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Thread: Underfloor Ductwork

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    Question Underfloor Ductwork

    How have you represented ductwork that's below the floor that it is serving? Ideally I'd like to be able to filer out what is below the floor but isn't serving any spaces above. Previously I'd populated a text parameter, which is fine for a piece of equipment or a duct accessory, but ductwork comes and goes, and I'd like a convenient way to turn the ductwork in an underfloor system on/off without affecting the ductwork that's above the floor.

    I'd prefer to not have duplicate "Supply Air - Underfloor" and "Return Air - Underfloor" duct systems, or resort to running a Dynamo graph periodically. If that's what it comes down to, though, I might just have to bite the bullet. The ideal way (IMO) would be to filter for an elevation with respect to a level, and check if the system name contains something like "-UF", but I'm still supporting 2017, and without an extra parameter, that's a a no-go.

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    Could filter by System Name. Would need to maintain well connected systems but it would be consistent as ductwork comes and goes. Could be handled with one filter with Or statements for the various names that pertain.


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    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    Can you give more background on what exactly is the "underfloor" ductwork is? Are you purposely showing duct that is below the floor of the View, or are you having an issue with different floor levels, such as a multi-story span, etc? If it's a floor level issue (for instance, a mezzanine level or a low/high roof or something similar) then I would simply suggest Plan Regions. Alternatively, you can simply Hide Elements as you see fit. I've learned through the years to get back into a simple process of just hiding something rather than trying to concoct some uber-parameter Filtering method.

    Now, if this is an underfloor duct that is say, in a crawlspace, and coming up to floor mounted grilles, then I would suggest some View Range methods, but I would need more info on the nature of what this "underfloor" duct is.

    On a side note, I never purposely show duct that is below or above the level that is being represented of the View on the Sheet. I will use continuation notes that indicate to go to another level or sheet for further information, or show Section Views if it gets real tricky to visualize in a Plan View. If my sheet is "LEVEL 2 OVERALL HVAC PLAN" then nothing will be shown other than duct that is related to the level 2 slab. I won't even show clerstory duct that's the same elevation because when the guy in the field is on a scissor lift hanging duct, his tape is dropping and touching the level 1 slab, not level 2.

    I say this just in case a re-thinking of what you're showing and why you're showing it is in question. Hope this helps.

    -TZ

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    Duct coming up to floor mounted grilles would be the typical application. From time to time, we design the ductwork to be in the first floor ceiling and come up through the second floor slab/framing. I'd like to be able to show the ductwork in the ceiling serving the grilles, but not show the ductwork that serves the level below. Manually hiding ductwork is what we did on the last project, but it is a bear to manage, especially when revising. Showing it only in the floor plan where it's in the ceiling would be great, but we've found it beneficial for reference to show it dashed underfloor when the installation get's complicated.

    It doesn't come up too often, but I'm revisiting our template and figured I'd see if there was a more elegant solution that I could implement now.

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    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    I will, with respect, disagree with not showing all of the ductwork on the level it's being hung and installed on. The reason: 1) it's confusing, 2) it doesn't allow the mind to understand the entire scope on that level. If I were to apply the mindset of showing ductwork that is serving another area to the rest of the project, then you'd see a lot of duct not showing up in a lot of areas.

    To "meet in the middle" would be to halftone the duct on each sheet that is not meant to be focused on, where it's still shown but not in focus. I would even still tag/label everything that is not in focus and halftone it as well.

    To me, since you have indicated that it's not very often it comes up, and as bear of a process it is to manually hide/unhide (which can't be too bad, really, since connected systems are easy to Tab+Select entire runs), I still think that a manual hide/unhide is just as easy or easier than other options, due to the fact that those other options can be a pain to manage. Either route you go, a slip up in "applying" the parameter, or system, or whatever process you put in place to give you a sense of "auto-fix" will fail if you don't apply it.

    It comes down to a "no ultimate solution, only trade off" scenario. Choose your poison that works best for you on this one.

    -TZ

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    We are in total agreement that all ductwork that's being installed on a level should be shown on the floor plan for that level. I'd prefer to also show it dashed on the level it actually serves for reference, the benefit of which is neither here nor there. Getting into a debate about it wasn't my intent, though perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my response.

    I think you are right that it's a "no win" scenario. Chasing a perfect, automatic solution is futile. But chasing down random ductwork that gets added or changed and is suddenly not hidden anymore can take a stupidly long amount of time, especially when it's obscured by something I actually want to show. C'est la vie.

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    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Roffe View Post
    I'd prefer to also show it dashed on the level it actually serves for reference, the benefit of which is neither here nor there.​
    I've went down this approach before in my younger drafting days and through many discussions with the guys actually putting it in the field, I finally realized what they truly need. If I'm a contractor and I'm putting in floor grilles in a concrete slab that's connecting to duct below the floor I'm kneeling down on, I have no reason to see the ductwork below the slab with that floor I'm standing on because I can't do anything about it. This is my thought process as to why I eventually did away with the idea of showing things below or above in this manner, and why I mentioned it above in my comments.

    My apologies in advance if it seemed like I was debating. It was just dialogue and discourse on my end. Was wanting to give you some things to consider is all. There's no right or wrong way on this topic, only preference.

    -TZ
    Last edited by tzframpton; July 12th, 2019 at 08:29 PM.

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    And the difference is, the field guys I support have expressed that they appreciate seeing it. Different strokes. I apologize for being defensive. I just hate going back and forth on rationale via text posts, unless I'm specifically asking for it. There's just too much room for interpretation.

    I think I'm going to table my efforts for now and put more energy into areas of my template that need more attention with more concrete solutions.

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