Author Topic: BIM libraries  (Read 1308 times)

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jonesy

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BIM libraries
« on: November 14, 2016, 03:05:06 am »
Hi all

Recently started a new job where I am using Revit full time.  I want to pick peoples brains about libraries/content.

In the past I have only used Revit in a structural work flow, but now I use it in the MEP world.... and I have swiftly come to the conclusion I will be relying on external content much more than the Autodesk supplied content.

So, where to look for metric content...

Is it worth keeping a local (to the company) library, or is it best to download the latest from the web for each job?

I'm sure I will have MANY more questions going forward, but this will get me running for now

Many thanks in advance for anyones input. 
T :)     
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Rob...

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2016, 06:52:04 am »
Absolutely, have a local library and periodically check for updated content. You will soon learn that updates don't happen very frequently. Some things have been the same and will remain that way for quite some time. For some equipment, it is often much faster to create your own using cut sheets, than it is to find something suitable, if you can.

On a side note, make sure to thoroughly vet families before inserting them into a project. There is still a lot of content that is just converted from AutoCAD which can cause havoc on a project.
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rvhwlc

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 01:43:37 pm »
we do not use manuf. content... not good enough.. some stuff but not all.. we take default content and modify or create own stuff... works way better but takes more time and labor.

stock content gives you something to go by.. up to you to take it where you want to go.

John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 07:38:46 pm »
Manuf content is bad and only a few companies use them (most input dimensions into custom content or maintain type libraries). To give you an idea as to what you can expect if you do use manuf content; my current employer uses manuf content and I spend hours at a time fixing schedules and hunting for equipment I just placed.

You can use quite a bit of the stock content to create your own content (some are/is really bad though).

Your first step is to decide how you want to use the content and what you want to do when the content changes (when the project changes from one manuf to another).  Assuming your into design build now.
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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 08:12:14 am »
Thanks for your input.

I've spent a bit of time looking at the NBS National BIM library, and by the looks of it, data has to be approved by "someone"

John, yes this company is design/build (another first for me, I only ever did high level work which went to tender for others to fully design)
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John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 02:04:27 pm »
Are you going to be setting up their Revit?

Design/Build: You should defiantly steer clear of manufactures families and build families that allow you the flexibility you need. I was just at a design/build contractor and I used to draw an analogy and I called it the "Tyler vs Charlotte problem" (two manuf of pipe fittings). The analogy was about having to switch mid-project between two different manuf's parts/equipment. If you have to swap all pipe fittings to a different manuf --i.e. possibly end up with different inverts--you better have a good way (or a plan to do so) that costs the least (because there can be hundreds/thousands of pipe fittings in a model and just the act of switching can cost a lot not to mention the impact on the other trades).

...If you are going to be setting up the firms content, we should talk.
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Rob...

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2016, 06:36:03 am »
BTW, congrats on the new position!
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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2016, 08:42:19 am »
Are you going to be setting up their Revit?

Design/Build: You should defiantly steer clear of manufactures families and build families that allow you the flexibility you need. I was just at a design/build contractor and I used to draw an analogy and I called it the "Tyler vs Charlotte problem" (two manuf of pipe fittings). The analogy was about having to switch mid-project between two different manuf's parts/equipment. If you have to swap all pipe fittings to a different manuf --i.e. possibly end up with different inverts--you better have a good way (or a plan to do so) that costs the least (because there can be hundreds/thousands of pipe fittings in a model and just the act of switching can cost a lot not to mention the impact on the other trades).

...If you are going to be setting up the firms content, we should talk.
Thanks for your input :)  So if a manufacturer has already been awarded the contract, is it "safe" to go with their content... or what other ways are there?

