Enhanced Building and Space Types for Revit 2018

Revit 2018 has given mechanical engineers added capability in defining Building Types and Space Types within Revit project files.  Building and Space Types are used for energy calculations and it is always a good thing when Autodesk provides more opportunity to improve the energy analysis and design process.

Building and Space Types are defined in the Building/Space Type Settings dialog box accessed by the Manage tab -> MEP Settings on the Settings panel -> Building/Space Type Settings.

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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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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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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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