other 2D software for more allows easy access to older file formats
place, allowing you to simply choose complex models. It enables control on of dgn and dwg, unlike the others.
what portion of that information you the balance between 3D and 2D work
wish to view. Construction documents and files can be It utilizes similar BIM features, capable
derived without any additional software, of forming construction documents from
Fully “parametric;” a single change sections and elevations update model. It does well on large, more
updates all corresponding automatically as you work. complex projects with easier integration
views/schedules within the model of other engineering programs, like
itself. Logical links between elements and RAM Steel for analysis and HVAC duct
stories. sizing and runs interference checks with
Element creation allows for custom out third party software via Navigator.
job-specific or company wide Schedules and bills of materials always
standards. reflect the current state of the building In our tests, the real differentiator is
model; easily generated (Bi-lateral). when the project has many elements, it
Massing allows for fast concept loads faster and is easier to use, (less
building, convertible to working Interactive two-way communication boggy and uses less CPU resources) and
drawings. between schedules and the model, allows is widely deployed on government
changes to the model from the projects, for these reasons. Excellent
One way extraction for estimates. Interactive Element Schedule. rendering engine.

“An Architect’s tool that allows easy “An architect’s tool, the most intuitive” “An Engineer’s ultimate model tool”
extraction for building information”
File extension *.rvt *.pln *.dgn

Import/Export Export/archive files in DXF/DWG IFC industry-wide information sharing Fully integrates numerous file types
Capabilities (Autodesk product) commitment. Improved export/archive along with their .dgn file format.
files in DXF/DWG. Able to save a Includes: DGN, DWG, DXF, PDF,
project with libraries to one PLA file. STEP, IGES, STL, CEL, DGNLIB, S, H,
Supports the following file formats: RDL(RAM), 3DS (Wire frame), OBJ,
DGN (Bentley), DWG, DWF, DXF, ArchiCAD's DXF/DWG translator SKP (sketchup)
IFC, SAT, SKP (sketchup), AVI supports up to A utoC A D® 2007 and
(video), ODBC, gbXML, BMP, JPG, accurately maps layers, pen colors, fonts
TGA, and TIF. Image types supported include: CAL,
and blocks. ArchiCAD can write out
In addition to transferring standard DXF/DWG data that contains both Paper
lines, arcs, and circles, Revit exports Space and Model Space information in
to 3DS, VIZ for photorealistic the same file. Additionally, ArchiCAD
renderings imports and exports AutoCAD's vectorial
DWF format and MicroStation's DGN. It has an internal rendering engine
Produce concept massing studies by without the requirement of using 3DS or
Importing from Form-Z, Rhino, ArchiCAD can also transfer complex 3D VIZ to do photorealistic rendering.
Sketchup and AutoCAD, or other model geometry for use in programs
A C IS® or NU RB S (non uniform such as Artlantis R/Studio, Maxon
Cinema, AutoCAD, Autodesk VIZ or You can Publish Bentley Architecture
rational B-spline) based applications. models to the Google Earth environment
Autodesk 3ds Max software, etc.
similar to competitiors, perform screen
Turn models into mass objects, then grabs of fly in video using snagit.
select faces to design walls, roofs, Intergrates with SketchUp and Google
floors, and curtain systems. You can Earth Connection, which can be used as
even use tools to extract important add-ons to simple massing and contect
information such as gross area per studies. Automatic imports into Google
floor. 3D Warehouse, direct access thru appl.

Market Higher market integrity of the product Lower market integrity of the product Extremely versatile integrity between
integrity (structural, MEP) (structural, MEP) disciplines and platforms. RAM
integrated to provide total structural
Higher probability to produce a Lower probability to produce a complete analysis.
complete virtual building with BIM virtual building with BIM engineering -Bentley Architecture
engineering documentation: documentaion: -Bentley Structural (RAM)
- Revit Architecture - Virtual Building: ArchiCAD integrated -Bentley Building Electrical Systems
- Revit MEP with MEP -Bentley Building Mechanical Systems
- Revit Structure - Ductworks -Bentley Piping (AutoPIPE)
This is a huge selling point. - Virtual Coordination: bi-directional Plus many other project engineering
I/O capabilities via IFC or native file specific solutions. bi-directional I/O
format, the architect and the structural capabilities via IFC or native file format,
engineer can use the same model.Stress team can use the same model or
analysis as well reflecting automatic specialized options for each engineering
changes by the designer or other parties. discipline.
Interface/ Programmer like interface, eg. when Friendlier graphic interface and Technical interface, while user-friendly,
Ease of use you want to change the parameters of properties accessibility. Flexibility still will require extensive training before
a door or window poor graphics developed through over 20 years of advanced features can be fully
architects' wishes and feedback understood.

