Cross-Discipline Coordination: Civil 3D to Revit and Back Again

Cross-Discipline Coordination: Civil 3D to Revit and Back Again

From his Autodesk University 2019 class, Kyle Groves, EIT, Senior Technical Specialist, explains about locating the Revit model in “real world” coordinates in the blog below.


Autodesk Revit allows design teams to collaborate in true BIM fashion, using linked models to make educated design decisions throughout the development of a project across the whole team, well, ah, the whole Revit team at least.

Since Civil disciplines are not using Revit, building teams tens to fall back to non-BIM strategies for coordination with Civil. However, just like Revit users, Civil 3D users have an increasingly high demand for streamlined information gathering and data quality- in a sense, they are living in the same ‘BIM’ world as the Revit team, but without a conduit to the data.

This class attempts to shorten the bridge between Civil 3D and Revit by discussing two common issues when collaborating between the two software: 1) surfaces vs. topographies, and 2) real-world positioning of projects.

High-Level Program Comparison

Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Civil 3D are…different. Remembering that each side is operating in a fundamentally different program is the starting point for any discussion about collaboration.

AutoCAD Civil 3D

  • Civil Engineering design software
  • Often used for infrastructure or city-wide projects
  • AutoCAD at its core (+ 3D)
  • Some parametric modeling….but mostly not
  • Not innately collaborative (plug-ins available)
  • Made for 3D surface creation and analysis
  • Always real-world coordinates


  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software
  • Created for Building Design
  • Completely different workflow from AutoCAD
  • Parametric Modeling
  • Created for Collaboration (at least in Revit)
  • Does not read .dwg surfaces well
  • Internal Project Coordinate Systems

 What Civil 3D Wants from Revit 

  • Import Revit Building automatically at Architect’s intended location in real space
  • Import clean architectural footprint for drawings
  • Import accurate 3D building information for a better understanding of building design intent (entrances, ADA, canopies, etc.)

What Revit Wants from Civil 3D

  • Civil files that generate visually accurate surfaces in Revit
  • Dedicated layers for creation of topo and graphic control
  • Labeled NEZ point in cad file for reference/check point
  • Ideally, a way to link in Civil Surfaces into Revit like other consultant’s files….with topo that updates automatically

Watch the entire presentation:

Contact sales@atgusa.com to learn more and to reach out to Kyle Groves directly about training and services for your AEC firm.

Applied Technology Group is a Platinum Autodesk Business Partner. Founded in North Little Rock, Ark., in 1992 as a local computer services company, ATG has grown to become a leading design technology partner with the purpose of assisting customers in maximizing the value and adoption of advanced technologies so they can perform competitively in the AEC sector. ATG collaborates with customers across the Gulf South, Midwest and Southwest through partnerships with 3DR, Autodesk, Leica, Microsoft and Panzura. Learn more about our company at www.atgusa.com. Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

Contact Us

Drop us a note. We love notes.

I'd Like More Info On:


Events | See All

Fri 18

Revit Training Class

September 15 @ 9:00 AM - September 18 @ 1:00 PM MDT

Workflows & Solutions | See All

News  | See All

Our Latest
Success Stories

See All


Groundbreaking ROI

Whenever we talk to companies looking to make the change over to BIMBOX, benchmarks are a great place to start. Typically, we are 39-300% faster than existing systems.