The GRAPHISOFT MEP Modeler™ is an ARCHICAD® Add-on. Architects working with ARCHICAD can use the MEP Modeler to create and edit 3D model-based MEP networks (ductwork, pipework and cable tray systems) and coordinate them within the ARCHICAD Virtual Building. The MEP Modeler uses a familiar interface and tools integrated right in the ARCHICAD environment.
The biggest reason for budget and time overruns in building construction is partly caused by poor coordination between the various trades. This can result in cost overruns of up to 2-4% of a project budget. For owners and architects seeking to reduce coordination errors, the MEP Modeler is the best solution to help achieve greater efficiency.
The MEP Modeler also improves ARCHICAD’s import of IFC models with MEP content arriving from mechanical engineers and mechanical modeling applications. Collision detection can be done between the imported MEP system elements and the architectural project elements.
BIM or 2D Workflow
Wherever the MEP engineer can provide 3D data, architects can import the consultant’s MEP model into ARCHICAD using the IFC format. In addition to this generic IFC interface, the MEP Modeler package provides an improved connection with Revit.
If the MEP engineer provides 2D data, the MEP Modeler makes it very easy to model and visualize the MEP systems in 3D and eliminate potential collisions.
MEP Modeling Functions
The MEP Toolbox provides a dedicated set of tools to create components of the various MEP-systems:
- Straight, curved and flexible HVAC ducts, pipes and electrical cabling trays
- Transitions, junctions and in-line elements to connect MEP components with each other
- Equipment and terminals for automatic connection at the intake and the output locations of the ventilation, heating and cooling systems.
MEP library part elements are parametric, enabling easy configuration of custom dimensions.
MEP Object Library
GRAPHISOFT MEP Modeler ships with an extensive MEP-specific Object Library. This library contains specially configured MEP elements with smart connection points for automatic connection during routing of MEP systems. Upon installation of MEP Modeler, certain standard ARCHICAD Objects, i.e. plumbing fixtures, kitchen cabinets, heating objects, etc. will be extended with smart connection points and specific MEP-related parameters.
Custom MEP Elements
Custom MEP elements can be created and saved using standard ARCHICAD tools such as Walls, Slabs, Morphs and (GDL) Objects. These custom library parts will be automatically added to the current MEP library. They may be placed into the project or re-used in other projects. Custom MEP elements have the same intelligent behavior as the standard MEP library parts shipped with MEP Modeler.
In GRAPHISOFT MEP Modeler, MEP systems represent groups of elements that are handled together, which makes element creation and editing much more efficient and consistent. When new elements are added to an existing MEP system, they will automatically take on the appropriate connection parameters: shape, diameter, width and height values.
Placing MEP Elements
One basic method of creating a mechanical system is to place individual ducts, pipes or trays one at a time. With this method, connections are built one-by-one and element positions are adjusted individually at the time of placement. This flexible, "LEGO®"-style workflow gives you full control over the type, allocation and parameters of placed elements.
Smart MEP Routing
The MEP Routing function enables designers to create connected MEP elements with a series of mouse-clicks. ARCHICAD’s smart cursor and temporary guidelines provide further help in creating MEP systems from scratch, quickly and easily. Routing is available in both floor plan and 3D views.
Editing MEP Elements
A powerful set of graphical editing aids is available to modify the geometry of individual elements of MEP systems. Editing a part of an MEP system will automatically change connected elements. New connector elements may also be added to the system.
Automated Collision Detection
GRAPHISOFT MEP Modeler provides a fully automated routine to identify, visualize and resolve conflicts between the architectural design and the engineering design of the MEP networks. Collision detection is based on Element Classification. As a result, it works on all imported IFC MEP elements and all ARCHICAD project MEP Objects and MEP-classified elements. MEP collision detection identifies the exact location of discrepancies on the floor plan and the 3D view. All collision entries are automatically added to ARCHICAD’s Mark-Up Tools Palette, so designers can quickly evaluate these entries and locate them with a single click. Members of the extended design team can discuss and evaluate alternative solutions, using ARCHICAD’s Mark-Up Tools.
Collaboration with Mechanical Engineers
MEP systems can be imported into ARCHICAD from BIM MEP applications (such as Revit, AutoCAD MEP, DDS-CAD MEP, MagiCAD, etc.) via IFC connection. All MEP-type IFC systems with all IFC data are identified and automatically converted to native ARCHICAD (IFC) Systems and intelligent MEP elements.
The ARCHICAD Connection Add-In is an additional, free GRAPHISOFT application that improves the IFC model-based and bi-directional data exchange between GRAPHISOFT ARCHICAD and Autodesk Revit.
Sharing and Visualizing the MEP Modeler Model
ARCHICAD's extensive export capabilities enable designers to share files in a variety of modeling formats, including the Open BIM supported IFC.
The ability to visualize MEP systems in the complete building environment improves communication between architects, engineers and contractors. Visualization can be done within ARCHICAD using color codes for the various mechanical systems, combined with a wireframe representation of the architectural structure. ARCHICAD's powerful rendering capabilities can be used to create photo-realistic visualizations of systems for the different trades.
To learn more about streamlining your connection with other disciplines, including MEP engineers, please visit GRAPHISOFT’s Open BIM page.