August 2018

Most popular types of valves and how to use them as Revit families

Valves are devices that control the flow of fluids (liquids, gases, vapors and more) by stopping, adjusting or allowing the passage of the fluid through its container. There are many types of valves available on the market and choosing which one to use in a Revit project can be demanding. As an MEP engineer you have to take into account several technical properties of the valve, as well as the manufacturer that provides it, and combine these criteria with the preferences of the other project stakeholders.

After going through this article, you will have a complete set of correct arguments and useful knowledge to support your decisions regarding the valves you want to use in your Revit projects.

Manually vs. mechanically operated valves

Manually operated valves feature a handle that can be switched to an "on" or "off" position or rotated. Mechanically operated valves are controlled by an actuator attached to them. An actuator is needed for instance in the case when the valve is too large to be operated manually because of its dimensions. You will also need an actuator to control the valve automatically or remotely, such as in washing machine cycles or a centralized control room. Valves controlled by actuators are usually referred to as motorized valves. If you want to use these in your projects, you can download motorized valve Revit families from the MEP content library.

There are also several kinds of actuators to choose from. For example, electric motors and solenoids fall into the category of electromechanical actuators. Pneumatic actuators are controlled by air pressure and hydraulic actuators are controlled by the pressure of a liquid. View here the library of solenoid valve Revit files and electromechanical actuators.

There is generally not much debate about when you should choose an actuator-controlled valve or a manual one. Actuators are designed to provide comfort, safety and convenience by automating certain tasks and taking into account a number of factors before sending a command. In all other cases, a manual valve will be enough. Unless you have a huge number of valves in a building for which automation is a necessity.

Different types of valves

There is however some confusion when it comes to valve types and the best option for certain situations. Let's take a closer look at the most popular types of valves out there and their best usage.

Gate valve

The closing element of this type of valve is a metal gate. When the valve is set to the "off" position, the gate is fully lowered allowing no fluid to pass through. When the valve is "on", the gate retracts into the body of the valve. This ensures no or a negligible flow loss across the valve.

Best usage: When the valve is meant to be kept either fully open or fully closed. Keeping a gate valve partially open poses a serious risk of erosion of the gate. The vibrations resulted from the interaction of the fluid with the partially open gate also represent a damage factor.

Globe valve

The fluid flow inside a globe valve follows an S-shaped trajectory. This means that in a fully open position the fluid has to change direction twice inside the valve. This results in a significant drop in pressure. Therefore, globe valves are not typically used when the flow in the pipe needs to be able to reach maximum capacity.

Best usage: In throttling situations or when frequent operation is foreseen. Globe valves are available in tee, wye and angle patterns and are many times used for cooling water systems.

Best not to use: When dealing with large fluid pressures because globe valves require enormous amounts of force when opening and closing the valve.

Ball valves

Ball valves are designed to control, stop or allow the flow of fluids through the pipes by means of a sphere contained inside. When the valve is closed, the ball completely obstructs the passage of the fluid. When the valve is in the on position, the ball does a quarter turn (90 degrees) and the fluid is allowed through a cavity inside the ball. These types of valves are in general more durable and easier to use than globe or gate valves and have a low pressure drop. They are known for their perfect sealing capacity, allowing no leakage when in an "off" position.

Best usage: When a tight shutoff is required such as in the case of gas pipes when a potential leakage could be harmful. They also deliver best performance when they are kept either in an on or off position and are easily maneuverable.

Best not to use: Ball valves are not the best option to use in throttling situations because the seats are prone to damage when exposed to constant wear. Also, as they close, ball valves retain some of the fluid within the inside of the sphere. This can cause the valve to break in case of freeze. Some insulation parts around the valve can resolve this issue when the valve is used in places with low temperatures. You can apply this knowledge by downloading ball valve Revit families for free here and placing them in your piping system.

Balancing valves

Automatic balancing valves have the purpose of restoring the correct hydraulic levels in heating and cooling systems. Often these kinds of systems have differential pressure changes caused by different valves being opened and closed based on the demand for heat or cold air. Balancing valves will control the functioning of the system by restoring the values that were determined in the design phase.

Best usage: In heating and cooling systems in order to ensure the correct functioning of the system and to avoid important pressure changes. A balancing valve will ensure an even heat distribution which reduces noise and unnecessary energy consumption.

Butterfly valve

Butterfly valves are amongst the most popular types of valves. They control the flow of a fluid by means of a rotating disc. Even though they are in certain ways similar to ball valves, butterfly valves are typically easier to install because of their reduced weight. They are also more precise and can close faster and easier, especially when controlled automatically.

Best usage: In industrial settings when a very precise operation of the valve is required. Moreover, butterfly valves do not require such a solid support structure as ball valves thanks to their reduced dimensions.

Best not to use: When pressure drops could be an issue to the functioning of the piping system. Even when fully opened, the disc of the butterfly valve is in the way of the flow of the fluid, which causes a pressure drop.

