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    Schedules

    Howdy All,
    I have a question about how ya'll handle schedules in a project. this is my first MEPT company to work for and I am a bit confused on the process. We use CAD files with linked excel schedules. Which makes it confusing come time to submit because I forget about the CAD files sometimes, you know, because its a job in REVIT.
    Any suggestions on how to convince them to use schedules in Revit? I am a BIM Coordinator not a designer jumping from program to program and figuring out which sheets they want in CAD and which in Revit seems like added confusion to a 4 discipline work setting.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    #2
    Originally posted by Jaharnly View Post
    Any suggestions on how to convince them to use schedules in Revit?
    "them"?

    Personally, I electively employ a workflow (a bit) like your CAD one, only with Revit - as in, I export (out) to Excel.

    But I anticipate you're more talking about Excel data (standard and/or project specific) coming from elsewhere (your calculation software/company standards) that you insert into your .dwgs yes? In which case, I defer to MEP peeps...

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jaharnly View Post
      Howdy All,
      I have a question about how ya'll handle schedules in a project. this is my first MEPT company to work for and I am a bit confused on the process. We use CAD files with linked excel schedules. Which makes it confusing come time to submit because I forget about the CAD files sometimes, you know, because its a job in REVIT.
      Any suggestions on how to convince them to use schedules in Revit? I am a BIM Coordinator not a designer jumping from program to program and figuring out which sheets they want in CAD and which in Revit seems like added confusion to a 4 discipline work setting.

      Any help is greatly appreciated.

      Cheers
      The main reason to schedule in Revit is accuracy. The data is populated from the model elements. Likewise, if you edit the schedule (say, an equipment mark for example), it updates in the model therefore updates the tags in the sheet.

      Other reasons for equipment scheduling is quantity checking, spatial location (level, room, etc), drive geometry based on parameter values (200 CFM equals size A, 500 CFM equals size B, etc) and many other great reasons.

      Think scenarios: last minute exhaust fan that gets copied/added to an area right before a submission due to an architectural change. Guess what? It just got added to the schedule. Or, a fan coil unit just got omitted right before a submission due to an architectural change. Guess what? It just got deleted from the schedule. Need to re-label FPB-2-1 to FPB-2-19? No problem, and when you're done, don't worry about checking all the sheets because it's correct.

      Furthermore, when your Families already have the information embedded, then soon as you drop in a FPB, VAV, RTU, EF, GRD's, or whatever, then your schedules begin to populate automatically. This is especially easy for the MEP consultant engineering firms who do a lot of typical projects (education, medical, office, institutional).

      The benefits are definitely there, and I will agree that smaller/quicker projects seem to be more hassle, so manual schedules can be justified (kind of) for those types of scenarios. Medium sized to larger projects, there is no question that utilizing Revit's schedules is the way to go.

      -TZ
      Last edited by tzframpton; October 26, 2017, 08:38 PM.
      Tannar Z. Frampton ™
      Frampton & Associates, Inc.

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        #4
        It can evolve in steps...

        1. Have them link the CAD drawing into Revit so there is one place for printing.
        2. Link the Excel schedule into Revit directly with an add-in such as CTC's Schedule XL.
        3. Do a blend of Excel and Revit schedules. Pick schedules that are not too complex and will highlight the benefits as Tannar highlighted above (Air Terminals, VAV).
        4. All Revit schedules for the win.
        John Karben | IMEG Corp.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Jaharnly View Post
          Howdy All,
          Any suggestions on how to convince them to use schedules in Revit? I am a BIM Coordinator not a designer jumping from program to program and figuring out which sheets they want in CAD and which in Revit seems like added confusion to a 4 discipline work setting.

          Cheers
          I've faced the same challenge at my company. My answer was to put in the effort to build a coherent and documented library of families and schedules that work with them. I didn't ask for anyone's permission or opinion because I knew what the answer would be. So I simply started doing it on my own projects, and being as meticulous as I could about keeping our standards and Project Template updated with the latest content I developed. It was a huge blank slate that I was able to organize as I saw fit, and my plan was to preempt any future "standards pi$$ing match" by having tons of stuff developed ahead of time. It's taken a few years, but I now have a family and schedule for just about anything, and I've gotten good enough at family creation that I can make anything else I need quickly. At this point I simply refuse do the CAD/Excel thing for my schedules, or to have any drawings at all that exist outside of Revit.

