It is now the end of another year, with all the experiences of life that comes with that year. As such, we tend to evaluate the past year and look forward to the challenges and experiences of the new year. That includes all different aspects of our lives, including the personal and professional sides. However, in additional to individuals doing this, organizations need to do the same thing.
Since this is an building industry oriented blog, I am going to touch on what I believe to be an important component of AEC firms in the technological age in which we now live. That is the evaluation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) within your firm. While there are still many AEC firms that have not moved into the world of BIM, it is becoming more common and more important in the industry.
It is extremely important to evaluate BIM within a firm. There are costs associated with moving toward BIM integration and it is important to understand whether your firm is getting a return on that investment and how it can be improved.
When using Revit, do you ever get irritated with a family opening up in the family editor when you accidently double-click on the family while working in a project? I do (when on a different computer than my own). Revit added this great feature a few releases ago to enable easier access to modify families so that you don’t have to select the family and then choose the Edit Family command. However, I have found this feature to be more annoying than helpful when in production mode.
When using Revit for electrical design, using Panel Schedules should be an important part of your design process. Revit provides the user with some default panel schedule templates with the software, but most organizations modify the templates to function and appear the way that they desire. Revit allows the user to do quite a bit of customization to the templates, but be aware that there are still limitations to the customization ability and some nuances.
Revit Help has instructions for basic electrical template modification. In this article, we will look at some aspects of customizing a template that are not so obvious to the user.
If you are utilizing Revit for electrical engineering design, then you are using electrical panels and likely electrical panel schedules. While the process of inserting electrical panels and connecting basic circuits to them is pretty straightforward, there are some items that are good to know to help you better utilize panels and their associated schedules.
First off, a requirement in this process is to make sure that after you place an electrical panel in the Revit model, you set the Distribution System for it. Otherwise, you will not be able to connect any electrical device or other electrical equipment to the panel. The Distribution System is shown in both the panel’s Propertiespalette, and on the Options Bar on the ribbon.
Panel Schedules in Revit are a report of the information that is contained in the electrical panel, and schedules cannot be created without having a panel family placed in the project file. They are not like a spreadsheet where the numerical values are entered into the spreadsheet. The values shown in the panel and on the panel schedule are a result of connected loads to the panel and are only as good as the information in the items connected to the panel.
Autodesk Revit includes the ability to define enclosed areas within the building as Rooms or Spaces. While both items allow the user to assign a name and number to the area, they have different purposes and parameters for information within that designated area. To put it in the most basic of terms, Rooms are for Architects, Spaces are for Engineers.
I have talked with engineers that don’t believe that they have any need for Spaces. They believe that using the Rooms in the architect’s model works just fine for them since all they care about is having a tag on the view that shows the room name and number. If the engineer simply tags the architect’s Rooms, then the names and numbers will always be up to date. This is a very narrow-sighted view of the purpose of Rooms and Spaces.
Customization has always been a mainstay of design software, especially with the Autodesk products. Customization of Revit for the user/non-programmer is finally here with Dynamo. Dynamo has been in development for some time, but has been gaining momentum among Revit power users. It really opens up the door for users to achieve more functionality through the open-source visual programming extension for Revit. It provides similar opportunities to the Revit user like AutoLisp did for AutoCAD users.
As someone that creates a lot of Revit families, I always appreciate Revit enhancements and new features that help with creating or working with families. Reference Planes are a critical component of families and Revit 2017 has some interesting changes in regards to them.