CAD/BIM Tips & Tricks

Power to the MEP Professionals: A Multitool for Revit Imports

20 December 2022

A building’s MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) systems are kind of like its central nervous system. They turn an inhospitable, dark, dank shell into a livable building. Basics such as regulated temperatures, lighting, running water and flushable toilets aren’t mere creature comforts. They’re necessities.

“Is the world going to be more 3D or 2D in the future?” — James Tavernelli

How many people work in an office building? The tongue-in-cheek answer is, “About half of them,” but regardless of the size of the building and whether there are hundreds or thousands of employees in it, there is peace of mind knowing that the plumbing system can handle the burden when everyone’s first cup of morning coffee kicks in (not to mention soap and running water to wash hands afterwards).

Forward Thinking

Revit® has become the software of choice for many MEP professionals, allowing users to create, edit, and view buildings in a three-dimensional environment. For MEP engineers, detailers and fabricators, the ability to model, analyze, and iterate systems-design produces better performance and sustainability.

KLH Engineers is ranked as one of the Midwest’s top design firms. President and Chief Operating Officer, James Tavernelli, posed and answered a question that many MEP professionals may be contemplating: “Is the world going to be more 3D or 2D in the future? And it’s obvious: It’s going to be more 3D, so that started with us going exclusively Revit. We are seeing automation as an opportunity, not as a threat, to eliminate the mundane tasks.”

It’s making a big difference too. Tavernelli says, “The amount of work we have with contractors has tripled over the last three years.”

Well-designed MEP systems aren’t in-your-face obvious. But when the air-conditioning is inadequate, you can expect tempers to fray.

Alex Jonovski, Director of Project Management at KLH says, “Whether you’re a contractor or you’re an architect or you’re an owner, we want to take that data-driven project delivery model up and down the value stream to serve others. And to really get there, we need to have that single source of truth, where that data lives and is leveraged in multiple ways. I don’t believe there’s ever been a more exciting time. This industry is ripe for disruption and yet there’s a lot of opportunity to find a lot of new ways or apply new thinking to a really old industry. It’s something to get excited about.”

But, like virtually any CAD or BIM platform, Revit is not without its quirks.

Flush the Frustration

When it comes to importing PDFs, Word or Excel data into Revit, you might have encountered a couple of problems. For many users, having to import PDFs one page at a time is a laborious task that most would prefer to avoid. With Excel imports, the formatting is frequently funky and time-consuming to fix. Word data is typically imported as a snapshot, making it unsearchable and uneditable.

All of these issues can be addressed with Office Importer for Revit. First, forget about ever having to do page-at-a-time PDF imports ever again. Simply import the whole thing at once. Next, expect utterly flawless formatting for Excel and Word data, which is both editable and searchable. The cherry on the top is the fact that your imported data can be linked and synced to your source data. This means that any changes made in the source files can be reflected in the imported data. In a nutshell, time-saving automatic updates.

There is peace of mind in knowing that the plumbing system can handle the burden when everyone's first cup of morning coffee kicks in . . .