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Revit Use for Engineers

  • 1.  Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-18-2019 15:55
    How many of you are using Revit at this point?

    Do you use it more frequently than AutoCAD/Microstation if you do use Revit?

    Do you work for an A/E firm, or just an engineering firm?

    If you do work for an A/E firm, are you "live linking" the architects' models into your engineering models? Perhaps you use BIM 360 or a cloud based server where you are live linking their model into yours even?

    I work for an A/E firm ( I am a plumbing(and mechanical) designer), and our architects have used Revit for a number of years now, and we engineers have been using Revit for a few years, somewhat limited until the last year or so.

    There is a heavy push to use only Revit by the architects, but we are not getting the fees to cover the additional time it takes to use Revit.

    We were given a one day on site training, and have been given no additional training. We've made great strides from when we first got going, however the thought to hire someone with working experience developing engineering models with Revit for permit drawing etc. fell to the wayside.

    As we are getting more into Revit, we are finding deficiencies in the architects' models that they may have not seen as an issue with what they do/how they model in the past, and do not seem to understand that some of the issues we engineers are having is because of them. For instance, phasing when it comes to projects with demo and new work phases.

    We took direction to build a Revit engineering model from their architectural template as a base, vs taking an engineering template and incorporate their fonts, families, etc to have a similar look to the final product. So, it has been a lengthy process, but I think we have learned a lot along the way.

    Our architects still think we need more training, but there is no intention to get us that training right now. From our understanding, most companies bring on a trainer for longer than just one day to get an entire engineering department up to speed with the software.

    Just looking for some insight from fellow Revit users and what you are seeing and experiencing with Revit training, use in the work place, and how you find the experience to be working with architects.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you may have to offer!

    ------------------------------
    Nick Turney
    Mechanical Designer
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 08:17
    Our MEP firm is 100% Revit now for about 2 years.  I believe we've tried working in a model in the cloud and it was too slow.  My advice, keep at it...  Also, look into a subscription to Lynda... Great for online tutorials.

    ------------------------------
    David Texter
    Plumbing Engineer Manager
    KLH Engineers
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 08:37
    Nick,

    We are an MEP firm. We've been 100% Revit for about 2 years. In our quest to learn and improve at utilizing Revit we have attended training sessions administered by our software provider as well as reviewed videos through Autodesk and on Youtube.
    Any engineers considering switching to Revit must understand that it requires much discussion and coordination upfront with the architect to clarify what you need and expect.
    The most significant benefit we've experienced by using Revit is that changes are easier and quicker.

    ------------------------------
    Gerald Harper
    Engineer
    Dominion Interests, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 08:35
    My experience with Revit training came from my time with a previous employer.  At that time, Revit training consisted primarily of trial-and-error by the Engineer/Designer and consulting with other members of the firm on their experiences and advice.  Ultimately, I attended a Revit/BIM class taught over one quarter at a local Community College.  This provided far more useful information and techniques than anything I was obtaining in-house.  Several years ago, I left the firm and in the process, got away from working in Revit.  While I do retain some knowledge from days gone by, I think it safe to say that Revit has evolved enough that I would effectively be starting over to pick it up today.  And considering that I am quickly approaching retirement age, putting myself through that learning curve all over again is simply not worth it to me. 

    But I do sympathize with what you are experiencing from the Architects you are working with.  As Engineers/Designers, we cannot "brute force" our way through Revit the way we can with AutoCAD.  So it naturally takes longer to establish Revit files and to properly input design information into them.  Nor does it help that Engineering software in Revit has not evolved with the same level of progress that is found within the Architectural realm.  And until we can convince our clients of that reality and that, within those parameters, it will take more time to produce Contract Documents, we will continue to experience difficulty working in the 3D/BIM environment.

    ------------------------------
    Ron Bartley
    PE, FASPE, CPD, CPI/CPE
    Senior P/FP Engineer
    Elevar Design Group
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 08:44
    ​We're a consulting engineer company and have been 99.99% Revit for 10+ years now.  The only time we do not use it is if the architect we work with is a tiny firm and doesn't want to pay to upgrade.

    ------------------------------
    Rob Adams
    BERNHARD TME, LLC.
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 08:52
    Edited by William Edgerton 04-19-2019 09:10
    ​We are an MEP firm. We use Revit on the vast majority of our larger projects and when hired by the architect. AutoCAD is generally used on smaller projects or when working directly for an owner. We have an AutoCAD/Revit content manager in the office who works with the designers/engineers to develop standard symbols, families and tools and to help teach as needed.

