The move from computer-aided design (CAD) to building-information modeling (BIM) has been heralded as an evolutionary advancement in building-design technology. This new approach has promised to turn building plans into virtual libraries of equipment data and requirements – including, for example, product specifications, electrical connections and clearance requirements. Unfortunately, reality has fallen short of this goal for many electrical engineers and modelers.
The problem is that BIM software, such as the industry-leading Revit from Autodesk, may provide a great framework for building out complex 3D representations of building systems, but it often lacks the product libraries crucial to a complete and accurate building information modeling. Simply put, BIM’s promise to accommodate design changes in real time can be stymied by static and outdated product information, which can lead to hours of unnecessary research for engineers and backtracking and redrawing for building modelers.
“Information,” then, remains the critical variable in BIM success, a point Schneider Electric, for example, took to heart when developing its new LayoutFAST plug-in for Revit, which addresses shortcomings faced by both consulting engineers and building modelers. We’ve developed a seamless platform for designing and specifying complete electrical systems. Our equipment models are linked to cloud-based product data that updates product library models in real time – an advantage that ensures BIM models will remain relevant for client facility-management personnel, long after final commissioning has taken place.
We’ve worked closely with consulting engineers and building modelers to develop a solution that improves both workflow and model accuracy. Specifically, consulting engineers can expect:
- Improved efficiency. Schneider Electric products can be selected and placed into designs from within Revit, and products can be configured to meet project requirements by answering a few quick questions.
- Greater accuracy. LayoutFAST data comes straight from Schneider Electric and is updated in real time, which eliminates dependency on possibly outdated information from in-house content libraries.
- Design confidence. Because LayoutFAST product information is always current, your plans will always be up-to-date.
- Client satisfaction. BIM data will remain current and relevant even after building commissioning, ensuring your clients will continue to have accurate maintenance and replacement information throughout the life of their facility.
Building modelers charged with the nuts-and-bolts creation of detailed electrical models will see a similar range of benefits, including:
- Speedy learning curves. The LayoutFAST plug-in is fully compatible with Revit® 2014-15-16, so there are no commands to learn.
- Increased productivity. Seamlessly grab Schneider Electric product model information from the cloud, while dynamically creating the product model without ever leaving the Revit screen, including one-click access to specifications, drawings, catalogs and more.
- No more guesswork. Space can be reserved accurately for relevant Schneider Electric products in your BIM models by simply answering a few simple questions.
- Easy access. Product lineups can be created in seconds – and future models can be made even more quickly by saving frequently used products as favorites.
In short, by focusing on the “information” in building information modeling – ensuring its accuracy and ease of access – LayoutFAST represents a big step forward for electrical professionals and the BIM models they produce. To learn more about this new Revit plug-in’s capabilities and download your own copy, click here.