Check valve

Also known as non-return valves, check valves allow fluid to go in one direction but prevents it from going the other way. When the high pressure reaches a certain preset limit, the valve will fully open, allowing clear passage of the fluid, and it will close when it detects fluid coming from the other direction. Check valves are usually not operated manually, as they function automatically based on how they are manufactured and configured. They can however feature a stop-check which allows the operator to stop the flow in one or both directions. Revit check valve families are available for download here.

Best usage: Check valves are many times used in combination with pumps. In case the pump fails, the check valve will mimic its function, preventing the whole system from malfunctioning. Another common use of check valves is in the household application. Sprinkler systems can benefit from featuring a check valve because it will prevent drainage when the system is shut off. In water systems, a check valve will prevent contaminated water from coming back into the main water supply.

Best not to use: A correct value has to be assigned for the cracking pressure which means the minimum pressure at which the valve will start functioning. If the value is not correctly estimated before installation and the real pressure is lower than expected, the valve will keep partially open, which will cause erosion of the parts. Also, check valves need to be installed at a fair distance from other fittings because this can cause them to function poorly or even block.

Control valve

Control valves are often controlled by actuators and they are used to regulate variables such as pressure, level, flow or temperature based on a number of factors. A 3-way control valve features 3 pipe connections which enables it to mix water from 2 pipes, to stop one entrance and open another or to split the flow coming from one pipe into 2 different pipes.

Best usage: Control valves are mostly used in industrial settings. Different parts of the system will send signals that will be picked up by sensors and transformed in commands for the valve. Here you can find 3-way control valves Revit families ready for download.

How to work with valves in Revit

First, you need to have valve Revit families that you can place on your piping systems. Start by downloading this Valves Revit plugin which will allow you to filter and search for the correct and most suited valve content you need. You can choose amongst several international manufacturers to make sure your content includes product information and is easy to order directly from the material list. You can also filter on different technical properties such as diameter, pressure stage or temperature range.

Once you find your perfect valve, select it and chose the pipe where you want to place it. The right fittings will be added to your system automatically without you having to set up every fitting for every valve you place. Watch this video to see the Valves Revit plugin in action.

Hope this article helped you and if you have any questions or are usually working with other types of valves and you want some more insight into those, drop us a line here.

You Could Connect Elements in Revit 6x Faster than You Are Currently Doing It

The old way of connecting families in Revit

Revit provides a few useful tools that enable you to automatically connect elements by means of fittings when designing piping systems. Here are just a few:

  1. With the “Add Vertical” tool you are able to connect pipes using the current slope value.
  2. If you want to disregard the slope value, you can use the “Change Slope” tool.
  3. The “Automatically connect” placement tool lets you automatically connect to the snaps on a component when starting or ending a duct segment. This option is useful for connecting segments at different elevations.

What if your elements were previously designed or imported?

However, you sometimes have to connect elements that are already drawn. In order to do this, you have to create separate section views, carefully align and drag the connectors of your elements to the positions where they need to connect, and only after performing all of these preparing activities can you hit “Connect”. Sometimes, Revit even adds unwanted elements to your system that you have to later remove.

What can you do about this?

You can use a smart Revit plugin that lets you connect elements by simply selecting their corresponding connectors. Like this, you will avoid switching between section views to correctly align the pipes. The plugin will do this for you. Watch this video to see the difference between the design flows in Revit vs the Revit plugin.

Read further: Rotate Revit Families the Easy Way

Away with Gas, Welcome Heat Pumps. Which one is the Best?

One subject that cannot be ignored these days is the debate concerning the shift from traditional fuel-based heating solutions to alternative and more environmentally safe methods such as boilers and heat pumps. This discussion fits in the larger context of the global concern to reduce energy consumption and utilize forms of renewable energy. As such, the Paris Agreement stands proof for the collective initiative undertaken by a lot of nations to set things in motion and essentially do everything in their power to prevent the global temperatures this century from rising with more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In the Netherlands for instance, this translates to a 95% reduction of CO2 by the year 2050. Quite an ambitious target.

What is your role as an MEP engineer or contractor in this?

As an MEP professional, you situate yourself at the foundation of this discussion and, together with other stakeholders such as project owners and architects, you represent the steering wheel that has the power to influence the project one way or the other.

When deciding about the energy source to be used for space heating and hot water systems, you usually have to take into account a number of factors such as the efficiency of the source, the environmental friendliness of the fuel, the installation and maintenance costs and the overall comfort they provide. How do you fill in your checklist? Read on and you’ll get the information you need to take a responsible decision.


COP - Coefficient of Performance

A genuine indicator of efficiency is the coefficient of performance (COP) that represents the ratio between the amount of heat or cooling produced and the amount of energy and resources required to generate that result. In the case of a gas heating system, every 1kW of gas energy burnt will result in 0.85kW of heat, which represents a COP of 0.85.

Heat pumps are essentially different since they don’t use only one resource or fuel as input. Heat pumps use electricity to transfer energy from heat sources recovered from the outdoor environment. So for every 1kW of electricity put in, the heat pump will produce up to 4kW of heat, which means a COP of 4. When calculating the COP, bear in mind that it is dependent on several conditions such as the size of the building, the insulation and temperature variations. In the case of lower outside temperatures, a heat pump will output less heat due to the fact that it simply takes less heat from outside.

