Thursday, 30 July 2009

Revit 2010 - MEP Coordination

Question from Bart V:
Does anyone have experience with Revit and MEP coordination....The issue is the same for more disciplines, but the lighting layout is a good example: we want to have ownership of the location, while the electrical engineer will be responsible for types, connections, etc.

Option 1: All fixtures will be in the architectural model, and the electrical engineer would connect to the fixtures through a linked file. Problem is that this is not possible… yet. Apparently the next version of Revit might. Secondly, if the link might be (temporarily) removed, what would this do to the connections in the electrical file?

Option 2a: All fixtures live in the electrical file, and we would dimension linked elements. This doesn’t work that well, assuming at some point the link might have to be removed, and all dimensions will be lost. Additionally, the fixture families might be too detailed for our use.

Option 2b: All fixtures live in the electrical file, and we would copy/ monitor all elements. I believe (after a quick test) that it is not possible to copy/ monitor anything but grids, levels, columns, walls, floors and openings.

Option 3: We would have a separate set of “dimension grids” that will allow us to show the desired dimension, but we have to move these elements manually as the fixtures are moved.

Solutions from Don R:

Revit Lighting Fixtures - It is suggested that your coordinate the layout of all light fixtures through your consultant and that the fixtures live exclusively in the MEP model. Most architects would cringe at the thought of this, but if coordinated with enough diligence is the better option.

This method actually solves a couple problems...
- There wouldn’t be two separate lighting layouts between the engineers and the architect (very common and always troublesome)
- The light fixture layout that displays on all sheets will be accurately coordinated with the IECC calculations that the engineer is required to provide

Keep in mind that in order for the engineers to accurately schedule and circuit the fixtures, they will have to exist in their design model and be controlled by them (manufacturer, wattages, bulbs, model numbers, etc.). It is common that light fixtures will require locale modifications in order to accommodate egress foot candle minimums and to stay under the IECC wattage requirements so it is best to give your engineer the right to make these types of adjustments so long as they keep you informed as to where and why they have to shift any light fixtures.

Dimensioning - I suggest you save dimensioning fixtures to the end or that you have your engineer provide basic dimensions under your guidance. In the old 2D mindset an engineer would never consider this, but given the new technologies where the building model and its dimensions are far more realistic and accurate in a Revit environment, you may find that your engineer may be willing to do this.

Copy Monitor Limitations - You CANNOT copy monitor light fixtures, nor can they copy monitor your plumbing fixtures.

Detail of Fixtures - In terms of the light fixtures being too detailed when provided from an engineer, I think you will find that engineers tend to avoid over detailing their graphics and that you will not have that issue. If you are concerned as to their graphical representation detail, discuss it with them and I’m sure you can work out a compromise.

Further HOK/ Industry / Revit MEP users comments and suggestions welcome!


Steve said...

That would be my recommendation too! Good advice!

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Unknown said...

Hello, I've been searching for some useful advice on this and your blog seems to be the only space that provides that (as well as an abundance of other useful knowledge!). Related question that I have is, who should own the host element for these things (in this case, the ceiling)? It seems that as the designer, the architect would be the logical owner however, if the architect owns the ceiling and the MEP owns the light fixture, any sections cut would not allow the MEP to cut through the ceiling or the Architect to cut through the fixture. As we are only just beginning our first project w/ a revit using MEP I'm curious as to how others have handled this.
PS I know this post is now a bit dated and thus feel it worth noting we are actually working in Revit 2011. Many thanks!

Peter Vanko said...

Ok...2011 Revit MEP has evolved past some of the statements here, but some persist. Any updates since this was written?

We are having trouble with the lighting fixtures copy monitoring correctly (batch copy drops their eleavtions.)