Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Revit Buildings Exported to AutoCAD Site Plans

Since Revit is lacking features in the site area, many companies still use AutoCAD for Civil/Site drawings. Many times the architects have started their building without importing the site plan. So when they import the site plan for the first time, they have to move it to match the building. They will eventually want to export the building outline to give to the civil guys to put in their AutoCAD site plan. So how do you get your building to export out of Revit so that it will match up exactly with the site plan?

1. First you need to draw a line in the site plan DWG file that starts at 0,0.

2. Then reload the DWG link into Revit.

3. You will now be able to see the line in Revit. (If you can't, make sure the layer that you created it on is currently turned on in Visibility/Graphics)

4. Next you want to select the menu item: Tools -> Shared Coordinates -> Specify Coordinates at a Point

5. With the new cursor: Choose the end point of the line in the CAD file that starts at 0,0.

6.A window will pop up with the current Revit coordinates. Replace the values of East/West and North/South with 0. This will shift the Revit coordinates to use this point as 0,0.

7. You can now export your building to DWG. You will want to go to the Options button and change the setting Coordinate System Basis to Shared.

8. Now you can xref the exported building into the site plan DWG with an insert point of 0,0.


  1. logon broken,but6:16 AM

    nicely detailed procedure. import/export/convert is major interest these days.

  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    I tried this without success, so I wanted to ask a couple of questions:

    1. What do you select under 'Positioning' option when importing/linking the Autocad siteplan file? Does it matter what option you choose?

    2. If you have already started your model prior to selecting a shared coordination point, then in reading your instructions it sounds like you must move your model to align with the imported/linked siteplan prior to selecting the shared coordinate 0,0 point on the siteplan file - is this true? Can you move the siteplan to align with the model and then select the shared coordinate 0,0 point instead? I want to avoid moving the model if at all possible.

  3. 1. The first time I import the CAD site plan I use 'Origin to Origin' or 'Center to Center'. It doesn't really matter because I will probably be moving the CAD file to match up with me Revit building.

    2. Always move your CAD link. It is the easiest one to move. You can select the CAD link, start the move tool, select a point in the CAD file that you want to use as a reference point and then move the CAD link to the point that it should share on your Revit model. After having moved the CAD link to the appropriate location, then you can specify the 0,0 coordinate.

  4. Chad Kasten4:25 PM

    I own a precast concrete wall company in New Zealand. We are attempting to set up a process using Revit to draft our walls and create our shop drawings. I am looking for someone who is Revit qualified to help us with this process. Can anybody offer assistance? Chad Kasten

  5. Scott Davis9:27 AM


    Heard you moved on from LA CAD! Where are you at now? Drop me an email:

  6. Hi there,

    I absolutely love your revit blog and check it out most days. I am trying to do something similar and have set up a website called I have put a link to your blog on my site- I hope you don't mind? Once again, great blog, keep it up!

  7. Great blog
    Would the "Revit to Civil 3D" be a similar process for a Developer to visualize the structure onto the Civil 3D lot?

  8. Anonymous7:36 AM

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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