June 5, 2012

Who Moved My Duplex?

One of the benefits of Building Information Modeling is the automatic coordination associated with having a single element being represented throughout the project documentation in many ways. A duplex outlet, for example, can display itself as a 2D symbol while in Plan View, a 2D cover plate within Elevation View, and as a load component within an Electrical Panel Schedule, and as part of a Quantity Takeoff Schedule for Electrical Devices. Any change to this single element is managed properly within each of these “views.”  The challenge, of course, is remembering that this is true! 

One of the simplest strategies for dealing with this issue is to work in a split view. The image below shows the same three duplexes in both plan and section views. Working in plan view only may cause us to miss the GFCI that’s at the wrong height, while working only in Section may cause us to assume that two of the duplexes are placed too close together.

Using the Revit Filter tool can help us make sure that changes are only being made to Electrical Fixture Objects, but often that level of information is not sufficient to ensure that we’re making the right changes to the right fixtures.

With Ideate Explorer for Revit, the same selection set can be reviewed with a much finer level of precision.  We can view the selection by Category and realize there is a GFCI involved…

…OR we can review the selection set by Space and realize that we are only interested in the duplexes that are located within the hallway (WF51).

Working in a 3D world can bring amazing efficiencies to your engineering or architectural projects. Make sure that your team has the right tools to make the best decisions so that no one ends up asking “Who moved my duplex?”

Glynnis Patterson is a registered architect and the Director of Software Development at Ideate, Inc. In a previous life Glynnis spent many hours looking at blueprints with a scale, highlighters, and a scratch pad to develop detailed cost estimates.