News

October 2018
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System Pro E Comfort Consumer Unit from ABB

The ABB series of consumer units "System pro E comfort" is designed to reduce cabling times as well as allow the total integration of several kind of devices for DIN-rail and also devices to be installed on mounting plates or on blind front panels.

  • Protection class: II
  • IP protectionn class: IP41 and IP65
  • Rated current: from 63 A up to 125 A

Download Revit families for System pro E comfort from MEPcontent!
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Ecoforest heat pumps: ecoGEO Basic, HP, Compact and Air Unit AU12

You can now download heat pumps from international manufacturer Ecoforest from MEPcontent. Visit here the Ecoforest content library.

ecoGEO Basic


Ecoforest domestic range of ground source heat pumps allows to reduce up to 80% of the energy consumption of a house, using a renewable source of energy that minimizes the CO2 emissions to the environment.

ecoGEO High Power


The Ecoforest HP heat pumps provide heating production with a performance (COP, B0/W35) of up to 4.6 and active cooling production with a performance (EER, B35/W7) of up to 5.2. Total control of the installation is granted through internet.

ecoGEO Compact


The ecoGEO Compact is a domestic ground source heat pump range with inverter technology and DHW cylinder incorporated. The ecoGEO controller allows the system to control passive cooling with external plumbing. The heat pump features an integrated stainless steel tank of 165 liters for domestic hot water production.

Air unit AU12


The AU12 is an aerothermal unit that allows ecoGEO heat pumps to use external air as source of energy. In installations where the geothermal option is limited or not available, the air unit AU12 is the solution. The AU12 is equipped with a very silent and highly efficient axial Ziehl-Abegg fan that allows to significantly increase the seasonal performance factor (SPF).

About Ecoforest


The Ecoforest group was born in Vigo in 1959 at the hands of its owner and founder Mr. Jose Carlos Alonso Martínez, specializing in the heating sector. In 1993, Ecoforest became the first European manufacturer of pellet hydro stoves, bringing to the market a new, ecological and economic product.

Currently, Ecoforest is the leading company in the market with the widest range of pellet stoves and boilers. In 2012 Ecoforest decided to bet in another innovative technology and launched its first geothermal heat pump to the market, being the only Spanish manufacturer of this product and the most specialized in inverter technology on the planet.

The R&D department of Ecoforest continues to innovate every day, in order to develop more advanced and more efficient products. Currently Ecoforest products can be found in more than 30 countries around the world.
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ExcelAir joins MEPcontent

Emergency Lighting Fixtures, Sensor for Ventilation and Induction Ventilator


Manufacturer ExcelAir has joined the MEPcontent platform! The first ExcelAir content is published in the categories emergency lighting fixtures, CO sensors/gas sensors and induction ventilators.

About ExcelAir


ExcelAir offers complete solutions in the field of parking garage ventilation systems, gas detection / and fire detection systems; from advice to delivery and from installation to maintenance.

"In order to optimally serve customers in the transformation to 3D modeling, ExcelAir has chosen to work with MEPcontent" says Bert Bron, Director for ExcelAir.

"MEPcontent and Stabicad are number one when it comes to design software for electrical and mechanical installation technology in which standards are laid down. This collaboration has enabled ExcelAir to process its most common components as Revit families. The complete package of ExcelAir products can now be downloaded here as Revit families, CAD and IFC files, so that you always work with the most recent content. ExcelAir is proud to publish this content on the website."

More information about ExcelAir products and services can be found at www.excelair.nl.
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Can IoT Change the MEP Industry?

One of the biggest trends in the industrial sector at the moment is the Internet of Things (IoT). But how will this trend affect the MEP industry? What innovations can we expect?

Internet of Things is about objects connecting to the internet and exchanging data without human interference. It is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. It is everywhere around us and is also finding its way in the MEP industry. With everyone going BIM (Building Information Model) at the moment, information is managed more and more centralized.

Applications of IoT for MEP contractors



Tracking progress on the construction site live


IoT in an industry that still heavily relies on blueprints and 2D drawings

IoT and offsite fabrication


Link data directly from the field to the 3D model for prefab sets

Predict maintenance


Data collected from the equipment can be visualized in the 3D model which will provide a comprehensive understanding of the information, making it possible to predict which parts are predisposed to breakdown.

The article continues on the Constructible platform.
November 2018
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A smarter space for your installation ideas – MISTRAL series

When it comes to flexibility, usability and design ABB’s MISTRAL series of consumer units can convince installers as well as end users in any kind of electrical distribution system in residential, commercial and industrial environments.

Additionally, MISTRAL65 is suitable for outdoor applications and MISTRAL65H even for harsh environments. In order to meet the requirements of smart homes-/smart offices-applications MISTRAL Multimedia provides the very best to realize all your installation ideas efficiently – now or in the future.
September 2018
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How to take on the global BIM challenge

BIM doesn’t stop at national borders - globalization is a major trend. But how do we make sure that everyone around the world can collaborate successfully in BIM projects?

Levels of BIM adoption vary across the world, which has led to different public and private standardization initiatives. These standards aim to get construction firms on the same page when managing digital building information processes. Well-known international standards include ETIM in the Netherlands and COBie originating from the UK, but there’s also a wide range of national level norms out there, such as the German VDI 3805 and the Italian UNI 11337.

