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How to Best Use Revit for Landscape Architecture?: A Complete Guide

Pragya Sharma

8 min read

December 18, 2023


Table of Contents

Revit has been reigning as a design and construction software for a decade. With applications ranging from project conceptualisation to realisation, Revit has become synonymous with innovation and efficiency. Although largely associated with the realm of building design, Revit has also proved itself useful in various other niches such as structural engineering, building management, and landscape architecture.

Revit is known for its proficiency in Building Information Modelling (BIM) but it has extended its application in landscape architecture as well. The software is proving to be invaluable in landscape design and lately, many architects are using Revit for landscape architecture to generate, modify, and analyse design elements efficiently.

If you don’t know much about how you can use Revit for landscape architecture, worry not. This blog will take you through the benefits of using Revit for landscape architecture and essential Revit plug-ins for landscape architecture.

What is Landscape Architecture?

Understanding landscape architecture

Landscape architecture is a multidisciplinary field that involves the systematic planning, design, and management of outdoor spaces such as urban plazas, parks, playgrounds, promenades, and riverfronts. It involves the strategic integration of waterbodies, shaded areas, hardscapes, softscapes, and lighting features to address complex challenges such as land contouring, drainage, and vegetation.

Who is a Landscape Architect?

Revit software wireframe

A landscape architect specialises in integrating the principles of architecture, ecology, and environmental science in design to create functional and aesthetic outdoor spaces. He wields his expertise to curate spatial experiences that enhance the relationship between the built and unbuilt environments.

Scope of Work

The scope of work for landscape architects involves methodically analysing natural elements, such as land topography, vegetation, and climate. They collaborate with architects, engineers, clients, and other stakeholders to iterate landscape designs that help achieve optimal levels of spatial organisation, circulation, and user comfort. Additionally, landscape architects engage in the restoration of degraded environments, addressing issues related to soil erosion, water management, and biodiversity.

Qualifications and Skills

Becoming a landscape architect typically requires a formal education in landscape architecture or a related field, often at the bachelor's or master's level. Key qualifications such as a strong foundation in design principles, plant biology, and environmental science, often come in handy. Proficiency in design software, such as AutoCAD and BIM tools like Revit, is essential to ensure the responsible execution of their work.

How is Technology Helping Landscape Architecture Projects?

The transition from traditional 2D drafting to the dynamic workings of the 3D environment has impacted the way landscape architects ideate and execute projects. This shift has brought several benefits that are redefining the workflow of landscape architecture. 

One such innovative software technology that is making waves in the industry is Revit which is being largely used for the incorporation of BIM processes. Let’s learn more about how Revit is contributing to the landscape architecture profession.

What is Revit?

Landscape modelling in Revit

Revit is a BIM software developed by Autodesk. It offers a digital 3D modelling environment that enables designers to think outside the box and create holistic spaces. It also aids parametric modelling, i.e., if you make changes in one part of the model the entire project updates automatically. Moreover, Revit enables the generation of detailed documentation, such as floor plans, elevations, and schedules, ensuring consistency and coherence across the design and construction phases of a project.

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What are the Benefits of Using Revit for Landscape Architecture?

Landscaping in progress using Revit software

Revit is one of the most advanced and reliable software used across various AEC disciplines. Let’s understand how landscape design in Revit impacts the functioning of the industry.

1. Improved Design Visualisation

Revit excels in providing detailed 3D visualisation of a site’s landscape designs, offering stakeholders a realistic preview of the outcome. This feature enhances communication by providing a visual representation of the project's elements. Thus, all stakeholders can better understand the design intent aiding an effective decision-making process.

2. Site Analysis and Planning

The use of Revit for landscape architecture facilitates thorough site analysis and planning. By integrating manifold geographical data, landscape architects can make well-informed decisions about terrain, sun exposure, and other site-specific constraints. This helps design optimisation, making spaces more comfortable and healthy.

3.Parametric Modelling (H3)

Revit's parametric modelling abilities provide the opportunity to experiment with various permutations and combinations of landscaping elements. This helps create adaptive structures that can seamlessly integrate with the natural environment. It also enables easy conflict analysis and resolution to avoid changes during the time of construction.

