Plumbing Code Calculations With Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL – Part 2

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

Result

When the workflow is developed and implemented, the entire building occupancy can be calculated in a minute, and the code validation table can be filled out. With one more step, that same table can be linked back into the Revit model for use on sheets. Any user, on any project, at any time can leverage this workflow to get updated numbers and update the tables on the sheets. Revit data-entry frustrations and quality control issues are gone, since you can leverage the power of computers to do what computers were designed for by automating the repetitive tasks that creative human minds are not great at completing.

Savings/Benefits Users do not need to know the formulas that are running automatically. They do not need to depend on Dynamo scripts that can be volatile after updates. They can simply walk through a simple workflow that is stable and repeatable. The manual, error prone process can be eliminated, allowing users to focus more on design and documentation more than focusing on basic calculations and manual data entry. Time savings can be found every time that print day approaches. Design time can be extended since this time-consuming manual process is now automated.

Conclusion

Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL from the CTC BIM Project Suite can help automate calculations. This example of occupancy and plumbing code calculations can be automated nearly 100%. There are many other areas where this type of automation can save hours of time consistently throughout the design and documentation process. Whenever you or your team are pulling data from the Revit model, transferring to a spreadsheet environment, running some calculations then manually transferring data or graphics back into Revit, think about how this can be automated by the BIM Project Suite. Manual, repetitive tasks are not enjoyable, often error-prone and should be eliminated where possible. Let the tools generated for you by CTC Software augment your workflow to allow you and your team to be more creative for longer periods.

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

Parameter Jammer using Revit MEP and CTC Tools

By Patrick Siemek, Technical Consultant AEC at SolidCAD

 

Parameter Jammer

Are you a Revit MEP user and frequently download Revit content from manufacturers or sources like BIM Object? Once that content is loaded into the project, is there a struggle to get the family properly to work with your schedules? Well than the CTC Parameter Jammer tool is the one to help solve these problems.

Downloading Revit family content regularly brings along shared parameters to your project that are different from your company’s standards. This will give inconsistent information within the schedules. Use Parameter Jammer to deal with those problems.

Here is a schedule with a family loaded into a project but does not have information populated because of the inconsistent parameters from the family to the project.

Run Parameter Jammer

With a simple user interface, there a couple steps needed to map the loaded family’s parameters to match the project.

  • Select your companies shared parameter file
  • Select the schedule that the family will be residing in
  • Select the family/families that the parameters need to be modified

In the next window, you will get a list of all the Shared Parameters from the selected schedule along with the family parameters. From the family parameter list, you will apply what needs to be done to the family. Parameter Jammer will also find same named parameters and automatically map them. When you select the drop-down list, you specify a family parameter to match the ones in your schedule. It will only show parameters that have the same units. You can also create a new instance or type parameter for the loaded family.

A final report will be displayed to show what has been done.

As you can see, downloadable content being used in a project does not need to have much modification for it to work properly in your current projects. Parameter Jammer gives you the ability to quickly grab information from the new loaded families and map those parameters to meet your company standards. Your schedules will be up to date and have no missing information in a matter of a few clicks using Parameter Jammer.

Reconcile the Differences Between Parameters live in projects without Destroying Data

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Let’s talk about Revit families. Are your Revit users pulling families from manufacturer websites, then having to spend project time individually reconciling the differences between the parameters used without destroying existing data?

Downloaded Revit family content introduces shared parameters into a project that are often times different from the parameters used in the company’s schedule. These differences often cause schedules to display incomplete or inaccurate data requiring tedious, individual fixes.

BIM Project Suite 2020’s Parameter Jammer uses a two-step process to swap the parameters in the family to reconcile the differences between the parameters without destroying your existing data, saving users time and headaches. The first step swaps parameters that can be safely identified as a match, while the second allows users to map, add or omit parameters that do not need to be swapped.
Parameter Jammer is user friendly, and was designed so that Revit users who are unfamiliar with the family editor can successfully prepare a family to be scheduled; it also:

• Uses the schedule to derive parameter needs; and
• Allows the end user to push parameters into a non-standard family.

Maximize your Revit project team’s time with Parameter Jammer and the entire BIM Project Suite 2020 by downloading a free software trial and scheduling a demo today.

CTC BIM Projct Suite 2020 – Invisibility Advisor

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Find improperly displayed elements in Revit with Invisibility Advisor. Part of the BIM Project Suite, this tool can also identify the cause of invisibilty as well as offer useful information and links to relevant knowledgeable articles for each issue.

Common Challenges

Revit users may spend 2-4 hours a week on average resolving object visibility issues

Revit has various ways of finding objects, and users rarely check all

Often invisibility can be controlled by multiple factors and multiple users

Solution – Invisibility Advisor

Invisibility Advisor searches through almost 60 different factors affecting an object’s invisibility

Advice is offered to assist with understanding why the object(s) were not visible

In many cases, an instant ‘Fix’ option is available to resolve the visibility issue automagically

The Invisibility Advisor can remain on screen while you work, so visibility solutions are available at your fingertips

ROI

At even 1 hour per week time savings, Invisibility Advisor can save an average firm $3400/year/Revit user

For more information visit CTC Productivity Tools to learn more, and download free trial.

Revit Project Cleanup – Why and How

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

As a collaborative BIM software, Revit enables multiple authors to work within the same project file. However, as projects progress files can grow rather large, often time filling up “extra stuff”. This extra data can cause model performance to slow down or lag, causing models to take far longer to open, save, or close.

Additionally, users may take more time to navigate through this extra information to find the correct view, sheet, content or other relevant data. Some processes exist to alleviate these issues inside of Revit, however they are time consuming, tedious, and incomplete.

Describing the issue

The development of Revit project files comes with a lot of work to maintain a healthy file for continued, efficient user workflows. BIM Managers must keep going through the files, cleaning up all the unneeded information. Deleting views, view templates, filters, unused sheets, link & imported elements from the file. Additionally, reviewing all views, trying to find non-standard elements that users might have created in the file. Finally, checking the model to make sure the users are following best practice of modeling correctly. These tasks and more all take time and must be done regularly to ensure that models do not break minutes before major submittals. The breaking of models, file corruption, or file slowdown may require the stopping of work for repair of a problematic model has cost that is not frequently quantified. Fortunately, there are project maintenance tools available in the CTC Software’s BIM Manager Suite that makes this entire process easy to execute, and significantly reduces model downtime, and stoppages of work.

Workflow Description

The use of Project Cleaner makes efficient use of time in cleaning up garbage views from the project. Leveraging the Import/Link Manager can rapidly allow identification and repair of the imports in the model. Intelligently running Type Swapper can save hours of model maintenance and cleanup of rogue types. Finally, Dimension Checker makes it possible to identify areas in a model where information has been faked to ‘just get it done’, but could be a liability issue, or a model fidelity issue later in the project.

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