Revit MEP

Revit MEP

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Automatic Transfer Switches in Revit MEP

Automatic Transfer Switches in Revit MEP

by Martin Schmid, P.E. - MEP Customer Success Engineer

How do I incorporate an automatic transfer switch (ATS) into my electrical distribution model? Revit doesn’t have a family category for transfer switch, nor does it have a transfer switch part type for the Electrical Equipment category. Nonetheless, you can modify the provided “Automatic Transfer Switch.rfa” family that ships with Revit MEP 2010 to allow you to connect an emergency panel to both a normal power branch and an emergency power branch.

Say, for example, you have emergency loads, such as certain receptacles, connected to a panel EP1. You want to connect EP1 to an ATS, and then connect the ATS to an emergency distribution panel EDP, and a normal distribution panel MDP. Follow the steps below to make the necessary changes to the ATS family.

  1. Open the “Automatic Transfer Switch.rfa” family in family editor.
  2. Add an additional electrical connector. What surface you place it on does not matter.
  3. In the Instance Properties for the new connector, set the following properties (basically, copying the settings from the existing connector):
  4. Number of Poles > map to Number of Poles
  5. Load Classification: set to Other
  6. System Type: set to Power – Unbalanced
  7. Voltage > map to Switch Voltage
  8. Apparent Load Phase 1 > map to Apparent Load Phase A
  9. Apparent Load Phase 2 > map to Apparent Load Phase B
  10. Apparent Load Phase 3 > map to Apparent Load Phase C
  11. Load the family into your project, overwriting the existing family if applicable.
Make sure to check the voltage settings are consistent between the ATS and the panels you are connecting.

Now, you can connect EP1 to the ATS, and connect the ATS to both EDP and MDP. When you inspect the load information on EDP and MDP, you should see that the load information from EP1 feeds into both. The ATS doesn't actually 'switch' from normal to emergency in Revit, however, it should provide you with the connected load information you are looking for.

Mindset Change Essential to Successful BIM Adoption

Mindset change essential to successful BIM adoption

Changing the way we think and build is one of the challenges inherent in adoption of building information modeling, says a mechanical contractor. Al Prowse, who is president of H. Griffiths Co. Ltd., represents the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada on the Canada BIM Council.

He said that while BIM is poised to revolutionize the construction industry, this technology is in fact a different animal.

Inherent challenges, in addition to the need for a fundamental change of mindset, are staff training, required upgrades to hardware and software and standardization of systems and procedures.

“It isn’t simply a case of taking a two-dimensional AutoCAD draftsman and teaching him to draw in three dimensions,” he said.

Prowse gave a presentation on BIM at the Canadian Mechanical Contracting Education Foundation’s middle management education conference in Toronto.

This is the first time BIM has been on the agenda at the biannual conference, targeted at project managers, superintendents, foremen, estimators and middle managers.

“The key message is: It’s coming fast, don’t let it bury you,” he said.

Prowse, who estimated that there are only a handful of mechanical contracting firms in southern Ontario currently using BIM, sees a host of potential benefits stemming from development of smart building models tied to a database of information.

BIM has four key elements in terms of virtual construction, he said.

These are: three-dimensional design, 4D scheduling capabilities, 5D cost estimating and emergent 6D lifecycle management, which uses the model to perform activities related to post-construction management of a facility.

“Data from these elements can be interlinked and software utilized to perform all types of analysis,” Prowse said. “All we need to do is decide what we want and strive to promote integrated BIM best practices.”

From a contractor’s perspective, one of the boons is that collisions and interferences between building systems will be “all but eliminated” at the design stage allowing more prefabrication and reducing costs.

“A project is more ‘controllable’ when it isn’t changing all the way through,” he said.

Data compiled by The Economist indicates that inefficiencies, mistakes and delays account for $200 billion of the $650 billion spent on construction in the United States every year.