Running costs

It is common amongst home and large project owners to think that the initial investment in a heat pump is not justified since it can be more expensive than a gas-fueled system. While this can be true in some cases (see “Installation and maintenance costs” section below), one needs to look at the long-term costs in order to correctly appreciate the efficiency of a heat pump. When taking into account the number of months and the average amount of hours per day that the heat pump is working, we will see that using heat pumps is indeed much cheaper on long-term than traditional gas heating systems. Use this handy running costs calculator to check your specific situation.

Installation and maintenance costs

2 in 1 system

Unlike a traditional heating method such as a gas furnace, a heat pump doesn’t have to generate heat itself. Instead, it uses electricity to transfer heat that already exists from one area to another. Heat pumps perform a double job: in summer they keep the temperatures cooler inside and in winter they deliver more heat. For homeowners, this means that they don’t have to install two systems – a furnace and an air conditioner – because a heat pump will do the job of both. Consequently, the costs of installation, maintenance, repair or replacing are reduced to nearly half. With regard to maintenance the following. Most units consist of two parts. For a heat pump based on external air input the outdoor unit will be more difficult to maintain than an indoor unit.


For a heat pump investment is needed compared to a mainstream central heating solution.
You can think of connecting the gas pipes from the control cabinet and an exhaust gas hose for the boiler. In the long run these will have to deliver a certain payback and return on investment based on the estimated consumption and potential savings.



Traditional fuel based heating systems can pose serious dangers for several reasons. First, they display hot surfaces or flames within the easy reach for children or adults which can result in domestic injuries. Second, they pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning which can result in death. Heat pumps eliminate these risks and make for safer and more environmentally friendly heating methods.

Extended features

Heat pumps also present a number of modern advantages such as dehumidifying, air filtration, the even distribution of warm air around the house, remote wi-fi control, hour scheduling and temperature control, features that add value to the overall customer experience.

What is your responsibility?

Now is your time to act. You have the possibility to majorly contribute to the reduction of pollution around the world while delivering better, more sustainable and more convenient methods of heating. Take a look at the MEPcontent library of Revit families and AutoCAD files for heat pumps and download the ones you will use in your projects. Which one is the best? That is up to you to decide, depending on the project demands and your preferences. You can choose manufacturer specific content from Mitsubishi Electric, Nibe, Hisense, Fujitsu, Saunier Duval, Buderus, Viessmann and several other manufacturers. View the library now and select your favourite!
July 2018

Rotating Elements in Revit just Got a Lot Easier

Revit is a tremendous platform that enables the collaboration between different parts involved in a BIM project. However, when it comes to really specific tasks, such as rotating MEP families in free space or around another family, Revit will propose quite tricky solutions. If you have ever attempted to rotate objects in Revit, you know what I am describing.

Multiple rotation possibilities at your disposal

Speed and accuracy can be decisive factors when it comes to the overall quality of an MEP project. Delivering in time is essential, that is why MEP engineers need to benefit from the help of specialized tools to aid them in their work.

In this case, we are talking about a Revit plugin that enables the modeler to rotate families in free space around any axis (X, Y, Z), or around another 3D object with any amount of degrees.

Rotating single or multiple elements (like fittings, pipes and ducts) connected to a system is possible by specifying the desired direction and angle. Opposed to the plain functionality offered by Revit, the connectivity won’t be lost.

You can rotate single Revit families, multiple elements connected to each other, assemblies or groups around X, Y, and Z axis in any view, including 3D views. View here the Revit plugin that will allow you to do all of this.

Read further: How to Connect & Copy Revit families.

Sabiana Fan Coil Units: Acoustic Comfort & Energy Reduction

Sabiana SkyStar

The SkyStar ECM series uses an innovative brushless electric motor controlled by an inverter card that varies the air flow continuously by means of a 1-10 V signal generated by Sabiana controls (version SK-ECM-IR) or by independent contollers (version SK-ECM). The extreme efficiency, also at a low speed, makes possible a great reduction in electric consumption (more than 75% less in comparison to a traditional motor) with absorption values, under normal operating conditions, that are no greater than 10 Watt in the entire range.

Sabiana Carisma

The Sabiana Carisma extensive fan coil range includes wall and ceiling mounted units, exposed or concealed with either tangential or centrifugal fan options, delivering one of the most versatile ranges of fan coils on the market today. Units covers are made from strong plastic lateral corners and galvanized frontal steel sheet. The plastic top grid has fixed louvres and is reversible in order to distribute the air in two different directions.

Sabiana is BIM ready

Publishing Revit families and CAD files on MEPcontent has been an important step in the BIM journey for Sabiana. "Offering BIM files for our products is no longer a choice, it's a must" according to Luca Binaghi, Commercial Director for Sabiana. "BIM is an essential part of the workflow of our customers nowadays. Offering accurate 3D content, equipped with correct technical and product information is very important to us. MEPcontent is an important partner in our BIM strategy, offering both a BIM platform with a global reach and expertise when it comes to BIM for the MEP industry."

