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MEP coordination: the vertical dimension

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    MEP coordination: the vertical dimension

    One of the regular "frustrations" we have with linked MEP models is issues in the vertical dimension. Lights above the ceiling, ducts and pipes below, etc. I know in all three disciplines sheeted RCPs the ceiling needs to be off, as the point of the drawings is to show how the systems interconnect, and the systems cross the ceiling boundary. But with the ceiling off, the RCP gives no feedback as to the accuracy of vertical placement.
    My initial thought is that there needs to be a "coordination" or "working" view in the MEP model, where you can quickly verify that things are showing up as expected because the architects ceiling is on and opaque. I know a number of our consultants are very new in Revit so any recommendations along these lines can really help them move forward faster, which benefits us all. But before I mention this in a kickoff meeting I want to see if this does indeed make sense from an MEP workflow standpoint.

    Also, is there anything we on the Architecture side can do in our models that would make it easier for the MEP side to coordinate locations? Obviously, above and beyond the usual "don't delete thinsg when you can move them" and "tell us when you move things".

    Thanks!
    Gordon
    Pragmatic Praxis

    #2
    I can understand your frustration, it's not that hard to stay above the ceiling. We do most of our MEP modeling in a composite "work" view that has everything visible so we can avoid the other disciplines as we draw. These composite views are set for wireframe, so the ceiling is not blocking the view.

    We use temporary sections a lot to monitor how the content we are drawing interacts with the other disciplines, as well as the architectural and structural models. We also use Navisworks throughout the process to catch anything we might have missed.

    As for suggestions for the architects, the most important thing for me is being able to trust that the model is accurate. If a ceiling assembly is 4", it should be modeled at 4".

    Thanks for asking,
    John

    Comment


      #3
      John,
      thanks for the feedback. I can certainly see where us doing things diagrammatically could cause you no end of grief.

      One other thing I am curious about. We often need to see light fixtures and such in 3D, with good render materials. My question is, is there any reasonable workflow where we can provide a version of the light fixture that you incorporate into your family? Including getting the materials mapped and such? Or is this just not viable and the only option is still for us to have our own set of lights for rendering purposes? Indeed, I would love to be able to provide the Electrical Engineer with a library of light families, that can then be nested in an electrical light family that contains the connector and all the engineering data. Would it be reasonable for you to work from an Architect provided library like that? I suspect something like the KiwiCodes Family Browser would make it easier, you just have a different folder for each architect' library. Hmm.... Crazy, or potential?

      This is one of those things where Revit is really fundamentally changing the workflow. Back in the day, any "rendering" was a long process done out of the office, or at least in office by a dedicated renderer working in totally different software and using their own modeled lights and such.

      In Revit, it is not at all uncommon to have the client request a rendering of a particular space on very short notice. And honestly, if the model is "right" there is no reason at all we shouldn't be able to knock out a decent rendering in a day, from the current model, not some 2 month old SketchUp or Max model that needs a ton of revising. It can, and I think should, be a team task, not a specialized task. BUT, that means all the consultant's models need to be render ready too. We are still struggling with getting our own models render ready on short notice, but I would love to find a way to coordinate this aspect of Revit use across the larger team as well. Ideally without it being too painful for anyone.

      One thought that comes to mind is to find a way to make the rendering an added cost item, and that money is shared. But of course there are too many who just give away everything, so clients now expect that and added cost may be a hard/impossible sell in some markets.

      Gordon
      Last edited by Gordon Price; February 15, 2011, 05:07 PM.
      Pragmatic Praxis

      Comment


        #4
        Gordon,

        We're not an engineering firm, so I'll let them speak for themselves as to what they would need if the architect provided the families, but what we would need is that it is accurately sized. We do BIM coordination, so everything needs to be "real life" sized so that we know if there is a clash or not when we run our Navisworks check.

        Generally, our scope is usually the mechanical and plumbing, with just the large conduit and cable trays for electrical. All of the rest of the electrical and fire protection are provided to us by the subs to link in to our file. So, while light fixtures wouldn't apply to us, we'd be happy to use mechanical or plumbing fixtures provided by the architect as long as they're not hosted, since our arch file is linked in.

        I can see what you are trying to accomplish for your renderings, and I feel your pain. I used to do architectural renderings in a previous career from a 2D industry. I had to use vanilla Autocad to model the building. The only concession was they bought Accurender for me to use for the rendering part, so I know how important it is to have a consistent model to match your material mapping.

        John

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