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February 11, 2015 by Jokūbas Vaišvila

AGA CAD is a software developer that is looking for the fastest and the most convenient way to work in Autodesk® Revit®. AGA CAD software is specialized in various fields like: architecture, structure, MEP, analysis, etc. This time I want to tell about MEP part of Revit.

AGA CAD is creating professional BIM solutions for MEP engineers that work with Autodesk Revit. I can count over 10 products that can help MEP engineers in their everyday workflow. Our main goal is to find the weakest points in Revit and develop the solution that will increase work productivity in such cases. Some of these solutions can increase work productivity but some of them can open new features that even Revit does not have.

In this article I will list some of AGA CAD's MEP created solutions:

  1. RAS Manager is a connection between architects and MEP engineers. This tool could be useful for building modelers, architects, MEP engineers and exactly ventilation designers because of its ability to calculate supply and exhaust airflows. RAS Manager will help you to place spaces automatically with predefined heights.
    Autodesk Revit doesn't place rooms in the best way. We have to check the heights of rooms and to correct them to be up to required boundaries. RAS Manager automatically detects nearest elevation, room bounding and attaches a room to it. All the rooms could be automatically replaced with spaces with special HVAC ID according which the needed engineering information will be inserted. The data about spaces referred to national standards. It's a pity but Revit doesn't have automatic supply and exhaust airflow calculations – instead of it you could use RAS Manager!
  2. U-Value tool calculates precise overall heat transfer coefficient (U-Value) for walls, floor, roofs, ceilings and foundation slabs. This Revit plugin calculates overall heat transfer coefficient for complex constructions with existing profiles.
    U-Value imports material data from external sources of .txt or .xls format. User can insert hundreds of materials from manufacturers catalogues using this tool.
  3. Building Energy is an application for Revit that could be useful for architects and MEP designers. This solution can help European designers to calculate building heating and cooling loads as well as energy demands.
    Building Energy helps engineers who work with energy performance certificates. This solution could also be useful for passive house builders. Autodesk Revit has integrated heating and cooling load calculations for American market. These calculations are based on ASHRAE methodology. This methodology differs from the methods that engineers should use in Europe. Building Energy application has integrated calculations for ISO, DIN, STR standards. This solution also defines non heated space temperatures that Autodesk Revit does not perform. Building Energy software has not only heating/cooling load calculations but it also includes heating demand calculation for one month, all year or just heating season. You are able to insert desired heat transfer coefficients by hand.
  4. BIM solution R-Heating is useful for MEP engineers and designers as well as architects. Using this plugin you will be able to design various types of heating systems. While working with Autodesk Revit software and R-Heating add-on you will be able to design vertical, horizontal or manifold heating systems. This solution could be widely used while distributing radiators, convectors, electric equipment and underfloor heating systems. R-Heating/Cooling can work with cooling equipment as well. Automated pipe and accessory (balancing valves, shut-off valves etc.) connection to heating Equipment will save you a huge amount of time. R-Heating solution is also fitted for hydronic heating system balancing: it could help you balance all the necessary parts of the system using iteration method of calculation.
  5. Smart Sprinklers is useful for MEP engineers and fire protection sprinkler system designers. This BIM solution can help engineers and designers who work under different standards (ex. ISO, NFPA, AS). This software could be used for wet and dry fire protection systems. It will help you, while making head placement maps and layouts for each zone. Smart Sprinklers automatically sizes pipes and analyses the whole pipe system. This software has integrated clash detection functionality that allows finding interferences in a space between element types or whole fire protection system.
  6. BIM solution Smart Diffusers is useful for MEP engineers and those who work with ventilation system's designs and different family creation (air terminals, silencers, elbows, fire dumpers etc.). This application could be useful for family creators, who want to have parameterized family library with logarithmic graphs and automated calculations of any parameters according to different manufacturers' data.
    Smart Diffusers could be useful for ventilation system planners and contractors because this solution will help you to distribute air terminals in spaces with different geometries and to find most suitable air diffuser type for such spaces with all your needed parameters.
  7. Looking into the design process from BIM side of view – all the parts of the building should be included into the project. The building should be modelled in the software, in the same manner, as it will be built. All the parts should include the model. MEP design in project is only one part of work. Another part is how the MEP elements are connected to structural elements. It is a real headache for engineers as this is quite an important part of project. Sometimes, even MEP element distribution might be revised due to hanger clashes or absence of structural parts to connect hangers to.
    Using Smart Hangers software, you do not need to distribute hanging or supporting elements for line based MEP objects like duct, pipe, cable tray, conduits by hand. The distributed elements will be attached to any type of the constructions as well. Also Autodesk Revit software does not have integrated split functionality of any MEP line based elements. Smart Hangers can split ducts, pipes, cable trays, conduits into segments by predefined lengths. Other benefits of this solution: it also supports IFC format & includes library with 25 different hangers and supports.
  8. Designers spend a lot of time adding and tagging openings manually. Cut Opening is powerful BIM software that automatically creates openings around ducts, pipes, cable trays and conduits in floors, walls, roofs, ceilings, beams, columns. Openings can be created in construction elements that are in linked files. Architectural project can be linked to MEP project as well as MEP project can be linked to Architectural part. Ducts and pipes can also be created in IFC format. Cut Opening enables fast offset modifications of already created openings.

AGA CAD's created solutions are well known and used in the whole world. I strongly recommend Autodesk Revit users to try these solutions and make sure that they are the latest generation of applications for Revit.

All these solutions will be described in detail in a web session that will be held live on Thursday, 19 February, 2015. You are kindly welcome to join this webinar which will be a great intro to the webinar series for MEP engineers working with Autodesk Revit.

Thank you!

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