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Thread: Tips for managing Mechanical and Electrical

  1. #11
    New Member
    Join Date
    December 28, 2018
    Current Local Time
    10:38 AM

    mechanical and electrical schedule

    First post, go easy on me! Also, I'm on the electrical side, not the mechanical side.

    So, I've done exactly what you have described for automating the electrical portion, but I made a single electrical family that uses the national motor symbol, and I set up types that already have the voltage and phase predefined by type parameters. It takes out the step of having to physically populate the voltage/phase, but as I'm sure you know, the trade off is having more types of a particular family and adding more clutter. I've also used extensive IF statements to work with the NEC tables to be able to auto populate the FLA, MCA, and feeder sizing. This works great if I'm able to just use the national motor symbol family I have set up for the electrical side, but my boss has requested we not use the motor symbol for every mechanical equipment, because not all of the mechanical equipment technically requires a motor. Due to this, I've started to explore possibly using the mechanical equipment and adding all of my parameters to their equipment. From the brief observations I have made, they seem to not have their equipment in the Revit file quick enough for our schedule to populate as early as I would like in the project. Do I need to just place their equipment so I can start filling out the electrical side, or how have you approached this coordination problem? Our mechanical department is not as far along as the electrical side for Revit automation, so any pointers on the direction for our coordination would be appreciated. If there is a way I could analyze one of your mechanical Revit families I would appreciate that as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Necro99 View Post
    Expanding on what TZ said, your mechanical families have the capability to fully automate your Mechanical/Electrical coordination.

    Your electric-resistance heating equipment, i.e. "toasters" (duct reheat coils, water heaters, unit heaters, etc.) can use their kW value to drive the Apparent Load at the Electrical Connector. 15.0 kw = 15.0 kVA. Easy-peasy.

    Your motor-driven equipment (fans, pumps, etc.) can use lookup tables that contain the data from NEC tables 430.248 and 430.250, which list FLA values for each nominal motor horsepower, for each voltage. This way, all you have to do is select the correct voltage and enter the desired nominal horsepower, and the correct FLA value will automatically populate. You can then take this FLA value and multiply it by the Voltage and, for 3 phase only, the square root of 3 (1.732) to get your Apparent Load in Volt-Amperes. (I can go into greater detail on how I did this if you're interested.)

    Your fan-powered VAV terminal units will use a combination of the two above methods, because they have both a heating coil and a motor. You basically perform both calculations and then add the two VA values together in the formula for your Apparent Load parameter.

    For most other equipment, you'll be given the FLA (or RLA for compressorized equipment) by the manufacturer, and you can use that and the voltage to drive your Apparent Load parameters.

    Another thing you can do is set your Template up so your on/off visibility between Mechanical and Electrical Views is preset. What I did was create a Project Type Parameter that applied to all Mechanical Equipment called "Exclude from Electrical Views". Then, for Mechanical Equipment Types that Electrical doesn't want to see on their plans (i.e. equipment that doesn't require power) I check that box in the Type Properties window. Then, in the Electrical Power View Template, I created a Filter that hid any Mechanical Equipment that had that box checked. This requires you to have a bunch of families pre-loaded into your Template, which I'm a fan of, but I know some people don't favor that approach.

    As for Worksets, the fewer the better. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of using them like AutoCAD layers. Unless you've got a really compelling reason to do otherwise, all of your Worksets should be visible in all views, and you should be using your View Templates and View Filters to control visibility. If any of your Revit users are creating Worksets like "Mechanical-Electrical" or "Plumbing Domestic Water", take a stick (hereafter to be referred to as your BIM STICK) and hit them with it.

    Hope that helps!

  2. #12
    Mr. Revit OpEd
    Join Date
    December 14, 2010
    Current Local Time
    03:38 AM
    Motor Symbol - I assume you're using a nested family for that? You can use an instance parameter to turn on/off the symbol (Visible Parameter) so you can decide if a motor is applicable for each instance you place. Alternatively use more types that either are or are not motor connections.

    I prefer to use connection families that mimic the way other trade equipment gets connected to the electrical system. In other words, a RTU will require a disconnect (code/safety). I'd place a disconnect family where the RTU is expected to go and add that to my circuit. Each type would include all the typical data for such a device. Then when an actual unit is specified I can review it against my educated guess. The only thing missing between their device and mine is the whip that actually connects them.

    I'd approach the electrical connections for flush valves and such too. Nearly every device of this sort gets connected to the panel by starting at a junction box w/ face plate for service access. Where there is a direct connection Revit does have some stock connection families that are just a disc that is hosted by a face. You can place one on a surface of the nested family. I still prefer one that isn't hosted, just placed adjacent to the element. This way element swapping or replacement by the other discipline does not create orphaned hosting issues. It's a pick your poison situation - which approach ultimately takes less time to resolve or validate? Every project will vary some.

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