What's New in Revit 2021 | Structural?

Once again it is that time of the year to review Autodesk's New Features and Updates for Revit, this release being Revit 2021.

What's New in Revit 2021 | Structural?

In many of the previous releases, Autodesk have been strengthening the reinforcement tools and continuing to develop the steel modelling and detailing offering.  Of course, there are many platform enhancements but, in this review, I will just be looking at the features specific to structures.


Once again, Autodesk have made some significant improvements to the reinforcement tools, specifically around the placement of rebar constraints, the visibility of rebar and additional rebar shapes.
It is now possible to place rebar shape 98, what is known in the UK as a chair. The chair separates the top and bottom layers of reinforcement when fixing steel and is an important part of the construction process. Although the consulting engineer may not show the chairs in a model it is useful to model these to check for potential coordination issues and show the steel fixing process. The new shape code works by allowing the hooks to be rotated, this can also be applied to each instance which gives maximum flexibility. This feature can be applied to any shape so gives more scope to model other shapes that may be required.

You can now place multiple rebar constraints in a single operation which saves a considerable amount of time. For example, if you are constraining a U-Bar to the top and bottom bars and to the cover, this can all be done in a single instance of the rebar constraints command. It is also worth remembering that in Revit 2019.2 the rebar constraints were completely overhauled which enables you to set one or two-way constraints to rebars as well as cover or element faces.

Fabric reinforcement can now be viewed as a solid using the same functionality as standard rebars. As well as improving the visuals and coordination in 3D views the section view will now display correctly when cutting through the fabric, previously you had to set the visual style to wireframe.

Steel Detailing

The bulk of the new structural features this year were aimed at concrete detailing but there are a few new steel detailing features that are worth a mention. You can now add stiffeners using the steel workflows which makes this much easier than the traditional approach of creating a face-based family. The stiffeners can be set to pattern at regular centre spacing and can be one or two sided.

You must be very mindful that when a steel connection or process from the steel ribbon is used then other tools become invalid. For example, you will no longer be able to use the cut or align command.

Plates can now be dimensioned and referenced from their centres; this is particularly useful while setting out the new stiffeners.


The concrete reinforcement tools continue to develop and now offer more than enough functionality for all to be able to produce good RC details and bending schedules in 3D along with the added benefits of a fully coordinated 3D model. Although I didn’t mention this in the main text, Autodesk have now added new categories to support linear infrastructure workflows with Infraworks. This will greatly improve the definition of bridges and tunnels and allow each element to be placed on relevant categories.

The steel modelling tools are great for adding extra detail but if fabricators are going to make use of the tool then the fabrication drawing manager and CNC tools really need to be developed and provided within the product.

Watch our video below to see these new features and updates in action:

The below webinar recording was created by Excitech prior to becoming Symetri in January 2021, following its acquisition by Addnode Group. All Excitech products, services and solutions mentioned in this recording are available through Symetri.
Note: the below webinar recording was created by Excitech prior to becoming Symetri in January 2021, following its acquisition by Addnode Group. All Excitech products, services and solutions mentioned in this recording are available through Symetri.


To learn more about Revit, please visit our product page or call us on 0345 370 1444 or email info@symetri.co.uk


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