Revit and Mechanical Devices

I've spent some time recently working out how I will load up projects with HVAC and other mechanical devices, which become important elements on the electrical plan. Things like heat pumps, exhaust fans, and baseboard heaters need to show up in plan view and on schedules so the electrical contractor can connect power to everything properly.

I've built up a sandbox project, and if you are interested you can have a look in this directory:

There are some Revit files in there but also a PDF, so you don't actually need Revit to look at the outcome.

All schedules are dynamic. The two equipment lists are essentially the same, but with a few different columns displayed. The mechanical connection schedule filters out all items with mark field containing “BBH” and the baseboard schedule other one does the reverse. I think this gives a cleaner output than listing baseboards along with all the other items in one schedule, which is how I used to to it. 

All tags on the floor plan are dynamic. The panelboard schedule is completely dynamic also, and the circuiting is consistent from panelboard schedule to mechanical schedule (I used to maintain that by hand, what a pain). Another cool feature of Revit it how it automatically picks up the name of the space an item is dropped into and puts that into the schedule. That solves this problem that comes up a lot, where a bit of equipment is moved but the schedules still list it in the old location.

Driving this are some new families I build up. First is a family of baseboard heaters loaded with actual dimensions and part numbers from Oullete. It works really well. When I drop Baseboard _240V_1000W  on the floor plan then a 1kW heater shows up on plan to scale, and in the schedule with the corresponding part number. When this unit is linked to an electrical panel then the panel reflects the actual load of that unit and knows it is supposed to connect it to a two pole circuit. It seems pretty robust.  For example, we might decide to upgrade a heater to from 500W to 1000W. We can check the plan view to see if it actually fits in the space available, and the panel load automatically bumps up another 500W and will flag us if a circuit is overloaded, and also the baseboard heater schedule is updated to show one more 1kW heater and one less 500W heater. All of this occurs after few mouse clicks. Awesome. 

That covers baseboard heaters, but there are lots of other mechanical devices that need power. These are handled by my new family called “Generic Mechanical”. In there I have four main types - one generic type per voltage (single phase 120V, 208,240, and three phase 208). I'll add a few more to cover 480V and 600V systems eventually. These can be made into ANYTHING. There are two annotation symbols that can be toggled on or off in plan view (a motor symbol and a fan symbol). Also in plan the actual part dimensions can be toggled on and off, as it is in the case of EF-1 on the drawing. The electrical parameters support definition of a motor component and a resistive component, which will be useful for heat pumps with auxiliary electric heat.

For now I think this covers nearly everything the mechanical guys throw at me in a typical project. The next system might be to build up type catalogs for different kinds of equipment that turn this generic family into equipment specific items, such as Greenheck fans, maybe some Trane heat pumps or whatever.

I'd like to reach a stage where the mechanical engineers Revit file contains items with accurate electrical parameters, and I can simply circuit everything. This would leave the selection and placement of HVAC devices including baseboard heaters in the hands of those engineers, which is what we want.

(I tried to circuit a device in a linked file but I can't select it. Need to check out the "copy/monitor function" - another day.)

Pretty productive day. (Kicked off with a fun kiteboard session down at the spit early this morning!)