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.


Events | See All

Workflows & Solutions | See All

News  | See All

Our Latest
Success Stories

See All


Global eTraining: Employee Training on an As-Needed Basis — JL Thompson Design

Global eTraining: Employee Training on an As-Needed Basis — JL Thompson Design

Customer ChallengeJ.L. Thompson Design is a residential design firm that creates custom house plans and 3D designs using Revit and Enscape. As a small firm, sending employees for training was not an option to maintain production...
Crossroad Engineers

BIMBOX: Hardware Solution with Unique Capabilities — CrossRoad Engineers

Customer Challenge: Software PerformanceCrossRoad Engineers was established in 1995 with a goal to create a family-oriented business rather than a large corporate firm. Exclusively in Indiana, they specialize in transportation,...

BIMBOX: Clearing the Path for Better Workflows — Clancy & Theys

Customer ChallengeClancy & Theys Construction is a nationally-recognized regional contractor with a broad spectrum of project types across all offices. After learning about BIMBOX at Autodesk University, Clancy & Theys...

Architectural Production Services: Building Team Confidence with Revit Template Creation – Rottet Studio

Customer ChallengeRottet Studio is a leading international architecture and interior design firm that offers many services, including renovation, building and interior design, landscaping and more. Michael Au, Associate...

Technical Support: Providing Solutions to Grow a Long-Standing Relationship – Butler Design Group

Customer ChallengeButler Design Group is an architectural firm in Phoenix, AZ dedicated to creating design solutions for their client’s functional, aesthetic and budgetary needs. Through partnership with ATG, BDG realized the...

Dynamo Training: Eliminating Repetitive Tasks to Accelerate Workflows – Tyson

Customer ChallengeTyson Foods, Inc., based in Springdale, Arkansas, was founded in 1935 with a goal to deliver quality chicken and build strong relationships with independent farms across America. The drafting team at Tyson...
Success Story: BIMBOX

BIMBOX: Groundbreaking ROI – Faith Technologies

Success Story Overview Formerly known as Collaboration for Revit or C4R, BIM360 Design allows multiple stakeholders to contribute to a central model, or aggregation of models, in the cloud. Many people experience poor...

Production Services: Increasing Productivity in a High-Pressure Environment – JB Henderson Construction

Overview JB Henderson Construction, Inc., commemorated its 60th year in business in May 2019. Based in Albuquerque, the company has an extensive list of customers including national laboratories, universities, hospitals, and...

Laser Scanning: Saving a Historic Landmark – Wallace Architects

Overview Old Hattiesburg High School was constructed in 1911, and was substantially enlarged during a second phase of construction 10 years later. It served as the main high school for Hattiesburg, Miss., until 1959. Since then,...

BIM Batch Suite: Overview of Tools Inside BIM Batch Suite – Array Architects, CTA Group

Projects & Families Upgrader Upgrade multiple projects and templates at once with this tool. Automatically adjust linked Revit® and CAD file paths to new locations. Easily select files in an intuitive user interface. Migrate...