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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Revit Schedule Title

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily give a Revit schedule any view name that you want and have a different title appear at the top of the schedule on a sheet?  You can!

By default, the View Name parameter in the Properties of the schedule will appear as the title for the schedule.  As of Revit 2014, you can edit the title to be what you desire, regardless of the view name.  That allows you to name the schedule whatever you desire to aid with project browser organization and providing a good description of the schedule’s purpose. Continue reading

Are Revit Dependent Views Still Needed?

Autodesk introduced dependent views to Revit several releases ago and they have been a popular feature when you have a large building with multiple units/areas in order to show the entire floor plan at a scale of say 1/8″=1′-0″.  When they were introduced, they were great as they allowed us to break up a large floor plan into manageable units and control the visibility of all units by only modifying one view.  We were able to get good consistency and increased speed, along with having view reference tags for adjoining views.  I thought is was a great feature.

However, is the use of dependent views still as important at it was when they were introduced?  My belief at this time is that they are not as important for everyone.  I think some users will get good benefit from them, but others will get benefit from not using them.

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