Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dept. of Workarounds - Revit MEP for Interiors?

I got an email from a past student this morning asking if there was some way to get the Copy/Monitor feature to work for Rooms. As an interiors firm they do most of their work in a separate model and this is a bit inconvenient when it comes to creating equipment schedules and report the location (room) information. Once upon a time Revit MEP had a Copy/Monitor that included Rooms. They replaced that with Spaces and HVAC Zones. These spaces are aware of rooms in a linked project.

See where I'm headed?? I can't copy/monitor rooms but Revit MEP can keep spaces in sync with rooms...soooo...uncomfortable workaround ahead:

What if "your" firm uses Revit MEP instead? You'd be able to link the architecture model in, places spaces where their rooms are.
 Once you've got Spaces where their Rooms are you can use the Space Naming Utility to keep the names and numbers in sync.

This tool is available from Autodesk Subscription though I can't imagine why it isn't just part of the software yet.

Equipment schedules can report Space Name and Number instead of Room Name and Number - though we'd keep them in sync and nobody but "us" would be the wiser?

What's the penalty to do the work in Revit MEP? No site or structural tools and a different interface layout than a user with RAC experience is used to. The lack of beams or columns might be a bummer, maybe not? It does beg the question, "Why isn't there a better way for firms to collaborate between their respective firms?" Well, not yet anyway. The "Xmas" wish list is a lot bigger than "Santa" has time and "elves" to prepare and deliver each year.

I created a short video to describe what I'm suggesting might suffice...mileage may vary...or you can listen and watch here.


Erik said...

To go one farther, you could have your friendly neighborhood MEP user place those spaces for you. Then you could manipulate them in Revit Architecture.

Remember when creating a space schedule in RAC that you have to check the box in the lower left corner indicating "Show categories form all disciplines."

You can even schedule and tag the space by their associated room name and number. That way you won't have uncoordinated information if the original file changes.

Then you can go nuts and add a bunch of Project Parameters to the spaces category and schedule and tag those.

Rolly Stevens said...

When I pushed Autodesk on this matter, they said that the use of the MEP copy/monitor rooms for interiors was a "unintended use of the software".
This really put us in a bind on several large interiors projects. We ended up creating an API program that synchronizes rooms between linked models.
When is Autodesk finally going to start listening to interior designers who have been employing various workarounds for Revit for years now?!?

Robin Capper said...

The space workflow from mep should be available in Architecture.

I'm using MEP for retail interior as it frees us from having to control room name/numbering in the bulding model. Eg the architects room "101 office" could be our "L1-A Admin" space

Often we can't influence the model creation/stds (tenancy not owner) so our spaces get the company no/naming, and just reference the archtitectural model by room number. The only time you need Archtitecture is if site tools are needed.

damianserrano said...

We have been using this strategy -I don't feel it a workaround- for over a year now and it's been giving great results. We are a multi-discipline AE firm and we separate AR and ID models. Working with Rooms and Spaces is a good way to have the disciplines in different models but keeping room information synchronized. Spaces are created once with Revit MEP and then all the users keep working in RAC. The only real problem is the color schemes for Spaces, you can't make them in RAC. Yes, we go nuts and add all kind of key-schedule-driven parameters for finishes, color coding, etc. I have requested Spaces to be available in Revit Architecture, Interior Designers are quickly realizing what a great tool this is.

Steve said...

Thanks for the info! Glad the concept has been working for you and that I'm not the only "crazy" one who has considered it.