How to do Clash Detection in Revit

December 15, 2023

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has revolutionized the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries, and Autodesk Revit stands at the forefront of this transformation. Among its numerous capabilities, Revit's clash detection feature is a game-changer, actively preventing costly errors during the construction process. This guide provides a comprehensive look into the intricacies of clash detection in Revit and how to leverage it for any project.

What is Clash Detection?

Before delving into the "how," let's establish the "what." Clash detection is a critical component of the BIM coordination process, designed to identify points within a 3D model where building components intersect, or "clash." This term is broadly categorized into three types:

  • Hard Clash: When two solid components occupy the same space.
  • Soft Clash: When elements intrude into geometric tolerances or buffer zones.
  • Workflow Clash: Pertains to scheduling conflicts where two processes are planned simultaneously.

The primary goal of clash detection is to preemptively spot and resolve these issues, minimizing delays and avoiding potential budget overruns.

1. Preparing Your Model

Before starting clash detection, ensure your Revit model is organized. Use clear naming conventions and view templates to manage visibility settings effectively.

2. Utilizing Revit's "Interference Check" Tool

Revit comes equipped with a built-in tool for clash detection called ‘Interference Check’. Here's how to use it:

Initiating an Interference Check

To access this functionality:

  1. Go to the "Collaborate" tab on the Ribbon.
  2. Click "Interference Check," followed by "Run Interference Check."

Selecting Categories

In the dialogue box that appears:

  1. Choose the categories or specific elements within your model you wish to compare for clashes.
  2. Define which categories or elements to check against others.

Reviewing Results

When clashes are detected, Revit will list the conflicts:

  1. Each clash displays the types of elements involved and their location.
  2. Use the “Highlight” function to locate and examine each clash in the model.
  3. Document these clashes using Revit's “Communicator” tool if working on a BIM 360 Design project or create a dedicated view showing all the clashes for tracking purposes.

3. Resolving Clashes

Step by Step Resolution:

  1. Communicate - Inform the necessary team members of the identified clashes.
  2. Adjust the Design - Revise the model to resolve each conflict. This might involve relocating elements, altering sizes, or even changing design aspects.
  3. Recheck - Run the interference check again to ensure the issues have been resolved.

4. Best Practices for Clash Detection

  • Regular Checks: Carry out clash detection regularly as the design evolves.
  • Shared Parameters: Utilize shared parameters to ensure consistency across different models.
  • Centralize Coordination: Appoint a dedicated team member to coordinate the clash detection process.

Advanced Clash Detection with Navisworks

For complex projects needing more robust clash detection tools, Autodesk’s Navisworks offers advanced capabilities.

Exporting Revit Model to Navisworks

  1. Install the Navisworks Exporter Plugin.
  2. Use the "External Tools" to export Revit files, maintaining their parameters.

Conducting Clash Detection in Navisworks

Compared to Revit's tool, Navisworks provides:

  1. Better Visualization - A clearer view and understanding of clashes.
  2. Enhanced Filtering - More options to sift through and categorize clashes.
  3. Clash Reporting - Detailed reports for enhanced clash management.

Synching Back with Revit

After resolving clashes in Navisworks:

  1. Document all changes.
  2. Re-import the updated model back into Revit for final verification.

Educating Yourself Further

Training and Certification:

  • Pursue official Autodesk training programs.
  • Consider Revit certification to bolster your expertise in clash detection.

Joining User Groups and Forums:

  • Engage with communities like the Autodesk forums or LinkedIn groups dedicated to Revit users.
  • Share experiences and solutions for clash detection.

Embracing Clash Detection Technologies

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are pioneering technologies that bring a new dimension to clash detection. Experience your models in a virtual environment for a more intuitive clash identification and problem-solving process.


Clash detection in Revit requires a methodical approach: organization, strategic inspection, and meticulous coordination. Understanding the capabilities of both Revit and supplementary tools like Navisworks can immensely aid in achieving a clash-free BIM model, saving both time and money. Remember, the backbone of successful clash detection lies not just in your command of the software, but also in effective communication within your team.

Taking Action:

  1. Review your current Revit workflows.
  2. Implement routine interference checks.
  3. Foster a collaborative environment that supports problem-solving and clash resolution.

FAQs on Clash Detection in Revit

Q: Can Revit replace Navisworks for clash detection?
A: Revit can handle basic conflict detection, but for iterative and comprehensive clash tests, especially for larger and more complex projects, Navisworks is the preferred choice.

Q: Is there a best time during the project to perform clash detection?
A: Clash detection should occur throughout the project lifecycle, from design to construction, to catch and address issues progressively.

Q: Can I learn about clash detection through online resources?
A: Yes, there are numerous online courses, webinars, and tutorials available to improve your clash detection skills in Revit.

By following this guide and honing your skills, you'll not just prevent clashes but also drive your projects towards a streamlined and efficient construction process. Take on clash detection with the confidence that comes from knowledge and the foresight provided by today's leading technology.

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