HidraSoftware-civil-engineering-software

¿Do You use Autodesk® REVIT 

as a "Real" MEP-Plumbing

Design Software?

This is the question we have raised in a survey conducted among our customers and subscribers


And, the most common answer is that REVIT, in the MEP (Plumbing) area,

is mainly used as an (advanced) drawing tool (in no case for the hydraulic design)


Here are some answers:

“I use it to (hydraulically) design only in small projects, such as a single-family house, for example, from the rest,  for both the sanitary and electrical systems, I think Revit is a program with many limitations in the design area…”

“... The main problem in REVIT is the calculations and how rigid the program is (I think we will not get rid of that) ... that is why I use it for drawing complex projects, with different piping systems (water, gas, electricity, etc.)... The main problem in REVIT is the calculations and how rigid the program is (I think we will not get rid of that) ... that is why I use it for drawing complex projects, with different piping systems (water, gas, electricity, etc.)

“… I mainly use it to create the network and the project’s drawings. When it comes piping systems’ calculation and design I choose to export the information to other software, which, in many cases, is problematic: I never know if the information has been appropriately exported, and, after correcting and performing the calculations, returning the information into REVIT is very cumbersome.

And, when we tried to get more specific details regarding the basic features that Autodesk® REVIT includes for plumbing design, we obtained answers such as the following:

"REVIT does include tools for sizing, but the results, in terms of diameters and design flows, I would say, are regular. Furthermore, the way it presents the results is not very suitable to be included in the project documents."

“... I was using a REVIT plugin that does a hydraulic calculation (but does not dimension), but it allows me to know the minimum pressure of the farthest plumbing fixture in a quite satisfactory way ... however, I cannot modify the standard used, although it looks very similar to the one we use in our Country..."

“… I have been with REVIT for some time, and I have seen that, by making modifications to its libraries, you can perform some calculations on it. The only thing I have found is that, since it’s focused on American sanitary codes, it becomes hard to adapt 100% to what project engineers in Latin America and Europe usually do. Finally, what I do is use Microsoft® EXCEL for my calculations. ”

In short, even though it is indisputable that REVIT MEP is the best tool for BIM modeling, it seems clear that, in the specific area of the hydraulic plumbing design,it has some shortcomings:

  • It is not possible to easily select the probable flow design method (HUNTER, simultaneity, etc.).
  • There is no way to specify the plumbing fixturesoperating pressure to take into account what each Country’s design codes establish in this regard.
  • Although it can be used to determine the pressure head losses in the piping system’s critical path, it does not allow determining (automatically, without having to perform the calculation manually and iteratively) the required pressure at the system’s supply point.
  • It does not allow to choose among various methods to calculate linear (friction) or localized head losses (Accessories).
  • It does not include the effect that elements such as Water Meters and Pressure Reducing Valves have on the system.
  • It does not present results in such a way that could be easily understood by other professionals who, possibly, do not know the use of REVIT MEP.

For reasons like these, we have created the PLUMBER for REVIT Plugin, with which you can perform the Plumbing System’s Hydraulic Design and Calculation using Autodesk® REVIT MEP

Mep-plumbing-design-plugin-for-autodesk-revit

The following are just some of its features:

Easy Assignment of Design and Calculation Properties to Plumbing Fixtures created in the REVIT BIM Model

Sanitary-Fixtures-created-in-REVIT-BIM-Model-Design-and-Calculation-Properties

Once the plugin is installed in your AUTODESK® REVIT (2019 to 2021) version, it will extract from the project’s piping system’s MEP model created, the REVIT families in the Plumbing Fixtures category and present them to you in a dialog. 


From this dialog, you can thus define the necessary properties of this critical component in the design using the HUNTER method. 


In particular, it is possible to indicate which fixtures are supplied by valves (with a flushometer) in order to appropriately allocate the probable flow of the pipe sections supplying them.


And, similarly, you can easily indicate the relationship Fixture Units to Probable flow to use in the calculation.


So you can carry out the piping system’s hydraulic design using REVIT and following the provisions of your Country’s regulations.

What does the PLUMBER Plugin for REVIT do (and what doesn't)?


At this point, it is essential to make it clear that:

  • The plugin does not draw, nor does it have any tool that includes the option to draw, create, or modify REVIT MEP elements or families. The entire drawing process must be carried out with the powerful tools that REVIT has for this purpose. In fact it is essential, to be able to use the plugin, that you have created in REVIT at least one piping system that is appropriately connected.
  • The plugin replaces and does not complement the hydraulic calculation options that REVIT MEP includes by default. At all times, the hydraulic calculation and design is carried out with the algorithms that HidraSoftware has implemented in its programs. All calculations and results are independent of the tools and parameters specified in the REVIT model on which you use the plugin.

Selection Among two Options To perform the Friction Head Losses Calculation

After reading the Pipe Segment used in the MEP Plumbing model you have created with Autodesk® REVIT, the plugin will allow you to select between two methods for friction head losses calculation:

  • Hazen y Williams 
  • Darcy-Weisbach

In each case, you can associate each REVIT Pipe Segment with the corresponding friction factor (Hazen-Williams) or roughness height (Darcy-Weisbach).


Also, for each pipe section’s diameter automatic selection, the plugin allows you to select between two methods: Design by Velocity or Design by Unitary Head Loss.

Selection-Among-two-Options-To-perform-the-Friction-Head-Losses-Calculation

Two Options for Fittings Head Losses Calculation

We all know the importance that the Fittings Head Losses has in the calculation of water supply networks in buildings.