My first job is to work on a project and then from their it will be working alongside one of the other Reviteers here to work out whether we go for our own library or use a hosted one... or seek out what other alternatives there are.
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2016, 08:42:30 am »
BTW, congrats on the new position!
Thanks :)
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

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John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2016, 10:02:45 am »
Yes, but the problems in design build stem from the fact that often times when you start a manufacturer isn't awarded yet. ...I built my own families and built them to support type catalogs (I looked at several manuf cut-sheets for the same equipment and built my constraints so I could enter in dimensions for many different manufacturers). I then had two routes I could take in the case of a switch; I could load the other versions and just swap them as I needed to (this gave me the option to only switch the items that we felt were critical and couldn't be left up the field foreman). I could also just alter the type catalogs and "reload" and cross my fingers and hope items stayed connected. However, often times I/we'd design so that little dimension changes wouldn't matter and we'd just let CAD/BIM handle the swap when they took over to create the spool's.

A company owned library is the way to go (hands down). You have far more control over things like formulas, constrains, details, etc..

Basically, you have to imagine having to work with these aspects on a project like a hospital campus, or a 23 story hotel.
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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2016, 10:43:51 am »
Thanks again John.
I guess I will have a much better understanding on which way to go and how to get there when I come up against issues on this current job!  Looks like I will have to get my family creation book out in the weeks and months to come...

It also looks like I might be monopolising this board as I pick everyones brains lol
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

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rvhwlc

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2016, 03:27:38 pm »
Yes, but the problems in design build stem from the fact that often times when you start a manufacturer isn't awarded yet. ...I built my own families and built them to support type catalogs (I looked at several manuf cut-sheets for the same equipment and built my constraints so I could enter in dimensions for many different manufacturers). I then had two routes I could take in the case of a switch; I could load the other versions and just swap them as I needed to (this gave me the option to only switch the items that we felt were critical and couldn't be left up the field foreman). I could also just alter the type catalogs and "reload" and cross my fingers and hope items stayed connected. However, often times I/we'd design so that little dimension changes wouldn't matter and we'd just let CAD/BIM handle the swap when they took over to create the spool's.

A company owned library is the way to go (hands down). You have far more control over things like formulas, constrains, details, etc..

Basically, you have to imagine having to work with these aspects on a project like a hospital campus, or a 23 story hotel.
i will back this all the way..

John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2016, 07:59:54 am »
Thanks again John.
I guess I will have a much better understanding on which way to go and how to get there when I come up against issues on this current job!  Looks like I will have to get my family creation book out in the weeks and months to come...

It also looks like I might be monopolising this board as I pick everyones brains lol
Ask away. ...You should know that I also, at one time, started to create my own company and I built some "template" families to get a library started from (a few hundred very clean families one could apply their own company shared parameters to).

i will back this all the way..

Heh! Sadly, most people/companies do too. I typically quickly attain the title of "expert/genius/head-dummy" (which I hate). Then the work slows down or the standards are applied and I get swiftly dropped on my ear.  I do not understand why people/companies do not invest more into what they are selling (their infrastructure/plans/engineering)! Infrastructure/practices/procedures falls into the 1% of company expenses but have the biggest impact --e.g. purchase crap computers/network you will be feeling the effects soon-.
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hudster

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2016, 11:22:01 am »
late to the show again, but here's my two pennies worth.

We never ever ever ever ever....  ever ever use manufacturers families. There are a few reasons for this.
1. Scheduling, its very rare that you won't have to re-work the parameters in a manufacturers file so they suit your needs. and typically if you change a parameter, the model goes to pot as they are often linked to each other.
2. LOD the majority of manufactures families are way to complex for what a typical MEP layout will ever need, resulting in massive models and slow loading/rendering etc, Do you really need to see the threads on that bolt for a LOD 200 model?
3. This was the most important one for us. Under the UK tendering rules we can't be seen to be favouring a specific manufacturer, and our Directors felt that by using a manufacturers family we could be seen to be giving them a recommendation, with most of our work being Government work we need to be seen to be impartial.
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42