MEPcontent users can download the BIM files for Sabiana products for free from the MEPcontent platform.

About Sabiana

Sabiana is an Italian company which conceives, designs and manufactures appliances for air-condition spaces where people work and live. The company builds equipment and systems to heat and cool any type of space: factories, offices, hotels, hospitals, shopping malls and houses. Always based on the most natural element in existence: water.

These 4 Apps will boost your productivity in Revit

Revit is the go-to platform for designing and collaborating with construction partners in BIM projects. But when it comes to specific or complex tasks, the platform has its limitations. Reconnecting specific system parts with native Revit functionality, can be quite time-consuming for example. This is why additional plugins or add-ins come in handy. Below, we have selected four MEP Plugins for Revit that will help you realize your Revit projects faster:

1. Design MEP systems up to 60% faster

Whether you want to connect a fitting to a pipe, rotate entire systems in 3D without leaving your view, or reconnect a saddle to a pipe, you can now save considerable time in Revit. The new Productivity Tools App for Revit features 6 useful functionalities in one ribbon that will help you design your MEP systems up to 60% faster. Here you can check out what these functionalities are and see how they can be used in your project.

2. Create openings in Revit for MEP elements

Generate openings with increased accuracy on places where MEP elements clash with structural elements. You can for example quickly create holes in walls, floors or ceilings where ducts or pipes intersect. The Openings for MEP App allows you to very easily communicate with the structural engineer about these openings. Create opening requests, send them to the structural engineer for approval and update your model with the response file you get back. Check out how you can use this App to optimize your workflow.

3. Generate electrical schematics automatically

If you’re an electrical engineer, you may have run into the fact that you cannot easily create schematics for electrical systems in Revit. The recently updated Electrical Schematics App however, allows you to do exactly this. You just need to select the available main panel(s) in your project, and the schematic will be created automatically. You can choose to generate either a system structure schematic or a block schematic. This way, you’ll have a clear overview of your electrical system. Watch the video to see how the App works.

4. Edit your data quickly in Excel

Revit’s great for modelling systems, Excel is great for updating and sharing data. By combining the best of both, you can save time a lot of time on updating information in your Revit project. The Export and Import Excel App allows you to export data from your Revit model to Excel, where you can update or add data to multiple elements at once, and import the data back into your model. This enables you to easily add manufacturer or calculation data to your model. The app has recently been updated, so now there’s even more information that can be exported from Revit. Learn more about this Revit App.

Start saving time

The Apps listed above will provide you with smart workflows and a better and faster design experience in Revit. And the good news is: you can easily download them from the MEPcontent store and try them for free. So if you want to experience one of the Apps yourself before reaching out to your creditcard, visit and download your free trial. Use the summer with our Apps to complete your Revit projects in no time.

Update: Add height annotations to your MEP openings

Place height annotations for each opening in your project

The Stabiplan Openings for MEP App for Revit has been updated with a much-requested functionality: automatically adding height annotations for all openings in your Revit project. This allows all project stakeholders to easily see the heights for all your openings within the project.

How it works
Once you have placed the openings in your model, you can also place a height annotation for each opening. You can select the openings from the Current view, define a New selection or use the Current selection. Next, you can specify if the height must be measured up to the Bottom, Center or Top of the opening. You can also choose if the annotation must be based on a Level or the Project Elevation in your project. The level can be selected from the drop-down menu which contains all levels within your project. It is also possible to use the predefined options: Level below opening or Level above the opening. The project elevation is based on the Project Base Point in your Revit project.

Extra functionalities
Besides this there are three other new functionalities included in this version. Firstly you can import predefined View Templates for a better control of the openings. Secondly it is possible to create a schedule with all the information about your openings. The last functionality is the Shared Parameter file which opens the location of the Shared Parameter file from the Stabiplan Openings for MEP app. The parameters of this file can be used in View Templates, Schedules or Tags.

Watch the video to see these new functionalities working for yourself.

Not working with this app yet? Download the free trial from our store and find out how easy it is to create and manage MEP openings within your projects.

Extensive update for ABB Detectors

Now available for download as Revit families: ABB Busch-Watchdog detectors. These high-quality detection systems guarantee uninterrupted surveillance in all areas.

Motion detectors (MasterLINE, ProfessionalLINE, BasicLINE)

Electronic motion detectors for detecting e.g. persons or cars by thermal motion.

Occupancy detectors (Presence tech BasicLINE / DualLINE)

For switching lighting systems that depend on brightness and movement. Circular detection range from 6m up to 24m in diameter.

Ceiling/corner adapter for MasterLINE series

Used to increase the inclination of the Busch-Watchdog 220/280. It is mounted at the corner of the house, on the wall or under the ceiling. For flush or surface wiring.

Junction boxes and protective basket

For surface mounting and increase of the protection type.

Download the Revit families now!

