As a design consultant, Counsilman-Hunsaker is faced with various new design tools used across multiple platforms and by different design professionals; for example AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, 3ds Max Design and other building modeling/design software. Additionally, there are multiple versions of each platform. To ensure we are at the forefront of the industry, we upgrade these programs every new release and maintain equipment powerful enough to handle these increasing technologies. With this comes not only a financial commitment but an investment in learning as well.
Traditionally Counsilman-Hunsaker has favored AutoCAD as our go-to software. However, industry trends have us embracing Revit as well. Like many other firms have experienced, the addition of this design tool brought challenges. Starting over from scratch to create new libraries, maintaining multiple versions and releases, and redesigning in-house workflows were just a few. Unlike AutoCAD which can be saved to an older release, Revit requires the entire design/production team (architect, MEP, civil, structural, etc.) to use the same software release. As a consultant, this means maintaining at least 3-years’ worth of releases. Also, prior to the 2013 release, architectural and MEP components were segregated into two separate Revit platforms. As pool designers, we often found ourselves crossing into multiple disciplines. Fortunately, the suites now offer an all-in-one platform that offers much more ease for multiple disciplines.
Revit has tremendous value for the design community; there is no doubting that. For an elevated pool with occupied spaces above and below the pool shell, the invested Revit time spent during design makes sense. But does it make sense for all pool design? So the question is: What value do you see in utilizing Revit/BIM for pool design in both indoor and outdoor conditions? Is it worth the added cost to use Revit for pool designs (outdoor especially), when the benefits may be limited? What do you use as your primary design tool?