Services Design Solution Ltd (SDS) is a building services consultancy company with offices based in Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol and Cardiff. The company provides mechanical, electrical and public health services designs for a diverse range of projects, including education, health care, commercial, public and community, defence, industrial, residential, leisure, railway and water projects. SDS has also been recognised by the Building Magazine as one of the UK’s Top 150 Professional Construction Consultants.
Digital Engineer Sergio Moreira shared with us the many ways in which they use MagiCAD for Revit at Services Design Solution and the effect that the software has had on enhancing and streamlining their daily design workflow.
Meeting the requirements of each work stage
SDS provide building services designs which mainly take place during three specific RIBA stages of a building project. MagiCAD is utilised in numerous different ways throughout these design stages. “We start on RIBA Stage 3 with main runs for ductwork and pipework and use connection nodes to help us select equipment. On Stage 4A, we calculate final sizes and pressure drops using MagiCAD’s generic product families, as well as our own, since non-MagiCAD product families can also be easily imported into the software. On the final stage, we commonly access and use the MagiCAD manufacturer-verified MEP database of families within Revit to produce a LOD 300 to 350 standard deliverable,” explains Sergio.
Throughout the design work stages, the team at SDS also commonly use the Clash Detection, Standard Connection, Device Connection, Move/copy branch, Clean-up & Deliver, Symbol Management and Builderswork Openings tools for more effective and efficient modelling and coordination.
Many of the challenges SDS face in their projects are commonplace. “The transfer of information between disciplines, a lack of knowledge from other disciplines about deliverables on each stage, poor early-stage planning, and poor quality of IFC transfer if the Architect and Structural Engineers are using non-Autodesk software,” lists Sergio.
“The free-to-download Builderswork Openings plugin has been a great help for the Architect and Structural Engineers. It allows us to collaborate and coordinate effectively with these disciplines who are also working in Revit,” Sergio says. However, when project parties use a variety of different software applications, getting everyone on the same page can be rather challenging. “We offer guidance and support on communication between disciplines that are using different software applications but, unfortunately, most of the time this is out of our hands,” explains Sergio.
A positive experience
“All of the UK-aligned calculation tools in MagiCAD for Revit are exceptional and it is easy to recalculate when needed as everything is executed in the same software environment,” Sergio comments. “Many of the Common Tools are also extraordinary. The clean-up and delivery process took 10x less time when using the automated MagiCAD functionality in comparison to what it would have previously taken. In addition, creating and managing provisions for Builderswork Openings establishes a seamless workflow and is so much easier and quicker than the traditional process.”
For SDS, the overall experience of using MagiCAD for Revit has been very positive and the range of tools in MagiCAD has simplified and increased the efficiency of their daily modelling and coordination design work as well as the ability to quickly perform UK-aligned engineering calculations in Revit.
MagiCAD delivers when needed most
One healthcare project in particular stands out for Sergio when considering the benefits of using MagiCAD for Revit. The design contained three wards, four isolation rooms with positive pressure, two isolation rooms with negative pressure and very little time to complete the work. “We jumped straight to Stage 4A and had a really short time to finalise the design. If we hadn’t used MagiCAD for Revit we would have completely missed the deadline. Overall, we achieved approximately 60% time-savings when completing this project,” he recalls.