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BIM - MEP Coordination (construction phase)


yrnomad
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I need some advice, for doing the MEP coordination model during the construction phase. I work for an electrical contractor, so we are involved in the construction coordination model. We usually receive the consulting engineer's MEP model, and each trade modifies their own copy of that model, and exports their stuff to coordinate in Navisworks.

 

One of my issues is that we have this model that we modify and draw in, and it has outdated info from the other trades, so that part is worthless... so why keep it. Another issue I struggle with is dealing with the Engineer's View Templates and some of the other viability settings like.

 

I've talked to another coordinator/detailer in my area, and he just links the MEP model to his own new model, and copies out the major electrical, then unloads the MEP.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

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I never use an existing model. I always copy/paste major System Families, like Duct, Pipes, etc, and then highlight them collectively and apply my own routing types. From there I connect everything back which places my own customized (and accurate) fittings. Basically I'm saying I redo everything. It's the only way it's done "right". Plus my template is extremely efficient. I have everything just how I need it. So when I use my own stuff, it auto-populates my schedules, my BOM list, and already has things looking the way they should because of View Templates, etc.

 

It's always better to simply redo it. Use all of your own content.

 

-TZ

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A lot of contractors create an entirely new model from scratch for a number of reasons. IME, design models are only for intent and often times are not fully coordinated between trades and don't correspond with contractor's standards. Trying to manipulate them to conform to your standards will more than likely take more time than creating new models from scratch, thus allowing you to utilize more suitable preset view templates and content for the contracting model. So, instead of trying to edit a variety of standards to suit your purposes for every project, you start with everything preset the same way for every project. Saving you the time to reverse engineer their model content and settings.

 

I see you got in before I finished typing, Tanner. I was looking forward to seeing what you had to say.

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Thanks for your responses.

Forgive me, I'm still new to REVIT modeling.

 

So, TZ, if I understand you right, you are opening both the engineer's model, and your model and copy/paste from the engineers to yours of selected entities?

 

Not doing a copy via the Copy monitor/select link...

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Thanks for your responses.

Forgive me, I'm still new to REVIT modeling.

 

So, TZ, if I understand you right, you are opening both the engineer's model, and your model and copy/paste from the engineers to yours of selected entities?

 

Not doing a copy via the Copy monitor/select link...

That is correct. Only System Families, not Loadable Families.
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Thanks!

 

Any other sage advice?

 

This current project sould be fairly simple, we are modeling our Feeder conduits 2" and larger; large racking groups of small conduits; Distribution Equipment; Cable Tray and Lighting.

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Not on this project, and so far I haven't had to do that on the three other BIM coordination I've been involved with.

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Thanks!

 

Any other sage advice?

 

This current project sould be fairly simple, we are modeling our Feeder conduits 2" and larger; large racking groups of small conduits; Distribution Equipment; Cable Tray and Lighting.

Yeah, that is pretty simple. My business caters heavily to the MEP BIM construction world. I use Revit for BIM collaboration and for shop drawings. I'm beginning to get a lot of design/build projects where the design document "is" the shop drawing. Fully coordinated in one pass. It's the best way to do it.

 

Are you using Navisworks along with the BIM process? Do you have Freedom, or do you have the full version of Navisworks Manage?

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We do have Navisworks simulate, so we're in between those two levels of capability. Usually in our situation either the mechanical contractor provide the general BIM Coordinator to do the clash detection. So far we've just been coordinating location and clashes, no detailing.

 

About 10 years ago, when the MEP engineering firm I previously work for started down the Revit path, I thought I understood that it was so the design would be fully coordinated and clash free. I was in IT at the time, but now I'm part of the electrical contractor's engineering department, so we do design/build and on the bigger projects we end up doing the coordination drawings. Schools is where we've ended up doing the Revit model coordination, so far, everything else has been autocad overlays.

 

I've had 3 Revit models from that MEP firm, and I find that they barely get their lights in the ceiling much less coordinate between disciplines. And two out of three MEP firms I work with don't eve have "live" electrical systems within their model.

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We do have Navisworks simulate, so we're in between those two levels of capability. Usually in our situation either the mechanical contractor provide the general BIM Coordinator to do the clash detection. So far we've just been coordinating location and clashes, no detailing.

 

About 10 years ago, when the MEP engineering firm I previously work for started down the Revit path, I thought I understood that it was so the design would be fully coordinated and clash free. I was in IT at the time, but now I'm part of the electrical contractor's engineering department, so we do design/build and on the bigger projects we end up doing the coordination drawings. Schools is where we've ended up doing the Revit model coordination, so far, everything else has been autocad overlays.

