Difference Between Revit MEP and AutoCAD MEP
 Journey of MEP Engineering from AutoCAD to Revit
MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineering is one of the most important components of building construction. It facilitates the smooth functioning of the building and makes it a better place to occupy. However, MEP systems are also one of the most complex systems in terms of design. During the era of pen and paper drafting, it was very difficult to create designs for MEPF (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection) components of the building. The hand-drafted design brought in many errors and inefficiencies in the designs, due to which the execution team faced difficulties during installation.
Later, with the introduction of computer-based systems for drafting, the job became easier, quicker and more accurate. Digital technologies for planning and designing came into existence during the 1970s for MEP engineering. CAD or Computer-Aided Design was introduced as a tool to create MEPF designs using computers. AutoCAD MEP facilitated faster creation of 2D and 3D plans, precise measurements and accurate outcomes.
Although the industry had Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software such as AutoCAD for architectural, structural and MEP designs, it required an upgrade. Revit by Autodesk, as a was introduced in 1997. Later in 2000, it was renamed Revit Technology Corporation and was acquired by the software company Autodesk in 2002. Autodesk Revit for MEPF opened up new possibilities for the AEC business, especially for Building Information Modelling (BIM). It facilitated intelligent modelling for MEPF with detailed data integration. Autodesk Revit MEP brought a significant upgrade over computer-aided design software. It features an integrated design creation, model analysis, documentation and fabrication of components. MEP engineers leverage the benefits of Autodesk Revit MEP for optimised schedules, cost-efficacy, accuracy and comprehensive MEP modelling.
|Sr. No||AutoCAD MEP||Revit MEP|
|1.||It is 2D & 3D drafting software.||It is Building Information Modelling software.|
|2.||It allows 2D and 3D MEP plans and drawings.||It allows you to create comprehensive 3D BIM models of MEP systems.|
|3.||It is an upgrade over the traditional pen & paper designs.||It is an upgrade over the CAD technology, offering advanced building information models.|
|4.||CAD for MEP has features for drafting 2D and 3D plans.||Revit MEP has advanced features for smart MEPF modelling and related functions.|
|5.||It does not support collaborative workflow like any BIM software||Revit MEP enables CDE – a common data environment. It allows collaboration among the MEPF project team and lets them work in a single coherent model.|
- Comprehensive 3D MEPF model creation: Revit BIM allows MEP engineers to develop complex designs for MEPF accurately in a short time. The parametric modelling in Revit MEP allows model creation from a set of commands. The 3D MEP BIM model of the structure gives engineers precise information such as measurements, cost estimates, quantities of materials and arrangement of components with a simulation of the processes.
- Easy to use: The user-friendly interface allows a user to get a clear idea of its features easily. However, as a prerequisite, one must be aware of the MEP systems and should possess the knowledge of using the software.
- Easy collaboration of project team: Using a Common Data Environment, Revit enables the project team to work and coordinate on a single coherent model. It facilitates a secured environment and data storage, access and sharing through cloud technology.
- Automated technology for BIM: Automation allows engineers to work more efficiently. It speeds up the process of 3D MEP modelling and increases productivity. For example, if any revision is made to a type of component, the change is reflected in the whole database.
- Interoperability: The model created in it can be exported, imported and linked with some of the commonly used and popular BIM and CAD formats such as IFC, 3DM, SKP and more.
- Customized family creation: Revit MEP enables customised family creation. Revit families are the block-type components that can be placed directly into the model. It makes the process of model creation easier. A customized MEP family allow a user to design the model according to their choice and requirements.
- Personalisation: A user can customise the toolbar, ribbons and shortcut keys according to requirements.
- Optimized Project Scheduling for MEPF – 4D BIM: Revit MEP facilitates the integration of project schedules in the BIM MEP model. 4D BIM represents the required time to complete a set of activities. For example, installing electrical conduits on a floor.
- Precise Cost-estimation and Quantity take-off – 5D BIM: The cost element in the BIM MEP model is known as 5D BIM. 5D BIM in MEP offers precise cost estimates and quantity take-off. It gives a clear idea to the project manager of the cost and quantity of materials.
- Better visualisation of the project: Revit software enables visualisation of the project from different perspectives during the planning stage. It also facilitates alternatives for the design of MEP components for better feasibility and aesthetics.
- Update MEP models in real-time: The Building Information Modelling software allows updates of the design-build MEP projects in real-time through cloud technology. Any changes in the designs, cost or quantity of materials, are updated in the MEP model through the cloud. The project team involved in the project can access the revised models immediately.
- Plug-ins for Revit MEP: More than 140 different types of plugins are available.
- Building information modelling.
- Computer aided design CAD.
- File formats for BIM.
- Free Revit families.
- How should Facility managers use Revit BIM?
- MEP Coordination.
- NBS National BIM Report 2016.
- Revit families.
- The future of construction - BIM.
- What does BIM have in store for the construction industry?