Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Series: Modeling Existing Facilities with Autodesk Revit

 

 

Guest Blog Written by: Melissa Parry, HH Angus

 

In the first two posts of our series, we walked through best practices for scanning mechanical spaces with the Matterport Pro2 camera, and how to import Matterport 3D spaces into Autodesk RecapPro and optimize your point cloud before you being modeling mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) systems. This final post is about helping you analyze your facility and model future phases in Autodesk Revit.   

Modeling existing MEP facilities is a little different than your typical as-built BIM workflow, but it’s fun!  Let’s continue walking through our Toronto Western Hospital case study as we share Autodesk Revit tips.

Create Autodesk Forge visualizations in IMAGINiT Clarity, like the one you see here from the mechanical rooms of our Toronto Western Hospital featured case study.

If you want to model a run of pipes, you’ll determine the diameter of the pipe, its location, and distance from the reference level.  There’s no better way than ‘slicing’ the point cloud in Autodesk Revit, and examining the pipe in a variety of methods:

1.   Modify the extent of the View Range

Modifying the extents of the view range in Autodesk Revit helps you identify the systems that are running through the space at a particular elevation.

2.    Analyze and measure pipes with Section Views

Section Views with a narrow view depth in Autodesk Revit help you analyze the outline of points you are cutting through to measure diameters, length, width, and height, as well as the elevation above a reference level.  Keep in mind that with piping and ductwork, you only receive the outer dimensions. Therefore, if the piping is insulated, you cannot determine the actual diameter from the point cloud alone. In this scenario, you will need to rely on manual measurements.

3.    Switch the visibility of regions ‘on’ or ‘off’ as you model

Switch the visibility of point cloud regions ‘on’ or ‘off’ as you model unique parts of your mechanical space. 

4.   Inform designs with existing models, as well as Matterport 3D Spaces

Inform, align, and verify designs using existing architectural models, drawings, as well as Matterport 3D spaces.  For the Toronto Western Hospital project, we had access to existing AutoCAD drawings, site models, and architect models, containing levels, grids, and preliminary column locations. All of these resources helped inform and align the model we designed in Autodesk Revit. While site scanning reduces site visits, site verification is essential to validate your MEP Revit model.

5.   Refer to the Matterport 3D space on as you model in Revit

Open your Matterport 3D space on a second monitor for more contextual data as you model MEP systems.  This helps you read equipment labels and identify systems based on labels. With these techniques, you can model existing systems in the correct locations with ease.

The Toronto Western Hospital project required a high volume of Revit Family models for the mechanical rooms in a short amount of time with limited information.  For this reason, we relied heavily on the Matterport Cloud for equipment identification, measurements, and collaboration.

Here's how we did it:

1. Refer to the Matterport 3D space for MEP equipment identification via labels or plaques, like the north condensate tank from our Toronto Western Hospital case study.

Speed Revit Family creation, referring back to your Matterport 3D space to identify equipment labels or plaques, like the north condensate tank from our Toronto Western Hospital case study.

2.     Use the Matterport Cloud workshop tools to take measurements and obtain MEP equipment dimensions. (Alternatively, you can take measurements from the point cloud in the Autodesk Revit.)  Rely on designers and engineers to inform you of MEP connection sizes, since that is their area of expertise.

3.     Collaborate more effectively using the Mattertags to annotate the MEP space in one central, shared location.  Once you’ve modeled a Revit family for a particular piece of equipment, use Mattertags to display that corresponding Revit Family name and Family Type within your Matterport 3D space for easy reference and collaboration. Documenting data within the Matterport 3D space helps designers review the latest equipment tags while modeling in Revit.  You can also extract information tagged in the Matterport Cloud in a list format.

These tools, combined with consultations with engineers to fill in knowledge gaps will accelerate documentation and Revit family creation process.

The initial 30.5 hours we invested in scanning MEP facilities of Toronto Western Hospital was essential to an efficient modeling workflow.  Capturing good, reliable scan data ensured our remaining 300 hours of modeling MEP systems in Autodesk Revit was seamless.

Now, with the MEP scanning best practices, tips to importing the Matterport 3D space in Autodesk RecapPro, and modeling future phases in Autodesk Revit, you’re ready to make your next MEP project your most successful yet.

If you would like to revisit any of these tips, read the full case study and consider joining our upcoming webinars on these topics.

Topics:  3D  3D-scanner  efficiency  scanning 
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address.