Written by Lilli Smith, Zachary Kron, Lainie Ransom, and David Smolker
Generative Design in Revit is a new feature that brings the scale, speed, and precision of algorithmic problem-solving to design decision-making.
What if you could explore more design alternatives in fewer steps? What if you could rank, filter, sort, and select based on parameters and constraints that you and your teams define? What if you could focus on the viable alternatives and filter out the noise?
Now you can.
With this new feature you can generate and explore more options directly in Revit—helping you back good design intuition with data, run more rigorous experiments, and satisfy clients and project teams through more informed decision-making.
See What’s New in Revit 2021
Design decisions as art and science.
We know architects are experts in the art of tradeoffs and science of impacts. They recognize that every decision has a knock-on effect, and they’re experts in finding a balance between intuition and information. They translate competing project goals into satisfying solutions for clients and design teams alike.
Generative Design in Revit works to bring more clarity to the design critique. It answers the question –how do we decide which option is the best? – by offering flexible ways to test, optimize, and validate design options with data.
Generative Design in Revit helps project teams quickly devise, test, adjust, and iterate design studies. It is a powerful technique, as it produces many options; it is also precise in that it provides the ability to filter out noise and focus only on those alternatives that best meet the design goals. To explore results, the generative design capability offers scatter and point coordinate results managers, so you can adjust parameters with the simplicity of sliders or compare different clusters of results. Dial in on balance across all design factors, or optimize for a single factor, and bring to your team and client meetings the depth, breadth, and rigor of data well done.
How to get started. Three things to try:
1. Start with the sample studies available in Revit 2021.
Generative Design in Revit 2021 is available to AEC Collection subscribers and ships with 3 design studies common to commercial build programs.
- Three Box Massing: Vary the heights and relative positions of three mass volumes to study their visual impact while also calculating surface areas and volumes.
- Workspace Layout: Create desk configurations in a room, taking into account doors, windows, and columns. Calculate distances to exits, views to the outside, and more.
- Optimize Window Views: Generate viewpoints within the model and calculate scores for the quality of views to the outside from each of these points.
You can launch these studies directly from your model in any view, by clicking on the Generative Design button on the Manage tab in the ribbon. Start by selecting the type of study and defining the goals. Are you trying to fit more desks in an open office floorplan, or would you prefer to optimize placement for the best views? Are you looking to find the highest floor area ratio on a tight site, or perhaps concerned with meeting a height restriction? Use the interface to assign weights to the variables you want to study. Specify and constrain the number of design alternatives you wish to create and tell Revit how it should help you rank them. Then run your study in the background and keep working in your model.
2. Explore and visualize design alternatives.
Generative Design in Revit will return results for your study, helping you visualize a range of options. Explore the alternatives via 2D lists and interactive 3D thumbnails, and use the responsive results coordinate graph to sort, select, and filter… all in a few clicks of the mouse. Chart alternatives in a scatterplot to identify clusters of options with common characteristics.
Narrow in on a preferred set of outcomes or run the study anew with revised criteria to see the impacts as your design priorities shift. When you decide on the best solution, click Create Revit Elements and populate your model with the chosen alternative. Use Generative Design in Revit to smartly dial-in approaches that find a happy medium between all the factors you try to balance or choose the option that best optimizes a single factor – like the most daylight or the slimmest building profile. Use Generative Design in Revit as a design assistant, a way to gather data quickly to help you make more informed decisions.
3. Build custom studies in Dynamo.
For Dynamo users, Generative Design in Revit offers a customizable framework for using the power of algorithms to uncover what’s possible. Use the Dynamo visual programming environment to connect different elements of your Revit model, and create custom design studies.
Ready to get started?
Generative Design in Revit is a new feature now available exclusively to subscribers of the AEC Collection with Revit 2021. Check out the AEC Collection.
Learn more about how you can create your own studies and explore outcomes here.
Check out the full list of new features in Revit 2021.