Monday, December 1, 2008

Revit MEP Content

Hey all of you Autodesk Subscription customers! There are 2 new content extentions available for download on the subscription website.

The US Content Extension for Revit MEP 2009 has imperial and metric duct and pipe fittings along with their associated Lookup Tables. These fittings adhere to SMACNA and ASME standards.

The UK Content Extension for Revit MEP 2009 has duct fittings adhering to the DW/144 UK industry standards.

We all know how important it is to have content, content and more content in order to create our building models so this is definitely a step in the right direction.
The nice thing is, the families in these extensions were created based on input from users of the software (imagine that!)

Not an Autodesk Subscription customer? Contact your local Autodesk Reseller to find out how to become one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reveal Around the End of a Wall

I've had enough people ask me this so I decided to post it.
This is a simple thing that is often misunderstood.
When an embedded reveal comes to the end of a wall - it can't wrap around the corner.
So sorry Charlie...

So, you simply have to create a separate wall of JUST THE MATERIAL that is doing the wrapping.
When this new wall is placed along the end of the primary wall - the materials wrap right around the corner just fine.
And any 'embedded'reveals will wrap also.
Bahda Bing.

But if the reveals were placed as Hosted Sweeps (NOT EMBEDDED) - the returns can be edited to 90 degrees and pulled back across the end of the wall.

This can't be done to embedded reveals.

MY PERSONAL OPINION: Don't fake stuff. Build it right so it works and looks right and can also give you accurate material take-offs.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Ask!

Transitioning to a BIM solution is a big step. It is far too important of a decision to make without knowing as much as you possibly can.

Revit is intuitive and fairly easy to learn but with today's fast paced project schedules many people don't have the time to learn by trial and error. Time lost by trying to "figure this stuff out" is a pain in the wallet and can lead to a wrong idea of what BIM is really all about. (See Mike's rant below about falling back to AutoCAD)

There are lots of resources out there and many people willing to share their experiences and lessons learned.

Don't be afraid to ask!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are you really BIM ready?

Requirements for BIM deliverables are becoming more prevalent in RFP’s for building design and construction services. Are you and the rest of the project team prepared to satisfy these requirements?

Do not fool yourself or others; buying a box of BIM software does NOT make you BIM ready. Preparedness to satisfy the BIM deliverable requirements entails an understanding of the Integrated Project Delivery process. It requires all project team members (designers, constructors, owners and other key players) to embrace the nine principles of IPD. Otherwise, it will be difficult to fulfill the requirements for a BIM deliverable let alone achieve the benefits of an IPD approach.

There are many issues to consider and you should not attempt this process alone if you are new to it. You should bring a BIM subject matter expert on board your team to help you be successful in the process.

You can download the AIA Integrated Project Delivery Guide from In this document you will find the nine IPD principles along with a wealth of information to guide you along the IPD path.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Who Builds What?

This is an incredibly important question when working with consultants on an Integrated Project. WHO BUILDS WHAT? is a question that must be addressed early in the Design Process.

Who builds the ceiling?
Who places the lighting fixtures?
Plumbing fixtures?
Who places the beams and columns?
What about the slab floor or the joists?
Who adds the furniture?

THINK before you build/model.

Several models linking in from different firms into one integrated model can get quite complicated if these decisions are not made up front.
Ideally they are worked out early, so there is little or NO duplication of modeling in the Building Information Model (BIM).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Should I or Should I Not?

When downloading a Revit web update have you ever pondered whether you should include the content library when downloading?

I do not recall previous web updates including new or improved content for Revit Structure. However, Web Update 1 for RST 2009 does include improvements to joist girder families and tags. These improvements make the joist girder content more consistent with industry standards.

I ALWAYS download the content when downloading a web update just in case there are any improvements or additions to the content library.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Using Revit as AutoCAD

For all of you who are not ready to make the journey to BIM and use the most powerful, user-friendly, easy peasy program REVIT like it was designed... you can STILL make the jump to Revit and USE IT AS AUTOCAD.

Yep, you can just draw lines, arcs and circles and waste tons of time and money like you are doing RIGHT NOW!!!

In fact - it will kill your productivity and make you cry and go back to hand drafting - so GET OFF YOUR SORRY BUTT and continue throwing money and resources right down the tubes - because you will never do things quicker and easier until you grasp a hold of REVIT and let it do what it was designed to do...

