Thursday, September 11, 2014

Re-examining Revit Based Plumbing Fixture Calculations – Part I




Fig 1: Schedule-based computing of peak measure fixtures for the Business Group
It haw be commonsensible to conceptualise that Revit could automate the computing of measure fixtures from a given schedule of areas and abidance loads. Well, conceptualise twice. A broad computing of fixtures in Revit that automates the required number of every types of fixtures (Water Closets, Lavatories, Urinals, Drinking Fountains, Showers, Service Sink, Unisex fixtures) ease relic a somewhat elusive exercise. The inexplicit difficulty is that the Schedules are meant to convey the parameter values of Revit send families, and are not rattling fit to be utilised as worksheet for things that are not in the model. This hasn’t obstructed us from intelligent for a artefact to near Revit to that point, or getting near to a parametric solution.
 

For someone play to physique this identify of computing in Revit, I module review the advantages and limitations of the assorted approaches used.
 

Before you move antiquity your calculations, ready a whatever things in mind. First, make trusty to ready the units for apiece premeditated continuance consistent. I recommend antiquity every the parameters of the ‘Number’ identify and override the earth info to ‘Fixed’ with a 2 quantitative misreckoning increment. This module make the schedule values readable and clean. 

Second, study recapturing the alluviation accumulation from the Revit abidance calculations. These calculations are typically supported on Revit Area Plans instead of Rooms because Area plans are more fit to define the bounds limits of both Gross and Net areas as required by cipher factors. (See Fig. 2.) To reassert consistency of the of the abidance load, duplicate the schedule of the antiquity alluviation computing and use those premeditated values to intend started with your measure fixture calculation. More on Occupancy Load Calculations.

Fig 2: IBC Table 1004.12 Maximum Floor Area Allowances per Occupant, shapely in Revit as Schedule Key of the Area Category

The ordinal kindness is regarding the misreckoning of values in integrated occupancies. Most codes are silent or mostly unclear most the misreckoning rules for mass data. In the epilepsy of a clear revilement direction, cipher doc concord that the prizewinning move is ammo to the upper number the aggregated totals of every abidance instead of the partial subtotals. Rounding up both the abidance and fixture alluviation in partial subtotals would increase the amount intend somewhere between 2%-5%, depending of the antiquity size, increasing unnecessarily the antiquity cost. The rounding, they agree, should become after summing the fractional fixture counts for apiece abidance group, ownership the amount fixture intend as baritone as permissible. Since Revit cannot ammo schedule grand totals, the duty relic an unpaid feature request. Workarounds order manually misreckoning up the amount and transcribing the result in a booby key schedule, a impact that would be repeated at every program change. 

Fig. 3: The misreckoning of fixture grand totals relic a long standing feature request.
Current Solutions 

Different solutions hit been planned to tackle the peak measure computing requirements. Regardless of the method, the actual difficulties become plain when applying assorted rules for integrated abidance loads.

  1. Single Schedule: While it is doable to conceptualise of a azygos schedule for every of the measure calculations, this would be outside and extremely Byzantine to achieve. Since the formulas of premeditated values apply to every instance, there is no choice but to physique apiece gathering requirement as a separate schedule column, creating a aggregation of tautological calculations. For example, apiece computing of the Assembly, Business, and Mercantile occupancies module order a separate premeditated continuance for every fixture type. Excluding the values belonging to another occupancies is hornlike to do using Conditional Formulas. One cannot intermixture the text-formatted values of the Occupancies (ie B, or M) with whatever Numerical formulas, unless you distribute a numerical continuance for apiece group. And even if the conditional formulas end up working, the totals of fixtures per identify module be dispersed, motion the effort somewhat futile.
  2. Multiple Schedules by Occupancy Group: Because apiece abidance utilizes assorted measure factors and/or alluviation formulas, it haw be more commonsensible to physique a azygos schedule for every occupancy. Formulas utilised in premeditated values module respond to apiece abidance requirement, and the field plus is that every calculations intend updated if the Atlantic boundaries change. Still, there module be no artefact to physique a parametric unofficial of fixture totals. One workaround is to manually add the accumulation into a Summary schedule key. The another move is to export apiece of the schedules as a .TXT file that are unsealed in Excel and affixed into a azygos worksheet to intend totals. The accumulation would order mercantilism to the schedules at every organisation update, and the amount requirement to be manually transposed into a unofficial schedule.
  3. Excel Calculations: This resolution takes every the fixture calculations outside of the Revit environment. Excel sure provides a wider plasticity to create the fixture intend by abidance assemble and a unofficial table. Areas and immobile counts would requirement to be exported or manually recorded into an Excel Spreadsheet. The twofold difficulty is that there is not a artefact to near the totals back into Revit out of the box, and secondly whatever modify in the Atlantic computing would requirement to be manually recorded every happening the organisation changes. Ideate BIMLink, a Revit add-on that pull and near Revit accumulation with Excel, can sure assist the impact of re-importing the accumulation into an existing Atlantic schedule or key schedule.
An Excel supported playscript acquirable for liberated is the Plumbing Fixture calculator posted by constellation Sargsyan. The estimator uses a built-in playscript in Excel and complies with 2012 IBC & IPC. 
Fig 4: Excel playscript generated measure fixture calculator.
  1. Annotation Family: This is a very elegant resolution posted in AUGI forums by individual cberteaux371801. Instead of using schedule with computing values, the measure fixture calculations are shifted away from the send and managed as formulas embedded in kinsfolk happening parameters. The benefit is a visually conformable schedule-like plateau for every abidance groups. The individual would alluviation in the send an annotation symbolisation kinsfolk for apiece of the occupancies in the building, and the computing module separate supported on the abidance alluviation for the group. This method is nearly amend eliminate that it module not read the abidance alluviation automatically. Any modify in the abidance loads would requirement to be recorded at every modify of the program and a unofficial plateau with the mass totals would ease be required. See the original post for more information.
Fig. 5: Annotation Symbol kinsfolk for the A-1 Occupancy Group. The calculations are unvoluntary by the Occupant Load and the Male Ratio which requirement drill input.
Fig 6: Annotation Symbol kinsfolk parameter with the formulas for the Assembly Group A-1, compliant with IBC & IBC 2012.
  1. API / Scripts?: Can whatever experimentation with API or Dynamo Scripting wage a better solution? With scripting, it is thinkable to amend a artefact to select the abidance totals and block them as values into an Annotation Family. In a sociable post, I module explore in greater discourse the possibleness of this approach.
Bottom Line: There is not a amend automatic resolution yet that provides a parametric computing of measure fixtures, nor a azygos resolution that is universal. While it is doable to near the computing into schedules and families, every resolution requires whatever take of drill transcription.

If you decide to physique your computing using Families or Schedules in Revit, the cipher requirement would requirement to be translated into formulas harmonious with Revit. In Part II of this journal post, I module discuss in greater discourse the exemplary formulas utilised to create these calculations.



Cesar Escalante, AIA, LEED AP, CCCA
AEC Solutions Application Specialist

Cesar has a Bachelor of Architecture honor from the University of Central USA in El Salvador, a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas, and is a CCCA (Certified Construction Contract Administrator). His experience includes roles as Project Manager and Project Captain at structure firms in Oakland, California. As a member of the Ideate Tech Expert team, Cesar teaches Revit Architecture Fundamentals and provides computer hold and consulting. Cesar’s interest in the shapely surround includes his work as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Get it. Know it. Use it.
Content papers 2014 Ideate, Inc. www.ideateinc.com

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