    Revit has been used fairly heavily since about 2015 and at first it was a bit of a struggle because the graphics and printing views were so different than AutoCAD. Something would be modeled and then when printed it wouldn't show up. Minor details but things that were terribly frustrating when trying to hit deadlines. There is also the struggle between modeling what will fit and modeling what will print properly. In AutoCAD we have standard spacing between piping so it prints legibly to show intent. Using Revit we are trying to place piping in a 3D space to make everything fit which generally does not print as well. Sloped piping was also a huge pain, however has greatly improved in the current releases. A big advantage of Revit is being able to cut sections at any point within the building and being able to see within the building in 3D. You immediately know whether your piping systems will fit in a space, which is especially helpful with SAN and ST piping. As a designer/engineer it really makes you think about the systems and how they are going to be installed and work in the built environment. 

    Remember that Revit is a design tool, not just a drafting tool and if implemented properly can actually help save time. We have developed rain conductor sizing tools, domestic water pipe sizing tools, etc. that can be used as a check while populating the model. We have gotten to the point that we are just as proficient using Revit as we are using AutoCAD. It is a dynamic shift at first but if embraced can be a great tool.

    ------------------------------
    William Edgerton, CPD
    Principal
    Peter Basso Associates
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 08:56

    My company designs water treatments systems for Commercial/Industrial users including Institutions, Laboratories, etc.  Several of our Engineering friends specifying our equipment have asked us to use Revit.  My question to the group concerns the value you may have for water treatment equipment designs provided in Revit Vs AutoCAD or similar program.  I am looking for Pros and Cons as well as determining if the benefits equal or outweigh the cost and training.

     

    Nevin Rudie

    Aqua Systems

     






  • 8.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 09:46
    Having Revit based content for your products is a huge plus for the engineers. The ability to download content that is RVT based and not just a nested CAD Block is very appealing to most guys/gals I know. Personally, I find that the vast majority of manufacturers don't have quality content though and I won't use it because of that. I want connectors that can receive and feed information into systems, control over clearance zone appearances and parametric components. Alot of manufacturers load their content with data that really means nothing to us on the engineering side and very little of what we need. I know how to create those pieces of content myself though where as alot of users don't. I have created content for several sizes of the Aquasystems Water Softeners for use on our projects internally.

    You mention the cost and training associated with creating these. With a product line that is constantly changing, I would suggest the in-house creation route. We have trained numerous casework manufacturers how to create their own content and how to keep it up to date. There is overhead cost associated with that though. The modeler and Revit licenses wouldn't be cheap to keep around. Now, if you have someone who can learn this skillset and do other things when not modeling, that would help that.

    If you are talking about a more static product offering, I would recommend hiring a firm or organization to make them for you. There are companies (like the one I work for) that specialize in modeling. They will work with you to create content for as much of your product line as you want for a fee. They will then send it to you and you can distribute with your product selections or host it online for engineers to download. This allows you to avoid the cost of training and Revit Licensure. Which product type you have would determine which approach is more beneficial.

    Pros: dimensionally accurate content, proper clearances shown, RVT families are better for Revit, correct system connections, BIM Capabilities, Facilities Management Potential, Engineers love easy to use content, 3D is the future, some engineers prefer to spec only companies that have it available for download**

    Cons: someone has to build it, if its not right it will be detrimental to the engineers using it**, cost to maintain it, cost to host it on website, the market doesn't currently demand it

    ** I know of two design build firms in my locale that will not specify a product on their hospital jobs if the manufacturer does not have quality content available online. When they are working on a large hospital, file efficiency is key to them working smoothly and bad content is a sure fire to bring that down.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 10:02
    Also be aware that it is very important that the Revit blocks be updated as product offerings change.  It is frustrating and potentially embarrassing for the Design Community to have to rely on information/blocks that are inaccurate and/or obsolete.

    ------------------------------
    Ron Bartley
    PE, FASPE, CPD, CPI/CPE
    Senior P/FP Engineer
    Elevar Design Group
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 09:24
    I work within an Architectural Engineering firm; Big A, Little E. We switched to Revit exclusively 10yrs ago. I was hired at the start of that switch and was tasked with moving our plumbing department from 2D to 3D. It takes time, patience and resources to make this work correctly but it is worth it. The sheer volume of work that can be streamlined and the amount of data that can be leveraged from the model can save an organization a small fortune. 

