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MisterJingles

Revit MEP question

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MisterJingles

Hi all

I would appreciate some input regarding Revit MEP.

I work for a small company of electrical consultants. Mostly we design low to medium voltage residential and industrial reticulation.

A typical month of drawings would include site drawings showing electrical reticulation IE light positions, cable routes, kiosk and minisub positions, schematic diagrams, very few isometric type drawings and no 3D work. Its all pretty basic stuff.

I work as the draughtsperson in the office while the consultants do the design work, none of which is done via any desktop program, its done manually.

I am not familiar with any of the Autodesk products other than Autocad but have been told that we should possibly look into the Revit MEP package as it may be able to do assist with design work to a degree.

Now for me as the CAD operator I am perfectly comfortable working on Autocad as I have been as with it I can do all that is required of me very easily, but am enquiring about Revit MEP for 2 reasons.

Firstly if it will save the bosses time doing designing then better for us, and secondly Im bored stiff doing this basic work on AC and if we moved to Revit it would allow me to become familiar with the program and add some skills.

 

So basically Id like to know from those who are familiar with Revit MEP, given the scope of our company is it worth us looking at possibly moving to Revit MEP? Where would the benefit to the company really come in?

 

Regards

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G-Prime

With the direction that the industry is moving it is worth moving into MEP. That being said, the program is terrible and out of the box capability is pretty much set up for american standards only, since your location says South Africa there will be a period of time, a long period of time that you will be customizing the program to work well for you. We have had this program since 2007, and we find we are still learning new things every day. At this time we do not utilize the program as it was meant to be used, in fact we use it essentially as if it were CAD, we do it this way to familiarize ourselves with the program.

 

Our biggest issue even tho we are beside the USA, is the lighting and equipment voltage, where the standard is 277/480, where we use 347/600, so we had to develop our own families for devices if we wanted to utilize the full functionality of Revit.

 

Also I believe that the standard receptacle voltage in South Africa is 230, that will be another item as in NA it is 120, so unless they have a special package for Europe/Africa there will be a long set up period.

 

Hope this info helps.

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tzframpton

AutoCAD MEP might be a good choice too. It would be a nice "transition" from AutoCAD, plus preps you for Revit at the same time since AutoCAD MEP gets its intuitive interface from the Revit platform. You have tools like the Circuit Manager which I hear is an awesome tool for electrical designers and engineers. I have no personal experience with it, however.

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tzframpton

Link to Circuit Manager in AutoCAD MEP 2012 (video):

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MisterJingles

Thanks G-Prime that's some good info. I have a feeling we would be trying too hard to validate a migration to Revit and perhaps Autocad MEP as Stykface suggests is a better idea. I've looked at the clip and will show the engineers too.

Thanks for the input guys, I suspect Ill look more into AC MEP than Revit.

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tzframpton
Thanks G-Prime that's some good info. I have a feeling we would be trying too hard to validate a migration to Revit and perhaps Autocad MEP as Stykface suggests is a better idea. I've looked at the clip and will show the engineers too.

Thanks for the input guys, I suspect Ill look more into AC MEP than Revit.

Remember, they offer a "Suite" that has both for practically the same price (only $100 difference in the US if I remember correctly). Just to keep in mind is all. 8)

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MisterJingles
Remember, they offer a "Suite" that has both for practically the same price (only $100 difference in the US if I remember correctly). Just to keep in mind is all. 8)

 

:thumbsup:

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G-Prime

Adding to that, I think it is a good idea to get Revit training in or something, as I mentioned the industry is moving in that direction, Commercial building wise at least. Keep in mind that I think in a few years the program will be used alot more, as already the USA government requires all consultants to submit their federal buildings projects in Revit I believe is what I heard, can one of my friendly neighbours from the south here confirm that for me?

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hertz hound

I thought I read all federal projects over a certain dollar amount had to be done in/with BIM. Could BIM include plain AutoCad drawn in 3D? What about Navisworks? I hope so because what I read here I will never learn revit. I don't put in enough time to learn anything more. Right now all that may be required in a (electrical contracting)contract (not federal) is that the coordination drawings be done in 3D with AutoCad version * or later. Can a gatekeeper incorporate an AutoCad drawing into Revit? I don't know what is required of architects and engineers.

