28.01.2019 | By Petri Luomala

This is the first part of our three-part series where Pauli Keinonen, Technical Director for MagiCAD at MagiCAD Group discusses the potential of VR and AR applications for MEP design and the central role of BIM-methodology in their adoption.

The adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology in the building industry has made it a common demand in projects that all the data and dimensions related to the building’s structures and Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems must be accessible through the building’s BIM model.

In this way, the BIM model provides a virtual representation of the building in all respects ­ the virtual building. With the virtual building in existence, it requires only a short additional step to begin accessing this vast repository of building-related data more efficiently through virtual reality technologies, allowing the project team to enter the building’s BIM model and examine the MEP systems and proposed MEP engineering solutions in the actual spaces reserved for them.

Accessing MEP projects through virtual reality

In order for virtual reality technologies to be able to offer a practically useful access point to the project data, the 3D BIM model of the building and its MEP systems must include accurate geometry and product data, as well as instance data according to the local standards.

“With our BIM software MagiCAD for Revit, it is possible to design the building’s ventilation, piping, electrical and sprinkler systems using real MEP products and components from over 270 international manufacturers, with each product including full technical product data. This means that, for example, each duct, air terminal and air handling unit in a ventilation system designed with MagiCAD automatically integrates the accurate and manufacturer-verified geometry and product data based on the actual, real-life products. Nowadays also the users of native Autodesk Revit can access and download many of these products to their projects using our online BIM object library MagiCAD Cloud”, comments Pauli Keinonen, Technical Director for MagiCAD at MagiCAD Group.

Accurate product data not only makes virtual morels intelligent and responsive, but they also enable automatic calculations for various disciplines. This makes the BIM model the perfect test site for MEP systems.

“The accurate product data enables MagiCAD to perform functional engineering calculations, such as ventilation system balancing and sound calculations, according to German, EU and other local calculation standards. Because of this, the designer is able to verify that the systems function correctly already in the design phase and that the ventilation system delivered as part of the building’s BIM model will operate as intended also in practice“, continues Keinonen.


Product card from MagiCAD Cloud library www.magicad.cloud

In Part 2, on Monday 4.2.2019, we will look at the surprisingly simple leap from Revit projects to virtual reality applications and examine some key benefits of virtual reality applications.