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Thread: Tips for managing Mechanical and Electrical

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    Tips for managing Mechanical and Electrical

    Hi everyone. Currently I'm getting into my first attempt at managing both Electrical and Mechanical in Revit, and was looking at advice or links for best way of going about this.

    Right now we will have one model/file with both M&E, and I was thinking of using worksets to differentiate between each of them. That's as far as I've gotten so far, so I'd appreciate any input from anyone with experience.

    Thanks!

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    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    Worksets is a definite asset when managing multiple MEP's in a single model. You can decide for yourself how you want to break it out. It can be as simple as two, HVAC and ELECTRICAL. Or you can break them out a bit further, such as ELEC LTG and ELEC PWR to differentiate the two electrical disciplines, and MECH HVAC and MECH PIPING for the mechanical, as an example.

    Another thing I would recommend is to make sure your Mechanical Equipment Families have an electrical connector that is associated with Shared Parameters so the information can be utilized between disciplines. You may already do this, so I'm mentioning this on a just-in-case basis.

    -TZ
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    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!

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    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necro99 View Post
    As for Worksets, the fewer the better. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of using them like AutoCAD layers.
    Wholly agree with this.

    -TZ
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    Forum Addict josephpeel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzframpton View Post
    Wholly agree with this.

    -TZ
    Very much agree! If you make worksets for every discipline you will go crazy trying to manage all the things that get put in the wrong worksets (Which ALWAYS happens, no matter how disciplined your users are). It helps to make some 3D views with only one workset visible, to visually check what is in which workset. Also I mostly stick to only working in a single 'Work' workset and only move things to other worksets when neccesary.

    Also its v important to understand what worksets can/cant be used for.. They are primarily useful for things that you want to selectively open or not (Via Open->Specify). They will not prevent users from changing each others stuff (Use separate models if this is the goal). They are not a good solution for controlling visibility (Use templates and categories). You cannot filter by Workset in schedules so they are not a good way of dividing up your components into zones or disciplines.

    Things I use worksets for are; Linked models (So if you dont need them you can choose to open a model faster without them), Spaces (Allow you to unload/load models faster if the spaces workset is closed, whithout recalculating everything), Scope Boxes because you want them to be globally invisible (also for others who link your model, so they dont mess up their 3D views and sections), and specific things that others using your linked model need to globally turn on/off (Like grids and levels if they have their own).

    @Necro99 Nice! I still struggle to get the electrical people to see the point of using revit not acad ("We only want symbols on 2D plans...") let alone integrate design with mechanical.
    Last edited by josephpeel; March 16th, 2017 at 02:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josephpeel View Post
    They will not prevent users from changing each others stuff
    Thats not correct, stopping other people changing what im working on is the primary use of worksets for me. If you create a workset for say electrical put all you electrical stuff on there & make the workset editable so you become the owner no one else in the model can modify anything on that workset without requesting & then you granting permission

    Personally im a coordinator so I model all MEP so I create a workset for each floor then you can have multiple people working on different floors.
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    Forum Addict josephpeel's Avatar
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    Thats true, but do you find it actually works in practice?
    Last time I trialed that approach it led to so much frustration through elements being locked unnecessarily and people never responding to editing requests (There really should be an in your face pop-up with only grant/deny options) it was quickly abandoned in favour of just talking to each other and agreeing who does what.
    Also you can CREATE objects in locked worksets, its only changes that require permission. So you get people creating 5 of the same thing until they figure out why its not working and then they have to call you to ask you to delete it...

    Maybe I should try it again... but it seems like creating unneccesary work to me.
    Last edited by josephpeel; March 16th, 2017 at 04:14 PM.
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    Ive not had any problems using it that way my last project had major time constraints so have at least 5 people in the model & upto 10 at times from different offices & even company's. I found it forced people to think about what workset they needed to use
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    Quote Originally Posted by josephpeel View Post
    Nice! I still struggle to get the electrical people to see the point of using revit not acad ("We only want symbols on 2D plans...") let alone integrate design with mechanical.
    I'm fortunate in that my electrical counterpart is very pro-Revit and has been on-board with every change I've wanted to make, mostly because it makes their job easier! Before I set everything up, they had to place junction boxes near our equipment, manually name them to match our Marks, and then hand-enter the kVA. Now all they have to do is tag my equipment and hook up to it directly.

    My big problem has been getting the other Mechanical people to start using this stuff. I've literally created hundreds of families and schedules, a complete set of Shared Parameters, a few Dynamo scripts, working duct static pressure calculations, a nicely optimized and set-up Template, and written narratives documenting how it all works... and these goons are still creating their schedule sheets in AutoCAD and importing CAD-Standard schedules that are made in Excel. They refuse to use Revit any more than they have to and I can't get Management to really care. The projects are getting out the door and that's all they care about.
    Last edited by Necro99; March 16th, 2017 at 06:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by josephpeel View Post
    Maybe I should try it again... but it seems like creating unneccesary work to me.
    I personally wouldnt, its a terrible way to work IMHO (no offense meant to the person who suggested it). They made Revit use Element Borrowing on purpose. You used to HAVE to check out worksets, way back in the day. And it sucked.

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