5 Reasons to Use Revit to Design Your MEP Projects

June 30, 2020 Sarah Miller

As an MEP designer, you know the importance of accurate design. Having access to reliable engineering dimensions and space requirements, as well as understanding the placement of other integrated and adjacent systems is critical. 

Even small errors can turn into big issues, so you need the ability to identify any potential flaws in the design early on. For example, if equipment is positioned incorrectly, it can affect the structural design. In the worst case scenario, these types of mistakes can impact structural load capacity and create potentially disastrous safety hazards. Even in the best of cases when issues are identified and resolved during construction, doing so requires the kind of time and money that hurts schedules and budgets. 

Ensuring the accuracy of your designs is already a big responsibility. Your job isn’t made any easier when you’re challenged by things like: 

  • Wasted hours spent reproducing drawings

  • Maintaining connected systems

  • Limited confidence in your 3D content

  • Not being able to easily find project information

  • Lack of collaboration among project stakeholders

If you’re experiencing any or all of these problems, you may want to re-evaluate the tools you’re using for MEP design. Using the right tool for the job is essential in the actual construction process, and it’s equally important for design and detailing. Using software like Revit, many MEP designers are increasing accuracy, saving time, and facilitating better project collaboration. Maybe you could be, too.


Why Should MEP Designers Use Revit?

You may be wondering why an MEP designer would use Revit instead of a program like AutoCAD. AutoCAD is a computer-aided design and drafting software meant to create 2D and 3D drawings for a range of design applications. But Revit is a better tool for BIM and building design. Used by many architects and engineers, the Revit platform includes tools to design intelligent 3D building models that can be used for construction documentation, as well as add-in software tools that extend construction workflows and cater specifically to the MEP designer.


5 Ways Revit Improves MEP Design

The purpose-built nature of Revit makes it a great tool for MEP design. But its advantages don’t end there. Read on to learn five ways Revit can make your job a little easier.


1. Increase efficiency

Many MEP contractors will redraw projects from supplied 2D design drawings. Others will receive the 3D designs from the engineer after the project has been awarded and use those as a baseline for their contractor drawings. When everyone is working in Revit, they can share a single 3D model. The use of parametric modeling facilitates coordination and simplifies change management. Any time a change is made to the 3D model, even across trades, the database gets updated automatically, saving you countless hours making manual changes.


2. Catch errors earlier

Revit lets you create systems that comprise a set of logically connected elements. For example, a supply air system might include duct, fittings, diffusers, and mechanical equipment. Using Revit Systems Analysis, you’re able to define all of the main components—including information like flow rate, size, and power requirements—that comprise a system without having to produce physical models. Furthermore, when two objects are merged, Revit automatically maintains connectivity, even if the objects are resized or moved around. These capabilities provide an invaluable safeguard during the design process. Should you make a change that inadvertently creates a system design error, Revit is able to detect and flag it for you, so you can resolve the problem before construction begins.


3. Easily access project information

Because Revit allows everyone to work from a single database, all the information you need can easily be accessed when you need it. This reduces or even eliminates the need for paper documentation since all of the information needed will automatically be recorded right inside of the Revit platform. You won’t have to dig around for the latest version of a design and can be confident that everything will already be up to date and available in your constructible model.


4. Improve collaboration amongst stakeholders

When all project team members and stakeholders are working in Revit, all of the information needed across trades is available in one place. For example, if additional beams are added to a structural design, MEP designers will automatically receive the update and be able to adjust their systems accordingly. You can also set user permissions so that you are only sharing certain parts of the project with people who need to have access to it. 


5. Design with actual manufacturer content 

By using Revit, you can design MEP systems using actual components, or content. Designing with content helps you add greater detail to your designs. When you extend Revit with a detailing add-in like Trimble SysQue, you’re able to achieve even more detail by using real-world, manufacturer-specific MEP content that is ready for fabrication. You get access to millions of building components that you may not be able to access elsewhere. And the content is fully managed by the content service provider, so you can feel confident it’s accurate and up to date. When you’re able to design with this level of detail, you’re able to detect clashes easier and earlier, and gain greater confidence in the constructibility of your designs. 


Extending Revit to Increase Detailing Accuracy

Using Revit for MEP design has a number advantages. While it isn’t a cure-all for the challenges you face, Revit can:

  • Make your job easier

  • Save you time

  • Help you catch errors

  • Allow you to design with greater confidence

When you extend Revit with MEP detailing software and manufacturer-specific managed content, you take your accuracy to the next level. You experience significant and meaningful improvements like better and earlier clash detection, as well as a reduction in errors and their associated costs.

Get the list to discover 5 reasons to extend Revit with detailing software. 


About the Author

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is the Product Marketing Manager for Trimble MEP under the Building Construction division. She has been with Trimble for over 6 years also holding positions in sales management and sales operations. Her team is in charge of the GTM (go-to-market) strategy, VOC (voice-of-customer), sales enablement, and messaging for our estimating and CAD detailing products in North America. Her group works as a liaison between sales, MarCom (marketing communications), and product management. She completed her Executive MBA in May of 2019.

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