A frequent request among Revit users is more site tools. In fact it was the number one AUGI Revit Wishlist item last year, which was submitted to Jay Bhatt (Senior Vice President, Architecture, Engineering and Construction Solutions) at Autodesk University 2007 during the AUGI Annual General Meeting.
The site tools we do have work pretty well at their given task. This begs for the next level. Simple equation, with each improvement in work flow a new greater expectation is created because, "This works so easily...why doesn't it do xxx too?"
So I wonder what we mean by more site tools?
I believe that we want tools that allow us to prepare and "finish" planning exercises as well as fully articulate our design for both documentation and presentation purposes. I don't believe that we (architecture)(okay maybe some do) want tools for hydrology or that we truly intend to compete with the technical expertise of our civil design consultants. We ARE looking for a way to "democratize" the design of these elements so that we can better inform our discussions with our consultants.
I'd like these (at least):
Define road profiles and then describe where they will go relative to our project and at what elevations they will do so.
Curb/kerb tools to describe how these relate to the design of our roads.
Drain representation that alters the site or road/curbs.
Retaining walls and site topography alteration accordingly.
Contour definition by more means than points, such as sketching lines.
Bi-Directional relationship between civil data file and toposurface (if civil data is updated the surface updates)
Solid vs. Surface Topography to support subterranean work such as tunnels.
Ideally the effort applied to drafting such items in a conventional 2D drawing would create a 3D version of same. Autodesk would like us to consider the Civil 3D product as the tool for this work. For a Civil design firm perhaps it is. I respectfully submit that it might be similar to using a scientific calculator to figure your grocery bill. A bit more power than I need.
If we accept or agree that architects usually start projects and the other trades get involved later (hopefully this will change too) then we must recognize that it is therefore necessary for architects to make many decisions (to express ideas) early on and document those decisions/ideas effectively.
Site tools are an important part of this process and for Revit to exclude them diminishes its effectiveness as a complete solution. Revit needs to provide tools to allow architects to get their designs approved in as efficient manner as possible. Adding site tools to the Revit toolbox would be big help!
P.S. We could include parking lot design tools and landscape design in this equation as well. There is existing content (not comprehensive though) for these tasks but it can be argued that there is not a discipline oriented process for them however. We'd be much better off if there was.