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3 Main Tasks Before Switching from AutoCAD to Revit

The architects who have never worked in BIM often ask how to transition from AutoCAD to Revit. I have often found that it might be difficult for them where to start or look for first. In this article, I would like to point out three essential tasks you must do before initiating any changes.

Plan! Plan! Plan!

If you have never experienced working in Revit or other BIM software, you may not know where to start and what can be achieved. Gathering the existing information will be your first step as BIM is all about the building information and how to use those in your documentation (for now).

What to prepare from your existing data pool

What to prepare from your existing data pool
  • Concept/DA Drawings (if it is different from the construction documentation)

  • Tender/Construction Drawings

  • Architectural and interior schedules

  • Presentation

  • Reports and specifications

  • Existing CAD blocks/library

Once they are prepared, you need to plan how it is related to your BIM authoring tool, for me it is Revit.

<1> Naming Convention

Some would think it is not as important as other tasks as it does not take a big part in AutoCAD, but it is the most significant task before the transition to BIM. I am not talking about your drawing naming convention, but it is about everything. You need to decide whether you will follow the international or national standard or create a new standard for your company. This will be implemented every single change you make in this transition, and it will take a considerable amount of time if you want to amend it. Moreover, Revit is a BIM authoring tool, which means that you will be working on data in the model. If you don't know the data written in the model, you will most likely use Revit as 3d modelling and drawing tool like AutoCAD. Naming the data in the model logically allows the team members to understand how the building model is being designed or mapped.

Naming Convention


  • Revit File

  • Revit Family File

  • Family Type

  • Line Style

  • Object Style

  • Pattern (hatches)

  • Project/shared Parameter

  • Views

  • Sheets

  • etc…

Imagine how much time you need to spend to change the namings in our template to suit your standard! Trust me, there is not an easy way to do this even though you use the power of Excel.

<2> Graphic Standard

Every architectural company has a different taste in graphic design or drawing styles, and as Revit can be used in the concept stage, you need to gather your visual references to build your presentation style. From line weight/style to the contents, you need to know how you would love to present your remarkable designs to your client. Once you set this up, you can deliver a consistent design language throughout all projects in your office. Furthermore, there might be several different set-ups for different purposes if you want to differ the visual representation.

Two major stages

Graphic Standard

  • For Presentation

  • For (Construction) Documentation

As many architecture firms want to differ their graphics for different purposes like presenting to the client or construction documentation for the builders. Although Revit is not a good designing tool or modelling tool, you may want to try it from the scratch. I have seen some practices that are keen to have everything in Revit so that they can save a majority of time preparing the presentation for their client.

<3> Coding System

BIM is all about building information and you need to have a strategy for how it can be used. In order to avoid using the text notes in the drawing, you need to make a smart strategy for what coding method should be used in Revit. There are a few ways of doing this in Revit, such as using Keynote, Type Mark, Multi-category, etc. Moreover, it is important that what system is used. If you are new to this, I would recommend using the national standard like Masterclass or Uniclass. You need to use the information on drawings and schedules to talk to each other so that you have a unified coding system. Ideally, Revit should be used as a data centre of your work, and you should be able to extract any information from it.

Coding System

Quadmeta’s template provides a basic coding system set up in the file based on the architectural abbreviation. you can find out more information about the template here.

quadmeta coding system

We are consistently trying to create a better BIM environment as well as beautifully presented drawings. Moreover, we have developed the checklist sheets that allow you to prepare for this transition seamlessly.


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