Revit MEP

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Valued Mentor
AJA14
Posts: 447
Registered: ‎11-01-2011
Message 1 of 11 (514 Views)

To Revit MEP Experts

514 Views, 10 Replies
04-07-2013 01:17 AM

Hi all,

 

Just out of curiousity: How far do you think an architect or a structural engineer can go with revit MEP.

There is a big debate currently on the subject and the MEP management tends to believe that you have to be an MEP engineer to be able to work with MEP let alone teach it.

 

If that is the case, then what happens to draftsmen.

 

Regards,

 

 

Ali Al-Hammoud
Structural Design Engineer
MZ & Partners Engineering Consultancy
*Expert Elite*
CADastrophe
Posts: 2,941
Registered: ‎08-28-2009
Message 2 of 11 (464 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-08-2013 07:45 AM in reply to: AJA14

Hello, Ali

 

You'd probably be best off asking a question like this on the forums at AUGI.com - there aren't a ton of MEP experts perusing this forum.

 

I'm from a small MEP firm (~20) at which we do less than 25% of our work in Revit (though that number is growing). Although I began as a draftsman, I've always been leaning the trade as I worked. I am not a PE and my knowledge was weighted on the electrical side (I think you've seen some of my contributions here to make a loose judgment on my competence), but I was able to learn Revit and then subsequently teach it to the rest of the crew. That was a few years ago, now.

 

Today, the engineers here are basically 'competent' with Revit, but the complicated things still elude some of them. There are a couple of draftsman here who I have taught how to set up new Projects, manage the templates, and manage and edit Families. They do have a potential role as this does require work to maintain Projects and Families, even though the engineers are doing the majority of the design work or 'drafting'.

 

You questions is a little vague, by use of the term "work with" Revit MEP. Are you referring to knowing how the Revit software operates (i.e. using Systems, Circuits) or doing full MEP engineering design work? In the case of the latter, the user would have to be an engineer - Revit MEP is not a competent engineer, and many of it's internal engineering calculations and methods are "simplified" or flawed, requiring that actual knowledge still be applied. 

 

Side note: a possible benefit to this is that Revit MEP might be a good medium as a learning aid, should the draftsmen be interested in learning the trade. That could be a matter of opinion, though.

 

Hope this makes sense to you, and helps!

Corey D.                                                                                                                  ADSK_Logo_EE_2013.png    AutoCAD 2014 User  Revit 2014 User
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*Expert Elite*
Alfredo_Medina
Posts: 2,797
Registered: ‎06-11-2009
Message 3 of 11 (463 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-08-2013 07:47 AM in reply to: AJA14

Good question. I am about to finish a long series of video tutorials on MEP (180 videos of 5 minutes each).  I have been working on this for several months. I am not a professional on any of the MEP disciplines. But I have a degree on architecture and I have a certificate on training as well, along with several years of experience on teaching, onsite and online.

 

My conclusion is this: yes, MEP is complex, but my job as an instructor is to find ways to make that complexity understandable. My job is not to show how to engineer a project in MEP with accurate calculations that meet code and all. That's the engineers' job. My job is to help people understand how to use the software. The ultimate goal of the instructor is to create confidence on the students so that they can say "Yes, I can do this project with MEP!".

 

As an instructor, I focus on the process; how to get from point A to point B with a workflow. And I never skip the difficult stuff. When I have faced obstacles along the way, and I have faced several, I have requested help from people who know more than me about a specific topic, and I have applied what they have taught me, and I have read a lot for each chapter, and I have made many illustrations to explain all the workflows and concepts of all the systems. So, in summary, could I perform well at an MEP office on production, modeling the designs of the  engineers, even though I am not an engineer? Yes. And, coud I teach Revit MEP well, even though I am not an engineer? Yes, absolutely!

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Valued Contributor
Sandleaz
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎01-04-2012
Message 4 of 11 (440 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-08-2013 11:35 AM in reply to: Alfredo_Medina

How far do you think an architect or a structural engineer can go with revit MEP.

 

What do you expect them to do? Design HVAC systems or just use REVIT MEP (2012 and earlier?) just to do their work in?  You're not going to expect a junior plumbing engineer to design the structure (unless the plumbing engineer knows how to do it).

 

There is a big debate currently on the subject and the MEP management tends to believe that you have to be an MEP engineer to be able to work with MEP let alone teach it.

