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Revit OpEd: My Kingdom for a Dimension...or Two...Three

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    Revit OpEd: My Kingdom for a Dimension...or Two...Three

    A Friday thought...

    I've spent the last couple years doing a lot more modelling work than I expected to do. If you asked me in years before I'd have told you 80-90% percent of my time was dedicated to training and implementation activities.

    Much of the modelling I do these days is from the contractor's point of view, for them. I quite enjoy it. I learn a lot and it keeps me on my toes.

    This work is requested often because the documents they are using are not created from models to begin with. Sometimes they are but they have to build based on drawings so they find it informative to attempt to build things in the computer before doing it in the field. Where have I heard that notion before?

    Chief among the things that trouble me doing so is the lack of dimensions. If there are lots of dimensions then the issue is their message or rather the lack of clear intent.

    All too often I find a slab edge plan is lacking that one dimension, between adjacent slabs for example, that I could really use. In other instances the decision to start plotting the dimensions is based on a datum that involves a fussy sight related angle based on a property line; when other orthogonal options are available.

    I've also seen far more effort and devotion applied to dimensions for parking stripes in a parking garage than for the structural elements that make it possible to paint those stripes on eventually. Then you have the dimension value bust. Such as, setting out the building grids reveals a subtle mathematical inconsistency or outright typographical error or override.

    Then there are the dimensions that describe how to place something relative to other elements that get installed later during construction. How do we place a concrete column by referencing interior partitions...when those dimensions don't relate back to grids or structural elements? That issue is both missing dimensions and logical progression.

    Often I have to endure the game of look over there, as if a hockey puck is getting smacked back and forth, when one says look at those guy's drawing for more information and then the other says the reverse. Slab edges that are required to overlap (per nearly matching details) are a real chore to sort out when you have to flip back and forth constantly and double check against the reflected ceiling plans...oops their inconsistent with the plans...note to generate an email...

    Then there are arcs. Thanks for all the radius and diameter information. Could I get something that tells me where their origins are supposed to be? Yes I do realize that one or two might be located somewhere on the outskirts of town. Then again if doing so exposes that issue up front when they are sketched, maybe we could get some other localized notion of how to place them on site too?

    Though I've rarely encountered it in real life, I've really learned to appreciate the my documents stand on their own philosophy. In other words, a structural set of documents could be used in isolation to build all the the structural elements required, correctly, even if the rest of the work never got funded. It IS harder to do because it requires concerted effort to coordinate the disciplines well.

    Yes I know, it's complicated, building stuff is messy. Now that I mention it, have you noticed, like me, that those ugly fractions people don't like seeing on drawings still crop up everywhere in real life.

    Ah well, enough complaining. I've got some slab edges to reconcile. Back to grumbling to myself again. May we all a dimensionally accurate weekend!


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