How to Win with BIM: What We Learned from This Year's World Cup

There are a few things every BIM modeler from around the world can learn from this year’s World Cup:

1. Don’t forget your training

Without training a team doesn't get far in the World Cup. This became clear during the game between England and Colombia, where the English had clearly practiced their penalties and won gloriously. Participating in training will make a huge difference in BIM projects as well. Look for appropriate BIM or CAD training to make sure you are winning with BIM!

2. Designate a captain

Soccer teams have a captain, BIM project teams have a coordinator. Just like a captain, the BIM coordinator or manager gives guidance and leads the team to success. Make sure that there’s someone on your team who keeps an overview and ensures that the communication within the project runs smoothly.

3. Adapt to the phase

Different phases of the game require different ways of playing and working together. Your team needs to adapt, and different team members need to take the lead in different situations. A BIM project also has different phases that require different information and ways of working.

There are 8 more lessons from football that can be applied to BIM. Find out which ones and check out the full article on Constructible.

ABB Solar Inverters for commercial, utility and residential applications

Design at a high level of detail

You can now add ABB solar inverters to your ABB collection of Revit families and AutoCAD and .IFC files. Download now the new string inverters recently published on MEPcontent and use them to design your installations at a high level of detail!

UNO-DM-PLUS - Single phase string inverter

The new UNO-DM-PLUS single-phase inverter family, with power ratings from 1.2 to 5.0 kW, is the optimal solution for residential installations. The presence of Plug and Play connectors, both on the DC and AC side, as well as the wireless communication, enable a simple, fast and safe installation without the need of opening the front cover of the inverter. The featured easy commissioning routine removes the need for a long configuration process, resulting in lower installation time and costs.

TRIO-20.0/27.6 - Three-phase string inverter

The TRIO 20.0/27.6 commercial inverter offers more flexibility and control to installers who have large installations with varying aspects or orientations. The dual input section containing two independent Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), allows optimal energy harvesting from two sub-arrays oriented in different directions.

TRIO-50.0 - Three-phase string inverter

The TRIO-50.0/60.0 inverter is ABB’s three-phase string solution for cost-efficient large decentralized photovoltaic systems for both commercial and utility applications. The TRIO-50.0/60.0 inverter has been designed with the objective to maximize the ROI in large systems with all the advantages of a decentralized configuration for both rooftop and ground-mounted installations. Modular design TRIO-50.0/60.0 has a landscape modular design to guarantee maximum flexibility.

REACT - PV + Storage, Residential application

REACT stores and allows to make the most of the energy produced by a residential photovoltaic system. The single phase grid-connected inverter is equipped with a built-in 2 kWh battery that allows storage of unused energy generated during the day for later use. REACT also features two independent MPPT inputs.

ABB TwinLine N 44 Cabinet System

The ABB content library continues to grow. You can now download Revit families, AutoCAD files and .IFC files for the ABB TwinLine N 44 cabinet system. You can then use this ABB distribution panel in your projects right away!

ABB TwinLine N 44 cabinet system

The TwinLine N 44 cabinet system marks the entry into the world of the TwinLine cabinet range. Optimized for flexible use as an energy distribution up to protection class IP44 as well as in double insulated or earthed versions available. The cabinets are prepared for the internal configuration with CombiLine N modules assembled on EDF mounting frame. TwinLine N 44 is available as a floor-standing cabinet in up to 5 panel widths

Why you should download the TwinLine N 44 cabinet system right away

  • Innovative flange technology with tool-free installation and more usable area for cable entry
  • Optimal accessibility and ease of installation
  • Time-saving plinth assembly and safe transport

Magnetic dirt separator, equimeter metering module and manifolds from IVAR

Magnetic dirt separator

Swivelling magnetic dirt separator with double filtering action from IVAR is compact, and features a connection kit for the installation under the boiler.

The evacuation of impurities is possible without emptying the system and disassembling the dirt separator, thanks to the removable magnet and to the opening of a 360° swivelling shut-off ball valve.

Equimeter metering module

The equimeter metering module with unit for heat only can withstand a maximum static operating pressure of 10 bar and a maximum fluid temperature of 90 °C.

Brass-Rod manifolds

Manifolds have the purpose of distributing the heat transfer fluid to the various heating and/or cooling take-off points. The IVAR brass bar manifolds can be used for applications in high and low temperature and cooling.

PLS updates

5 PLS have been updated for IVAR Pipes and fittings: 1285 articles in total. Choose between pipes and fittings from IVAR PRESS-Line, IVAR MPC-Line, IVAR MPL-Line, IVAR MPC-Line or IVAR MP-Line.

You can import Product Line Sheets (PLS) in your project through Stabicad and have your articles available both in Stabicad for Revit and Stabicad for AutoCAD. After importing, the articles will include properties and dimensions such as type or diameter, which makes it easy to place them in your project.

A MEPcontent subscription for Stabicad is required for working with the PLS. Read more about the MEPcontent subscription.

What can we learn from the Dutch when it comes to BIM?

