Founders of the Revolution----Revit
While the developments were happening rapidly in the United States, the Soviet Block had two programming geniuses who would end up defining the BIM market as it is known today. Leonid Raiz and Gábor Bojár would go on to be the respective co-founder and founder of Revit and ArchiCAD.
|Leonid Raiz--- Co-founder Revit|
ArchiCAD developed in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary by Gábor Bojár, a physicist who rebelled against the communist government and began a private company. Gábor wrote the initial lines of code by pawning his wife’s jewelry and smuggling Apple Computers through the Iron Curtain (Story). Using similar technology as the Building Description System, the software Radar CH was released in 1984 for the Apple Lisa Operating System. This later became ArchiCAD, which makes ArchiCAD the first BIM software that was made available on a personal computer.
The software was slow to start as Bojár had to struggle with a unfriendly business climate and the limitations of personal computer software, so ArchiCAD was not used on large scale projects until much later. ArchiCAD has made substantial gains in user base from 2007-2011, mainly as a tool for developing residential and small commercial projects in Europe. Recent improvements have made ArchiCAD a major player in the market though fundamental issues such as a lack of a phasing component and a complicated (but flexible) programming environment for its family components using GDL (Geometric Description Language) remain. To date, Graphisoft claims that more than 1,000,000 projects worldwide have been designed using ArchiCAD.
|David Connant-First Architect of Revit|
Not long after Graphisoft began to sell the first seats of Radar CH, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) was founded in 1985 and released the first version of Pro/ENGINEER in 1988. This is a mechanical CAD program that utilizes a constraint based parametric modeling engine. Equipped with the knowledge of working on Pro/ENGINEER, Irwin Jungreis and Leonid Raiz split from PTC and started their own software company called Charles River Software in Cambridge, MA. The two wanted to create an architectural version of the software that could handle more complex projects than ArchiCAD. They hired David Conant as their first employee, who is a trained architect and designed the initial interface which lastedfor nine releases. By 2000 the company had developed a program called ‘Revit’, a made up word that is meant to imply revision and speed, which was written in C++ and utilized a parametric change engine, made possible through object oriented programming. In 2002, Autodesk purchased the company and began to heavily promote the software in competition with its own object-based software ‘Architectural Desktop’.
Revit revolutionized the world of Building Information Modeling by creating a platform that utilized a visual programming environment for creating parametric families and allowing for a time attribute to be added to a component to allow a fourth-dimension of time to be associated with the building model. This enables contractors to generate construction schedules based on the BIM models and simulate the construction process. One of the earliest projects to use Revit for design and construction scheduling was the Freedom Tower project in Manhattan. This project was completed in a series of separated but linked BIM models which were tied to schedules to provide real-time cost estimation and material quantities. Though the construction schedule of the Freedom Tower has been racked with political issues, improvements in coordination and efficiency on the construction site catalyzed the development of integrated software that could be used to view and interact with architects, engineers and contractors models in overlay simultaneously.