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2016, 08:24:24 am »
The LOD (Level of Detail) is a very important point. At an early phase of the project, we and others only need to know that its a door and how wide is it. Later on you can add fire rating and acoustic performance. Later still finishes etc can be added.
We are Architects and on the whole we work with contractors as part of a team developing the design, in our case schools.
At an early point of design we will be using generic families from NBS or our own developed elements, typically doors, windows, walls etc. These with the correct parameters will inform the various schedules and develop the specification, (generated out of the Revit Model).
As we progress through the design phase additional detail will be added as decisions are made, This is the point that manufacturers families will, if appropriate will be added. The points made above are important though, too much manufacturers information  is of poor quality, so saying that hosted on NBS BIM Library and Bimstore are usually pretty good.
The manufacturers families will have the correct unicode and NBS references built in which in turn will directly inform the specification. This is BIM at work, Revit and Create, (the specification tool) form two components of the common data. environment.
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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2016, 08:54:39 am »
Thanks for your input hudster and 42.

The company I work for is doing the final design/installation and as built models... will that make any difference in using manufacturers families?

Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2016, 10:07:54 am »
Just to add to this, I have double checked this current project and the BEP calls for the MEP to be modelled to the following

5 - Construction LOD To provide full information to support construction / installation of the appropriate systems / products.
LOI The prescribed manufacturer products that that meet the generic product specification.

Am I right in assuming that I need to use the manufacturers families if they are available?
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

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John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2016, 10:32:20 am »
Just to add to this, I have double checked this current project and the BEP calls for the MEP to be modelled to the following

5 - Construction LOD To provide full information to support construction / installation of the appropriate systems / products.
LOI The prescribed manufacturer products that that meet the generic product specification.

Am I right in assuming that I need to use the manufacturers families if they are available?
No.
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hudster

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2016, 10:49:08 am »
What LOD is construction?

Quote
The LOD framework defines the following model element content requirements:
LOD 100: The Model Element may be graphically represented in the Model with a symbol or other generic representation, but does not satisfy the requirements for LOD 200. Information related to the Model Element (i.e., cost per square foot, tonnage of HVAC, etc.) can be derived from other Model Elements.
LOD 200: The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a generic system, object, or assembly with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 300: The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object, or assembly in terms of quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 400: The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object or assembly in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation with detailing, fabrication, assembly, and installation information. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 500 The Model Element is a field verified representation in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Elements.

We work to LOD 300, and for most that is sufficient. I haven't ever seen a contractors model which contains the manufacturers information, most are happy to utilise our generic models for their information, and only work to fill in the relevant Cobie parameters we provide as per the BEP.

Even working to LOD 500 I would be reluctant to utilise manufacturers families, better to model it yourself to suit your needs.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 10:53:08 am by hudster »
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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2016, 11:01:38 am »
Just to add to this, I have double checked this current project and the BEP calls for the MEP to be modelled to the following

5 - Construction LOD To provide full information to support construction / installation of the appropriate systems / products.
LOI The prescribed manufacturer products that that meet the generic product specification.

Am I right in assuming that I need to use the manufacturers families if they are available?
No.
OK, thanks for the clafification
Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot.

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jonesy

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2016, 11:07:43 am »
What LOD is construction?

Quote
The LOD framework defines the following model element content requirements:
LOD 100: The Model Element may be graphically represented in the Model with a symbol or other generic representation, but does not satisfy the requirements for LOD 200. Information related to the Model Element (i.e., cost per square foot, tonnage of HVAC, etc.) can be derived from other Model Elements.
LOD 200: The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a generic system, object, or assembly with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 300: The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object, or assembly in terms of quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 400: The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object or assembly in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation with detailing, fabrication, assembly, and installation information. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 500 The Model Element is a field verified representation in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Elements.

We work to LOD 300, and for most that is sufficient. I haven't ever seen a contractors model which contains the manufacturers information, most are happy to utilise our generic models for their information, and only work to fill in the relevant Cobie parameters we provide as per the BEP.

