Monday, January 24, 2011

Defining Parameters of Mechanical Equipment

Have you ever wondered what the Flow Configuration vaules really mean and what each value type represents?  The Flow Configuration defines whether or not a Connection will be the defining factor of Flow for attached equipment.  The two used most often is the Preset and Calculated. 

When a Supply System is created with the Diffusers and the VAV Box, the Flow inherited in each Diffuser can be used to calculate the Flow upstream to the VAV Box.  The Flow Configuration for each Diffuser will be Preset, meaning the Diffusers will be the defining elements of the connected elements, namely, the VAV box they are connected to.  The Flow Configuration for the VAV Box will be defined as Calcuate, as the Flow value is calculated based on the Diffusers connected to it. 

The calculated Flow value of the VAV Box will update as the Diffuser Flow value changes.

Simple and useful.  More questions?  Please feel free to comment!

Where did this thought come from?  Well, Autodesk has a wonderful Blog called Inside-the-System.  A while back, they had two parts explaining, in more depth, what I discussed above:

Learn to the videos...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where are the Project Parameters I added in my last Project?

As you begin working on projects in Revit, your first project will have additions that you will probably want to use over and over again in each additional project.  The best way to add the modifications is to transfer them to your existing template before starting your next project.  Using the Transfer Project Standards tool, numerous changes can be transfered, including Project Parameters, View Templates, Wire Sizes and Dimension Styles.

Note: Make sure you have the project that you just finished open behind the existing template file. 

On the Manage tab>Transfer Project Standards

Keep the items you want trasfered checked on.  There are so many, if you only want a few items transfered, select the 'Check None' button first, and then manually add the desired items.

Click OK until you are back at the original screen and save the template for future use.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Troubleshooting: Why isn't my Pipe Filter Working?

Have you been diligently creating Filters for your Pipes?   Are you hitting a wall when you try to make a Filter on a Pipe connected to a System that you want to be a different color, like a Vent Pipe that is connected to a Sanitary System connection?  Well, there is a simple answer:Filter List Order Makes a Difference!!!

The order that Filters are listed in the Visibility/Graphics Override, Filters tab provides an additional display control. Filters are ranked by the order they appear on the list. Filters higher on the list have display priority over all filters listed below them. If the Pipe you selected to change has not changed, we need to move the newly created Pipe Filter above the System Filter the Pipe is connected to on the list. 

Note the blue Pipe connected to the Hot Water connection:

There are two Filters already assigned to the horizontal Pipe.  However, the System Filter is above the new Pipe Filter we created, hindering the change.  

1. Type in VV or VG to go back to the Visibility/Graphics Overrides dialog > click the Filter tab.

2. Click the Pipe Filter > click the Up button near the bottom of the dialog to move the new Pipe Filter listing above the original Filter listing > click OK to exit the Visibility/Graphics dialog.

Note that now the horizontal pipe is magenta, exactly what we wanted.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Roombook Extension for Revit Architecture 2011

I was reviewing the subscription site today, and came across the newest extension (Roombook) for Revit Architecture, released December 9.  According to Autodesk, the program calculates the surface of walls, floors and ceilings, and will also calculate the number of furnishings in the room.  The calculated quantities can be exported to excel, as a DWF file to use in Autodesk Quantity Takeoff and as a CSV file.

To begin, a floorplan with walls and rooms are required.  Floors, ceilings and furnishings will only be calculated if they exist, but are not required.  There ar two Calcuations Standards supported, International or German VOB.  The International Standard calculates the real quantities with no specific rules.

When you select to Calculate the Room Quantities, the Type Properties if the extension appears:

Once calculated, the full Room Quantities of each room can be displayed and/or edited:

For each element, Sub Areas can also be reviewed, including the locations and sized of windows and doors:

Lastly, below is a partial example of the results when exported to an Excel spreadsheet (without any manipulation):

This extension continues to improve the use of Revit information.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Engineers Can Save Time Using Green Building Studio (GBS)

The Green Building XML schema, better known as "gbXML", was developed by Green Building Studio, Inc. back in 1999.  The first version of the gbXML schema was published in June of 2000...since then, it has been integrated into a range of CAD and engineering tools to facilitate the transfer of information.  

Mechanical engineers may use several different applications for their heating and cooling load analysis, energy analysis, code review, etc.  Manually entering in the information about a building, especially since the building design will change quite frequently, can be extremely time consuming.  There are two ways to save time, reducing the time it takes to manually enter in data:

1) If the architect is using Revit Architecture, they can export their model as a gbXML file.  If the engineer does not want to yet import the architect's model into Revit MEP and begin their project, they can request the gbXML file from the architect.  If the engineers are on subscription with Revit MEP, they have the ability to bring this file into Green Building Studio (GBS) then use it to export the model information to several of their analysis programs, including Trane Trace 700, eQuest and EnergyPlus.

2) If the analysis is done after the engineer creates his model by linking in the architect's Revit Architecture model, he can himself export his model as a gbXML file and bring it into Trane Trace directly.  However, to bring the model into eQuest or EnergyPlus, the engineer must still bring the gbXML file into GBS.

Revit Architecture does not have as much information embedded in their Rooms as Revit MEP has embedded in their Spaces, as seen in the images below:

Revit Architecture Room Information

Revit MEP Space Information

When a gbXML file is imported into GBS, the program will identify additional information based on the location of the project.  When exported from Revit Architecture, more information is defined through GBS because of the lack of information in the Rooms, versus Space information brought in from Revit MEP, as shown in the images above.

When the engineer is ready, select the Export and Download Data Files Tab:

This will bring the engineer to the location where the types of files to be exported can be selected. 

Notice this includes the gbXML file to use when the original file was brought in from Revit Architecutre, as well as the option to create a DOE-2 file for eQuest and the EnergyPlus file type.

Whether you chose to utilize any of the tools in Green Building Studio itself or not, the program can lend a hand in bridging the gap between Revit and analysis tools you already use.  If you have any architectural models created in Revit Architecture and have already completed, or are close to completing the project, test the workflow of using GBS.  Compare the results you obtained through manual data entry with the results of the digital may be surprised!
Need more information?  Check out Getting Started with Green Building Studio Web Service.