Interference checking, drawing models, BIM object libraries, 3D model with object properties: the advantages of using a MEP software
Have you completed your architectural project and now you’re planning to model a plumbing system? Are you using a CAD software but you’re looking for a more efficient and quick way to operate?
In this focus article we’ll be taking a closer look at how to use a MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) software and what are the advantages that you can get.
Check my tips and try to model a plumbing system in a quick manner with Edificius, the BIM software for architectural design and MEP systems modeling.
Why designing technical installation systems with a MEP software?
Using a MEP software allows you to work with the same freedom as a CAD but with all the advantages of a BIM reducing errors and delivery time.
In particular, Edificius has an environment entirely dedicated to 3D modeling of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
With Edificius-MEP you can easily model any type of network or system either in a dwelling or for more complex projects.
Moreover, in a single environment you have the possibility to deal with all aspects of installation system modeling:
- import external files (DWG, Raster, IFC, etc.) necessary to building the BIM model
- generate your BIM model (the digital information system for construction with a 3D model that is integrated with physical, performance and functional building data)
- create the MEP model for installation systems design
- verify interferences between models with the aid of Real-Time rendering or virtual reality
- produce the construction cost estimate
- automatically obtain drawing models and reports.
Let’s have a look at the main advantages of using a MEP software to model a plumbing system.
Typically, in order to design a plumbing system, you need to draw in plan view the lines that correspond to:
- hot water supply network
- cold water supply network
- hot water generator
- drainage network
What you are drawing are however simple lines that don’t contain any information and that offer a bidimensional view of the model only. In fact, in a 2D floor plan, you risk to neglect the complete interferences verification between the plumbing system and the structural, architectural, electrical, heating, etc. models.
By using a BIM software for MEP systems 3D modeling such as Edificius you have the advantage of getting an overall overview of the building-technical installation system to evaluate both the dimensional and space consistency.
In pratice, with a plumbing 3D model you can:
- reduce the errors possibility and unplanned aspects on the site
- reduce delivery time and costs
- reduce misunderstanding with your clients and the construction company.
Model information database
The plumbing system that you are modeling within the MEP environment in Edificius is a tridimensional BIM model where all the objects have specific properties.
They are not just simple geometric objects but BIM objects containing information relating to materials, dimensions and properties. You can also add information such as technical datasheet, images, installation area diagrams, etc.
You can build a complete database with all the information relating to the installation system that is also very useful both during the design and maintenance phases.
By querying the model, you will know the exact positioning and the characteristics of the system components during the construction lifecycle, and also reduce possible problem or interferences during the subsequent restructuring or maintenance works.
Project drawings automatically updated
At all stages of the project, regardless of the level of detail reached, from the 3D model you can automatically obtain both drawing plans (floor plans, cross-sections, axonometries, etc.) and numerical representations (cost estimates, tables, calculation reports, etc.) of the plumbing system project.
From the 3D model, with Edificius-MEP you can obtain:
- floor plans, cross-sections, 3D and elevations views of the system
- working drawings, together with schedules and tables with symbols of the various objects
- descriptive technical reports of the project
- a detailed Bill of Quantities
- construction cost estimating
- the model IFC file.
All the drawings are automatically generated from the 3D model and are dynamically linked to it. This means that you can modify the project at any time and have your project plans always updated.
You can print the drawing models individually, or generate a single working drawing by simply choosing the format and the title block, then drag & drop the generated drawing models complete with legends and symbols.
MEP objects Library
If you need to model a plumbing system, it is essential to have access to a library of MEP objects to export to your model. The objects you choose are real containers of information and have properties that you can always consult and implement.
With Edificius you can:
- select MEP objects directly from the software BIM objects Library
- create new customized MEP objects.
The Edificius online library contains tens of thousands of free resources, such as pipes and ducts (mechanical, electrical and plumbing), fittings (curves, joints, plugs), special parts, equipment and terminals (sanitary, heating systems, kitchen furniture, etc.) of the most popular brands currently available on the market.
If the object that you need is not present in the Library, you can create it yourself with the parametric modeler. Starting from a generic object, you can define parameters and characteristics and easily obtain a customized object.
You can also import 3D models from external files that are already existing or provided by the manufacturer (in .skp, .obj, .ifc, .dae, etc. formats) and use them freely in your project.
Try Edificius and its MEP functionalities
You can test run Edificius and its MEP systems modeling functionalities.