Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Revit Books with Substance (IMHO)

I recently had the opportunity to talk with several professors and instructors who teach Revit or BIM. I always love the chance to learn how these classes are taught, what works and what doesn't. Thanks to Autodesk's annual software renewal cycle I get the chance to make changes to my books fairly regularly and thus respond to some of the challenges or shortcomings in my books. The main goal, of course, is to help instructors teach a well rounded class, and provide the students with the best possible learning experience .
If you want to chat with me about your Revit/BIM course, please reach out via LinkedIn, Twitter or SDC Publications.
Some of the teachers I have spoken with use books in their...
Revit/BIM class(es), while others do not. Many of those who do not use a book usually have very specific reasons for not doing so. For example, "I do not like tutorial-based books" or "I would prefer to have a college-level book".

With those discussions in mind, and as I work on updates for the "next" version of my Revit books, I thought I would share a few related thoughts. In the end, my books may still not be just-the-right-fit for everyone, and that fine.

College-Level Books

As a registered architect with over twenty years of experience, I make a point of sharing some of that knowledge in a meaningful way within my books. For example, in my interior design book I am working on right now (or should be, but I am writing this post:)) I cover a lot of things the designer needs to think about while developing a toilet room.
Revit knowledge aside, I have worked will lots of people, professionally, over the years who do not know all of this important information very well.
In the image below I talk about accessibility codes and sight lines.

Every architect and interior designer needs to understate the required wall space for wall-hung, flush valve toilets... this is discussed and a link provided to a reference I have used for years myself. Plus, the mechanical/plumbing engineer will love you!

Tutorial-based Books

Even though four of my five Revit books are generally considered tutorial-base books, they still have a lot of "this is why you just did that" or "be sure to think about this" information between the steps. The end-of-chapter questions help ensure all of the stuff "between the steps" is read and understood.

I use a book in the classes I teach... and not just because it is my book. I feel that a book helps to ensure a consistent exposure to a well-rounded set of tools and workflows. It is easy to veer off on tangents and forget to cover certain topics. On a related note, my books do not cover new features just because they are new. I want to make sure the students/readers thoroughly learn the basics... from there they can teach themselves so much more!

I like to characterize the tutorial-based book, to my students, as something analogous to creating a Revit model of an existing building. You don't get to change stuff, it is not a design exercise, and you have to pay close attention to detail... all the dimensions must be correct or the proposed design will suffer. This is good practice for the real-world.

Plus, a book allows each student the opportunity to go back and review things that their own pace. Ideally in conjunction with a recently lecture by the teacher.

In the images below, the tutorial-based steps are outlined to add a tile wainscot in-line with another wall material. The final product is a model which can be rendered or viewed in VR. Stuff like this takes a little time to really understand.

SDC Publications offers a free sample chapter for each of their books. Check out this detailed chapter on Revit materials: Click here.

The final images in this post are a few random sketches from the interior design book that help tell the story, and define the evolution, of the project under consideration within the book.

If you are an instructor and want to chat with me about your class, please reach out to me or SDC Publications. We would love to send you a free examination copy if you are in North America.
BTW, did you know my books come with nearly 100 short videos.

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