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Thread: opinions please

  1. #1
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    Default opinions please

    I’d like to get some general feedback or comments on a couple of BIM related questions, each of which specifically influence the way we work in services.

    Question 1.
    What is the impact of BIM on the D&C form of contract that we as services consultants work to so much these days?
    Using Revit, how can we continue to document to a single line, almost schematic level of detail, no duct or pipe sizes, elevations, dimensions etc. To me, Revit simply doesn’t lend itself to this way of working.

    Question 2.
    I simply want people to comment on the pros and cons of using Revit on a project that the architect and the structural engineer are documenting in 2D CAD only.

    Feel free to comment on either or both!

    Thanks…
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  2. #2
    100 Club dennis howell's Avatar
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    Default Re: opinions please

    General rule I always follow: If you are getting Revit models from the Architect, then do you job in Revit MEP. If they are giving you flats/2Ds from any CAD package, then do it in either the same CAD platform -or- do it in AutoCAD and do it in 2D. Now with that said, I have folks who will do 3D MEP on top of 2D, but will use AutoCAD MEP for that. Attempting to do a big job (100k sqft +) in RMEP ontop of 2D will result in you haveing to build alot of the architectural model, which I think then is a waste of your time. If the job is a small utility room, I have some clients who will go ahead and model the four walls, floor and ceiling, then do their RMEP work, but that is a specific situation where the architectural is very, very simple.
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  3. #3
    I could stop if I wanted to
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    Default Re: opinions please

    I agree with Dennis. Unless you are willing to take the time to model the architectural and structural elements, I wouldn't use Revit with 2d CAD drawings. That being said, we did a data center project where I did take the time to model the existing architectural and structural elements, and it really paid off in the end. I would say that's a fairly rare case though.

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    Default Re: opinions please

    On question 1, I’d say BIM has, by definition, no impact on D & C. There doesn’t seem to be any way to extract information from a D & C layout in any meaningful way. Your best-guess, wet-finger-in-the-air, rule-of-thumb 2D design will simply be used by the contractor to produce the 3D model – I can’t see any way you can use Revit to facilitate the process. In any case, how much extra time, which you ain’t gonna get paid for, are you prepared to spend to make the contractors job easier?

    Even if we’re doing a full design, I’ve often been asked as to why we can’t do the a single-line design in Revit so we can get initial approval and then use that basic model to develop the final design – ‘just like we do in Autocad’. Well we can’t and we never did that in Autocad anyway. We effectively threw the single line layouts out and started again.

    On Q2, I wouldn’t do a 3D services design unless the architect and the structural engineer were doing so as well. You’re not going to get paid to produce the building in 3D, so you won’t have anything with which to coordinate. It would be like a contractor installing the services before they’d started putting up the building.

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    Default Re: opinions please

    Question 2 pro
    you get more experience with revit
    Question 1 pro
    new place holder elements in revit 2012 let you layout schematically
    Question 1 con
    D&C contracts are often uprated to near detail design as consultants try to out service each other to get their foot in the door, in the hope of picking up the more lucrative construction management / design advice consulting role.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: opinions please

    Question 2 - The only benefit I see is that practice makes perfect. You could still have an element of co-ordination between services but that's obviously where it stops. I assume that we will get to the day where Artichokes and our Concrete friends will all be on some 3D platform, so get in there and polish up those skills.

    Having spat out 3 projects over the past year in MEP, dare I say, I don't think I can see myself going back to AwfulCAD.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: opinions please

    Question 1:
    If we are only providing up to an SD stage in design we wouldn't use Revit except maybe to help with space planing of plantrooms and risers. Most of the drawings that we would issue for this would be hand drawn from the engineers or in AutoCad at the most.

    Question 2:
    Pro's:
    For our senior users at least, those that have been using Revit for years, they would be just as quick in Revit as in Cad and would much rather work in Revit.
    You don't need to redraw the architects stuff, just use their Cad file as a background and then you can still use the 3D of Revit to coordinate your MEP model.
    You are more likely to retain your staff if you can keep them using Revit rather than throwing them back on AutoCad.

    Con's:
    Using too many Cad files as backgrounds has been known to lead to performance problems.
    New users are going to take longer, so unless you are using it as part of training costs will blow out.
    If your architect (generally your direct client) is using Cad they are going to want a Cad format back, this can be a major hassle to conform from Revit to someones Cad standards.

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