(YES... I'm on my soapbox again - but I keep getting people telling me it's faster to just use AutoCAD to draft their designs in 2D... they can't seem to see past the end of their noses.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hooray! The new versions are out!

The 2009 versions of Revit have been released! New features and many bug fixes make this an exciting time for those of us who have been working with previous releases. One note of caution (I know, such a party pooper) be careful when upgrading projects from a previous version to the 2009 releases. Especially with Revit MEP. The new Spaces feature may require some reworking of schedules and data analysis, so watch for stuff like that.

Also be sure to Audit your files when you open them with the new versions.

Check back here for more information on all the cool new stuff with the Revit 2009 products, coming soon.

Oh, and HOORAY for Mike and Heather!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Face Hosted vs. Element Hosted

Trying to decide which is right for your project? This is an important decision that should be made as early in the process as possible. Here are some key factors to consider:

Face hosted components
* will remain in the model when their host is deleted
* can be used to attach to faces in the model or to faces in a linked model
* components hosted by a ceiling face do not move with ceiling grid lines (they will stay attached to ceiling face when elevation changes)

Element hosted components
* are deleted when their host is deleted
* must have a host, therefore requiring Copy/Monitor of linked elements
* components hosted by a ceiling will move both horizontally and vertically with the ceiling, maintaining alignment with grid lines

Your best bet is to use Face hosted when dealing with linked models. In any other case a good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, use Face hosted.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Can your Revit Structure do this?

With a few clicks of the mouse, can YOUR Revit Structure select the most economical K-Series joists for the loads and spacing that you specify? The Revit API provides a means for you to extract data from your Revit project file so that you can perform the necessary calculations and update your Revit file with the results. Imagine the possibilities for automating many of the routine tasks that you encounter day-to-day. Imagine how you can minimize errors that may otherwise occur when you perform these repetitive tasks manually.

Revit Link Miss-Coordination

Miss Coordination will show up and make your life miserable.
She shows up when you link in a Revit file that is a CENTRAL file back at your consultants office.
But WAIT... I thought this was BEST PRACTICE?!!!
It is best practice ONLY if you open their file DETACHED from CENTRAL, and SAVE it back on top of itself... BEFORE YOU LINK IT IN!!!
Otherwise - little Miss Coordination will put items in the wrong places and make your life a living HELL.
So to speak.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tail wagging the Dog

There is an old joke:
"How can you tell the extroverted engineer? He looks at YOUR shoes when he talks to you instead of his own."

MEP engineers and designers are used to being at the tail end of project design and the sharing of information. Using the tools that Revit provides for effective and efficient project collaboration can ease the pain of late-in-the-game design changes. By sharing a project model, the engineers can quickly see changes and how they affect their design. This should promote communication within the project team. Yes, Mr./Ms. engineer, you're gonna have to talk to them... :)

Chart Your Course to IPD Success

You can travel many different paths when using BIM in an Integrated Project Delivery process. The paths you and other IPD team members take will depend on many factors. These include the purpose of the model, level of detail to include in the model, procedures for sharing model information and other factors. Meet early and conduct workshops with your IPD team to discuss these factors so you will chart the best course...the success of your project depends on these early discussions. The IPD process is new…don’t assume other team members will know which direction to go.

DWG Integration

Don't do it.
Trust me... don't EVER import and explode DWG's into your Revit files.
YES.. Revit can Import DWG files - but it is seriously bad practice. They bring with them a myriad of layers/objects that get converted to linetypes and your materials, text styles, filled regions, etc... gets ALL screwed up... Basically your Revit file turns into a major case of FUBAR.

If you absolutely MUST... "LINK" a DWG in, USE it for a temporary underlay to create a toposurface or some other geometry - and then REMOVE it!

Just like a bad habit... It will only cause you heartache if you keep it around.

CIVIL 3D or Revit Civil

Anyone wonder why they don't come out with a flavor of Revit for Civil Engineers?
I really like the SITE tools that come with Revit, but why not make a REAL solution and give us Revit Civil!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Revit will Eat your Lunch...

Revit will eat your lunch.. or.. will play nice.
It all depends on how you implement!

Rush right in and figure all your superior AutoCAD knowledge will get you thru.. and trust in the way you USED to do things.
Bye-bye Sandwich.

Approach it with a plan and open mind.. implementing Revit into your company strategically.
You enjoy the benefits and power of fully integrated Project Delivery.

Your choice.