In the Transition to Revit, Everything Starts with the Database
Recognizing that Revit is where the industry is headed, Worth & Company made the decision to move from using Autodesk AutoCAD and Fabrication CADmep to Autodesk Revit. The company is in the midst of transitioning about 20 detailers from detailing in CADmep to Revit. “Fab parts now work well in Revit,” VDC Director Jon Harding related.
Harding shared that, prior to this transition to Revit, he heard that company buy-in was important. Therefore, considerable effort has been invested over the past few years getting buy-in from leadership. “So, they can understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it,” he explained. “It’s crucial for success.”
Knowing the company would eventually need to transition to the Revit/Autodesk Construction solution to stay competitive, the staff researched Revit and experimented with SysQue about eight years ago, but they waited until recently to begin the transition.
Rather than jumping in full bore, Worth & Company took a slow and steady approach. A goal has been set to have the VDC department 100% Revit-oriented by the end of 2023.
When Worth & Company started in the business, the industry technology was relatively new to the staff. So, the company reached out to Applied Software, Graitec Group: “They had the knowledge and tools we were looking for,” Harding explained. “We’ve been partners ever since.” Worth & Company has been working with Applied for about 15 years.
After the decision was made to transition to Revit in order to enhance preconstruction design, Applied Software experts traveled to Worth & Company headquarters and helped with the implementation. As the move progressed, Worth & Company added EVOLVE software to automate construction design and facilitate material prefabrication and fabrication.
Although the staff believed they had a comprehensive, tidy fabrication database, Harding said, “Right out of the gate, working with Revit, we noticed we had some things we needed to clean up.” Working with Applied Software, Worth & Company conducted an audit of the database. With the help of Applied, the database was cleaned up, which will help the entire company in the long run.
Harding related that, although the Worth & Company staff had the inhouse capability to clean up the database, they didn’t have the time to devote to it. As Harding put it, it was a big help having the Applied Software knowledge base and experts step in and take that workload off their plate. It allowed Worth & Company staff to focus on being plumbers, pipefitters and working on ductwork.
“Everything starts with the database,” Harding stressed. “That’s what we’ve gleaned out of this whole process.”
During the implementation, Worth & Company developed its own inhouse training curriculum. About one-third of the crew is working fully in Revit now, and the transition is proceeding. As of December 2022, the company had completed six projects successfully with Revit. Worth & Company has discovered the Revit workflow is faster and more effective compared to the Fabrication CADmep workflow.
In the early days of Revit implementation, Harding described the learning curve as steep. Although that can temporarily decrease efficiency, he said, “In the long run, it will balance out.” He added, “Ultimately we will see a return in efficiency gains. Efficiencies have already been gained in certain areas.”
The main driver in moving to Revit is the competitive advantage it brings. There are also efficiencies that can be gained from the perspective of workflow and time spent modeling.
Harding was especially complimentary of the professional assistance Worth & Company received from Applied Software and Territory Account Consultant Cheryl Schumacher. “We’ve had that relationship for a long time, and she’s been fantastic,” he said.
Harding recommended attending events like MEP Force with peers to hear about how other companies are handling similar circumstances. In attending a class like “Revit Tips & Tricks” and getting tips you can use back at your company, he said, “It makes the whole trip worthwhile. Getting little nuggets like that from like-minded people in the industry is invaluable.”
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