Letter from the President - August 2016


This month, AUGIWorld’s theme is that of collaboration. This is one of my favorite topics. Collaboration is one of those buzzwords that we hear all too frequently. It also holds a broad range of meanings. Perhaps we need a collaboration meeting on the meaning of collaboration? <grin>

However, I’m going to talk about it from the perspective of working with other firms in a BIM project. Here are two common collaborative issues specifically with Revit® projects. Issue One: Someone in the project decides to use worksets instead of Revit’s phases to control the visibility of elements at particular stages of the project. For example, the architect decides to place tenant improvement or interiors elements in a workset rather than use a new Revit phase for those elements that will be built after core and shell construction.

Let’s face it—within the architect’s model, there is little difference between using Revit’s phases or worksets to control the visibility. Is this true in a collaborative environment? Alas, it is not quite so easy to control the visibility of the linked architectural elements from within the engineers’ models. Why is that? At the very minimum, it means that the engineers’ models will need to control the visibility of each linked model’s worksets on each and every view that the engineers’ models use. Sure, effort can be made to create override view templates to help produce the correct views.

OR: when everyone uses Revit’s phases, the engineers only need to map the phase in the engineers’ models to the appropriate phases from the linked models. All that’s left after that is to assign the correct phase to each view. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s far less confusing. Anyone that says worksets are easier than Revit phases hasn’t had to deal with workset “phases” from a linked model.

Issue Two: The MEP engineers request that ceilings be set to non-room bounding. “But wait!” cries the architect, “that makes it more difficult for me to work with my room elements!” True. I cannot deny that. But what are the ramifications for the MEP engineers? Why are they asking this in the first place?

The MEP models need to have space elements in the models to help assist with design. However, if the ceilings are marked as room bounding, the space element in that room will stop at the ceiling. There is no way to force the space to continue up to the floor slab above. Read that again: there is no way to force the space to be correct.

The proper approach, from a collaboration perspective, is to not make the ceilings room bounding. This is the only way the engineers can get the elements they need in their models. Your final takeaways should be that sometimes collaboration means doing something you’ve never done before, but for reasons that really matter to the rest of the design team. Also, don’t be shy about asking someone to do something to make the overall project better.

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