Thursday, November 3, 2011

How deep do your Levels go in a Revit MEP model?

Ran into an interesting problem...we're working on a couple of different ways to approach projects - one them involved several buildings that make up a single project. Originally, we have modeled all of the buildings in a single Revit project (yes, they were all small), based on a common coordinate at one building. For specific reasons, we had to break the project up so the buildings were in their own file.

Since the MEP project was already defined with the overall file linked in, and the levels copied and monitored from that file, breaking it down into several pieces created a problem. We also want to keep all of the MEP in a single model, so little things like schedules, panel schedules, electrical circuits, shared process systems, etc. all stay connected together nicely (since we still can't connect to items in linked files without a connector - hint, hint). There's two answers, so here's the easy one first.

Since the individual buildings (4 total) were all placed from a common origin point, all we had to do was create 4 copies of the original master, then open them up and delete anything not related to each specific building - that included levels, walls, views etc.

From this point, we could link each individual model directly into the MEP model - but now we had four links instead of one, and load times suffered. There's also a fear that a novice user could try to move or rotate the buildings to plan north and the original project base point (at which point, my hand would reach out of their monitor and wring their neck).

Here was a different tack - we kept the original composite model and attached all four buildings as linked files (not overlay - attach). Next up - copy monitor the levels from each building into the master. Once this was done, we can just load the master file in the MEP model. The levels that were copied and monitored into the composite can also be copied and monitored into the MEP model , and maintain all of the levels from separate models with one step. Imagine...copied and monitored levels being copied and monitored again...but it works, nice and clean - with all levels in the MEP file still coming from a single source.

I talked about using scope boxes to limit the extents of levels in an elevation or section view, and in this case, it's good idea to do this in the master file, so the levels coming into the MEP model don't stretch all the way across the project.

So - which approach do you think will work better for you?

Later - David B.

1 comment:

Todd M. Shackelford said...

David,

You are a Super Freak! I just had a simular thing happen and we went with option 1. I have to say we did not consider your alternative. I like it better now, but too late for this time.

Todd