Revit 2016 New Features – A First Look

Autodesk has just released Revit 2016. This also includes Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, and Revit MEP. Revit continues to be one of the world’s premier building information modeling programs.

Autodesk continues to improve the performance, interoperability, and usability of Revit to help the AEC industry shift to virtual design and construction. The new release includes several new features and enhancements, as well as the implementation of the majority of the 2015 Release 2 new features and enhancements that were made available to subscription customers. If you have not had a chance to review the 2015 Release 2 new features, check out my 10 part blog series from last fall.

Over the coming days and weeks, 4D Technologies will be rolling out more than 50 video-based lessons covering all of the new features of Revit 2016, as part of the complete CADLearning for Autodesk Revit 2016, which includes more than 800 individual lessons.

In the meantime, here is a quick peek at some of the new features in Revit 2016.

User Interface

Even as Autodesk adds new features to improve the modeling, analysis, documentation, and collaboration capabilities of Revit, they continue to update the user interface to maximize the efficiency of users. For example, you can quickly open the sheet on which a view is placed from the Project Browser. An Open Sheet option is added to the shortcut menu that appears when you right-click a view in the Project Browser. This options allows you to quickly access the sheet on which the view is placed, or you can see that the view is not placed on a sheet if the option is unavailable.

Open Sheet and Level Views

Additionally, when you save a model and close Revit, the pan and zoom states for each view are remembered. In other words, when you open Revit again, the views will have the same zoom factor and will be in the same position they were in when you closed the project. These UI updates may appear simple, but they can actually save you a great deal of time during your normal workflows.


The majority of the new features and enhancements fall under what I would call modeling updates. These are improvements that help you design the building model more efficiently or fix an existing issue. On the Architecture side, there is a Place Rooms Automatically tool. This is very similar to the Place Spaces Automatically tool that has been around for a while. Placing rooms automatically can save you a ton of time, especially on very large projects! Just make sure you specify all the options beforehand.

Place Rooms Automatically

On the Structure side, there are several updates. One of my favorites is the ability to lock rebar parallel to a host face by pressing SHIFT. Now I don’t have to spend 5 minutes fighting with the orientation and cursor position to get the rebar where I want it! There are many more enhancements for rebar, such as the ability to specify a constraint to the host and an offset distance from the cover. There is also a truss parameter that controls whether the chords rotate with the truss.

Truss Properties and Parameters

Perhaps the biggest new feature in the entire 2016 release is the addition of MEP fabrication content. You can now use LOD 400 content from Autodesk Fabrication products right inside Revit. Essentially, you can place fabrication parts to reflect the intended installation. The fabrication content is not intended to replace the design content, such as elements placed using the standard MEP tools in Revit. The fabrication content is available for detailing. It does not facilitate calculations for MEP systems.


There are also some enhancements that can help you document your designs in new or improved ways. One that has a tremendous amount of flexibility is the addition of the Selection Box tool. This tool allows you to isolate elements in an unobstructed 3D view. The way it works is you select elements, click the Selection Box tool, and it places a section box around the selected elements in a 3D view. That way, you can see just the selected elements in a 3D view.

Selection Box in 3D view


The energy analysis tools in Revit are ever-evolving. The science behind energy transfer and usage does not change, but there are always new things to account for and better ways to view and interpret the data. Autodesk is always improving these tools to help designers understand the performance of their building designs at any point during the design process. One of the updates this year is the ability to run energy simulations with mass models and building elements together. This way, if a portion of the building is modeled with elements and another portion is modeled with a conceptual mass, you can still run an energy simulation.

Energy Settings


Collaboration is always a focus of Autodesk. Whether it’s communicating with other team members inside of Revit, working with someone using other Autodesk products, or sharing models across other building design applications, Autodesk is always updating Revit’s capabilities. For 2016, there are more enhancements to IFC interoperability. For example, you can now use linked IFC files to define room boundaries.

I am certain that you will find some of these new features and enhancements beneficial to your workflows. Please stay tuned as I will be covering each of the new features in more detail.

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