The use of Revit Design Software in Design/Build Electrical Contracting is fairly rare, especially in the area where Lake Shore Electric calls home! The use of design software by our competitors in our area is very slim, but at the same time I felt we needed to expand where we were at with AutoCAD. AutoCAD is the go to in the design industry, but I wanted to expand into the 3D world so therefore we added Revit to our design concepts. I like how we can use 3D to show elevations and 3D conduit routing along with creating great information to our electricians in the field. This also helps in showing the Customer more detail in explanation to better convey our design. The picture above shows one of the Customer seating areas at The Kiln Project. It helps show the Customer what the lighting would look like if they were standing in the room while at the same time we can use the same 2D image for showing our circuitry. We don't have to do two separate drawings, everything is in one place and covers everything we need to show.
Having trouble visualizing what a space looks like from a two dimensional piece of paper? 3D drawings help to show a Customer the view that they will see when the Project is complete!
The picture above shows the traditional circuited drawing that we all see in a set of plans. The difference is, is that this is the same as the 3D rendered picture shown above! This makes it very nice to get across what we want to cnvey to our Customers as well as our Electricians in the field.
This is the most critical aspect of Electrical Design and the view that our Electricians use daily! The red "clouds" show revisions that happen during construction.
The picture above shows the a colored lighting photometric layout. This helps us with lighting layouts as well as explaining to the Customer where their light and dark areas are inside and out. We use IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) standards to show Customers what the industry standard is for a particular area of their Site or Building. Elum Tools is an add on to Revit that utilizes the layout for the circuitry and then reads what the building material reflectances are to calculate the footcandle levels in the areas and rooms.
Lighting can be one of the most opinion oriented piece that we do! There are many opinions on what is too bright or not bright enough! That's why it's good to show a Customer photometrics and tie it to an industry standard so that they can see the whole picture before they spend the money on an expensive system that they may not like!
The picture above shows a One Line Diagram for Service Gear layouts. We use an add on to Revit that automates the process for creating One Line diagrams. This helpful tool also generates Arc Flash calculations and allows us to create lables for service panels telling what PPE to use when working on that particular gear.
A One Line Diagram looks more technical than it really is! Each item noted is either an Electrical Panel, Switchboard, Metering Structure, Equipment Disconnect, etc. It's a map for the infastructure of a building's electrical system.
For good ole' old school digital CAD design, we still work with the latest version of Autodesk MEP so it will be compatible with most of the current design software out there. By the way Revit can also be converted to AutoCAD .dwg files but we want to make sure we can be flexible in our design platforms!
Autodesk AutoCAD is still the standard and the most widely used design software on the market.