The Netherlands are amongst the leading countries when it comes to BIM: nearly 60% of construction projects are carried out using a digital model. Charles Lekx, senior sales engineer at MEPcontent, talks about BIM standards in the Netherlands and what can we learn from the Dutch when it comes to BIM.

How do you think the Netherlands compares to other countries?

“I do think the BIM awareness in the Netherlands is very high compared to many other countries. It is very important that everyone is talking about it and sharing their experiences. I also think that in other countries people might be more hesitant when it comes to new technologies. It’s great to see that Dutch contractors have not been afraid to simply start experimenting with BIM and learn from their mistakes.”

Are there any standards or governmental regulations in place in the Netherlands?

“Not really. However, the fact that there is no official BIM mandate hasn’t prevented companies here from starting with BIM and come up with their own definitions, which is very good.”

Read the full interview on the Constructible platform.

New App updates: Drawing bendable pipes in Revit

A much requested feature has been added to our Revit Apps for piping systems: drawing bendable piping systems. This new feature allows MEP engineers to design flexible piping systems much faster than with native Revit functionality. The MEPcontent Product Line Placer for Piping, the SANHA Product Line Placer and the Henco Product Line Placer have been equipped with the new feature.

Using the Apps, you can now draw flexible pipe systems with special bends that allow you to draw in every direction and report the total length of the pipes with a schedule. It is not needed to configure this; it will work directly when selecting a flexible pipe type. You can simply form the pipe by clicking the next point for the bendable path to follow.

Create schedules
Creating a schedule with the total pipe length, which is required for ordering flexible pipe systems, is very easy. The Apps all provide a schedule for bendable pipe systems with the total pipe length. When showing the total pipe length within your project, you can make use of the included tag.

Easily add Tags
Tag functionality has also been extended, now allowing Revit users to add tags with information on bendable pipes such as measurements, lengths and diameters of the pipe. The 'Create schedule' and 'Tags' options can be found under the Create button in the Apps.

Improve your design workflow
Combining all of the App functionalities, you can now complete the design workflow for your entire piping systems within Revit: easily design the required flexible systems, add the relevant tags, and finally create schedules with all relevant data such as measurements, manufacturer data and article numbers. So your piping system can be ordered and fabricated right from within Revit.

How to use Revit like a pro

What are the challenges MEP engineers face when they start with Revit?

“In addition to giving MEP engineers more control over their design, Revit offers great basic functionalities. Functionalities like: sectioning, viewing, (auto)routing and connecting elements. But at the same time, working in the platform can be very complex. For example, it can be quite time consuming to connect elements or to create a realistic representation of two pipes and flanges in plain Revit. Or to connect a ball valve to a pipe, you’d need to know all specific sub-parts in order to create a solid connection. It can be challenging to achieve the desired level of detail in Revit because of the more generic working environment. Detailed technical situations are complicated to achieve within Revit.”

What can engineers do to overcome these complications?

“There are several custom add ins developed by Revit specialists that you can use to overcome these challenges. There are different Apps available that enhance existing Revit functionalities. Apps is the way we call them, others also talk about add ins, plugins or Revit add-ons. These Apps are more user-centered and allow you as a user to take control. With these Apps, you can easily create the model that you need, based on your preferred specifications instead of default autorouting functionalities in Revit. Take for example the Productivity Tools App, Excel Import and Excel App and the MEP openings App.

Manufacturer specific jobs are hard to achieve with plain Revit if you’re not sure whether you can trust the source of your content. There are Apps available that allow users to work more flexible with content without having to search all kinds of content from all over the internet, allowing for a more consistent level of quality. The free MEPcontent browser and our Product Line Placers are great examples of this.”

How to make sure you have the right content in your project?

“Depending on the goal of your model, you’ll need to work with manufacturer specific content. Sometimes it is enough to work with generic content to make estimates about what products are needed and their associated dimensions. It’s not always necessary to have the exact product data available in order to calculate and estimate. But if you want to avoid failure costs and have full confidence in your project, you’ll need an accurate digital representation of the building project before actual construction takes off. A digital model that accurately represents the real deal, allows you to understand the complexity and potential conflicts in your project. Therefore, you need manufacturer specific content. This way you can create an exact copy of the building you want to realize in the real world. If done properly, you can use your Revit model to work with prefab, connect it to pricing information, coordinate tasks and much more. Manufacturer specific content allows you to get the most out of your investment in BIM.”

Who should you take into account in your Revit project?

“There are different stakeholders to take into account. First, there is the construction engineer. He’s the primary stakeholder. Second, there is the facility manager, who needs to understand the maintenance costs that will be involved. Third, there is the wholesaler/distributor who needs to know which materials must be delivered for the project. Key here is to only involve the information that is relevant for the stakeholders. Make sure that you agree with your partners what information is needed and what information will be left out of the model. This can differ per project.”

How can you share your Revit project with partners not using Revit?

“IFC based solutions and Revit based solutions are most commonly used. The downside of using IFC is that you risk data being lost when exporting your Revit model to IFC, which is not desirable when it comes to sharing information. However, the benefit of IFC is that the entire BIM model can be shared among different software. Which solution you use, depends on the partners you are working with and which platforms they use. However, it can also work the other way around: the way you’d wish to share your project can influence which teams you decide to partner up with. In some cases, one party will deliver the model and define what software needs to be used.