 

I've had 3 Revit models from that MEP firm, and I find that they barely get their lights in the ceiling much less coordinate between disciplines. And two out of three MEP firms I work with don't eve have "live" electrical systems within their model.

Yeah it's the same old story. People just don't want to put in the effort. People want to cut corners with Revit and you can't. You aren't supposed to draw in Revit, you model a building. It's a different animal but when everybody does what they're suppose to do, the project fires on all eight cylinders and you get a great coordinated building with heavily mitigated RFI and change order process.

 

Here is a link to an example PDF that I have shared before about how we use Revit to really show some tight areas between trades:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4989089/RevitExample.pdf

 

If everyone put in this type of effort then buildings would be built so good. I believe people used to put in lots of effort back in the "good 'ol days" but they have gotten lazy through the years. Also, if job schedules wouldn't be as accelerated as they are today it would help.

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About 10 years ago, when the MEP engineering firm I previously work for started down the Revit path, I thought I understood that it was so the design would be fully coordinated and clash free.

 

From the design side, that would require a close relationship with the contractors before pen hits the paper. The design is pretty much done before we know who is building it. Yes, common building standards can/should be part of the design but that is not what we are contracted to do. We design systems that can be built, not necessarily how they will be built. That is left to the contractors.

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That is left to the contractors.
And they make a ton of money because of this mentality. Poor quality designs = good change order payout for the contractor. And I'm not talking about something that would be missed because of intricacy, I mean real "blatant" misses. But it puts a terrible strain on the GC usually, because they are the ones that must break the news to the owner.
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I see it all the time on our models. Granted, we don't put a lot of effort into ensuring full coordination, but that is an internal problem and we often pay the price for it during construction.

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I see it all the time on our models. Granted, we don't put a lot of effort into ensuring full coordination, but that is an internal problem and we often pay the price for it during construction.
Oh I get it. The owner signs the contract and they know it's "intent". And I wouldn't expect any consultant firm to "fully" coordinate. It's very good if a consultant firm decides for itself to coordinate to some degree. Looks good to the clients, GC's and subcontractors will love you for it, and you'll mitigate costly errors. And I'm talking basic coordination here... it doesn't have to go up and over things, just take a glance at the spaces to see if it "can" fit. That's all anybody asks for.

 

When I see a great architectural and structural Revit model come through my door, and I see the MEP firm's Revit file (or PDF's that indicate they used Revit) and things are blatantly missed, then shame on the MEP firm. With great arch/strc models, all one needs to do is simply rotate the model after they run some systems and glance. That's it. That's all the effort it takes.

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I know you get it and I totally agree. Unfortunately, most of the time we don't deal with "great" architectural and structural models. Some of them could actually be considered less than par. I recently did am AutoCAD project that was similar facilities being fit out at three different locations all from the same architectural office. One location was done in Revit, and the other two in AutoCAD that had quite different drafting standards. These were supposed to be all the same except for minor differences between the locations.

:shock:

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  • 4 weeks later...

A further question...

I have inherited a project in the final phases, done by someone who has left my company. They were using the Engineers MEP model, so there is all the outdated M/P stuff that I was talking about. Is there a way to select that stuff quickly so I can delete it, and sub in my counterparts current HVAC, Plumbing and Sprinkler models.

I see the FTU's are on a ME Common workset, and there are also HVAC, Plumbing, Fire Alarm and so on.

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Without having the model to inspect it, I do not know of an "easy" way to intelligently select only outdated items. Since Worksets are enabled, then there's a central model, so you can copy the Central as a backup and see how many versions you can roll back to, if it helps.

 

Sometimes what I do is use Bluebeam to compare sheets, which highlight any changes between the same sheet, thus exaggerating all the items that have changed, making it easier to review the documents so I can go back to Revit and make all necessary changes. It's a workaround but a good one for me. This is all based on if you have Bluebeam or not, though.

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Thanks TZ,

What I ended up doing was switch to a 3d view, turned off the links, and used Filter to grab the major grouped items that I wanted to quickly delete. Then the other stuff I did by grabbing similar devices with Select all instances in Entire project. Over the course of a half hour, I stripped it down to just Lights, Panels & gear, large Conduit, a few Pull Boxes, and Cable Tray.

 

Just wish I could say something like a filter of: *speaker* or *switch*.

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