“When BIM is done right, you’re providing a tool to the constructors and building owners that basically is all encompassing,” said Prowse.

“The information is all there.”

Friday, March 26, 2010

What's New for Revit MEP 2011

Well, as Steve Stafford put it, "Let The Noise Begin" is pretty much nailing it on the head.  In the next few days, there is going to be a lot of chatter on the internet about what 2011 will bring to it's users.  And for MEP, I think it will be a lot.  Enough where processes will change and be more efficient.  Over the next couple weeks, I'll be posting videos on demonstrations of some of the new features that Revit MEP 2011 offers and how these features will change the way you work.  But in the meantime, here is a summary of what you should expect when the software is released in a few weeks.

Cable Tray and Conduit
In addition to pipe and duct, we now have cable tray, conduit, cable tray fittings and conduit fittings.  You can expect to place these types of items in just like you place pipe and duct. 

You be able to load various conduit fittings and cabletray fittings....


 ...and create various family conduit types and cabletray types.

It comes out of the box with various sizes that include inside and outside diameters.  You also have control of customizing various cable tray and conduit sizes as well.

You can control the Detail Level and control the Visibility and Graphics of conduit and cable tray to control the display those objects just as you can currently control the display of piping and duct.

You can check for interferences of cable tray and conduit with other types of objects in your project model.

You can schedule cable tray and conduit using the same procedures that you used to schedule pipe and duct.  When you draw cable tray or conduit without using the no-fittings opition, it is scheduled as a single run.

Electrical Demand Factors
You can use demand factors to adjust the rating of the main electrical service for a project.  This is used since not all electrical equipment will be on all the time.

There are many demand factors that come out of the box, and you can easily create additional demand factors that are needed for the codes in your area.  The demand factor can be determined by a constant value or percentage, or by the quantity of connected objects or by load.

These demand factors are assigned to various load classifications which are then assighed to electrical connectors. 

Tagging on Placement
There is a new Tag on Placement option that automatically adds a tag for a component when it's placed in the model.  Once the tool is selected, you'll have options in the options bar of it's placement.

Companion Flanges
You can add flanges to your pipes and are separate objects than the pipe itself.  So when you make an elbow, there are actually 5 components.  Two pieces of pipe, one elbow, and two companion flanges.  You must make sure that the flanges are loaded into your project and assigned to your pipe type to be inserted automatically.  You can, however add flanges manually as well.

Oval Duct
Finally, Revit now has oval duct to add to it's current round and rectangular duct types.  Make sure to load the oval duct fittings into your project and assigned to your oval duct type.  You have the same parameteres to size oval duct as you did with round and rectagular duct.

Placing Valves and Fittings in Section or Elevation Views
This is another big one.  When you have stacked pipe, and need to put a valve on the bottom pipe, you always had to temperarily hide the upper pipe to place the fitting on the lower pipe.  And putting a valve on a vertical pipe was difficult and very time consuming. 

New Electrical Content
New content has been created for electrical components.  Most of the content is located within the Electrical Compnents folder.  The content folder is slightly different than in 2010 so be careful when creating your new 2011 library folder.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Autodesk Publishes Framework to Help AEC Professionals Implement BIM Process

The Autodesk BIM Deployment Plan is a Free, Web-accessible Resource Offering Tools and Guidance Based on Real-World Practices for building industry professionals interested in implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM). Tools offered in this resource provide a practical framework for AEC stakeholders, and can be used by individual organizations on specific projects. The BIM Deployment Plan includes:

  • BIM support materials for owners, architects, engineers, and contractors
  • Templates to streamline multi-discipline communications
  • Recommendations for roles and responsibilities
  • Best business process examples
  • Software suggestions for an effective BIM environment
DOWNLOAD the BIM Deployment Plan Here

SAN RAFAEL, Calif - Autodesk, Inc has announced the availability of its Autodesk BIM (Building Information Modeling) Deployment Plan: A Practical Framework for Implementing BIM, a new web-accessible resource for building industry professionals. Aimed at all AEC stake-holders, including owners, architects, engineers and contractors, the free guide includes support materials and a framework based on real-world applications of BIM. Tools offered include templates to help manage multi-discipline communications within a BIM project, as well as suggestions for the roles and responsibilities of each party in a BIM process-based project, best business process examples and suggested software to support an effective BIM environment.