Even working to LOD 500 I would be reluctant to utilise manufacturers families, better to model it yourself to suit your needs.
This project is to the NBS toolkit LOD 5 and LOI 5.  I will find out more when I meet the model manager/coordinator for the main contractor tomorrow.
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hudster

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2016, 11:49:02 am »
If your having to use manufacturers families to suit the BEP, i must say, I don't envy you. From most of the families I've seen you'll spend as much time fixing them as you will actually working on your own model.
We utilise our own families and its still a nightmare scheduling all the information.
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John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2016, 12:40:04 pm »
Just to add to this, I have double checked this current project and the BEP calls for the MEP to be modelled to the following

5 - Construction LOD To provide full information to support construction / installation of the appropriate systems / products.
LOI The prescribed manufacturer products that that meet the generic product specification.

Am I right in assuming that I need to use the manufacturers families if they are available?
No.
OK, thanks for the clafification

Having a visual "accurate" only family does not meet LOD specifications. You--and Archictect's--have to understand is that if you cannot schedule those parameters (the ones that the specifications require) then "it" is just more garbage. Revit models are not BIM (they can be but they are not the only models, many BIM models are IFC, etc). You need to have families that can be scheduled or "visually altered" by all parties (if they "link in"/"open" your IFC/RVT); you need to take into consideration about how your model will be used (RVT/IFC/Database)  and how easily the other person can obtain the information they are after (someone is not just flying around looking at pretty pictures/renderings. ...I see so much garbage from Architects saying "the information you need is in the family" but in reality, I cannot schedule it or view that information in a useful way. A lot of information is/can be missed because no one knew you had to select that "specialty equipment"--which is supposed to be "mechanical equipment" or "plumbing fixture"--and find some obscure series of checkboxes (the person who created that family/model didn't provide a useful classification and/or useful means of obtaining the information needed).

hudster, LOD 350 is CAD/BIM (coordination). LOD 400 is construction. LOD 500 is as-builts. The manufacture information should be added in the 350 stage/phase and finalized in 400 and 500.
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lamarn

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2016, 02:00:16 am »
INFORMATION and DATA have very different meanings John, what I think you  actually are saying you see a lot of raw data, referred to as 'garbage'. From these data models you are not able to filter right (find information..) If I may say so I read a lot of  (bim being) INFORMATION but seem to forget the difference between data and information. My cent for this discussion..
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 02:23:02 am by lamarn »
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hudster

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2016, 04:00:04 am »
That is precisely the problem I have with manufacturers families, 99.999999% of the information is unschedulable, and of practically no value. So if you are using them, you have to add your own parameters and populate them, the main problem with that is, when you pass it to the FM guys, those parameters don't meet their needs and then they have to add their own paramaters and populate those.
This will continue to be a never ending loop of modification until someone somewhere issues a standard set of parameters for all to use. There is of course Cobie, but have a close look and you'll find multiple parameters for the same thing, last I checked there was 3? different parameters for length and no doubt whatever one you chose, it would be the wrong one.
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John Kaul (Se7en)

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2016, 08:12:12 am »
lamarn, yes I suppose they do. Nonetheless, I'm officially changing the BIM acronym to BiM. Please change all your documents.

This is what you get when Architects try to tackle big things. ...Revit: *bleh*. BIM: *sigh*. LOD: Psshht!

hudster, there is. And it's even ISO certified! It's called IFC. http://iaiweb.lbl.gov/Resources/IFC_Releases/R2x3_final/
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rvhwlc

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2016, 09:11:30 am »
From most of the families I've seen you'll spend as much time fixing them as you will actually working on your own model.
if you spend time fixing manufacturer families.. and the bep says you must use them... this would defeat the purprose correct? i agree no manuf families.. . make your own.. many manuf. families are a decade old and autocad solids..

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Rob...

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Re: BIM libraries
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2016, 04:55:01 pm »
All this really depends on what kinds of families. I've found some HVAC equipment families to be surprisingly similar to what I would build. It's not like it was 8 years ago when I first started with most of them containing imported .dwg stuff. Those were causing all kinds of problems back then. A real mess. Not so much these days.
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