    Our fixture and equipment schedules self populate themselves based off the families we use. The mechanical air schedules calculate the areas, the room data and people counts all through the architectural link. We have moved away from manual project cost estimates and utilize what is in the model to originate and communicate the cost of our buildings. We are working with local contractors to help them do the same. All of this takes effort though. It took us a few years to reach that level of efficiency and quality within our models. Keep working towards it; the pay off is worth it. 

    As for training, youtube is great but there are equal parts good information and bad information out there. Another great resource would be firms in your area that are using Revit. Look for Revit User Groups and BIM User Groups. Network and find some people that have already been down that path who are local to you and are willing to help you learn. Most everyone I have encountered has wanted to elevate other users for the greater good of the process/industry.

    The biggest hamstring to overcome in all of this is "we usually do it this way". Revit isn't made to do things the same way they were done in 2D. It's made to build a model that represents the end result of construction. You will need to re-evaluate your office standards and be open minded to changing some of them. That was (and is) one of the biggest hurdles that we faced in the transition period. You can't model it to " just look good on paper" when that is only part of the deliverable. Any more, our paper submissions are accompanied by Revit and Navisworks files when we send them to owners and contractors. They all see it when its modeled wrong.

    Working in a 3D environment requires a different perspective and mindset; but the value that it offers is huge. I believe that part of our jobs as designers moving forward will be finding that value and leveraging it. Automated processes are possible and within reach within a Revit based workflow. Imagine how much time can be saved by letting the computer size everything for us based off the routes we have chosen and the loads we have given? What else could be done with that time savings?

    If you (or anyone reading this) ever wants to chat about something Plumbing Revit related feel free to PM me. I might be slow to respond but I'm always happy to talk to shop.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 09:27
    ​Hi Nick,
    we also use revit (80% vs 20 % acad).  we did have some basic training early on, but mostly we google & discuss among ourselves various tips & tricks.  all disciplines (not just arch) need to work out details & issues.  (example: arch draw walls all the same height, but I know the corrodors need to reach deck  --  grrr)  we do all link each others files, including outsiders.  its a continuing learning process.

    I do not use the "built-in" pipe sizing as sections of pipe that are tank values are sized as valve values.  we do not wish to add the labor of drawing pipe as a separate system (tank/valve) for the branch situations.  I will use the fixture units of a section of pipe to size individual sections however as revit does "add up" the numbers consistently.  we do need to ensure our pipes are properly connected.

    i'm planning to use the "worksharing" to separate systems, but others have told me that it is more cumbersome than its worth.  I've not had much time to program or try the dynamo, that's a big time sponge to get started.  most of my (spare) time is focused on getting families situated.  we use drafted schedules rather than revit schedules as the filters of revit schedules are currently awkward (but working toward that goal).  we do not like cloud based anything as the potential of being "held hostage" is always there.  a big discovery we found (i.e me) is to NOT use revit demo in phasing.  we make special pipes & use filters to make stuff work & appear correct.

    ------------------------------
    Karl Jakob
    Plumbing Drafter
    Sherlock Smith & Adams
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 10:05
    I work for an AE firm.  We utilize revit with all disciplines.  We do still operate with autocad however.  You'll notice that there are a lot of people (older engineers) opposed to Revit.  It takes more time and honestly, until you are setup correctly, you will most likely lose money on every project you execute if you don't put more time into your fees.  This could cost you the project.  Architects love revit because it's actually faster for them because they can draw a building and use the sections/3d views instantly.  They used to have to draw those details in autocad...

    Best advice for you:

    - You do not need everyone to be trained.  Only need one or two people per discipline to jump on the BIM train.  Let these people be responsible for developing and maintaining all the BIM families/groups etc. They can train and help all the other employees.  As a BIM manager, the item I notice the most is people get stuck in revit and do not know where to go.  They eventually learn it by repetition after some direction.  

    - Establish you own engineering MEP working template or worksharing central file.  The architects have very different project requirements than engineers.  You can transfer all of the project standards and line types over once you link their model in.  I do not recommend live linking over a cloud.  If you are working on the same server, you'll find better performance from simply linking the models in. 

    These two things alone will help move any company in the right direction with revit.  It gets more advanced after these two steps but get these right first.

    Best,

    ------------------------------
    Dereck Rowe
    Lead Mechanical Designer
    GRW Engineers, Inc
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 11:38
    Nicholas,

    I work for an MEP engineering firm, and we started transitioning to Revit with the R14 release.  At this point we strongly prefer to use Revit; if the Architect is using CAD, we build our own Revit model with the Architect's CAD background on all but the smallest projects.

