With Revit, Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects can give a client a complete picture of their design early on, allowing for important discussions and feedback.

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A powerful software package at Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects is helping the firm open new doors—about 1,300 of them on one current project alone. 

The renovation work at the historical Forum Building in Harrisburg is an exciting and large-scale undertaking for the firm that includes complex design work and careful restoration. There are ornate light fixtures, intertwining mechanical systems, those 1,300 doors and more, all of which have to work together.  

In short, it’s a project perfectly suited for Revit software.  

“The thing with Revit is that it allows us to make complex projects much simpler,” says M&D Architect Peter Colello. “It’s a great tool, really the industry standard.” 

Next-level design 

Stroll into the lobby of the Forum Building in downtown Harrisburg and imagine what’s behind that decorative ceiling above you — everything from ductwork to electrical to sprinkler systems. 

Revit software now allows the firm’s architects to see such spaces in 3-D, making it much easier to fit multiple components in tight places without overlap or conflicts. That’s key when design moves to implementation and subcontractors come in to do their work. 

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“This is an area where the software can alleviate a lot of potential headaches,” Colello says. “You know ahead of time that everything will fit like it should.” 

Gone are the days when numerous individual sketches or computer documents were needed to lay out different facets of a space. With Revit, Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects can give a client a complete picture of their design early on, allowing for important discussions and feedback. 

“It absolutely streamlines the back-and-forth of that process,” Colello says. 

Today, M&D can share the firm’s vision with a client with complete accuracy. You can have an exact virtual replica of your building before it even exists. 

‘Truly seeing the space’ 

At the Forum, it started with a complete “scan” of the building that was then turned into a “point cloud” file for Revit, quickly giving M&D architects a true documentation of the 400,000-square-foot space.  

That’s a level of detail impossible to replicate with a traditional field survey, and a key reason the software is so valuable on large-scale projects.  

From there, the team at Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects was able to work on everything from the floorplan to elevations, identifying possible problem areas early in the process. Architects could place or remove walls in areas to be renovated, choose furniture to fit their design layouts, and even see the similarities and differences required for those 1,300 doors.  

Revit brings design to life. And that in turn is helping M&D architects every day, as they breathe life into their buildings. 

“I think it really comes down to being able to visualize the site in 3-D,” Colello says. “This way with every project, we’re really, truly seeing the space.” 


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