2D Course, Medium, and Fine display Improved gradient fills, line work & fill Displays are colorful and representative
Presentation options can vary the level of detail consolidation. It Efficiently handles the through the interface, can separate many
over many views and is view-specific. process of cleaning up and fixing views of the model and is possible to
Linework can be manually adjusted if drawings, including an optimization work in elevation/plan/section/etc. views
desired, however all general process for 2D drawings from simultaneously.
components of a drawing can be consultants.
individually set and globally changed Creation of coordinated floor plans,
based on “plotted” line weight and sections, and elevations. Automatic
Refresh or non-refresh work in
“displayed” line weight. coordination of architectural design and
elevation/plan/section/etc. views
“What you see is what you get” when construction documentation.
you print
3D Able to raytrace and render on the fly, Improved internal renderer, improved Advanced ray tracing and modeling.
Presentation however best displayed when material selection as it is more mature. Support of 3D drawings within Adobe
exported to Autodesk 3D Studio Max High quality must be exported to 3DS PDF. The best render images of the three
and edited with additional software. and Maya without the use of other software.
Engine faster kernel graphical engine, fasteer Slower graphical engine, eg. Slower Quick kernel graphic engine, able to
shadow processing, lacks radiosity shadow casting and radiosity handle larger drawings with ease.
Modelling Fully-parametric solid modeler, "in More modeling freedom. New double High-end integrated rendering and
place families", can include geometry slanted walls, curved complex walls and animation tools, includes radiosity and
from Revit or other solid modelers. highly accurate quantity takeoffs. particle tracing.
Ability to import that which it cannot Organic forms can be modeled in
be modeled in Revit, and turn it into a Maxxon Form - a separate modeler Export to STL to support rapid model
Revit objects. The object can only be launched from ArchiCAD, and integrated making and prototyping with 3D
edited outside of Revit, but the Revit directly into ArchiCAD through add-ons. printers, laser cutters, and stereo
geometry behaves like a wall or roof This allows integrated organic modeling lithography machines.
or whatever you assign it to be. similar to Catia. Ore popular in EU than
Separate package needed to extract the US. Support of 3D Web formats, such as
quantities. VRML, Quickvision, and panoramas.
Enforcement of national project
standards. Automatice re-symbolization
of 3D objects to 2D symbols. Material
dependent hatching/patterning,
annotation, and dimensioning

Libraries The Most catalogs of information by A strong base of objects, but less real Some companies provide Bentley library
far. Autodesk marketing engine is market products in libraries than the items, but still somewhat limited to user-
assisting and has more participation of competition. creation.
building product manufacturers.
Parametric Parametric Components, also known Objects are scale-sensitive, easily Parametric Cell Studio (PC Studio) is a
Components as families, are the basis for all modified (text, dimension lines, etc.), modeling technology known as
building components designed. They when the plan scale is changed. dimension-driven, feature-based,
offer an open, graphical system for Changing the scale is as easy. Tools parametric modeling. It allows users to
design thinking and form making as identify labels rooms, groups of rooms or define and create parameters, associative
well as detailed design intent at any areas that you would like to manage building components and assemblies
increasingly detailed levels. Use of and track. Walls are automatically such as doors, windows, stairs, casework,
Parametric Components for the more identified as Zone boundaries, but roofs, trusses, curtain walls, handrails,
elaborate assemblies, such as columns, slabs, beams, roofs, lines, arcs fixtures, equipment, and others. User-
cabinetry and equipment, as well as and splines can also define the space. definable labels of objects and spaces.
for the more elementary building Zone space automatically fits to slanted
parts, such as walls and columns. No and profiled walls, and the 3D zone The DataGroup system , when placed
special programming language or space can be involved in solid operations into the model, associates definable
coding is required for manufacturers. for precise volume calculations. attributes with PC Studio components,
Revit models can be scale sensitive if Creation of more complicated GDL and drives their parametric dimensions
modeled in GDL (see below) or not Objects ( GDL=Geometric Description and variables, which allows unlimited
(as with paper space). Language) requires knowledge of script. variations. Most of the dataset content
Which scares away all but the brave. delivered (doors, windows, curtain walls,
handrails, and so on) has been created
with PC Studio.
Material Material Takeoff tool checks material The Element ID manager can identify Room and component schedules,
Takefoffs quantities in cost estimates, Takeoff and group elements according to a quantity and cost calculation,
simplifies the tracking of material specified criteria, a great resource for specifications.
quantities. As your project evolves, automatic labeling and schedules. A
the parametric change engine helps to database tracks area, volume, price, Compatibility with office automation
ensure that the material takeoffs are QTY of pieces, automatic listing, take- tools for further processing and
always up-to-date and accurate. offs and interactive schedules. formatting.