    Our experience has been that it will pay dividends on down the line for your firm to develop your own Revit templates and focus some company resources on Revit development and training.  Being known for Revit proficiency will positively impact the kinds of work and scale of projects that your firm can take on, and can translate to productivity improvements on larger or complex projects.  Revit is much more efficient than CAD for large projects, and really shines when there are multiple project phases, multiple deliverable issuances, and/or complex construction administration. 

    We now have a person in-office whose primary job responsibility is Revit development and training, and we currently have a staff of 33.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Savich
    Mechanical Designer
    Systems West Engineers Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-19-2019 10:36
    Nick,

    I've been using Revit almost 7 years now (2 different offices). I've had a quite a few one-day training sessions and there is little to no benefit as they don't address realistic expectations. In class, everything works and is presented great. Your hurdles will come when "things don't show up" or "why doesn't this connect" or having families that correctly represent your company standards. 

    Key to transitioning is creating the content (text styles, line styles & patterns, annotation symbols, etc. - essentially from your Legends) Having this content along with shared parameters in place will help creating families much more efficiently. 

    I learned the best when thrown in the fire, Google, Youtube, experienced co-workers. As I am sure you've figured out it is harder to "fake it" like you could in ACAD.

    Working with and Architects model will always be challenging. They don't always model accurately leaving it up to us, the MEP's, to decipher what is what and relying on prints from the Arch to review details and plans and reviewing how their stuff prints to figure out intent. This adds an extra task that creates plenty of scenarios to miss scope. This is tough to convey to them when their response is usually "it's in the model". Not everything in their model get's carried though to the MEP model. 

    Communication is they key - both within the office and with the architect. Constant back and forth is the best way as always to achieve expectations. 

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks, 

    Andrew






    ------------------------------
    Andrew Powers
    Associate
    WB Engineers & Consultants
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-20-2019 15:03
    ​There seemed to be a big push for Rivit documents in the last 10 years . I am seeing  architects now starting to pull back on the requirement since all project seem to be printed in two D and the drawings are layout in the construction trailer. I have never seen a big flat screen in the trailer to discuss rivet interferences. So I avoid it if possible since I agree engineering firms never seem to get the additional fee to put this kind of drawing to gether.

    ------------------------------
    Walter Mager
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-20-2019 15:20
    Not sure what markets you work in Walter but my experience has been the exact opposite. Every job site I have been on in the last 5 years has had multiple TV's oroeven projectors set up so that contractors can review the models for issues. I've seen crews with special toolboxes that contain a computer and TV for coordination and installation. Project foreman have been given tablets to review the models in the field while doing construction to help them increase accuracy. 3d Modeling and BIM is the way of most projects now and will be for all future projects as well. 

    Where the engineering community is holding tight to the notion of this has no benefit for me and this costs too much, contractors are leveraging this for every ounce of potential it has; and they are doing an incredible job. The engineering community needs to shift away from the "paper deliverable model" and realize that doesn't cut it anymore. In the last week I have had two seperate construction managers that have said the paper drawings are great but they now require models at each phase submission to help them plan the job and estimate it. 

    If the engineer can't provide that, they will move on to the next engineer who will. Bringing their workforce in to the 3d Environment as the OP's firm has is going to become more and more critical as the industry continues to change. When change like this happens there are two choices; adapt and Excel or resist and be left behind.