 

There's nothing to debate.  In general: if you don't know what you're doing, you should learn to do it first.  It depends on the person --- if they're a structural engineer or architect that are awesome at creating families, they can probably create families for any of the MEP disciplines as long as they know its functionality and know what they're doing.

 

If that is the case, then what happens to draftsmen.

 

Draftsmen?  You don't need to be an artist to use REVIT and some of the hand drawn drawings I've seen look like they're done by artists.

 

 But I have a degree on architecture and I have a certificate on training as well, along with several years of experience on teaching, onsite and online.

 

From personal experience and knowing other people's experience, any training done by someone that has zero experience in the real world (in projects) will generally give poor advice to their students.  Examples: autorouting / autosizing ducts and pipes, using/creating bad generic families, giving atrocious file management suggestions ...  You might be the exception though.

 

 

The ultimate goal of the instructor is to create confidence on the students so that they can say "Yes, I can do this project with MEP!".

 

The best way to create confidence is to let your students figure something out themselves.  You should encourage trial and error, not mimic-what-I-do.    

 

 

*Expert Elite*
Alfredo_Medina
Posts: 2,797
Registered: ‎06-11-2009
Message 5 of 11 (426 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-08-2013 12:44 PM in reply to: Sandleaz

Of course. zero experience would be dangerous. I would not dare to teach any of this if I had zero experience. But I worked five years in a multi-discipline office, on the architectural side, yes, but with constant coordination with the other disciplines of our projects, plus after that,  I have made my own projects, too.

 

About "mimic what I do" versus "trial and error", that part depends on the type of learning method. If it is live online training, the trial and error, hands-on approach is essential. When it is video tutorial with no specific audience the method must be different and it is more based on observing first and doing later.

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Active Contributor
BRYANBRAUER1832
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
Message 6 of 11 (426 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-08-2013 12:47 PM in reply to: Sandleaz

I think that there is much validity in the foregoing comments.  Let me offer an additional perspective. I am a PE (Mechanical) and have been practicing for 40 years. Before 1991, I was with medium size firms with drafters.  When we began using AutoCAD in the 1980s, I decided that I needed to learn at least the basics in order to properly manage the design and documentation process.

 

Since 1991 I have been a sole practitioner. Over the past 22 years I have done nearly all of the documentation for my projects with AutoCAD.  Three years ago I decided that if I want to keep working for even a few more years, I needed to learn REVIT.  It has been one of the most humbling learning experiences of my career.

 

I started out with the REVIT MEP tutorials, but most of my training has been hands-on while developing BIM MEP systems on real projects under the guidance of people that were proficient with REVIT architecture and structural.  This forum has also been a great help.

 

I am now at the point where I can develop a reasonable MEP BIM for HVAC, plumbing and fire sprinklers, but much of the potential of REVIT is still unexplored.  My experience with REVIT has been similar to my previous experience with AutoCAD.  Autodesk seems satisfied to develop architectural and structural components sufficiently to allow them to market the products to architects.  We MEP professionals must then sign on and use software that is always several generations behind, buggy, poorly conceived and inadequately executed.  This is, I suspect, because much of the code is probably written by people with little or no understanding of how the MEP profession does our work, or the tools that we need to be efficient.

 

My reaction to the initial posting in this thread was that AJA14 was inferring that a knowledge of REVIT architecture will not get you very far in REVIT MEP.  I certainly believe that. My architect and structural associates are amazed at the complexity of MEP as compared to their software, and the difficulties that we must endure to do something as simple as connect two sections of sloped pipe.  Because of my experience over the years, my expectations of MEP software development by Autodesk is somewhat modest.  I will continue to struggle because I have no other choice.

Valued Contributor
Sandleaz
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎01-04-2012
Message 7 of 11 (400 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-08-2013 06:06 PM in reply to: BRYANBRAUER1832

When it is video tutorial with no specific audience the method must be different and it is more based on observing first and doing later.

 

You should make some REVIT-will-not-cooperate videos showing the many ways REVIT won't do what you want it to do ... and have the audience figure how to make it work!

 

Over the past 22 years I have done nearly all of the documentation for my projects with AutoCAD.  Three years ago I decided that if I want to keep working for even a few more years, I needed to learn REVIT.  It has been one of the most humbling learning experiences of my career.

