Integrating Technology: Using Autodesk Revit

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SWBAT use 3D software to create an original design for an eco-friendly building.

Big Idea

Authentic use of technology can be yours! Learn how to teach architectural software and incorporate it in your design lessons.


5 minutes

This lesson is taught in tandem with my unit, Designing for the Future: Eco-Friendly Building. I will include narratives within those lessons to show how I use the program but I am also including instructional videos. 

Opening the Program

15 minutes

My first strategy is called "Watch and Do". My students have their own computers at tables. I tell them to watch me and then do it on their computers. This strategy works well when I am giving lots of short, specific instructions. 

I open the program and walk the students through the steps for starting. Before beginning I ask students, "What are the most important parts of a building?" Student responses almost always include walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceilings. I use their responses to explain that the ribbon in the program has these important components in the upper right hand side. In the video I open the program and tie to student prior knowledge about using Microsoft programs. 


I spend time explaining the ribbon and the tabs using student responses. In the program these important components in the upper left hand side of the interface. In the video I am opening up the program and describing how one part of the ribbon has panels where we concentrate most work.  


Drawing With Revit

10 minutes

I teach the students how to draw and dimension walls using the program. I ask them to review the dimensions of their designs. I show the students the different types of walls, interior and exterior. I allow them the time to draw and dimension the walls in their designs. This video takes you through the steps of drawing walls. 



Next I move onto the window and the doors. The windows and doors are similar. In the program there is one window and one door. It is fun to give the studetns a choice of doors and Revit has a folder called Load Families. A family is a folder of like components. There is a door family and a window family. Students spend time choosing their doors and windows. In the video you can see how the Load Family panel has files of components. There are pictures with the files so students can see how the door or window will look in 3D. 

Adding Furniture

20 minutes

Now that the walls, windows, and doors are in, students can have fun adding furniture. Furniture is considered a component and is in the Component panel. When you select component, a green tab will open and you will see a series of files. Go to the furniture file and look around. Like the window and door folders, students can select a piece of furniture and place it in the Property window. Then they can put it in their building.

In the video below there is a delay before I start speaking on the movie below, sorry about that. I then explain how students can move the chosen piece of furniture from the Family file to the Property window. 

Other Components

15 minutes

Be sure to give the students time to look over the other folders in the Component panel. One of my most frequent questions is, "Where is....?"

My strategy is to allow the students to work independently. I ask them to use paper and pencil to write down the folders they think they may use so they can go to their written reference.

Watch the video below to check out component files. I show some fun things like putting in a TV, people, and cars.  

Going 3 D

10 minutes

Now that the building is done and furnished, it is time to go 3D. On the ribbon there is a little house. Click on the house and hit 3D. The image will change to a 3D model. At the bottom of the page you can see a checker board. When you click on it, hit medium for a medium or fine. Then go to the box right next to it and hit realistic. This will color the 3D model. 

In the video below I show how to change the footprint floor plan to a 3D model.