BIM is a working methodology especially devised for the AEC industry to streamline its process and make it more efficient. BIM is not all about just the software, but the software is an integral part of that methodology for storing and accessing building information in 3D.
And since we are talking about BIM software, how can we miss the everlasting debate on Revit v/s ArchiCAD?
What is the difference between Revit and ArchiCAD? Which one is better than the other?
Is there a clear winner out of the two BIM giants?
Let’s find out.
If the competition were about what came first, ArchiCAD would have won by a clear margin. The quest started in 1982 when Hungarian software developer Gábor Bojár launched Graphisoft. Bojár had a team of mathematical modeling experts who did not have access to modern and efficient computers of the time. This motivated them to design the program for inexpensive personal computers.
Graphisoft launched ArchiCAD for Macintosh in 1987, which is now one of the most used BIM software in the AEC industry.
Revit didn’t even see the sun until a decade later. In a venture in 1997, Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungries developed a platform that allows building professionals to design and document building information using parametric definitions.
These parametric definitions are applied to the whole model. Any element change would also reflect on the corresponding elements immediately. In fact, it was the ease of making changes that inspired its name: “Revise-It” became “Revit”. In 2002, Autodesk bought the program.
Despite its late entry into the market, Revit has managed to make its way into the construction industry beyond design– with Revit Architecture, Structure, MEP, and so on. Contractors, structural engineers, civil engineers, and MEP Consultants can use it according to their needs.
Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD is designed “by architects for architects”. It provides an intuitive workflow to architects and designers. ArchiCAD can be used to model structural and MEP elements as well, although it is not widely used for that purpose.
Autodesk Revit is undoubtedly the most popular BIM software in use today. It is used in North America, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, etc. This clear difference is due to Revit’s user-friendliness in different disciplines.
ArchiCAD is widely used mostly in parts of Europe– Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic– and Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
While Revit caters to many disciplines within the construction industry, learning the software is not an easy task. ArchiCAD wins the battle there, but it seems to be losing the war.
Professionals get confused about the choice between Revit or ArchiCAD based on the software they start out with. Given the fact that Revit involves other disciplines better, the choice between the two software is crucial.
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When compared with ArchiCAD, Revit software is more sophisticated and hence takes more time to grasp
ArchiCAD is a popular software amongst architects and BIM managers. Its trademark user-friendliness allows architects and designers to focus on the tasks of designing and critical thinking.
Revit by Autodesk has a wide-ranged toolkit. In India, the software is being used mainly for airports and metro-rail projects.
Revit is widely popular in the countries of the US, the UK, and Canada. The other user groups of Revit can be found in India, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, etc.