“The BIM Deployment Plan is helping us develop a BIM implementation process best suited for the technology needs of the project and tailored to the abilities of the players involved. It is also helpful in defining clear roles and responsibilities for the execution of workflows on our jobs.”

As the building industry continues to evolve, technologies such as visualization, simulation and analysis are fundamentally changing how projects get delivered. Now more than ever, collaboration and transparency are essential and effective for anticipating and reducing problems related to cost overruns, schedule, scope and quality. Autodesk has been at the forefront of BIM technology adoption including the creation of a portfolio of software products that facilitate a BIM solution.

“New technology is creating enormous opportunities for the building industry to improve processes and outcomes, and many organizations still need guidance on how to share information as well as streamline project communications,” said Phil Bernstein, FAIA, Autodesk vice president of building industry strategy & relations. “The Autodesk BIM Deployment Plan was designed to help companies navigate the entire process via one collaborative framework and subsequently deliver projects faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact.”

“As strong advocates of BIM, we can develop building design strategies that are extremely well integrated and coordinated, substantially increasing our efficiency and lessening the building time – all of which allow us more time to create inspiring designs for our clients,” said Dick Thomas, vice president at SHP and executive director of 2enCompass. “Now taking this a step farther, The Autodesk BIM Deployment Plan has helped us further advance BIM project implementation by better documenting stakeholder roles and responsibilities and most importantly, helping us deliver the right information from the project model to the right people at the right time to drive our project forward.”

“Communication and collaboration amongst strategic team players is vital to the success of our projects,” said Mark Konchar vice president at Balfour Beatty Construction, Washington division. “The BIM Deployment Plan is helping us develop a BIM implementation process best suited for the technology needs of the project and tailored to the abilities of the players involved. It is also helpful in defining clear roles and responsibilities for the execution of workflows on our jobs.”

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Bell & Gossett products now available in Revit format

ITT Bell &Gossett ( announces a new extensive online library of 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) content files in Autodesk(R) Revit(R) 2010. A total of 113 Revit families and 5,252 types have been created for the following HVAC product lines: Pumps: VSX, Series 1510, 1531, 80, 80-SC, 60, and 90 Pump Accessories: Suction Diffusers & Triple Duty Valves Engineered Specialties: Rolairtrols and B&D Expansion Tanks U-Tube Heat Exchangers Bell & Gossett contracted with CADworks(R), one of two certified Autodesk Content Network providers in the world, to transform its HVAC product drawing files into Revit families, which are parametric components that serve as the basis for all designs. Users can select the files directly in Autodesk Revit with a one time download of the Bell & Gossett Content Module at and picking the appropriate models from the Content Library.

Benefits of the Bell &Gossett ( Revit content include: Easy access to integrated content in Autodesk Revit, eliminating the need to search and download files from external websites Fully certified content created by CADworks and approved by Bell & Gossett Bell & Gossett content is created in the latest Revit version (2010), and will be automatically upgraded to future generations, requiring no user patch downloads Changes to designs are automatically updated across the entire project and are easy to track; there is no need to re-enter information Multiple simultaneous design alternatives are allowed within projects Flexibility and control over visualization of projects"This new Building Information Modeling drawing library will be very beneficial for mechanical system designers at architects, engineers, contractors, fabricators, building owners," said Mark Handzel, Director of Building Services, Americas at ITT Residential & Commercial Water. "The on-line design will eliminate the need for downloading extensive libraries of drawings and assure that all drawings are 100% accurate."

Revit Content Setup and Use Video