Workgroup Local file (on the workstation) and ArchiCAD TeamWork is a multi-user Can be run as a multi-user license from
capability central file (on the server) concept. environment. ArchiCAD uses a local file Bentley’s server, or as standalone at the
(on the workstation) and central file (on company’s office.
Revit is multiuser, you can use linked the server) concept, which allows a better
files just like in ACAD. The problem integration and analysis capabilities of Bentley Architecture tightly integrates
with this is that Revit users aren't large projects. Module is also a very nice with Bentley ProjectWise, a
comfortable with this idea because function for big projects. With modules it collaboration server that manages access
they like to be able to edit these is possible to put one storey just as you to project information across a LAN,
modules more readily. put one chair in plan (small file system WAN, VPN, or through the Internet, and
with link function). Multistory publishes and synchronizes shared
Revit does not have a special appl. to Hotlinked Modules easily allow to divide information, manages change, protects
monitor interactions when users save multistory buildings into smaller parts. intellectual property rights, and more.
changes to the central file; and when a Entire multistory buildings can be Share and synchronize project
large number of changes happen, it hotlinked to site plan. information securely with project
can struggle with reconciling the two partners. Projectwise costs additional,
files. So having a large number of Only supervisors can edit modules, but allows Manage change effectively
users working on a model can be making it easier to control. Protect your intellectual property
problematic. Saves can be
cumbersome when working with
groups (8 minutes on average).
There were also problems with
server's that RAID hard drives causing
corruption to the central file.

Interference Use interference checking to scan 3rd party tool Navis Works shows where Interference detection across multiple
Check your model for collisions between the models "clash" with each other. files and disciplines in conjunction with
elements. (Autodesk owns Different file formats can be imported Bentley Interference Manager:
Navisworks and integrates this) into Navis Works and reviewed as one Navigator, without 3rd party software.
Organization: No layers, all views are specific to the Clear Layer Control & Xref Layer Typical layer controls, with ability to
task at hand, instead of layers Revit Separation. Better control and filter layers. Able to wrap dgn and dwg
utilizes “visibility/graphics” which is management of Xref files and layer files that are compatable.
a type of element-display option. easier layer navigation.
Viewable items are sorted by type.
Bidirectional Revit links to the ACAD File, all B-directional connections for working Work in plan, elevation, isometric, or
Associativity model information is stored in one drawings but requires updating views as perspective view. Utilize the AccuDraw
place (the model) and it exports to 2D you work on it (rebuild) which allows function to make clear and precise polar
CAD. It is not bi-diredctional. Once control on what gets updated. ArchiCAD edits. Same toolset applies to both 2D
the model is updated, downstream the has both automatic and associative in and 3D plans. 2D changes can be tied to
engineers working in a 2D CAD connection within the Building Model. update models in a bi-directional manner
environment must adjust. It is This pertains to sections/elevations. suing a variety of 2D software by the
therefore pertinent to decide how far Moving and resizing elements directly on various team members.
Revit will go, before switching to 2D sections/elevations, and any changes are
CAD for engineering. And once this reflected in the other views, including
Views can be managed to display floors
happens, Revit can be continually dimensioning. Interiors, exteriors or an
or workspaces and also be filtered by
used for adjusting background entire building can be dimensioned at
level, symbology, attribute, selection set,
changes or the switch can be made to once, in one step. Labels can attach text
2D and process Construction drawings or symbols to easily identify parts of
in a more traditional manner. This can your design. Automatic texts and smart
cause additional effort downstream by detail and section markers are always up-
engineers if numerous model changes to date across all the model views and
are made. This is true for all modeling documentation layouts. Drawing
programs. Revit does not integrate Markers provide navigation in project
with RAM and STAD, like Bentley documents and more efficient reference
does. mechanisms.
Item Schedules Schedules are just another view of the Interactive provides tools to provide Create coordinated construction
Revit Architecture model. Work in quantities of individual elements & documents. Automatic schedule updates
any appropriate view of the building, components by calculations, works well that are parametric similar to
including schedules. Functionality with complex projects. competition, but you can Capture the
includes associative split-schedule knowledge for reuse on subsequent
sections and selectable design projects which is different.
elements via schedule views,
formulas, and filtering.
Detailing Take advantage of the extensive detail The Detail tool features directly links to Ability to utilize MicroStation for
library and detailing tools provided dedicated workspaces with parametric custom user-made elements.
with Revit Architecture. Presorted to detail markers that can meet the local
align with the CSI format, detail standards as well as your specified
Software is more precise and more
libraries can be tailored to documentation style. Details are also
accurate than competition for large,
accommodate your office standards. tightly integrated into the model, even by
complex, projects.
Create, manage, and share your own using multiple customizable markers
detail library. linked to the same detail. Detailing in
ArchiCAD is faster than with any
AutoCAD, but lacks ties to