    As companies like Autodesk continue to add features and capabilities to their products, the cost of entry is going to continue to climb. Now is the time to start preparing if you aren't already headed down that path.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-22-2019 08:48
    I've learned plumbing in Revit, starting with 2013. When I did CAD before that, I was a mechanical designer.  So I didn't have anything to unlearn when I made the switch.  Sloped piping never bothered me.  I draw in "fine" detail so I can see the fittings.  That really helps me know if a certain piping arrangement will fit in the given space.
    My MEP firm went Revit-heavy about 2012.  The learning curve is steep. The road to profitability seems riddled with ACME anvils falling form the sky.  But like Timothy Goodale says, the contractor's construction trailer is high-tech.  The BIM coordination meetings all go much smoother now than they did 7 years ago.  We even get the occasional compliment.  We have gotten faster as we zero-in on our MEP template settings, and established starter files which house our default sheets, schedules, details, and families.
    I did realize over time to never use a hosted family (because the architect will delete the wall/ceiling/whatever and draw a new one rather than move the darn thing).  Also beware of manufacturer families.  Some of them think you'll need to see every thread and bolt in the machine, bloating the file size and slowing you down when it comes to synchronizing.  Also, I don't ever (seriously, never) connect separate piping systems.  Last time I did, Revit converted all connected piping to one system when I had to come back weeks later for a revision and make a change.  It took hours to track down every little branch that was affected.  Now I just put on pipe caps and align the piping in the X-, Y-, and Z axes.  Which leads to changes... you have to think like a pipe fitter if you're going to change a system after you've drawn it up, especially the sloped piping. Use Split Element to cut the pipe and make your change.
    My fellow Revit Guru's (one each for M, E, and P) at work and I have come up with a short list of Revit Commandments you may find useful.  Numbers 1, 8, and 9 are particular pet peeves of mine.  It really stinks when you're working on a deadline and you need somebody who's not in the office to relinquish something.  Be respectful of your peers (or your minions), guys.
    1. Never leave Revit unattended for more than 60 minutes
      1. If you leave the building for any reason (lunch, meeting, vacation, whatever) you need to synchronize and exit. See number 4.
    2. If you don't know what it is, don't delete it.
      1. When you delete elements from the model you affect other people's work.
      2. There are other ways to make things not show up on your plans.
    3. Open a new local copy every day.
    4. Always synchronize when you exit.
    5. Always relinquish. Even if you didn't do anything.
    6. No hosted families.
      1. Please see a Revit guru for new family creation.
    7. Use Keynote Manager to edit/manipulate keynotes.
    8. Never use plain text to perform the job of a tag.
    9. DO NOT EDIT THE TEXT TYPES!!
      1. Instead, duplicate the type to make your own.
    10. Make sure you are drawing in the correct workset.
    11. Continue to coordinate between trades when you need power for equipment, etc. (Because we all groan when we get the answer "but it's in the model")
    Here are some links to some info that I found particularly helpful.  Especially the Plumb-it, Don't Plummet!  I used this philosophy to create my plumbing families.  I've tweaked them over the years to better work with Revit schedules (shared parameters!) but the geometry remains the same.
    Revit-Fails-and-Fixes
    Plumb-it-Dont-Plummet
    Ten-Ways-to-Keep-Your-Revit Model Speedy
    About the Visibility of Linked Models

    ------------------------------
    Victoria Johnson
    Plumbing Engineer
    Bass, Nixon & Kennedy Engineers
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 09:42
    I love sloped piping! The abilities and data that it gives us is priceless in my opinion. I'm trying to get everyone to use it but some people are stuck in a flat pipe world. Great to hear others are using it.

    Manufacturers content can seriously be a bane. The worst are the RFA files that are cad blocks someone linked in and exploded. To work correctly and not bog down your model you need to build the family for Revit from the ground up. A great trick I use to help with model refresh rates: no geometry is visible in plan view. I use symbolic line work (visible only in the plane its drawn) and turn the modeled components to be not visible. It really allows for more detail in our sections and isometrics while leaving our floor plans quick and efficient.

    One of my responsibilities is working with contractors as their BIM/VDC Representative. We review all the models they get from engineers to determine if it can be used as a backbone for their coordination efforts or if it has to start over. 98% of the time, we build them a new model and coordinate it as we go. This is what leads to things being different in the field. The very few times we get a model that can be tweaked instead of rebuilt are like Christmas around here. Its awesome.

    I love your Revit Commandments. Those are all great pieces of advice!

    Question though: You said that you never connect two separate systems. Does this only apply to systems like a Recirc and Hot Water system where you are connecting piping systems directly or are you not connecting to things with multiple system connectors as well? I have not experienced any issues with things like Thermostatic Mixing Valves where there are separate system connectors to connect. Just curious what, if any, you have experienced.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 10:03

    Regarding keeping systems separate:  If I'm connecting to a Plumbing Fixture or Mechanical Equipment type family, I don't have any problems with multiple systems.  I had once tried to create my own "systems connector" family that I could use for HWR-to-HWS.  That was what gave me problems.  I think I made it a pipe accessory type family.  But yes, I am talking mainly about vents (the ones that do not occur on the fixture) and hot water recirculation, both at the cold water supply side and the hot water end-of-loop side.

