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Electrical Contractor moving to BIM

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I work for an Electrical contractor whom has decided to embrace BIM.

 

We currently have 8 full time AutoCAD operators and have purchased Fabrication MEP licenses for all.

In house training in going to be provided to those whom have no experience with Fabrication.

 

To date 90% of our projects are 2D plan layouts showing electrical service layouts to enable installation on site.

10% use Fabrication to provide containment in 3D to enable clash detection with other services.

 

 

We have got our first big project which is being spoken of as being BIM.

As an Autocad operator for over 20+ years I'm concerned that my company is jumping into something very big with very little knowledge.

 

We have some operators whom are building a database but this is mainly for our mechanical side.

 

My main questions are at this very early stage are as follows.

 

Do we need Revit.

Is a combination of Autocad 2015 and Fabrication CADmep 2015 sufficient to work with a client provided 3D Revit model and allow use to produce 2D plans for our electricians to be able to install from.

 

I've had a look at the Autodesk Revit page and the screens seem to imply that Revit is for 3D building design.

We won't be putting walls up but adding services to them.

 

I apologise if this is unclear but as no experience with Revit I am trying to foresee issues.

 

Thanks

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tzframpton

Revit is sort of a self-contained package. If you are receiving architectural and structural models native in Revit, then you need to be using Revit as well (Revit MEP) and nothing else. Revit is very different than AutoCAD so there will be a sudden shock to you and your co-workers because what you will WANT to do in Revit is not HOW you do it in AutoCAD, and everybody.... everybody makes the mistake of carrying over their AutoCAD mindset into Revit.

 

You will also need to understand that Revit will not allow you to have things look exactly like AutoCAD anymore, and you'll need to be okay with that or you'll have a very hard time in your transition. You will also need to start letting go with your typical outputs and learn to create sheets a different way, including lots of enlarged views, section and elevation views, and so forth. Not only that, but you'll now be able to harness the power of "information", so you'll be able to quantify and list a BOM of anything and everything. You'll also be able to input the actual load information into equipment and devices, AND display this information in any format you see beneficial.

 

I picked up Revit years ago and left AutoCAD in the very back of the software closet. AutoCAD isn't even an afterthought anymore. In fact, if I were unemployed and job-searching and I was offered a job but it was AutoCAD only, I would politely say "thanks but no thanks" and keep moving. Once you grasp Revit you'll wonder why you were using AutoCAD for so long. I take a lot of heat from this site because of this mentality but oh well, it's the truth and the truth is always offensive because truth is objectively correct, regardless of opinions. :)

 

The VDC and BIM industries are pushing hard and Revit is the platform BIM was built off of, so it's best to go ahead and get Revit installed and a few of you guys become familiar with it now, while you guys can. Best thing to do is to recreate a small, easier job first, from an existing project you guys have already completed in AutoCAD. Books, official training, YouTube and forums are always a big help too.

 

Hope this helps. :)

 

-TZ

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RobDraw

Oh my, not again...

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www.cmorephotos.co.uk

Thanks for the detailed and informative response.

 

We are primarily a Electrical & Mechanical Contractor. Our main business is installation.

Therefore all our cad has to be focused on speed, clarity and output.

 

Whilst in the design and co-ordination phase 3D will be used but in order to allow our elec/mech installers to do their jobs we primarily need to output 2D plans showing wall sockets, light switches and circuitry information.

 

This is my main concern.

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tzframpton
We are primarily a Electrical & Mechanical Contractor. Our main business is installation.

Therefore all our cad has to be focused on speed, clarity and output.

I also spent the majority of my 13 years working at a mechanical contracting company, coming up from the field so I'm very familiar with your situation.

 

Whilst in the design and co-ordination phase 3D will be used but in order to allow our elec/mech installers to do their jobs we primarily need to output 2D plans showing wall sockets, light switches and circuitry information. This is my main concern.
You will most certainly be able to create a standardized set of plans, complete with all device locations (receptacles, switches, lights, etc) and all circuit info that maps each device to the panel. The main point I'd make here is that with AutoCAD, drawing and labeled circuits is a manual process with AutoCAD blocks and regular text. With Revit, things like receptacles and switches have electrical load information embedded into them, making them intelligent. You'll need to input info such as balanced or unbalanced load, voltage, phase, etc and then to populate the circuit, you'll need to have a panel in place and create an actual circuit back to the panel. What I'm getting at is that Revit requires you to do things as you would in the real world, instead of a "digital drawing board" where you can just do as you please. This is a good thing, because you'll never be able to accidentally type in a wrong circuit on a device because it's circuiting back to a real panel, with a real single phase or three phase bus bar and breakers. It works very well actually.

 

From there, you can create a Bill of Material list for quantifying things and planning a take-off for your field guys.

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www.cmorephotos.co.uk

Thanks 'tzframpton'

 

Certainly making me feel better about the future.

 

Can I run this past you.

 

We currently have licenses for the following.

8 x AutoCAD 2015

8 x Fabrication CADmep 2015

2 x Navisworks Freedom 2015

All on subscription.

 

I'm considering enquiring with our reseller as to whether we can upgrade from all these into Revit or Building Design Suite.

Would either of these replace and do all that the above already do.

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tzframpton
Would either of these replace and do all that the above already do.
Yes and no. Look here: http://www.autodesk.com/suites/building-design-suite/included-software

 

You will lose Fabrication CADmep if you go with a Building Suite. This is not included. So the question is... do you REALLY use it for "fabrication"? If the answer is no, which usually it is, then let it go. Most people use Fabrication CADmep for "insta-3D content" and rarely have I ever seen people actually streamline their models directly to a fabrication machine or generating spool drawings. Only the huge contractors actually utilize this because they have the overhead available for a huge shop drawing design staff.

 

The Building Suite Ultimate gives you Navisworks Manage (Navisworks Freedom, which you've listed above, is a free viewer and I'm assuming this is a typo), but Premium gives you Revit and AutoCAD and a slew of other things. I'd say just add up what you have, then add up a Building Suite, and compare the pricing annually. I'd bet you'd probably be saving a ton of money if you actually inked it down and compared. You can also look into network licensing if this fits your company's current setup, which can be efficient as well.

 

But you have the right idea, contact your reseller. They are best in helping with this scenario.

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