That is why the plugin will offer you the possibility to select among two methods:

  • Increase the pipe’s length by a percentage

It is the simplest method, where only a value to be considered as an increment factor for the length of each section of pipe, when determining the corresponding pressure head losses, is entered.

  • Equivalent Length

It is the most used method for the calculation of this type of plumbing system.

Options for Fittings Head Losses Calculation-equivalent-length

In this case, the plugin will generate a list of all the REVIT BIM objects within the categories Pipe Accessories and Pipe Fittings so that you can associate each of them with one of the 13 Fittings included by default in the plugin (Tees, Valves, Elbows, etc.).


For each of the included fittings in the plugin, you can then specify, for each diameter, the corresponding equivalent length that will be used by the plugin when performing the hydraulic calculation of the water distribution network.


Thus you have at hand, straightforwardly, the control of the calculation of this important parameter in your MEP plumbing designs.


Hydraulic Calculation and Design for Every Existing Piping System in REVIT

Performed the necessary configuration to be able to run the calculation or design with the plugin, you will have the option of individually selecting each piping system in the REVIT’s Domestic Cold Water system.

On the selected one system you can then apply the available options:

  • Perform Only the Hydraulic Calculation.
  • Only Hydraulic Calculation determining the required pressure at the REVIT’S Piping system supply point.
  • Perform the Hydraulic design, in which case the nominal diameter required for each pipe section is determined automatically, with the possibility of letting the plugin try to modify the pipe sizes in the REVIT MEP model.

NOTE: In each case, the plugin will determine the piping systems in the Domestic Hot Water system that are served from the cold water systems to carry out the corresponding assembly for the hydraulic calculation.

Hydraulic Calculation and Design for Every Existing Piping System in REVIT

Determine the Effect that, in the Resulting Pressures, has Using Devices such as Water Meters or Pressure Reducing Valves

You can, through the corresponding dialog in the plugin, specify which REVIT’S pipe accessories or equipment behave as Pressure Reducing Valves or Water Meters.

Using-Water-Meters-and-pressure-reducing-valves-with-revit-mep

In the case of Water Meters, you will have absolute control over how its diameter will be automatically determined and how the corresponding calculation of the design flow’s generated pressure head loss will be carried out.


For the Pressure Reducing Valves, not only will the diameter be determined based on what you specify in their properties dialog, but you can also specify the setting or, better yet, let the plugin determine it for you so as not to exceed a certain maximum operating pressure of the downstream network.


Calculate and Design the Main Distribution Piping System (plumbing risers) Without Creating All Interior Water Networks

In those complex Projects, where many of the piping systems at each level of the building are usually typical designs (they are repeated in the system), it is possible to perform the main distribution pipes calculation and design without duplicating each piping system in REVIT.

calculo-de-tuberias-de-distribucion-sistemas-tipicos

In this way, you can simplify the necessary work since you will not have to draw in REVIT each of these repeated piping systems to create the project documentation. 


We know that only one plan is usually presented for each typical network in this type of project.


And, more importantly, through this separation, you will allow the plugin to internally include in the calculation the factors or considerations that the plumbing design methods define for the main distribution pipes.


Get Results Tables and Annotated Drawing Views

Finished the calculation and design you can:

  • View the tables for Nodes, Pipes, Diameters Calculation, and Equivalent Lengths Details.

Each one of these tables can be printed or exported to Microsoft® EXCEL file format so that you can give it the format of your preference.


When the calculation is done, the plugin will assign to each node a label or name that will be shown in the drawing visualization in the REVIT window.


So you can associate the results in the tables with the water network representation.


Get Results Tables and Annotated Drawing Views-in-revit-mep
  • Show results on nodes and pipes using REVIT Text Annotations.
Anotaciones-en-dibujo-de-REVIT

You can configure with the plugin the properties or results to present in the drawing area through the annotations.


Thus you can, using REVIT MEP, generate fully and properly annotated drawings with the information you have used in your hydraulic design.

What do you think?

Are you ready to go to the next level using REVIT MEP and Our Plugin for your Plumbing Designs?

  • You will stop worrying about having to export or import information to/from other programs and thus make your entire design from one place (from REVIT, of course).
  • As a designer of plumbing systems, you will be able to join the world of BIM methodology in the most practical way possible.

Who is the Plugin For?

Initially, to take full advantage of the PLUMBER for REVIT MEP plugin, it is necessary that, in addition to knowing the subject of hydraulic calculation and design, you have, as a minimum, an intermediate knowledge using REVIT in the plumbing specific area.


Remember that the plugin only performs the calculation and design, as well as the Results generation and presentation. The drawing of the piping systems has to be appropriately done with the tools that REVIT provides.


The plugin is ideal for professionals and companies that are or wish to carry out multidisciplinary projects in which the BIM methodology is a requirement.


If your projects do not require the effort (economic and of time) associated with the use of a tool as complete as REVIT, or if they simply do not include the need to operate with BIM, we would recommend that you better opt for using the PLUMBER’S stand-alone version.

Start your
10-day trial

Subscribe to the PLUMBER for REVIT mailing list and you will receive the demo version download  link.

Start Using It Now!


You can immediately Buy and Download our plugin under the following subscription options: 

Quarterly

$

69.99

Biannual

$

99.99

Annual

$

144.99

*All Prices in US Dollars (USD) - Internet connection is required to use the Plugin - Review the license terms and conditions by clicking here.

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