But it’s not just external parties you need to exchange information with. Also within your own organization you may need to share information from your model with people not using Revit. For example, when creating bill of materials for the purchasing department. In that case, you can use Apps that allow you to quickly export the information, such as the Stabiplan Export and Import Excel App. With this App, you can easily export Revit data to Excel to share information quickly with those not using Revit. This way, you can collaborate successfully in BIM, while working with the tools that each party is comfortable with.”

Essential update for the Electrical Schematics App for Revit

You can now generate a block schematic of your Revit electrical system

A new schematic has been added to the Electrical Schematics App: the block schematic. This schematic will show an overview of all of the panels in the Revit electrical system and has 2 variations: one with the level information included with the panel and one with the levels represented using horizontal lines and placing the panels on the correct level.

For Revit power systems, the panels will include information about the total connected load, the total estimated demand and the apparent load per phase. Great to get a nice overview!

Choose which levels to include in your system structure schematic

When generating the system structure schematic, you can now choose which levels to include in your schematic. This enables you to create system structure schematics that are more compact and easier to print. Offering you more flexibility!

Generate schematics for each panel individually

We are not only showing the main panels, but also all of the sub panels in your Revit electrical system. This enables you to generate a schematic for each main and sub panel individually.

ABB System pro E power main distribution switchboard

Why ABB System pro E power main distribution switchboard?

The ABB System pro E power main distribution switchboard, ABB’s new solution for main distribution switchboards with rated current up to 6300A and short-circuit current up to 120kV, meets all plant requirements depending on the type of installation, required degree of protection and electrical and mechanical specifications.

The structure can be assembled to suit different logic sequences. Just a few part numbers for 120 enclosure sizes.

New mounting plates with rapid click-in system. Panels with 1/4-turn screws.

Error-free assembly of the structure, which is perfectly symmetrical. Modular uprights and cross-pieces joined together by means of a patented new system with axial screws.

Want to use ABB distribution switchboard in your Revit or AutoCAD project?

Download Revit families, AutoCAD files and IFC files for free and start designing right away!

New items for Brink Climate Systems heat recovery units

New articles available for download

New Brink Climate Systems heat recovery units are, as of this week, available for download from MEPcontent as Revit families, AutoCAD files or .IFC files. Download now the Flair 300 (NL localization) and the Flair 325 (INT, DE, CH and FR localizations) and start using them in your projects!

Several other localizations have been added and updated for CH, DE, FR, NL and INT for the Renovent Excellent and Renovent Sky families.

Brink Climate Systems heat recovery units

The Flair 300 is more efficient, quieter and consumes considerably less energy than other comparable products. According to calculations, energy consumption is about 30% lower. The new designed fans with integrated controls ensure a constant flow of fresh ventilation air.

The convenient installation wizard of the Flair 325 makes installation quicker. This tool guides you step-by-step through the installation process and makes it impossible to overlook anything. The appliance itself also offers you smart help through the maintenance wizard when maintaining and replacing filters.

DYKA AIR family pack updated

DYKA AIR has updated a number of products with dimensions and article numbers. The family pack has been updated with old article numbers removed and new ones added.

The following products have been updated:

  • DYKA AIR T oval 3LV 90gr, article number 20049724 (former article number 20042269)
  • DYKA AIR reducer-T oval - 80 3LV 90gr, article number 20049725 (old article number 20042275)
  • DYKA AIR T-piece ov. 195 + end-piece 125, article number 20049726 (former article number 20048403)
  • The product DYKA AIR reducer-T oval - 80 3LV 45gr, article number 20042274 has been deleted.

Download the DYKA AIR family pack from MEPcontent to work directly with this updated Revit library. The DYKA AIR PLS (Product Line Sheet), which can be used in Stabicad, has also been updated accordingly. The PLS can be imported into Stabicad using the PLI (Product Line Importer) in StabiBASE.

Design POLOPLAST above-ground sanitary systems in Revit

The MEPcontent POLOPLAST Product Line Placer for Revit plugin helps BIM experts to get access to the POLO-KAL XS, POLO-KAL NG and POLO-KAL 3S series, made available in this App. Visit the MEPcontent store and watch the video to see the App in action and get a quick impression of what it can do for you. Try the App yourself for free by downloading it from the MEPcontent store and install it for Revit. Create accurate schedules and select the product line, product group or system type of choice from within the POLOPLAST product range. Get the right POLOPLAST coupling or end piece when working with the split elements and cap open ends Revit functionalities. Draw your system and zoom in on the pipe socket, while connecting multiple fittings, bends, tees, reducers and couplings from the POLOPLAST series available in the App.

Optimizer included

Next to autorouting, composites and schedules, this App includes an optimizer which optimizes your system according to your set preferences. Simply specify which solution you want to see in which scenario and the optimizer will adjust all your auto routing fittings to the desired solution.