     

    Victoria Johnson, PE

    Plumbing Engineer  Victoria.Johnson@bnkinc.com

     

    image003.png@01D4E091.E0D37060


    BASS, NIXON & KENNEDY, Inc.
    6310 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 250
    Raleigh, NC 27607
    www.bnkinc.com
    (p) 919-851-4422 (f) 919-851-8968

    "Serving the Triangle and surrounding areas since 1969"

     






  • 20.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 10:19
    ​for revit system separation, I've had issues with sanitary & vent connecting (at water closets).  my solution is to pull them apart about an inch and cap both.  not seen/noticed in plan view.  hot & recirc seem to be fine but are the same "system classification" (Domestic Hot Water).

    ------------------------------
    Karl Jakob
    Plumbing Drafter
    Sherlock Smith & Adams
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 10:52
    I let my carrier fitting distinguish both of these systems for me and contain the information for the system. Since that is how it is installed in the field, that is where our connectors are. Separate connectors seem to hold system type just fine. 

    As for the vents not at a fixture, you could create a fitting that has a classified system for the connectors in the vertical. This would allow you to control the system better and maintain connection. If you are using the system for calculations, you are breaking the data flow by breaking the system and capping it.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 11:54
    To keep sewer and vent "separate" any systems really, I just don't hit the space bar at connectors.  I get the connection symbol and click mouse to draw pipe.



    ••••••••••••••

     

    Rob Adams, CPD

    Principal | Plumbing Designer


    Bernhard
    Powered for good. 


    1 Allied Drive, Suite 2600

    Little Rock, AR 72202


    Main:  501.666.6776 
    Direct:  501.823.4329 
    radams@bernhardtme.com


    •••••••••••••••


    See How We Are Building Better Solutions at Bernhard.com






  • 23.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-22-2019 11:01
    So far, there's a lot of great information on here.

    The one thing that pops in my head, is with the 3D environment not printing as nicely as a 2D. I hear my boss in the background saying that's for shop drawings, we are diagrammatic. Isn't there just a switch or toggle that you can change to make it look good. Other firms are doing it, just figure it out.

    We're designing in 3D, coordinating with all disciplines. But when we go out on site, contractors change routing, they may have to change the routing because another discipline that follow the model, or something wasn't modeled correctly... architectural, structurally, mechanical, fire protection, or electrical.

    Are other firms coordinating to the point of shop drawings?

    What scale are you drawings?

    How have other firms decided to show stack pipe, or tightly fit areas where in 2D we had typical spacing where in Revit everything becomes a blur when printed. Do you key note everything, multiple enlarged plans?

    A topic that was part of a different thread, how do you do your isometrics or stick risers?

    I personally have used Revit since release 2013, and have worked on about 10 different projects. Mostly high-end home. I also drafting the mechanical for our senior mechanical designer who does not understand Revit. Basically having to design and draw both systems give me a better understanding of the give-and-take between mechanical and Plumbing.

    I agree with pretty much everybody in this thread, Revit is a must, and does have a very large hurdle when transitioning from a CAD program. I do believe that more time is needed for a Revit job versus a CAD job, but myself I find I'm designing faster in Revit then I ever have in CAD. For myself, the holdouts our schedules and risers.

    ------------------------------
    Troy Dawes
    Plumbing Designer
    SCEG
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-22-2019 12:05
    Troy:
    Plans: I separate DWV (P100's) from water supply (P200's). Scale to match architect (usually) and also include double-scale (ie 1/8" plans for P101, but 1/4" plans on P401) enlarged plans to clarify a restroom group or any other dense, tricky, or unclear area.  I draw the pipe spaced out so it looks good printed.  The #1 deliverable is still the printed (PDF/ paper) set of plans.  

    Risers can be tricky. first thing I do (in my "risers view template") is turn off all the linked models visibility.  Then I have to twirl the model around until I find an angle that will show the piping with the least amount of overlapping.  This is the hard part. SW Iso doesn't always work the best.
    I have only recently discovered a feature (that's been there a while) called Displacement Sets.  It really helps the risers. The Revit help menu will tell you all about displacement sets.  It basically lets you stretch a 'Set' (user-selected) of modeled elements in any of the X-, Y-, Z- axes in the 3D view without affecting the actual placement in the model. thus allowing you to get some separation between the 1st floor vent and 2nd floor drain pipe.

    Yes I use keynotes. I number by project even though I may not have every keynote number on every page, but at least keynote P7 is the same wherever you find it.  Try the Keynote Manager 3rd party add-on. Makes editing keynotes much easier.

