Is anyone relying solely on panel schedules in Revit for medium to large commercial projects? I try to lock in circuit #s but still input my loads into our Microsoft Excel shedules. We want to depend fully on the Revit schedules but that creates some concerns:
You cannot typical anything - you have to lay out devices in every space and circuit it for proper loading
Connecting Mechanical to your panels when it is a linked file or they are using AutoCAD
Modeling and connecting existing to balance loads properly
If using light fixtures or other devices from manufacturers you must verify all load classifications and demands as well as occasionally add the electrical connectors and VA to use them in your project
Are these problems anyone is having or has overcome? We have the Revit schedules modified so they work appropriatley but there is no flexibility-if it is not circuted it is not calculated, so we are nervous to abandon our Excel schedules
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I am nervous about abandoning our Excel panel schedules also. I would like to be able to use the circuiting function in Revit, export the data to a worksheet of the Excel panel schedule file. Then, using a look up function, use the circuit information from Revit to define the load type (rec., ltgn, mech, etc.) the description, and the VA or kVA totals. At this point in time (I haven't connected the dots) to make this happen.
We are slowly working our way there. We started with lighting panels in Revit and expanded to other branch panels. I have special parameters built into all of our Families that tightly control the voltage and loads to ensure accuracy. We are still doing the distribution with excel and AutoCAD (I have a pretty good excel program made to translate to AutoCAD).
The major potholes we're dealing with are:
1. Revit cannot create Riser Diagrams. We create these very quickly in AutoCAD and then link them into Revit. Currently, I do not wish to restrict myself to drawing the diagrams with Revit's inferior sketching tools, so this work is remaining in AutoCAD for awhile.
2. Electrical Circuits: Creating. As you mentioned, the user must connect everything properly and quick notes like "typical for..." don't quite work. To simulate existing loads, mechanical equipment that's not represented by a family, and other proxy entities, I have created a special Family that has variable electrical data that can be used anywhere, and does not show up on the actual drawings.
3. Electrical Circuits: Revising. When (not "if") changes arise, modifying the electrical systems and maintaining the proper systems is extremely cumbersome and time consuming. As a result, I have made this post in the Revit MEP Wishes forum.
4. Our architectural clients frequently employ alternates and currently, Design Options are incredibly painstaking to use with electrical systems.
If you are willing to share your "special Family that has variable electrical data that can be used anywhere" I would like to have a copy. Please send to email@example.com
Attached is my "Electrical Proxy Load" family. Features/properties:
►Created in Revit MEP 2012.
►Family is of the Generic Models Category. Can easily be changed.
►Contains a single Electrical Connector with parameter values controlled by various Instance Parameters. Others can easily be added.
►Family contains no 3D geometry, and is only represented by Symbolic Lines:
▪ Symbolic Lines are on a Subcategory and become visible at Detail Level: Medium.
▪ At the other Detail Levels, symbolic lines are not visible, but "Invisible Lines" are still present to allow one to select it without making it visible first.
▪ Symbolic Lines are in the shape of a square with crossing lines. The size of the square is controllable via an Instance Parameter.
OK, reviewing your electrical proxy load. It is of generic models so that you can assign it to a family type after the fact, right? Does this matter? You can leave it as a generic model and just duplicate types for different load classifications and demands. You shouldn’t care about visibility because this is primarily for getting your panel schedules to populate correctly so changing it from generic model to whatever classification is just overkill, right? Assigning from generic model does not affect the way anything is calculated, does it? These values are all controlled via your parameters. So if you had a CAD file xref’d for Mech, you could place the -proxy load- in the appropriate locations (changing demand-voltage-poles-etc by adding family types like VAV-9 and AHU-2) based on the xref and now you can circuit to the equipment. Then if you get an rfa from a lighting manufacturer you can load the proxy into the family and load that into the project. Now you have an easily circuitable, consistently performing family. And you have had no problems getting your schedules to perform appropriately or do you add your loads to Excel to verify_backup? So far it works with our panel schedules and changing the load classification is easy and reflected in the panel schedule. However, our load classifications only include lighting, receptacle, motor, electric heat, cooling, equipment and kitchen equipment. Perhaps we should add an -other- row as well. And finally, I am looking over 2 different receptacle families. When I select the electrical connector and activate -load classification- one receptacle family shows all the classification types ( image 1) and one has only a few options (image 2). Both are electrical fixtures. Do you know why this is?
Thanks for your insight.
"OK, reviewing your electrical proxy load. It is of generic models so that you can assign it to a family type after the fact, right? Does this matter?..."
The Family Category doesn't really matter - it won't affect the Electrical Circuit. There are a couple of reasons why one may want to change the Category:
1. Generic Models are considered "Architectural" discipline, so selecting them via crossing-window is impossible if the view is set to Electrical Discipline.
2. Perhaps there are other complications going on about the display of Generic Models (we were once forced to use multiple View Filters to sort through a mess of them) and it might be making it difficult to work with these, since they're of that category as well.
"...And you have had no problems getting your schedules to perform appropriately or do you add your loads to Excel to verify_backup?..."
No problems thus far. We've advanced to doing almost all branch panels in Revit.
"...However, our load classifications only include lighting, receptacle, motor, electric heat, cooling, equipment and kitchen equipment. Perhaps we should add an -other- row as well..."
You can assign any Load Classification to the proxy load family - there's an Instance Parameter for that, too. Why would you want to add "other"?
"...And finally, I am looking over 2 different receptacle families. When I select the electrical connector and activate -load classification- one receptacle family shows all the classification types ( image 1) and one has only a few options (image 2). Both are electrical fixtures. Do you know why this is?"
It depends on the template that was used. Load Classifications can be added quite easily, Manage tab » MEP Settings ▼ Load Classifications.
Additionally, you have to option of using 'Transfer Project Standard' to migrate Load Classifications from elsewhere.
other: because when calculating total estimated demand, if it does not fall into one of the listed categories it is not calculated as part of estimated demand, only connected demand.
-did not know that about crossing windows regarding discipline, that explains a few things, actually...
-do you tend to load that proxy into rfa files or use it directly in the project? Is there a way to make a multi-family tag that can pull electrical data? That way you could tag the proxy even if you changed the type.
"-do you tend to load that proxy into rfa files or use it directly in the project? Is there a way to make a multi-family tag that can pull electrical data? That way you could tag the proxy even if you changed the type."
You can't load this into another Family. The reason being that Revit does NOT recognize a Connector that is within a Family nested within another Family.
I have added Shared Parameters to this Family for the purposes of Tagging before. Simple enough to do, and that may present another reason to change the Family Category, so the desired Tag of that Category may be used.
Additionally, I have often represented the proxy load on the drawings symbolically. My method of doing so is as follows:
1. Load any necessary Generic Annotation Families into the proxy load Family.
2. Create a new Instance Parameter, "Annotation". For 'Type of Parameter', select "<Family Type...>". Select "Generic Annotation" from the following list.
3. Create a new Yes/No Instance Parameter, "Use Annotation", and uncheck the box. Click 'OK' to close the Family Types dialog.
4. Place an instance of the loaded Generic Annotation that was listed in the previous dialog at the intersection of the Reference Planes.
5. Select the annotation symbol. Under Properties, link Visibility to "Use Annotation". From the "Label" pull-down list, select "Annotation".
Now, if an instance of this Family must be used to represent a motor, for example, check the box for "Use Annotation" and select the appropriate annotation symbol from the "Annotation" parameter list.
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