Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture

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Post 1 of 10

Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

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06-14-2010 09:53 AM

After years of pushing for an expanded role for Revit, one of department leaders just returned form the AIA convention and is all hot for Sketchup, thinking that with the power of Google behind it, it will replace both AutoCAD and Revit.  He maintained that contract documents were now being done using Sketchup.  What's the real story behind this?  Does anyone know Google's plans for Sketchup?

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Post 2 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-14-2010 11:00 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

I use both on a daily if not hourly basis. SU is a great conceptual tool and can be used for construction documents. But does not have the robustness of Revit and is certainly not considered a BIM application. SU is a 3D modeler from which 2D drawings can be extracted but that's about as far as the comparison goes. There is some but not a data for scheduling, etc. It can be done, but it's not built into SU as it is in Revit. 


As far as the future of SU under Google's hand. They seem to be more interested in its use for created 3D content for Google Earth than becoming a BIM application.


Just my two cents...


David William Edwards

David William Edwards
Senior Architectural Designer / BIM Manager
Sherlock, Smith & Adams, Inc.
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Post 3 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-14-2010 11:10 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

I don't think there's much chance the power of google will be interested in the CAD world. google is like microsoft (remember Visio), they are targeting mass markets, not niche verticals like CAD/AEC.


 I never understood google sketchup, but as the other poster noted, it seems to figure into the google earth ecosystem. 


However, the google is looking a lot like a GIS information vendor as time goes on...

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Post 4 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-14-2010 11:34 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

I am using SKU & Revit & AutoCAD all at the same time, sometimes for the same project.

SKU is great for conceptual renderings, especially quick ones. It is 1000 times better for navigating in 3D than Revit and ACAD! It is quick and easy to show ideas, but it does not have any information associated with it. It is closer to CAD than Revit, meaning it is just lines and planes to create the model. Our firm does not use SKU for construction documents. The program is capable, but it's not as easily managed as Revit & ACAD. Everything I've heard and read, Revit is the way the industry is headed. But SKU is still a very useful tool for 3D (SOOOOO much easier to do flythrough animations!) With the inexpensive cost of SKU, I suggest having both and using both.

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Post 5 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-14-2010 11:39 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

I too work with both and yes you can create construction documents with SU but in no way will it compete with Revit. Don't get me wrong there are a number of things that one can do with SU but with the power of Revit  there is just no comparison.

While I realize it will never happen leadership needs to learn both programs if they really want to make an informed decision otherwise they need to trust those that are responsible for the preparation of the BIM model/documents. IMO

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Post 6 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-16-2010 08:55 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

From my experience, ( 25 years ) having been thru hand drawing, to AutoCad, to ADT/ACA, to Revit---


Stay away from SU. Anything you do in SU will have to be REDONE in Revit. Get the SU users to learn Revit

and more importantly, how to model quickly and effectively in Conceptual Massing and basic modeling environments

so they can produce early BIM just as fast as they could in SU. The DD set will already be started at this point!

The more time your staff wastes in SU, the less time they are being effective in Revit.


It boils down to a business decision. You want to make a profit? Don't design/model it TWICE.

Do it once, correctly in Revit--and you will be miles ahead.



Cliff B. Collins
Registered Architect/BIM Manager
Thalden Boyd Emery Architects
St. Louis, MO
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Post 7 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-16-2010 09:43 AM in reply to: ccollins

I agree fully but what I'm sensing is that some people think that Google is actually pursuing the AEC niche and has the power to do it with SU as a base.  I doubt Google would be interested in sucha complex and mostly unlucrative market but I've not seen anything written on what their plans and their intended audience, for SU are.

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Post 8 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

06-16-2010 10:29 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

Even if Google was interested in AEC markets, tell your leaders that there is no point in planning for a possible future where Google MIGHT be interested in the AEC market. 


The odds are that Google is not interested in AEC. Tell them that orienting to Google is a long-shot bet on a untested hypothesis. Maybe you should recommend that your firm buys Apple Mac's, because you can use Boot Camp, and Autodesk MIGHT release a native version of Revit for MacOS. They will probably say no to that (one would hope). It's the same issue.


Tell them to work with what they see on the table, not what might be on the table in the future. 


And tell them to stop spending so much time playing with Google Earth. We all know that it is a lot of fun, but they should really be out looking for more clients.

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Registered: ‎02-17-2009
Post 9 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

02-03-2011 07:45 AM in reply to: paul.ashley

Revit and SketchUp need to be used in tandem.


Designers have a hard time with Revit because it is TERRIBLE to navigate in 3D and a huge chore to use for visualization, not because they are stupid or lazy. From a design standpoint Revit is like turning a battleship vs. SketchUp's speedboat. Revit's new conceptual tools are still not as agile. The interface is the hurdle.


Revit excels in linking data to geometry, and being able to parametrically link production drawing to documents. I like to think of Revit as 3D construction documents. In response to cutting down production time by "designing" in Revit so that you are "already through DD" by not redoing work is ridiculous. Its actually quite the opposite, one is limited by the tool. I have found that you have to be intentional with what you are doing in Revit, so if you don't know what you are inputing before you start it can be incredibly frustrating and produce a sub-par document set.


Redoing models helps with error checking, problem solving, and creates a more refined product.


My 2 cents.

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Registered: ‎09-29-2010
Post 10 of 10

Re: Revit vs. Sketchup - what to tell "leadership"?

04-29-2012 09:18 PM in reply to: paul.ashley

for past few years, SU could have been developed as a good tool, but Google didn't invested into it.

Now Trimble is taking over SU from Google. See

Trimble recently acquired Tekla (Structural Detailing software) and has now acquired SU (known for conceptual design), we can expect some imporvement in SketchUP.

Parveen_Intec_Infocom (BIM, CAD, GIS, QS Services' Provider)
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