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tzframpton
Could BIM include plain AutoCad drawn in 3D? What about Navisworks?
Yes, and no. 3D is in fact apart of BIM, but the information is side of things from the intelligent objects inside the 3D model is the other part - which plain AutoCAD can't provide. Not only that, but to create 3D models for a BIM job in plain AutoCAD would be suicide. The reason I say this is with applications like Autodesk Vertical Products and the Revit platforms that give you the specialized design tools to automatically create, edit, and manipulate 3D models that are specific to your trade discipline, it would be completely absurd to not upgrade from plain AutoCAD to one of these applications.

 

I hope so because what I read here I will never learn revit. I don't put in enough time to learn anything more.
With a quote like this, you've basically secured your fate. My suggestion is simply to upgrade to an Autodesk Vertical Product (such as AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP, for instance). This way it's still AutoCAD, with added functionality to support BIM. The learning curve will be very easy and gradual. But rest assured, Revit will be demanded at some point, especially if you are ever contracted to a local, state, or federal government facility.

 

Right now all that may be required in a (electrical contracting)contract (not federal) is that the coordination drawings be done in 3D with AutoCad version * or later.
Once again, I will strongly discourage the use of plain AutoCAD to create electrical BIM models that follow your shop drawings. AutoCAD MEP has extension catalogs of 3D parts and design tools to quickly add things like switchgear, lighting, and other electrical equipment, and you can run 3D conduit with absolute ease. Best thing, they are all intelligent AEC objects that can be manipulated in ways that plain AutoCAD couldn't even dream of, since AEC objects are based on parametric tools and not 3D solid modeling.

 

Can a gatekeeper incorporate an AutoCad drawing into Revit? I don't know what is required of architects and engineers.
Technically yes, but they won't do it. A 3D DWG file imported into Revit is such a massive performance hit, it makes Revit basically un-usable, buckling Revit to it's knees crying for mercy. Most standards are an exported IFC file if you're not using a native Revit platform. Then again, if you're on the contracting side of things, most times you'll only deal with the general contractor who utilize Navisworks which a DWG will suffice. But be careful as G.C.'s are now required Revit models for live coordination with the subs since Revit Server has arrived.

 

This is all the info I can give you with your requests. If you still have more Q's then post up and I'll answer as best I can. Hope this helps. :)

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hertz hound

Thank you for the informative reply. Unfortunately my drafting fate is probably sealed. The company I work for will sub that work out before they invest in a program or training like that. It would be the only smart thing to do.

It is amazing how fast the change to bim is becoming, at least on my end. The company I work for has been in business for over 75 years and has only had two versions of LT in the last 10. It is all they needed. They do not get any paper bid drawings. Even a large federal prison they did 10 years ago did not require the use of any cad, not even as-builts. The county jail they just finished did not require any cad at all either. Up until now all coordination drawings were done in 2D some with cad some sent back to the GC on paper. Now all of a sudden even the small jobs are requiring the use of 3D coordination drawings. I just finished one and they have two more if they get the jobs.

Alright now here is the kicker. The one I just did was with my personal version of AutoCad 2000 That I feel quite proficient at in 3D. They were taken by surprise in the job specs for 3D. They got prices to sub it out that floored them. They would have bought a new version of Autocad but I felt that this was a trial, and I know 2000 better than the latest. It really was not bad creating blocks for lights, panels, and switch gear with dimensions from the cuts. Drawing cable tray was not too bad. Conduit was the worst. The most wasted time was converting the files for this four story building to 2000 with dwg truview. Especial when they are always changing. The drafters/detailers for the other trades were great. I used the free teklaBIMsight to import the dwg files and view the overall job. Tekla also does clash detection.

Now I have my personnel 2012, what an amazing advancement. I would have been way better off using it. There was not that big a learning curve for what I needed to know. If they get the next jobs 2012 MEP is going to be a must, and there is money in the bid. I was surprised even at the time that nobody complained about the use of such an old version of Autocad altho they may have had a good laugh in their office. As far as I know nobody used revit although I don't know who did the steel drawings. Navis works was used for clash detection as well as final bim to the owner

The mechanical and fire sprinklers were done in house with Quickpens Autocad add on duct designer and pipe designer. The plumber outsourced it to a design company, I am not sure what they used. The mechanical contractor also has the tools to make and install the duct with the information from the drawings.

The day I was on the site I thought the surveyors were on the job, but it was the tin knockers. One guy was going around with a transit and a receiver, shooting a laser to the ceiling. Then he used an industrial sized bingo marker on a pole to mark out for all the hangers and rods. Another guy was installing all the hangers and rods behind himon a lift. That was two weeks ago they are probably done with all four floors by now.

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