How electrical design software removes guesswork from busways

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It’s difficult to create busways system families and place busway hangers in building designs. Electrical distribution systems are complex and must account for present and future power loads with many varied components. Designs also must account for the physical features of a building project. Obstacles related to pipes, end caps, and elbows emerge in the detailed design phase and, more frequently, during construction.

Busways are among the challenges slowing the adoption of building information modeling (BIM) for electrical engineers and specifiers. While architects and structural engineers migrated to the popular Autodesk Revit modeling platform, electrical engineers often use other subscription-based design tools. This creates a lot of uncertainty around BIM documents. As a result, electrical designers often lack real-time visibility into a project’s BIM model and design-build process.

But BIM is getting easier, thanks to significant breakthroughs in electrical system digital design. Schneider Electric™ has updated and expanded its LayoutFAST toolset with electrical engineers in mind to close the gap in Revit. Now, specifiers and engineers can quickly and easily design, generate, and share BIM objects, including accurate busways systems.

Electrical systems can now be part of master BIM plan

Electrical distribution systems are critical for making Revit models intelligent and producing a smart building. LayoutFAST works as a Revit plug-in or in a web browser, and integrates into the BIM workflow.

The latest digital design tools allow electrical systems to be part of the master project design and makes more detailed information available earlier in the process. This increases the value of electrical engineers and specifiers in the design-build process through speed, efficiency, accuracy, and risk mitigation.

Designers can account for pipes, elbows, and end caps with busways

Designers can now create a 3D view and configure a busway outside of Revit, which they can download and share with other stakeholders (for a cost estimate, for example). The detailed plan clarifies work and provides accurate costs for contractors.

For the first time, specifiers can output a digital model that includes specifics for pipes, elbows, and end caps — things they know they will encounter but previously were not sure of the specifics. There is no more guesswork or using cable trays and hangers to estimate busway plans. This not only reduces work order changes, but also provides contractors with information to provide appropriate staffing.

Innovations greatly increase prefab work success rate

Once a busway or other BIM object is configured and inserted in the BIM model, LayoutFAST generates catalogs and other commercial-ready documentation. This includes a detailed bill of materials (BOM), which provides an electrical contractor with an exact list of materials and prices.

The detailed plan and list of materials greatly increase the success rate for prefab installations. Previously, fabrication shops often had to send a crew and a manager to the project site to finalize busway plans and equipment needs.

Now, a prefab contractor can see the conduit routing plans from the switchgear to each load, so they can create build sheets more quickly and accurately. They have more control over what can be built in the shop or what parts and materials need to be on the truck. They also have more control over the number of supervisors or trades on the job site at any given time.

LayoutFAST helps contractors provide more value while lowering risk

Specifiers, modelers, and electrical design engineers can produce more detailed and accurate BIM plans, thanks to the latest innovations in the LayoutFAST toolset. The efficient transfer of detailed information means designers and engineers can provide more value to building stakeholders through speed, efficiency, accuracy, and risk mitigation.

Access LayoutFAST and other resources to design electrical distribution systems faster.