    For schedules, you'll need to understand Shared Parameters.  I have one parameter called schedules which I use to filter which stuff goes in which schedule.  It's a text field which you can then filter your schedules by. pumps in this schedule, but HVAC pumps do not go in this one, water heaters, drains, fixtures, etc.  Once you understand the shared parameters and create a shared parameters file in your office, you'll need to edit all your families so that the default parameter will point to the shared parameter.  It does no good to have a "shared flow rate" parameter if the family isn't using it.  It'll take some set up time the first (couple) go-rounds, but once you get all the families fixed, schedules will be so much faster.

    Good luck!

    ------------------------------
    Victoria Johnson
    Plumbing Engineer
    Bass, Nixon & Kennedy Engineers
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 09:27
    So, I would argue that "we are diagrammatic" is a mindset that the construction industry is leaving behind. We as engineers/designers can cling to it if we want but it is going to make the CMs, GCs, and contractors not want to work with us. Now-a-days, part of the design of a system is ensuring it can be built as we show it. To your point, when things are not modeled correctly the contractors have to change it. That costs them time and money which results in the owner paying more money. As more owners adopt BIM and start requiring it, the "diagrammatic" label will go away. As an owner, why should I pay some one to design and build a model so that some one else can then be paid to redo that model and make it work? Some market segments have already figured this out and the others will catch on before long.

    We are working towards a shop drawing level of quality. Coordinating is not the word I like to use for this process in our office though. Coordination in this sense typically means clash reports and clashes happen once you have an issue. To me, this is part of design and I am working with our team to think about routes and pinch points before they occur. 90% of the clashes can be avoid by thinking through the system routes while designing. 

    Our drawings are largely done in 1/8" scale with a few enlarged plans to emphasis congested areas. 

    When it comes to stacked pipes in plan view, keynotes are your friend. We try not to design spots like that to start with but sometimes its un-avoidable. When we do show it, we hit it with a keynote explaining whats stacked and its size. Sections help here alot too. We will typically cut a section showing the arraignment of the systems and if there are any kind of architectural covering, we have the architects carry the same section calling out their parts. I am not aware of any issues the field has had understanding this approach.

    For keynotes, we try to use as generic a keynote as possible. The tags are on the drawings so we don't need to include pipe size or system type in the keynote. We can hit with a generic "PIPE UP" or "PIPE DOWN" and leave it at that. It has taken us from over 100 keynotes on a project to under 25. As Victoria said though, the keynote manager is your friend. Build a template of all your common keynotes and start each project from it. Makes life easier.

    All of our isometrics are just a 3d view of what is modeled in our project. Its really easy to do if you model everything correctly. In 10yrs we have had one project where a plans examiner had an issue with it. We turned the view from Fine Detail to Coarse Detail and he was fine with it. Most examiners like it and the contractors love it. That said, you have to be mindful of things like fitting type and fitting direction if you do this; the examiners will flag this stuff. 

    The time that goes into the Revit model can be decreased with efficiencies and repetition. The CAD jobs i have been a part of are nothing close to the same level of quality that the Revit ones are. Less quality is always faster to produce. Schedules are great in Revit! The biggest holdup I have seen is that you have to change your schedule to match what Revit can produce. Once you do, they are seamless and build themselves. All our families use shared type parameters with the data filled out inside the family. This allows the schedules to self populate as you place them. 

    Great questions Troy.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-26-2019 17:01
    I will agree to a point. I strive to make my plumbing drawings look as pleasing as possible as well as keeping general layout. We do offset pipes for clarity otherwise the plan drawing showing pipes running down a corridor would be nothing more than a big black blob on the drawings which is not useful at all for the contractor. Afterall, that is ultimately who I design for. The good majority of them still use plotted drawings to do their work. That way, they can mark up in the field. If they spill coffee on it or a blob of solder drops on the paper, no harm. Try that on an iPad in the field ;)

    Sections would work but the black lob on the plans still would be there. Unless I'm missing something.

    ------------------------------
    Rick Graham
    Plumbing Design
    Spectrum Engineers
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-24-2019 16:04
    Edited by Ashley Turlington 04-24-2019 16:04

    I've been using Revit since I graduated in 2011. The firm I previously worked for used Revit for MEP, Arch & Struc and Civil3D for civil work. We had everything in house and could live link models when the architects let us know he had updated. We also had disciplines in separate Revit files linked to each other. This helped keep the file sizes down, few crash errors from multiple users syncing at once and allowed us to make template files. The template files had everything each discipline needed to start a project including sheets set up. 

