As the construction industry continues to evolve, advancements in construction technology are helping to make the industry safer and more efficient. We are in the Information Age, where more companies are providing advanced software with analytic capabilities to help solve the ongoing problem of data sharing and communication in the skilled trades.
However, as construction projects become increasingly complex with shorter timelines, more contractors are equally under great pressure to improve cost and efficiencies to stay competitive.
The first step in this evolution is the change in mindset. Gone should be the days of the 1950s construction worker who is stubborn and misogynistic. The race to be first and the fear of technology should be a thing of the past. There are more women in construction now more than ever and with all these great technological resources available, companies will need to adapt or die.
Companies are spending too much money, for a person to have a negative mindset and argue over petty items with the team. The new theme is collaboration, where the team comes together with a positive mindset to come up with solutions rather than playing the one up game and pointing out another trades problem.
The second step is deciding on what software to go with next. It is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of software companies that you will find in your Google search as each software seems to specialize in different tasks. As a BIM director, I do a lot of research and keep tabs on almost all of the construction software out there. One BIM (building information modeling) tool that has caught my attention is Revizto.
Revizto is a BIM collaboration tool that utilizes the Unity gaming platform to compress the composite model making it easier for the end user to access and navigate. This is a great option for those that work in a data rich model that is very heavy.
Nothing kills momentum and productivity more than sitting around for a model to load. (Ahem, Revit). Honestly, the ability to use Revizto and load the point cloud files from a scanner in a matter of seconds is what piqued my interest in this software back in 2018.
For those that deal with point clouds or data heavy files, you understand where I’m coming from. Even with a high-powered computer, it still takes too much time.
Revizto As A Collaboration Platform
Revizto is not a trade specific program. It helps all members on the project to come together and streamline the BIM process allowing teams to coordinate and share a single window to access all project information. The whole AEC industry including ownership groups can benefit from the tools that Revizto has to offer even past the final construction phase.
When integrated with BIM 360, Procore or Box, Revizto allows for full transparency across the project using the data provided in the models with these key features:
Issue Tracker: A simple, yet powerful task-tracking platform that allows teams to collaborate on cloud projects in real time — assign issues, generate reports, and manage all project activities in one central hub.
Point Cloud: Revizto supports direct point cloud integration. You can easily overlay as-built conditions, 3D models and intelligent 2D drawings into a single working view.
Integration with Procore: All the valuable information coordinated and collaborated in Revizto can feed directly into the RFI tool in one easy-to-access location creating a powerful workflow.
VR ready: Revizto works natively with Oculus and HTC Vive and instantly creates an explorable, true-to-scale VR experience in seconds allowing you to explore real model data and coordination issues in VR.
Clashes from Navisworks and Solibri: Import your clashes directly to the Issue Tracker. Imported clashes will appear alongside all other project issues, making it easier to track everything in one place.
With more owners wanting to take advantage of the data rich environment of BIM and the 6D project life cycle, Revizto offers a great Facilities Management tool. The complexity of facilities such as high-tech capabilities and demand of “smart” buildings has created a need for Facility Management (FM) to be engaged earlier on in the project lifecycle.
By pushing out tasks to a BIM Intelligent system, facilities management (FM) will be equipped with easy-to-access, intelligent facility designs and models to leverage the long-term for occupant comfort and maintenance purposes. FM can push updates back into the database with automated reports and create workflows that empower crews to make sure no task slips through the cracks.
Based on my experience and review of other software, Revizto ranks pretty high as an integrated tool to help with your BIM workflow. The platform is easy to learn and can be easily adapted to your current workflow. Another nice feature is that the mobile application looks and functions just like the desktop version, which is an industry oversight with all of the other desktop/mobile software currently on the market.
I am excited about their forthcoming 5.0 release, but what I am really waiting for are the tools that will be available in their 5.1 & 5.2 releases.
Alternative software other than Revizto
There is a ton of other software out there that have similar features to Revizto, but with each company having different roadmaps, tools and price points, it really boils down to your company’s mindset and comfort with price. I understand it can be very confusing; and with so many options, you may feel pressure from the owner constantly asking: Why do we have to buy this? I thought we just bought so and so?
What I tell colleagues is that you must explain that creating software takes time and each product is under constant development to keep up with the Information Age as new products are being developed everyday that add to the dynamics of construction.
I know a billion-dollar mechanical company that manages just fine with Microsoft Excel and overstaffing their projects. This is the old way of thinking. They can become more efficient pairing Revizto or one of the following software with their current workflow.
BIM Track is another web-based software that compliments the BIM process and workflow. BIM Track’s web viewer allows you to import, display and navigate multiple IFC models from different BIM/CAD authoring software programs to create a federated model, complete with revision history. You can also overlay 2D plans from PDFs onto the models for maximum issue context.
One of the key features that I like about BIM Track is their real time analytics and reporting. It is relatively easy to learn, and you can measure the coordination progress during the meeting.
Trimble Connect is a tool similar to Revizto but brings more support to the Trimble platform. This is a great tool if you are already using Tekla and other Trimble related products. Though Trimble Connect does work with Autodesk products, they have a workflow utilizing all their tools called Trimble Constructible.
Much like the rest of these software, the constructible process ties all members of the project together to create a more collaborative workflow. One of the features that I do like about this process is the use of Tekla, which is an alternative to Navisworks. In my opinion, Tekla is better to use from a visibility standpoint as you can easily adjust views.
Autodesk’s BIM 360 is a great base platform with many of the same tools, but it is not quite as developed as Revizto and the other software. With Autodesk’s focus on acquisitions of established companies to create their construction cloud, it has allowed companies like Revizto and Procore to advance in their product development. I see Revizto as a complementing tool to BIM 360 as their tools are more developed.
BIM 360 is slowly developing tools and add-ins to the Autodesk line for those that are able to be patient and wait. With their current roadmap, I can easily see Autodesk making a deal to acquire one of these companies. The upside is, eventually, there will be one true source of truth as most products are dependent on Autodesk’s platform. The downside is the wait time for this to happen as their program is constantly changing to incorporate these new acquisitions.
This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of SNIPS.