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Adding Civil Coordinates to Revit Project

Automating As-built Points Placement in Naviswork - PART I

Imagine you’re a General Contractor running BIM coordination effort. You receive files from the Architect, the Civil Engineer, MEP trades, and surveyors. You have coordinated the building systems in weekly meetings, slabs on grade have been poured with utilities stubbing out of the slab where they were laid out. The drywall contractor begins to mark wall layouts on the slab.

During a site walk, you notice a 4” PVC sanitary pipe stubbing through the slab is going to be in a corridor wall’s finish face. You think to yourself, No problem, we will fur out the wall there. You start to see this in more locations and realize there are many of these “bust.” This creates issues as minimum corridor widths or ADA clearances become obstructed. There are redesigns, delays, cost impacts...

How did this happen? With documents passing so many hands, there could be multiple instances of human error by the time installation occurs. Who was responsible for reconciling all the digital drawings and coordinate systems?

With the task of layout ultimately falling on the GC’s shoulders, there is a great reward to verifying construction layout and great risk should mistakes occur. Revit has a useful tool for accomplishing this task, and it is much easier to execute than AutoCAD’s tools for aligning drawings.

This week’s video will provide a walkthrough to set civil coordinates from AutoCAD to an architectural Revit model, for the purpose of linking as-built surveys to verify field layouts. We will build on this process in a three part series to ultimately import surveyed as-built points into the Architectural model, which we can then use to QA/QC as-builts points inside of our Navisworks coordination model by utilizing Dynamo.

A few key prerequisites exist, however: there must have be a known point that exists in both the Civil CAD and Architectural Revit model. We use that pivot point to push a civil coordinate system into Revit using the Specify Coordinates at Point Tool, while maintaining the original Revit coordinate system “Internal.” The data set contains a sample Revit model, civil CAD, and survey CAD to follow along.

Aligning coordinate systems doesn’t have to be a headache. Augmenting design models with real-world coordinates is high-value task that allows you and your partners to streamline coordination, layout drawing creation and installation QA/QC processes.

Want to see more? Reach out to us at!


Dataset - Adding Civil Coordinates to Re
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About the Author

Paul Bracchitta

Senior Construction Technologist

Paul joins us from the construction side of the industry as a Senior Construction Technologist and passionate BIM proponent. Having spent the last 5 years working for multiple general contractors’ BIM departments across the nation, Paul brings with him MEP coordination, Dynamo scripting, laser scanning and contracting experience. He received the Associated General Contractor’s Certificate of Management in BIM in 2017 and has leaned into implementing process changes ever since. Pursuing his life-long goal of becoming an architect, Paul spent half of his Carnegie Mellon University education as an Architecture student before switching to Civil & Environmental Engineering. The idea: be a better designer by knowing how to engineer and construct buildings. Once he saw the inefficiencies between design, construction, and ownership, Paul knew a better solution was out there and found his niche in BIM, combining data from all stakeholders into a virtual building environment. A 7th generation Vermont native, Paul has enjoyed exploring our nation, having lived in Pittsburgh and Maryland before moving to Colorado (after a single weekend visit!) for its beautiful terrain and weather. He may be found doing a range of activities, from fishing for trout in the Rockies, enjoying concerts, to a rigorous evening of strategy games with friends.




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