Architecture Program


Date of this Version

Spring 4-21-2011


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Architecture, Under the Supervision of Professor Timothy Hemsath / Professor Steven Hardy. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2011

Copyright 2011 Sara Ben Lashihar


Autodesk Revit Architecture as one of BIM applications has shown recent improvements in creating complex forms in conceptual design phase. These improvements have been published lately in reports (Autodesk 2010; Autodesk 2009) and books (Krygiel et al. 2010). The presented abilities were introduced within a general scope, and they were not examined in detail with various generative design approaches. The generalization and the ambiguity of these publications lead designers to avoid using Revit in conceptual design phase, and use other 3D modeling softwares that are more compatible with their way of thinking.

This thesis examines the abilities and limitations of this application in a particular design approach called Generative Geometric Design Approach (GGDA). This approach depends on the creation of geometric shapes as a generator in the conceptual design phase.

The awareness of these abilities and limitations in achieving GGDA renders the reliability of Revit for designers who use that approach, and provides the architectural educational systems with an overview about the software. Additionally, the knowledge of Revit's limitations will contribute to the development of the software in future versions (Odeh and Adwan 2009, 1067; Fadezean 1999, 503).

The appropriate methodology for this examination is dependent on a multi-method tactic. The multi-method tactic is divided to: main method and confirmation method. They depend on a series of experiments that are conducted by the author in the main method, and by a number of students in the confirmation method.

Conclusively, the examination has shown that Revit Architecture has abilities and limitations in working on the first stage of GGDA, which makes it premature to depend on it entirely. Otherwise, it is recommended for the future studies about the compability of BIM applications with generative design approaches to avoid the limitations of this research and the experiments, and evaluate Revit Architecture in creating more complex geometries.

Advisors: Timothy Hemsath, Steven Hardy