 

Bryan, you sir are one we should all admire.  Older engineers sometimes tend to relinquish plenty of their duties to their younger, less experienced subordinates.  You not only had the patience to learn REVIT, you also use REVIT.   

 

We MEP professionals must then sign on and use software that is always several generations behind, buggy, poorly conceived and inadequately executed.

 

As flawed as REVIT is, REVIT's prime function of coordination between and within disciplines outweighs AutoCAD greatly.  Perhaps not many people use the AutoCAD's z-axis as it was intended.  

 

Valued Mentor
AJA14
Posts: 447
Registered: ‎11-01-2011
Message 8 of 11 (384 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

04-09-2013 01:34 AM in reply to: Sandleaz

Hi all,

 

Thanks to all of you for your answers. It was very interesting to look at this from different perspectives. What I was trying to refer to is the following and this is just to clarify. I think your points were clear.

 

My main point here is, if someone who is not an MEP professional engineer, learns how to model and use Revit MEP, and learns where to input all the different parameters, how to perform load calculations, pressure drops and what have you, then he can utilize the software but would need input from the MEP engineer. So, that means, you don't really have to be an MEP engineer to actually know how to use the software or even teach it. Of-course you would'nt know what the calculations means or if the results are right or wrong and here there are 2 choices. Leave that to the MEP engineer or learn the calculations yourself.I think CADstrophe can provide the best input here (being an engineer who understand the calculation part).

 

Utilizing the tools efficiently in any Revit flavour can be done by anyone regardless of their discipline. I think Alfredo makes that point clear. Is he an exception, well maybe architects and structural engineers won't go as far as he did. But my point here is that, if you know how to model MEP elements and know were the parameters go, all you need is to get these from engineer. The BIM operator's job is not to design, but to model and document the design.

 

Bryan makes a great point that Revit MEP is much more complex to use than the structural and architectural software, but that doesn't mean people who are non professional MEP engineers can't use.

Sandleaz, your response is what I have been trying to communicate to people in the MEP field. You don't have to be an artist to use revit. If you know what you're doing you can simply do it.

 

Again, thank you all for your responses.

 

Regards,

 

 

Ali Al-Hammoud
Structural Design Engineer
MZ & Partners Engineering Consultancy
New Member
ABRAHAM_L
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-16-2011
Message 9 of 11 (173 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

12-05-2013 09:57 AM in reply to: CADastrophe

I've been desperate to find a discussion related to this topic.

 

I have a degree in architecture and most of my work is on the architectural/structural side. However, because I work for a multi-discipline firm I often fill-in and help w/ electrical/mechanical "drafting work" (you know - a bunch of lines and numbers that I really don't understand). This seems to be acceptable when working in autocad. But, obviously w/ REVIT, I really need to understand these disciplines much more.

 

The engineers hesitate to even learn REVIT, and I'd really like to step up and learn. I'm just not sure how to go about doing that. I understand families and parameters, but I only understand VERY BASIC electrical and mechanical engineering.

 

Do I need a college degree in these fields in order to use REVIT? :smileysurprised: Please advise......

 

Also, I think I will post this in the AUGI forum as well, as suggested by CADastrophe.

 

Thanks.

*Expert Elite*
Alfredo_Medina
Posts: 2,797
Registered: ‎06-11-2009
Message 10 of 11 (128 Views)

Re: To Revit MEP Experts

12-08-2013 09:39 AM in reply to: ABRAHAM_L

ABRAHAM_L wrote:
...

 

Do I need a college degree in these fields in order to use REVIT? :smileysurprised: Please advise......



Well, only if you have another lifetime to spare... :smileyhappy:

 

More serioulsy, while re-visiting this thread, I stand by the same comments I wrote before in regards to training. What is more important is that the instructor is a good instructor who understands the workflow and is able to communicate that workflow clearly to the people who are taking the training.

 

From the days when we started this thread, I have given several onsite courses on MEP, to both contractors and engineers, and what they need from the instructor is a clear workflow, not the ultimate technical engineering knowledge. They can help the instructor on that part, while the instructor helps them to get from point A to point Z in regards to starting a project from scratch until presenting it and delivering it.

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Planta1 Revit Online Consulting | info@planta1.com | my Twitter | The Planta1 Blog

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