Free Manufacturer App

The MEPcontent POLOPLAST Product Line Placer App can be downloaded for free on You can also find this handy plugin on the POLOPLAST website.

What is Revit?

With BIM on the rise, MEP engineers around the world are taking the step from AutoCAD to Revit to work alongside their construction partners. But what is the difference between these two design platforms? Is Revit better? We talked with Revit specialist and product manager Coert de Jong to get all the ins and outs on Revit.

What is the difference between Revit and AutoCAD?

“Revit and AutoCAD are both flagship products of Autodesk. AutoCAD is primarily a drafting tool to create basic geometry that represents the real world, whereas Revit is known as the BIM software that can be used by architects, engineers, contractors and designers. There is actually a comparison between Revit and AutoCAD available online so you can check it to see exactly what the differences are.”

What is the difference between Revit and Revit MEP?

“Revit has a history in architecture, which means that the needs of MEP engineers weren’t fully satisfied with the original offering of Revit. Therefore Revit MEP was developed, which is geared towards mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors and design firms. Revit MEP gives users access to additional content libraries and functionalities that are relevant for MEP engineers.”

Why do MEP engineers work with Revit?

“Revit is the best platform for designing technical installations in 3D. This is not only because of the functionalities in Revit, but also because of the large content libraries available. It’s the combination of content and functionalities that make the platform so valuable. The good thing about Revit is that for all points in your model, everything is interrelated. When one thing is changed, the rest of the model will change accordingly. You cannot change something in your model without seeing an adjustment in your material list. The multiple views in Revit give you a sense of control in a way that’s not possible in AutoCAD. You can directly see what you are doing and check if it makes sense or not. A content platform such as MEPcontent makes this sense of control even stronger, because of the realistic models provided by manufacturers who partner with MEPcontent.”

More about the Revit topic next week in a new news article which you can read on this site. Stay in touch!

Welcome to manufacturer Attema on MEPcontent! Junction boxes published

Welcome, Attema!

We welcome manufcturer Attema on MEPcontent. Numerous Revit families for Attema ceiling / wall junction boxes, transition boxes, expansion boxes and recess cones have been published today on the MEPcontent platform where they can be downloaded for free by MEP engineers and used in their projects.

Marcel Herssevoort, Marketing Manager at Attema B.V., explains why MEPcontent was chosen: "Attema has been active in the field of BIM for years. We offered our relations Revit files via our website. However, the market asked us whether we could also provide access to these files via MEPcontent. We would like to listen to this and have therefore opted for MEPcontent. We can offer the first part of our range from now on, the rest will follow soon."

Junction boxes for different uses

The complete series of Attema junction boxes can be roughly divided into square, universal junction boxes and round, traditional junction boxes.

The Attema assortment of round, traditional junction boxes includes numerous combinations and positions of the conduit lead-ins. They are especially well suited for surface-mount installations for conduit and conduit clips.

The hollow wall boxes are suitable for installation in “open” and/or “closed” hollow walls.
The (Duo-)UHW50(-BW) and UHW40 can be used in both “open” and “closed” hollow walls. The HWD40 is especially well suited for use in a “closed” hollow wall. The HWD50, HWD50S and HWD50L(-BW) can only be used in an “open” hollow wall.

About Attema

Attema is an ambitious developer and producer of innovative solutions. These are applicable to different areas in the market: Installation, Building, Infra and Special Products. Attema employees always listen closely to their customers so they know better than anyone else what’s happening in the market. This results in the creation of continually surprising products with clearly added specific value for each customer.

Henco Vision and Henco Super Sizes series available in the Henco BIM App

3D modelling changes the way we design systems. Engineers integrate more and more information to build better, more efficient and more durable models and ultimately buildings. That is something that we want to support at Henco. With that in mind, we developed a BIM app in association with MEPcontent. We have integrated Henco products into a BIM tool, making them available to engineers, always with the latest information.

The following articles are currently available:

  • Henco multilayer pipe
  • Henco PVDF Press
  • Henco PVDF Press Gas

Recently launched (available since 29th of June 2018)

  • Henco Vision
  • Henco Super Sizes

Advantages of the Henco app

  • Always work with completely up-to-date, Henco specific product lines for piping
  • The Henco pipes and bend families contain the relevant data to link with wholesale information and GTIN or article numbers
  • All Henco pipes and bends available in the App are 100% compatible and easy to use in your Revit designs
  • Light, data-based and localised content
  • Get rid of the hassle of having to place Henco fittings in your system manually; the nodesolver functionality will show you the best solutions available
  • Be sure your system stays up-to-date thanks to the auto routing functionality; when you adjust a dimension (e.g. diameter) of the system, the specific properties (e.g. article number) automatically change with it

Download the app for free from the MEPcontent store

This article is published by Henco. For more information go to:
June 2018

[Video] How to use a generic manifold Revit family

This manifold is created on a lot of user requests for sanitary systems. You can change all necessary sizes and dimensions to fit the family into your project. Valves are optional.

Watch the video and see how to easily configure the manifold to meet your system requirements. Download the manifold family here.