Review Autodesk 2D and 3D DWF Project review and organization are ProjectWise Navigator is used for
Control Integration Supports complete round- managed in Project Navigator, which immersive project review and analysis to
tripping of markups with Review enables faster navigation and better support design and construction
software. It combines navigation and control over project documentation by management processes and to manage
revision management capabilities, separating all new view types. assets in real time.
tracking changes is easy. There’s no No open review tool such as Autodesk
need to reenter information. It Design Review software. Allows for reviewing of 2D drawings
supports publishing a model to 2D or and 3D models concurrently. Attach
3D DWF format. This capability PDF files as a reference to the model.
provides high-impact, dynamic Follow links between data files and
communication of design information components. Fly through very large
in a lightweight format. It’s great for models interactively with ease. Examine
including non-technical participants in design change using Design History
the project review process. tools.
Printing Sheet layout integrated, You can form Layout Book is based on the different Full scalability options, sheet layout
Management sheets by “drag and drop” of views, views of the model. It is easy to create control, and exportation options via
making it very easy as sheets view sets, and place them as drawings on Adobe PDF, etc. Ability to override
automatically numerate. Title Bl,ocks layouts. This process can be automated, weight printing, borders, etc. and ability
revision controls have user defined so that the final drawings are created as to print in color and batch print. Can
editable blocks. Very user friendly the building is being modeled. Master print to dxf and most file formats.
with print engines: auto generates dwf layouts allow to set size, orientation, Bentley does not support DWF format.
(small), pdfs even 3D pdfs are grid, and automatic numbering system;
surprisingly small as are dwf format. add parametric title blocks and autotexts
Downstream users can edit easily and as well as any drawing elements.
markup using dwf and adobe reader The Layout Book can also include
viewers. Note both are free drawings hotlinked to external files -
downloads. views from other Archicad projects,
DWG files, dxf translator works well as
well as PDF documents. Pen sets can be
controlled with separate and flexible Pen
Set control for each view. Smooth PDF
creation process with PDF Net. Can
produce DWF in latest version.

Sustainability See add on software by IES, numerous Energy analysis - new tools exist for Add on products under research and not
vendors offer add on programs to be architects to deliver daylighting and determined a the time of this article.
discussed next month. energy analysis services and designs. Bentley Mechanical does Thermal loss.

Digital Export the model to .dxf and then to Export the model to .dxf and then to Export to STL to support rapid model
making and prototyping with 3D printers,
Manufacturing CAM software & to CNC (computer CAM software & to CNC (computer
laser cutters, and stereo lithography
capability numerical control) table. numerical control) table. machines
Hardware Sluggish on large projects/high Seems to run smoother with larger Much smoother with larger projects
Requirements memory requirements projects (TeamWork) (Pentagon-Hansell)
Support Far better support. There are just way Weaker representation/support “SELECT” subscribers receive great
more Autodesk resellers, and that fact support, also online Live Chat and
just makes it so much easier if you knowledgebase.
need help.

Price: $4995 ArchiCAD 11 $4250 V8 TriForma $4,795

Subscription $ 695 Subscription $ 695 Architecture for Microstation $1,995