November 22, 2016

Revit MEP Beyond the Basics: Project Setup & Workflow

Hello All, Bill Johnson - Senior MEP/AEC Tech at Ideate writing to you today. I am pleased to introduce to you a brand-new course titled, “Revit MEP Beyond the Basics: Project Setup & Workflow.” This course has been a long time in the making, with lots of on-going discussion and reiterations.

One of the main drivers for this course was driven home to me during my most recent Revit MEP Family class. The question was asked, "Bill, besides specific MEP Families, what else should we have setup in our Revit discipline specific templates?” “What should be setup,” indeed! This is exactly the question our new class will explore. Plus, we will cover some of the more important, yet sometimes overlooked, aspects of Revit MEP, starting with the Three Major Project Setup types. And here you thought there was only one!

We will also review several key setup and configuration items that should be addressed by the advanced Revit user to help with productivity issues and consistency within a project. We will focus on modifying Project and Family templates that are included with Revit MEP, and will review working with Phases and customizing Panel Schedules.

This class will be more than a lecture, it will be a vehicle through which you can share what you have learned, such as the pros and cons of Phasing and Design Options in Revit MEP. You will, of course, also learn how to migrate your AutoCAD settings into Revit MEP; this covers the system environment and the project settings, which help you control the appearance of components and sub-components with a Project. It is our goal that by the end of this class you will have a solid start on your office template, which can be then used as your default template.

Some of the topics to be covered will be:
• Views and view templates
• Using Scope Boxes for view size consistency and manipulation of angled building plans
• Tips for cleaning up architect’s files
• Controlling display of information within linked files
• Separating mechanical equipment types into schedules
• Addressing why pipes seem to have difficulty being drawn when connecting to fixtures
• Differentiate circuited vs. uncircuited electrical devices

Revit itself is one of the most used Building Information Modeling applications across different disciplines, including architecture, MEP and structural. The Revit MEP Beyond the Basics course will offer Revit MEP professionals the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and refine their skills using the software.

The first class will be taught online in two, four-hour days, on December 19th and 20th. In addition to this class, we at Ideate have increased our offerings to include Revit for Interior Architecture, Revit Architecture Families and AutoCAD Advanced. This is a very exciting time for our training department.

For a more in-depth look into our Revit MEP Beyond the Basics: Project Setup & Workflow. – Online class and other new Ideate online training offerings, visit the Ideate website.

http://www.ideateinc.com/about/about.htmlBill Johnson
Senior Application Specialist MEP/AEC Solutions

Bill has over 25 years experience in applying MEP & AEC design solutions for large commercial companies, this has led to actively developed Autodesk® Revit® implementation strategies, techniques, and procedures for architectural and MEP companies. He has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill is an Autodesk MEP Implementation Certified Expert, and has been the Lead Designer for several multi-million dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He graduated from the Pasadena Institute of Technology and has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

November 10, 2016

Revit MEP: It’s shocking news - Electrical Circuit Schedule

Hello All, this post is to remind all the Revit MEP “Reviteers” out there that Revit is as much a documentation and database tool as it is a design assist tool. In this post, I will cover how you can use certain schedules to help make informed decisions about specific elements of design, such as voltage drop and wire sizing.

It’s important to note, Revit tends to overestimate the wire length at times, and therefore outputs a higher voltage drop than necessary. These are not intended to be exact numbers; they are intended to inform the designer when further research is needed. Also, note the Feeder Tag column (i.e., MCB2, MCA2) is not directly related to the wire size. There are still a few quirks in Revit that cause any Automated Feeder Tags/schedules to be unreliable in rare cases, and unfortunately unusable on most projects.


Now, let’s dive in.


First, create an Electrical Circuit schedule with the following Parameters and add a Calculated Value, Voltage Drop (%), with the formula shown. (click to enlarge images.)

The schedule below shows a portion of the resulting Electrical Circuit schedule. This information is directly related to the Panel Schedule, so all information can be updated in any of the three following places: floor plans, Panel Schedules, or the schedule below.
It’s also possible to apply conditional formatting to the schedule to highlight areas of concern. Below, the conditional formatting for the Voltage Drop (%) field is shown, which highlights any value over 3% with a red background. This is very helpful when trying to quickly identify problematic circuits needing more research.
As stated previously, these schedules can be used for design assist tasks. Take breaker sizing for example: adding the True Current field to the schedule will show the design load, or in some cases, one could use the value of Apparent Current. It’s easy to add a few simple Calculated Values and conditional formatting to quickly double-check that the size of the breaker is adequate for the load.

Of course, this will not be 100% accurate in all situations. Motors, for example, will need further engineering.

To check breaker size, first add the True Current, or Apparent Current, field to the schedule (not shown).

