Engineers and manufacturers alike are reaping the benefits of building information modeling (BIM) software programs and renderings. Software such as Autodesk’s Revit® offers huge benefits by helping one explore early design concepts and forms, and more accurately maintain vision through design, documentation and construction. These intelligent files offer 3-D renderings and data. “From what we’ve seen, Revit is the complete package for building modeling software. It features quick reference and preconfigured elements to draw a building fast. Walls, floors, ceilings snap into place with a few clicks. Conduit, water and gas piping, duct work are run from preformed elements so there’s no need to painstakingly draw every minute bit of geometry,” said David George, product manager, Lochinvar Corp. “Lochinvar is pleased to provide working Revit models of our product to designers. It is in our corporate philosophy to support all aspects of the efficient and clean installation of Lochinvar boilers and water heaters. To get our products in at the earliest stage of design serves only to improve the quality of the final installation.”
From boiler design to pump specs to faucet renderings, Revit offers convenience. “Our basis in 3D is the Revit Family or BIM block — it is an image, piece of data and product file — but much more, it is an enriched specification of a product or products including a rendering, dimensional data, consumption rate, physical and operational properties, pricing, source, and supplier details, even warranty, installation and owner’s documents. For other manufacturers, BIM objects are just generic shapes — ie: a wall hung toilet, complete with size and shape. Revit families mean enriched data — dimensional and beyond — data that is relevant for the lifecycle of the structure, campus, or program, and necessary to its operation and performance,” said Jeremy Cressman, LEED AP, commercial vice president, American Standard.
“Previously, a BIM block was just a shell: a fixture or fitting without data, just the dimensional shape and size of a wall-hung toilet used to render the design. Today, the engineer can convert their master spec or build a unique project specification, complete from fixtures through mixing valves, drains & carriers, specialty equipment and hydronics — and from this spec, generate a fully nested BIM object of each fixture or equipment tag. So what was once a shell is a now the American Standard Everclean Afwall 3351.128 1.28gpf toilet, complete with the AS 6065.121 Selectronic sensor-operated flush-valve, fitted with open front seat, attached to the RH horizontal carrier. All our enriched objects with connectors, now combined into a nest that can be dropped into the plan and provide an accurate 3-D rendering and model in minutes,” added Cressman.
Manufacturers like American Standard are using Revit to their advantage. Pump companies such as Grundfos and Taco, for example, are getting into the act. Recognizing the vital and growing importance of building information modeling to construction professionals and HVAC system designers, Grundfos Commercial Building Services (CBS) is making computer-generated, three-dimensional models of eight popular commercial and industrial pumps available for easy downloading in a Revit (.rfa) file format on Autodesk® Seek at http://seek.autodesk.com.
Intended to eliminate the need for printed information on products, Autodesk Seek is a leading online resource for 3D models, 2D drawings, visual images and specification data on a wide array of building products. “Our objective with the new Revit drawings is to make it easier for system designers to use Grundfos products,” said Matt Gallucci, LEED AP and regional sales engineer, Grundfos CBS, “by providing information, drawings and models in a format that they now routinely use everyday. The ultimate goal is to do our part in making the BIM process more efficient and effective for everyone involved in a project using our pumps,” said Gallucci.
Taco, Inc. has added another commercial pump line and three related commercial product lines as Revit® (.rfa) family files. In addition to Taco’s GT Series Pumps, the company has added its 4900 Series Air-Dirt Separator, its patented 5900 Series FlexBalance Air Separator, and its Multi-Purpose Valves (MPV).
With these four new additions, Taco now has a total of seven pump lines and three associated equipment lines available as Revit (.rfa) family files for the use of design engineers and building construction professionals.
Another company breaking the innovation barrier with regard to computer-generated renderings for the designer and engineer is Allied Technical Services (ATS). ATS provides a technical plumbing specification information service to designers in the construction industry.
Serving the United States and Canada (in the languages of English and French) since 1969, ATS is frequently called upon to assist designers with the preparation of plumbing specification packages, either through our online platforms, e-mail spec services or telephone customer support.
The ATS Spec Website (www.atsspec.net) is a complex relational database, which enables the user to build a complete and customized plumbing specification for their project quickly and easily. It guides the user through the selection of product combinations, creating specifications based on compatible fixtures and fittings while providing suggestions to the user based on manufacturers’ intended usage of products.
ATS is the only no-cost, no-catch plumbing specification information system provided to all mechanical consulting engineers, architects and interior designers in the North American marketplace. The specification services of ATS are provided to engineers and designers free of charge with such services being fully sponsored by many of the major manufacturers in the plumbing industry.
The ATS system allows its users to download combined 3D BIM-nested families for projects built on the website. ATS features an ever-expanding archive of .rfa files, with over 1,500 combinations already accessible for immediate download. ATS is the largest source for combined nested Revit plumbing fixture information available anywhere. The combination nested Revit families contain all fixtures, fittings, components and connections required, zipped together for download and ready to be dropped right into your BIM models. For example, a toilet will be nested with the appropriate seat, carrier and flush valve to generate one combination Revit file, while all other resources currently only offer single BIM details.
For engineers implementing a BIM design platform, this means tremendous time savings, not only in searching for the appropriate fixtures with their compatible fittings, but by having the combined BIM details available for each item, complete BIM families can be dropped into a 3D BIM project with little modification required. This groundbreaking advancement will make the plumbing specification process of projects involving BIM much easier, faster and more accurate.