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Thread: Best Practices for Inter-Discipline Coordination

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    Best Practices for Inter-Discipline Coordination

    Our inter-disciplinary firm is moving rapidly toward all production in Revit (we have all but structural in-house). One issue I am trying to get a handle on is the best practice for MEP modeling: all disciplines in one central model or one model/discipline? As I understand it, you cannot directly connect to a connector in a linked model but must go through copy/monitor procedure to make this work. We are not a big firm and would typically only have one person/discipline working at a time in the model so 3 or 4 people max/model.

    So, to all of you who have been through this, what is the best way to make this work given the conditions mentioned above?

    If you recommend splitting models by discipline, how do you handle the connection issue?

    Thanks for your replies...

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    The linked article presents the same two options without discussing the merits of either approach specific to MEP which is the question.

    So, if we model everything by discipline, how have folks dealt with the inherent manual process of connecting mechanical to electrical, etc.?

    Some posts mentioned that all MEP modeling in one file can lead to unintentionally deleting elements from other disciplines. Can you "lock" an element from being deleted other than by pinning it?

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    When we model separate disciplines, electrical uses an "electrical connector" family that consists of a 2d symbol and a connector. The family has all voltage/phase combos built into it and it fills out our schedules as we go. That way we don't mess with the mechanical equipment and they can't mess with our circuiting. It's not perfect, in that we have to keep close tabs on when mechanical moves equipment, but at least our circuits stay intact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaronb View Post
    we have to keep close tabs on when mechanical moves equipment.
    Do you utilize the monitor tool for "keeping close tabs"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDraw View Post
    Do you utilize the monitor tool for "keeping close tabs"?
    Interesting idea, we'll have to try that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaronb View Post
    When we model separate disciplines, electrical uses an "electrical connector" family that consists of a 2d symbol and a connector. The family has all voltage/phase combos built into it and it fills out our schedules as we go. That way we don't mess with the mechanical equipment and they can't mess with our circuiting. It's not perfect, in that we have to keep close tabs on when mechanical moves equipment, but at least our circuits stay intact.
    This kind of defeats the whole BIM idea, doesn't it?

    We used to do it this way. Our electrical people would place little junction box families near our equipment, and they would connect to those. They would enter the load data by hand from paper cut sheets that they insisted that I print out and hand them.

    As I became more proficient with families, formulas, and schedules, I started putting all of the actual electrical load information into the electrical connectors of the mechanical equipment. They'll calculate the FLA, MOCP, and kVA using formulas. For example, our electric-heat VAVs will list the actual KVA based on the fan motor FLA and reheat coil KW (which also auto-calculates, BTW.). This way, our electrical guys can connect directly to our equipment. We've used it on a few 100,000sf projects so far without a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Necro99 View Post
    This kind of defeats the whole BIM idea, doesn't it?

    We used to do it this way. Our electrical people would place little junction box families near our equipment, and they would connect to those. They would enter the load data by hand from paper cut sheets that they insisted that I print out and hand them.

    As I became more proficient with families, formulas, and schedules, I started putting all of the actual electrical load information into the electrical connectors of the mechanical equipment. They'll calculate the FLA, MOCP, and kVA using formulas. For example, our electric-heat VAVs will list the actual KVA based on the fan motor FLA and reheat coil KW (which also auto-calculates, BTW.). This way, our electrical guys can connect directly to our equipment. We've used it on a few 100,000sf projects so far without a problem.
    That sounds awesome . This is our long-term goal as well, we just need to find some time to dig into our families.

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    Heres an idea..
    If you want to model your Electrical and Mechanical in separate models you could do this;
    Put your Electrical Connector family inside your mechanical equipment families as a shared family.
    Then in the Electrical model, link the Mechanical model and Copy Monitor all of the Electrical Connector families. This will copy only the connector family and not the mechanical stuff, but in the same locations.
    If Mechanical Families are moved there will be a coordination review warning in the Electrical model and positions can be automatically updated. If new Mechanical Equipment is placed there will also be a warning saying there are un-copied fixtures.

    Would be interesting to test this workflow I think..

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    Should work with the location of the fitting.

    Problem is that only certain pieces of information are copy monitored - the actual electrical loads, which is what you want to bring across, aren't.

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