Then add the two following Calculated Values with the shown conditional formatting on the Current Difference:

125% True Current is the minimum allowed breaker size, and ensures that the circuit is never more than 80% loaded.

The current difference takes that minimum breaker size and subtracts the breaker rating.

With a value of zero, the breaker size = the minimum allowed, therefore the size is adequate. 

Any negative numbers are acceptable, as they indicate a breaker size larger than the minimum allowed. The conditional formatting, when this number is larger than zero, is highlighted in red to illustrate an inadequately sized breaker.

Now you're ready to get started using Revit for design assist tasks, try this workflow in action.


For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

http://www.ideateinc.com/about/about.htmlBill Johnson
Senior Application Specialist MEP/AEC Solutions

Bill has over 25 years experience in applying MEP & AEC design solutions for large commercial companies, this has led to actively developed Autodesk® Revit® implementation strategies, techniques, and procedures for architectural and MEP companies. He has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill is an Autodesk MEP Implementation Certified Expert, and has been the Lead Designer for several multi-million dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He graduated from the Pasadena Institute of Technology and has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

November 9, 2016

Ideate, Inc. Launches Bluebeam Revu Class


San Francisco, CA, November 7, 2016-Ideate, Inc., a Bluebeam value added reseller, announced today that it has expanded its relationship with Bluebeam, Inc. to include classroom training on Bluebeam Revu for the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) communities. Bluebeam Revu is a powerful PDF creation, editing, markup, and collaboration software.

“We decided to offer this one-day course after hearing that some of our customers use just a fraction of the tools available in Bluebeam Revu,” said Sash Kazeminejad, an award-winning instructor with Ideate and a Bluebeam Certified Instructor. “In too many cases, field or office professionals learn just what they need to get by. This course teaches the full functionality of Revu so users can achieve greater productivity. During this course, we will walk students through hands-on activities using AECO industry-based datasets. To ensure that everyone is able to start using the tools right away, we will give them a comprehensive workbook and datasets to practice with during and after the class.”

In a progressive learning structure where each session builds on previous objectives, attendees will get an overview of the software and will learn how to save time with:

· Markup tools, Revu stamps, the Tool Chest™, and the Markups list
· PDF creation
· Documentation management and set up
· Studio Session and Projects

After completing the course, attendees who pass an online test with Bluebeam will be able to distinguish themselves as “Bluebeam Certified Users.”

“One of our goals at Ideate is to help our customers get the most out of their software investments,” says Bob Palioca, president of Ideate, Inc. “This new educational offering demonstrates our commitment to achieving that goal.”
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About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years’ experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM). As an Autodesk solutions provider, Ideate has offered quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industries since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in California, Oregon, and Washington, Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Platinum Partner for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction, Autodesk’s highest level of authorization.

November 8, 2016

Managing the Revit Project Browser: View Usage

The Revit Project Browser lets you navigate between project views. When the Project Browser has many views, it can be hard to find the one you want. The good news is there is an option to sort the browser and impose order according to parameter. While default options include sorting by File Type, Discipline, Not on Sheets, Phase, or a combination of these, most people think of View Usage as a good way to sort and arrange the views.

If you add a View Usage parameter, values for view function can be added to the View Properties. This means views can subsequently be sorted using these values. You can isolate View Usage in the Browser for several things, including:

• CD - Construction documentation
• EXPORT - Export to other products such as 3ds Max, Navisworks, BIM Glue, or Autodesk Live
• MODELING - Working or modeling views, not going onto a sheet
• PRESENTATION - Presentation views to explain the model, but not on a sheet
• PRINTING - Views to be printed as posters, not placed on a sheet
• RENDERING - Rendering 3D views to produce images that will go onto a sheet

Project Browser sorted for View Usage
A View List can be used to manage these views in the project and to maintain project standards such as View Usage or designation of View Templates. This will allow you to control what is visible in these views and how they look graphically.
Manage Project Standards
With the Project Browser sorted by View Usage, it is, for example, clearer to everyone on the team which views they should working/modeling in and which managed views are reporting on the model and will be part of the construction document set. The result? Better communication all ‘round!

To see this workflow in action, please watch the accompanying video to this post.


For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

AEC Senior Application Specialist
Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience, Autodesk design solutions expertise, and status as an Autodesk Certified Instructor have made him a sought after university curriculum developer, instructor, and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include eLearning, interoperability between solutions, and overcoming barriers to the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Educated in Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot–Watt University and in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Jim has special focus on sustainability issues: daylight analysis, sun studies, lighting analysis, modeling buildings, and conceptual energy modeling (models with shading devices). You can learn more from Jim on his YouTube Channel.