Revit Slab Depression

It is common to have depressed areas of a concrete floor slab of a building and you want to be able to represent this accurately in a Revit model.  This may be in the middle area of a large floor slab as a containment area or the edge of a floor slab under an overhead door.  Either way, a portion of the floor is lower than the surrounding floor.

Note this article is for a completely depressed area and not one where the edges are the same level and then sloping, as if to a drain.  In those situations, the Shape Editing tools can be used on the floor. 

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Zooming In Revit Non-Graphical Areas

Revit is always full of little functions that are not really advertised by Autodesk, but are handy nevertheless.  Zooming in non-graphical locations is one of those functions.

The following locations allow you to easily zoom in and out.

Properties Palette

  • Since at least Revit 2016, we have been able to zoom in and out of the Properties Palette by holding down on the CTRL key and using the mouse scroll wheel.
  • Zooming within the Properties Palette returns to the default size when you exit the current project file.
  • Zooming within the Properties Palette is specific to each open project.  If 2 or more projects are open, zooming in the Properties Palette can be different for each project.

Schedules

  • Since Revit 2019, we can zoom in and out of Schedules by holding down on the CTRL key and using the scroll wheel on the mouse.

Space Name Update to Room Name

Within Revit, it is standard procedure for architects to use “Rooms” and engineers to use “Spaces” to delineate areas of the building.  This is due to how Revit utilizes each of these 2 categories of items, so each have their place.  An issue with this procedure is that Spaces and Rooms for the same area should have the same name, but this does not happen automatically.  This can cause problems with consistency between the architect’s plans and the engineer’s plans.

Since the 2017 version, Revit has given us a tool to help keep Room names and Space names consistent.  Prior to 2017, we had to rely on either naming the Spaces manually or utilizing one of the 3rd party tools on the market.  With this command, we can update all of the Spaces in the entire model to be the same as a Room that is in the same bounded area (if there is a Room element there.)  Autodesk slipped this command into the menu system and I don’t remember them promoting it, but it is a fantastic tool for engineers!  It can save hours of work trying to get Room and Space Names consistent.

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Electrical Panel Feed Thru Lugs in Revit 2020

Revit 2020 has a new feature that will please Electrical designers.  Feed through lugs are now incorporated into Revit for your electrical distribution system.  Previously, electrical users had to utilize workarounds to represent this situation in their designs, so this will improve the documentation process and help with the electrical design.

As part of this new feature, Revit has added a new panel schedule template, which is called “Feed Through Lugs Panel“.  This panel is available in the Electrical-Default.rte and the Systems-Default.rte templates.  This panel template is accessible via the Manage tab -> Settings panel -> Panel Schedule Templates.

 

The process to actual set up the electrical panels to utilize the above Panel Schedule is shown below. Continue reading

Copy Revit Electrical Circuits to Multiple Levels

When working with a multi-story building, it is common to have identical electrical items on multiple floors and the designer desires to have the same circuits for those items replicated on each level.  Doing so creates consistency between panel board circuits and reduces labor for circuiting each floor.  An example of this is the restrooms, janitor closets, elevator lobby and other service areas in the core of a building where each of those rooms will have the same electrical needs for each floor level.

It is possible to copy the electrical devices and equipment from one floor level to multiple other floor levels and replicate the circuits for the new items.  The electrical devices that were circuited together in the first level will be circuited together in the other levels.  The Rating, Frame, and Load Name for the replicated circuit(s) will be the same as the original circuit(s).

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Automatic Updating Electrical Symbol Legend in Revit

Electrical symbol legends are a critical part of electrical design documents and everyone wants to have a Symbols List which automatically updates to show the actual electrical symbols that are placed in a project.  That way, the only symbols that are on the list are ones that are actually placed in the model and the list does not include many unused symbols.  It is actually possible to do this.  When an electrical item gets added to the model, the symbol gets added to the symbol list.

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Schedule Organization Improvements in Revit 2018.1

For a long time, I have wished that there were better ways to organize schedules in Revit’s Project Browser, especially in project files with dozens of schedules.  The recently released 2018.1 version of Revit does just that and allows me various ways to organize my schedules in a Revit project file.  Different disciplines and different companies have varying quantities of schedules, so some users will appreciate this new feature more than users.

The following image shows grouping the schedules based upon working schedules and schedules that will be placed on sheets.  This particular option is created by having 2 different View Templates for schedules – one for working schedules and one for schedules on sheets.  Schedules are then grouped by View Templates.

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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.

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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Please Use Spaces in Revit MEP

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.

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