Specify Circuit Path for Actual Length in Revit 2018

Electrical designers can now get actual circuit lengths in Revit 2018.  In previous releases, Revit would calculate the “X” plus “Y” distances plus the vertical distance in the circuit resulting in incorrect lengths.  Revit now allows you to specify a path for the circuit, which can calculate for the circuit running along walls, ceilings, etc and other jogs to account for where the circuit conduit would actually run.  Going through the process of specifying an actual path for receptacle or lighting circuits is probably overkill and won’t be performed by most electrical designers.  However, specifying the actual path for an actual circuit length can make a big difference when calculating voltage drop for large electrical equipment.

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Revit Electrical Panel Information

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 Properties palette, 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.

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Dynamo Time

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.

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One-Line Diagrams in Revit

As I work with electrical engineers who are migrating to Revit, a common question that I get is “How do I create one-line diagrams in Revit”.  One-line diagrams, also called single-line diagrams, are an important part of electrical drawings for construction documents, so it is a subject that needs to be addressed.  They are a simplified method of representing a 3-phase power system that shows distribution boards, switchboards, transformers, panels, breakers, etc., with lines illustrating the connectivity of the components of the distribution system.  The diagram is not just for physical construction of the building’s electrical system, but developed by the electrical engineer during early stages of design.

The problem that you run into with creating one-line diagrams inside Revit is that the one-line diagrams are generally created before the equipment is actually placed in the Revit model.  The electrical engineer will design the building’s electrical system by developing this diagram, then placing the electrical service equipment based upon the diagram.

Unfortunately, Revit does not provide a way of coordinating the one-line diagram with the actual electrical components placed inside Revit, either before the electrical equipment is placed or after the equipment is placed in the model.

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Autodesk University 2012

Autodesk University 2012 is just over 5 weeks away at this point and I thought that I would just write a few comments about it for those going to it or considering going to it.  If you are a user or manager of an Autodesk product, I highly recommend that you attend this annual conference which will be held in Las Vegas November 27-29, 2012 at Mandalay Bay.

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Room Occupancy Load Tag in Revit View

As an Architect, I find it helpful to be able to look at a floor plan and see the occupancy load for each room, and some building permit reviewers require this information be shown on the plan.  My previous blog article addressed creating a schedule in Revit to show occupancy loads for rooms.  This article will take off from that point and desmonstrate how to create a room tag to place on a floor plan view that shows the occupancy load of the room.

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Show Room Occupancy Loads in Revit Schedule

Working with building codes is an important aspect of working as an Architect during the design stages of a project, and knowing the occupancy of each room is a key component to that.  This article will demonstrate how to create a Revit schedule that shows the occupancy load for each room in your BIM file.  It will use a key schedule as the source of information for calculating loads, so this article will address creating that key schedule as well.

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