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 Panel Schedules Not Updating

I have run into a quirky situation with Revit electrical panel schedules that I want to pass along.

When using Revit MEP for electrical design, part of the process is creating circuits and then adding that circuit to a panel or switchboard.  The Trip Rating of the circuit sets the size of the breaker on the panel or switchboard, so it is shown on the electrical panel or switchboard schedule appropriately.  If the Trip Rating is changed, the breaker size automatically updates on the panel schedule.  All is good.

The panel/switchboard schedule is then placed on a sheet for documentation/printing purposes.

The problem:  Sometimes the updated Trip Rating does not update on the sheet although it is actually updated and correct in the panel schedule.

This creates a strange situation where the information shown on the sheet is not the same as the information shown in the actual panel schedule view.

Fortunately, when the project file is closed and then re-opened, the sheet will update to show the correct trip rating (breaker) size.

Personal Section View in Revit

Creating sections in a Revit model is key to creating a quality 3D model, and that includes creating sections that are simply used for design verification.  Construction documents typically include sections, but users also use a lot of temporary sections for coordination and verification.  A problem with temporary sections is that you don’t know who created the section and the purpose for the section.  As a result they tend to stay in the model because no one really knows if they can delete the section.

I previously wrote a blog article about creating Working Sections which helps with this situation.  However, the working section can be further enhanced.  This article will address 2 key features for improving the working section:

  1. Who created the working section.
  2. Apply a user’s specific settings for the working section.

Note that this article will build upon that previous blog article.  You can find the article here.

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Multiple Circuit Home Run Arrows in Revit

For many electrical designers using Revit for their construction documents, the home run arrow for circuits is an important part of their drawings.  When multiple circuits are part of one home run, the designer wants to show multiple arrowheads on the circuit leader.  This is an easy task to accomplish in Revit.

homeroomarrows-final

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Year End BIM Evaluation

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.

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Revit Electrical Panel Schedule Configuration Information

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.

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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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