          So now no one can say "It'll take too long to develop" or "We don't have a family for [x]", because I've already made it, it's loaded into our template, and I have documentation on how it works. And because it wall all made by one person, me, there's a decent level of consistency. On any of my projects, I can show the bosses how the schedules work and how they saved me time.

          Of course, the problem is I'm still the only one using any of the goodies I've created. My department is small, with only two other "grunts" using Revit and they just ignore my families and schedules and continue making their schedule sheets in CAD with Excel imports. It's sad because I can go into their projects, open up the schedules that came from the template, and they're full of acurate data... but they ignored it all and hand-made their schedule in Excel.

          I've talked to management about it, but I soon realized that they don't really care HOW we do our job, as long as the job gets done. Which is funny, because we track every man-hour closely at my company and the managers watch project budgets like hawks. If I spend 10 hours to finish a job that was supposed to take me 8, I hear about it. We're frequently told to be more efficient, and yet there's no interest in using Revit to actually accomplish that goal at the granular, workflow level.

          At MEP firms there's this hands-off attitude that engineers have when it comes to production work. If you're a project manger then you simply *don't* interact with the CAD drawings or Revit model. None of the managers at my company have Revit on their laptops. Instead you walk over to one of the grunts, ask them to "print me a set of drawings", mark them up by hand, and then drop them on the grunt's desk. And with that 'workflow', the engineer doesn't care what software you're using. Further, Revit becomes an annoyance to them when the schedules aren't in Excel sheets that they can open, and that the Revit drawings don't conform to the 30 year old CAD graphic standards.

          Which is all my long-winded way of saying that the management at MEP firms are the biggest barrier to things like schedules being used. These are stolid, change-averse people who have been doing MEP design a certain way for years and don't want to hear about new ways of doing the same job. And that attitude has rubbed off on most of the grunts, sadly. The best I've been able to accomplish is "roll my own" and get them to accept this is how I do my projects, which works because I've been at this for 19 years and don't need much supervision.

          Hope that helps!

          Comment


            #6
            No, it didn't. I suspect it didn't even help you, except maybe in some therapeutic way. Saddest job related narrative I've read in years. You deserve better than this.
            There must be a better way...

            Ekko Nap
            Professional nitpicker, architect, revit consultant, etc.

            Comment


              #7
              Necro.
              Sadly a familiar story! The hands off approach from engineers is all too common, even in a large fairly progressive engineering company with a central budget for development where managers constantly bang on about innovation like mine!

              Ive never understood it myself, maybe because I come from a family of carpenters. My background is in engineering design, but to me "To Design" means "To Draw/Model" and made my own drawings when I worked with autocad too..
              It seems to be less of a problem for architects as sketching and creating a 3d form have always been an integral part of their work.
              How can someone call themselves a 'designer' when they dont give form to their ideas themselves??
              You can take a drawing by Da Vinci and build his idea from it today, even though the calculations that informed the design are lost and the text explaining it would be unreadable unless you study medieval italian.

              I see things changing slowly but I think its partly because of the inaccessibility of most BIM software to people who struggle with more than Word and partly the attitude of the generation of engineers who really did have a room full of draughtsmen to draw everything for them. Although Im happy to see some of our 'younger' (Late 30s..) lead engineers starting to realise that it is much easier to just open the model and look at things for themselves..
              Its also often an attitude of "Why should I learn new programs and do things differently if its going to cost me more time to input the data myself instead of dumping it on your desk?" without thinking about what the total time cost to the project will be.

              I would advise being proactive in putting standard excel sheets in front of engineers and saying "This is the data I need to do my job, fill it in". Then read that into your model.
              Go above engineers to project managers and tell them that if engineers give you the right data in a form you can use or if they can learn to make a simple design in revit instead of unreadable pencil sketches it will save you X hours/$$
              Find better systems for reviewing and commenting on projects so there is no excuse for doing it on paper (Still working on the second but Solibri, Navisworks and Dalux are now widely used as viewers which stops the requests for prints/pdfs).
              Get cost/quantity people involved with using BIM models, also simulation people. These disciplines can also benefit from data/geometry from the model and this will increase the focus on the data in the model instead of just 2D/3D drawing.


              I sometimes feel like its going to take until Im also just another old git to actually implement what is possible now (The labour of sysiphus is never done), by which time the new generation of engineers will already be whining about our old fashioned BIM ways...
              Last edited by josephpeel; November 1, 2017, 06:39 PM.
              "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Albert Camus - "The innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may ​do well under the new." Nicolo Machiavelli -"Things that are too complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple." Mikhail Kalashnikov

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