Plumbing Code Calculations With Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL – Part 1

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

The Issue

Revit® has trouble with complex calculations and the ability to run cross-category math. This can be frustrating when design calculations need to be run. In the case of plumbing code calculations, we need to take the occupancy of a defined area (floor, smoke compartment, etc.) and use these totals to derive the number of different plumbing fixtures that are required by code to be designed into these areas. Many firms run these calculations manually, but this can be done far more efficiently. This white paper will describe how a re-usable workflow can generate occupancy, calculate plumbing fixture counts and generate graphics for use in Revit to present this information in a live model.

Typical Workflow

In manual workflows, some Architectural firms will use either fake calculated values in a Revit schedule, then sometimes copy those values across to a real parameter for display in a tag, a schedule, and on the actual room object. Some firms may also use a calculated value in a tag to reduce some of the manual data transfer. Other firms will export schedules to Excel®, and run calculations there, but then must manually copy the values back into Revit. In all cases, the process is very manual and extremely error prone.

This is also rather time consuming, reducing potential production time. Regardless of how we get the room occupancy, we always must manually transfer the occupancy to a spreadsheet for our code checks, present the information in a meaningful way and return this information back to Revit. This is also entirely manual and error prone. Nothing keeps this information up to date with the Revit project model. There needs to be a better, more efficient way to do these types of calculations, and return the result of our efforts to the Revit project model and include the information on the construction document set.

Solution

This entire workflow can be heavily automated using the Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL tools from the CTC BIM Project Suite. Your current spreadsheet can be incorporated, and the values entered far more automatically. Even the room occupancy calculations can be tuned to your liking, entered directly into the room/area/space elements you are using in the Revit model. Further, the spreadsheet graphics can be directly linked into the model, avoiding any manual image or CAD file workflows.

  • Establish predictable, repeatable workflows for all Revit users
  • Leverage existing spreadsheet layouts so formatting in Revit aligns with company graphic standards
  • Implement the power of spreadsheet formulas to drive calculations and graphics
  • Import spreadsheet graphics directly into the Revit model for use on sheets