Architectural Design Process

Design Development Phase and Coordinating Around the Revit Model

Learn how to coordinate teams around the Revit model as it develops during the Design Development phase.

In this article, we’ll review how the Revit model develops and how to coordinate around it. 

We will also begin to understand the importance of eliminating data silos to make BIM coordination and team communication more efficient in the Design Development phase.

210223-Layer App-Design Development and the Revit Model-1

What is the Design Development Phase?

The primary goal of the Design Development phase is to finalize the overall character of the project. This work will be based on feedback from the Pre-Design and Schematic Design phases. The design team will also work to ensure that the project can be realized at the quality and cost anticipated. 

During Design Development, the design team produces more-detailed drawings and a set of specifications. These specifications will outline the size, shape, and character of every component of the project. 

In addition to solidifying the size and location of all rooms, the team also identifies the building’s exterior materials, interior finishes, and all furniture, fixtures, or equipment (FF&E)

Typical Deliverables for the Schematic Design Phase
Typical deliverables provided at the conclusion of Design Development include:

  • Site Plan, Floor Plans, Interior and Exterior Elevations, Sections, and Reflected Ceiling Plans
  • Updated Interior and Exterior Renderings
  • Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Special Systems Drawings
  • Project Specifications and Materials List 
  • Updated Estimate of Cost  
  • Notice to Proceed (Optional; can be provided by the Owner to the design team as an official approval of design work completed to date.) 

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Working in Revit during the Design Development Phase

By the conclusion of Design Development, the engineering of the structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems is largely complete. At this point, your engineering consultants will have created their own drawings to be integrated into the design team’s model. Learn more about the technical requirements for sharing models with consultants.

By consolidating this information into a single, shared model, the team is able to work collaboratively to detect conflicts between the routing of different systems or inconsistencies between the models of different disciplines. 

As with earlier phases, the Revit model continues to serve as the primary source material for generating all two-dimensional and three-dimensional representations of the building. 

With the higher level of resolution achieved during Design Development, the full character or look and feel of a building can really start to be illustrated and shown to the Owner.

Using a Flexible Database with Revit

Using a flexible database tool connected to Revit can make BIM coordination exponentially more efficient during the Design Development.

Everything captured during the Pre-Design and Schematic Design phases is now accessible while modeling in Revit.  

Here are a few specific ways a Flexible Database makes work during DD more efficient:

  • Field Data connected to Revit: Design more efficiently in Revit with the ability to surface field data, photos, cut sheets and any other previously captured data right in Revit. 

  • Faster Searches in Revit: If Revit data is connected to the flexible database, the flexible database will now be viewable right in Revit with an add-in. Because of this, you can use the database search panel instead of Revit to quickly locate specific elements.

  • Meeting Notes connected to Revit: Create documents with smart tags linked to Revit elements like rooms, doors, and equipment. Use these documents to connect client-facing Project Managers with team members modeling changes in Revit. 

  • Markup Tools connected to Revit: Communicate redlines in real-time. Markup drawings, photos, or any of the field data, which you can access right in Revit. This is another strategy for connecting non-Revit users to Revit. 

What comes after the Design Development phase? Learn more about preparing the Revit model for bid in the Construction Documents phase >

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Images courtesy of BVH Architecture.

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