Monday 16 February 2015

Collaboration for Revit Explained (in Brief)

I recently attended a demo of Collaboration for Revit  (C4R) for a project were working on, it answered a lot of questions for me. 

I looked everywhere for a good explanation and couldn't find one, so here is my brief explanation of how it works.

Currently we use Revit server to facilitate internal collaboration as it’s more stable and deals with multiple working on the one project much better. However we cant use Revit Server when working with consultants or collaborating with another Architect as it doesn’t play well through firewalls etc, it’s very difficult to set up and run. C4R treats your local computer like an “accelerator” similar to how Revit Server operates. It also manages the data exchange a little differently to make it sync faster.

C4R is much simpler because it’s cloud based, it basically stores everyone’s (A,S,M,E,P) Revit model on the cloud and we each link each others models, similar to to our existing workflow but automated.

We each link in each others models from C4R, these links are live so it eliminates the need for detaching saved copies of the files and sending them to the consultants for coordination. We still manage our own worksets, views and model content, R4C just manages the model links.

There are still a few things that need to be worked out such as saving a back-up copy, currently you’d have to detach a copy to back-up. If you didn’t want to have the most current copy of the consultants model the only way to manage this would be to “not reload links”. This would be difficult to manage if you had a large team working on your project. Also C4R does not allow for non Revit links (same as Revit Server) which is one thing on my wish list!

So far to me it looks pretty good, apparently they’ve done a lot of testing and are pretty confident in it’s stability. For now it looks pretty good, I’d use it on a project as long as I had an exit strategy, I believe it’ll evolve into something much better. In conjunction with C4R you also get A360 as a project communication tool but I'm not going to get into that on this blog...

It’ll be interesting to see how it’s adopted in the design community. This is one more tool to facilitate collaboration.


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