4. Precise Quantity Take-off (H3)

Revit for landscape architecture facilitates accurate quantification of materials and other resources required for a project. It offers analysis tools that allow professionals to assess the environmental impact, sustainability, and overall performance of their designs. This promotes resource efficiency while ensuring the project is well within its desired budget. 

5. Collaboration and Coordination (H3)

Revit fosters teamwork among various project stakeholders. Revit landscape architects can work concurrently with professionals from different disciplines, ensuring seamless alignment from conceptualisation to project documentation. This collaborative approach enhances communication and coordination, reducing errors and simplifying the overall project workflow.

6. Plantation Maintenance (H3)

Utilising Revit for landscape architecture aids in evaluating vegetation suitability by considering factors like shade tolerance, water needs, and soil requirements. This can help schedule pruning activities, figure out fertilisation needs, and organise watering requirements for efficient plantation maintenance. This facilitates a holistic understanding of plant species, promoting the creation of resilient and sustainable landscapes. 

Essential Revit Plug-ins for Landscape Architecture

Landscaping in Revit

While Revit is renowned for its prowess in building design, the integration of specific plug-ins caters to the unique needs of landscape architects. Let’s explore how each of these tools can enhance the useability of Revit for landscape architecture.

1. Lands Design

Lands Design is a powerful plug-in designed explicitly for Revit landscape architects. It enriches the terrain modelling capabilities, allowing for the creation of intricate landforms, planting areas, and irrigation systems. The intuitive interface streamlines the integration of landscape elements, fostering a more seamless design workflow.

2. BIM Tree Manager

BIM Tree Manager is tailored for landscape architects working with extensive vegetation elements. This plug-in simplifies the management of trees and plants within the Revit model, facilitating easy placement, editing, and organisation. It's a time-saving solution that ensures an accurate representation of greenery in landscape designs.

3. Site Designer

Site Designer plug-in extends the capabilities of Revit for site planning and design. This plug-in offers advanced tools for grading, terrain modelling, and the creation of roads and pathways. It empowers landscape architects to meticulously shape the outdoor environment and achieve precise design outcomes.

Cove.Tool (H3)

Cove.Tool is a Revit plug-in that enables professionals to assess and optimise the environmental performance of their designs. By integrating energy analysis tools directly into the Revit environment, landscape architects can make informed decisions that align with sustainability goals.

Creating Landscape Design in Revit: The Shining Example of New Walk, Leicester, England

A view of the New Walk project

The UK-based firm, Franklin Ellis Architects, demonstrated the integration of Revit for landscape architecture into their project called the New Walk Place. Completed in 2018 in the heart of Leicester, this project is a mixed-use development that features a 5000m² office building, a 54-unit apartment complex, and a captivating public square, all designed in collaboration with the Sowden Group, revitalising a key area in Leicester City Centre.

It was a complex project that featured a basement car park, a podium merging with the landscape, a new public square, and a pedestrianisation scheme. Thus, there was a need for a unified modelling platform. So, the firm turned to Revit. This decision helped them design the project in coherence with the site by providing them with a comprehensive set of landscaping tools. The versatility of Revit proved to be an instrumental asset in addressing the diverse elements of the project, allowing the designers to incorporate topography, trees, hedges, planting, paving, and structures, all into one unified and coordinated model. 

Revit for landscape architecture

In Conclusion

As we walk towards the future, the marriage of technology and landscape architecture holds the promise of creating sustainable and immersive outdoor experiences that connect humanity with nature. Revit can be a crucial tool in helping achieve this vision. So, if you are a landscape architect, it would be a wise decision for you to learn Revit and implement it in your practice. 

If you wish to learn Revit for landscape architecture, we highly recommend you check out the BIM Professional Course for Architects by Novatr. The program offers a comprehensive understanding of not just Revit but other BIM software like Naviswork, Primavera, and Dynamo that can help you establish yourself as a distinguished landscape professional. 

Explore more about the industry trends by visiting our Resources page.

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