Revit Architecture 2012 has many family templates installed with the software during a standard installation and includes most of the family templates that are also installed with Revit MEP. (A previous blog post lists each of the family templates installed with the various Revit packages.) Revit Architecture also allows the user to place Revit MEP connectors in families, and that capability is the reason for this post since it has restrictions.
MEP connectors are utilized by Revit MEP to design various types of systems for the mechanical engineering portion of a building. These connections represent the actual physical connection that is made to the family for the appropriate type of MEP system being designed. The types of MEP connectors available in both Revit Architecture and Revit MEP are:
- Cable Tray
Each of the connector types will have parameters assigned to them which are critical for the proper design of a system. While the connectors are the same when created with either Revit Architecture or Revit MEP, the parameter capability is different between the packages. Revit Architecture does not have as many parameter disciplines as does Revit MEP. The following shows the available parameter disciplines in each Revit package:
As can be seen above, when creating a new parameter, none of the HVAC or Piping discipline information is available within Revit Architecture. That means that there are 30 HVAC parameter types and 13 Piping parameter types that cannot be specified when creating the parameter in Revit Architecture. This is significant as Revit MEP needs to utilize those parameter types for proper system analysis and design.
While many architectural people will develop families that should also be utilized by the MEP disciple, the families may not be able to be properly utilized without first modifying the families in Revit MEP. That is the only way to add some of the parameters with the appropriate discipline values. Users need to realize that plumbing fixtures and mechanical equipment need the parameter disciplines that are not available in Revit Architecture.
In summary, when developing families for Revit MEP usage, Revit MEP should really be utilized whenever possible.