    The firm I now work for has been using Revit for a while but still does some things in AutoCAD (like details). I was brought in to move the plumbing department into the future by helping to develop better Revit standards, make families, etc. We're also working on training current designers how to utilize Revit for schedules so less mistakes are made.

    I gained 90-95% of my knowledge by being thrown to the wolves. If there was a problem, my previous employer would tell me to fix it and I would so what I could to do just that. I did read a few chapters from a book but forums and google were my best friends. I still go to them when I've got a tricky question. I also like to explore and see the things Revit can and can't do. Being a designer doing projects allows me to see what my company needs to be better.



    ------------------------------
    Ashley Hayes Turlington, CPD
    Plumbing Designer
    Estes, McClure & Associates, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 09:49
    I am curious, why do you keep the disciplines separate? Have you encountered many issues working in a combined file? There are some great efficiencies that can be gained by sharing the MEP model. Granted, not many on the plumbing side but if its a full service firm then it would be worth exploring.

    Also, are the details being left in AutoCAD intentionally or are they just an in-progress piece of your template work? We have converted all of ours to Revit details and keep them in a Details File. Using Insert From File, it creates a shopping list of sorts and we can load in just the ones that we need. It even gives us a preview of them so you know what one you are bringing in.

    Being thrown to the wolves is my favorite way to figure out new things. That feeling you get when you finally figure it out is great.

    ------------------------------
    Goodale
    VDC Specialist
    SHP
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 10:41

    I first started with an engineer who kept disciplines together. He later realized that having them separate allowed each designer on the project to work without interference from other disciplines or with fear of having their elements deleted. The company I currently work for has MEP disciplines in one model and while it's great to have everything in one place it bogs down the file when multiple people are working in it and can take a while to sync if everyone is doing it at once. Also, having each discipline separate keeps the file small and allows templates to be made where a designer has everything they need for their discipline and the file isn't very big.

    As of right now, the details are being left in AutoCAD because that's what the designers are used to. I've cleaned them up and placed them in Revit and slowly getting designers to use them but change does come with a learning curve and when you're on a time crunch, it's too precious to waste on learning. I've got a template file designers can pull details and schedules from but the ones who aren't as Revit savvy are waiting until the last minute to continue doing things the old way. It'll change but it takes time.

    My former firm was much smaller (12ish people) and had all disciplines under one roof. The firm I work for now is bigger (100ish people with at least half being designers or engineers). Making changes aren't as easy as an email being sent out and everyone abiding by it. I'm getting there, though. I've dumbed down a lot of models to just introduce designers to placing models and scheduling them.



    ------------------------------
    Ashley Hayes Turlington, CPD
    Plumbing Designer
    Estes, McClure & Associates, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 12:03
    We tried separating disciplines early on and linking them into the central, but realized there wasn't a benefit, and coordination went out the window.

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    Rob Adams, CPD

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  • 31.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 13:11
    Good Morning Ashley,
    You mentioned on your last post that you were dumbing down your models to introduce to your designers to placing models and scheduling them. I'm assuming you are dumbing down the LOD which leads me to ask.  I work for a plumbing fixture manufacturer that manufactures a lot of engineered product and provide Revit files for all of our products.  Our LOD is 400 and I get several complaints that they have too much information, while we as a manufacturer feel that more is better while in design.
    Can you please help me with a response to the statement that we provide to much information, or is this something we as a manufacturer should be looking at?​  I know how to respond as the provider of the file from a manufacturer's point of view, but it is more important that I totally understand the risks of not providing something with a lower LOD.  I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you and have a great day,

    ------------------------------
    Greg Wolfe
    Western Regional Sales Manager
    Bradley Corporation
    greg.wolfe@bradleycorp.com
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers

    Posted 04-25-2019 14:10
    Dumbing down the models I meant more that the designers didn't have to do anything except choose the right family. The models I've got are grossly spread out instead of being in a singular file because too much information can cause confusion when you're first diving into Revit families.

    As far as what you're asking, yes, most manufacturer's provide more information than I'm going to use in my models and schedules. I have never scheduled vendor information like phone numbers, addresses or websites. Some may but both firms I've worked for do not. Also, not using the right parameter types for us to utilize can be a bummer. Sometimes material may be text and not the actual material parameter type in Revit. I asked a team mate of mine about lighting and they do it as well.

    Currently, the models being made are great and give me a lot to work with but I think every firm has different parameters and we have to adjust accordingly.

    ------------------------------
    Ashley Hayes Turlington, CPD
    Plumbing Designer
    Estes, McClure & Associates, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Revit Use for Engineers