However, the fact that every country has its own norms and regulations, makes it difficult to come to an agreement on European or even global BIM norms. Which is a shame. Because with globalization on the rise and an increase in international projects and international teams, there’s a growing need for global BIM standards. Also, content from one country may be perfectly useful in another and something we learn in one country can be applied somewhere else. In order to work successfully in BIM, we need to make agreements in a language that we all understand.

A global standard for BIM content



In recognition of the need for standardization and uniformity in BIM projects, Trimble’s MEPcontent team has developed the Extended MEP Content Standard. With the release of EMCS 4.0, engineers are provided with a platform independent and global standard for BIM content. This standard has been developed in close cooperation with leading contractors and manufacturers, with a user base of over 50.000 MEP engineers in mind. It clearly describes how BIM objects are built and can be easily used in BIM projects across the world, ensuring high quality und uniform content.

Unlike local BIM standards, content that meets the EMCS matches the requirements of MEP engineers globally. This is why the EMCS is the foundation on which the MEPcontent content factory builds BIM objects. MEP engineers can find the latest content with the EMCS 4.0 quality stamp on the BIM files overview page.

In order to work successfully in BIM, we as an industry need to make agreements in a language that we all understand. Indeed, it’s a challenge to come to an understanding of global rules that we can all work with. But when it comes to BIM content, it’s a challenge that we are happy to take on.

Download the EMCS 4.0 here.
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Mitsubishi Electric City Multi Series on MEPcontent: Condensors and Branch Controller

The City Multi Air Conditioning series just keeps on getting better. This HVRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) is the World’s First HYBRID R32 VRF solution. And it’s all done on two pipe technology . No need for expensive leak detection in occupied spaces. No need for large footprint space for condensers. No need for third party controls as the clever M-Net with its range of intelligent controllers does it all. No problems with phase ability or indeed flexibility allowing easy CAT A to CAT B fit outs.

Reduced footprint


The City Multi system maximises the space available for plant by reducing the area required for outdoor units.

Sound


Potential noise issues with the outdoor plant are reduced with City Multi, thanks to an improved compressor and fan design, reducing sound power levels.

Reduce installation and maintenance time


The two-pipe design allows for phased installation, meaning that the cooling and heating system can be installed around a project build, with individual sections commissioned as required.

High efficiency


City Multi provides a very low installation cost, running cost and CO2 emissions.

The PURY-EM R32 and PURY-M R32 condensors and the CMB-WM R32 branch controller from the first items to be published on MEPcontent. More items from the series will follow. Download the Revit families, CAD and IFC files now!
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ABB Twinline N55 Cabinet System with High Degree of Protection IP55

International manufacturer ABB increases its presence on MEPcontent. The Twinline N55 Cabinet System has been added to the ABB library of content.

ABB Twinline N55 Cabinet System


The Twinline N55 is a complete universal cabinet system, available in both protection classes: earthed and double insulated. The system has a high degree of protection: IP55 with door and IP30 without door.

Why choose the ABB Twinline N55 Cabinet System


  • Wide range of wall and floor mounted cabinets up to 424 different sizes
  • Innovative flange technology with tool-free installation and more usable area for cable entry
  • All cabinets can be easily connected in series both, horizontally and vertically within each respective cabinet depth

Download Revit families for the Twinline N55 Cabinet System double insulated and earthed now.
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This is why we need standards

Standards shape the world we live in. Shoes come in recognized sizes, foods need to adhere to certain safety standards, electrical outlets come in certain types, and so on. By agreeing on how things should be, standards facilitate our day to day life. In construction, this is no different.

Standards allow users in the construction industry to work together. ISO defines them as “documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.” When exchanging files, standards ensure that all parties understand the data the same way. They ensure that when information is passed on, the next party can work with it as well. They ensure a consistent performance, build confidence and enhance the productivity in collaboration processes.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)


Since they enable successful collaboration, it’s no wonder that standards have received a great deal of attention with BIM on the rise. In BIM projects, there needs to be a common understanding of naming conventions and properties that elements should have. By making sure BIM objects in 3D models are up to standard, files can be interpreted quickly and clearly by all parties, and everyone knows what they can expect from each other.

The need for a common understanding and uniformity in BIM projects has led to a myriad of public and private initiatives in different countries around the world. The challenge that comes with this however, is making sure that everyone is working with the same ones - and can still collaborate. This is where the Extended MEPcontent Standard comes in.

Uniformity and quality


EMCS is an international, platform-independent standard that meets the need for high quality and uniform content. With the release of EMCS 4.0, the scope has been extended to a global level and is applicable to more types of BIM software than Revit only. Because it is developed in close cooperation with leading MEP contractors and is matched to existing international standards, the EMCS allows MEP engineers across the world to collaborate efficiently in BIM projects with high-quality content.

Download the EMCS 4.0 here.

At MEPcontent, we use the EMCS when creating content for our BIM library. Together with our community of 50.000 MEP engineers and leading manufacturers, we are setting the new global standard for BIM content. Ensuring that MEP engineers have access to high quality and uniform content, to be used in BIM projects all over the world.

To find the latest content with the EMCS 4.0 quality stamp, go to the BIM files overview page and browse already in over 2000 families which have the 4.0 label.
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Niessen Switch Range Configurator for Revit for the Spanish market

MEPcontent and Niessen are pleased to announce this first App for Revit specifically developed for the Spanish market. The Niessen Switch Range Configurator.

Experiment with the variety of design options and functions with the correct annotation offered by this App to streamline your design in both 2D and 3D. Always up-to-date with the latest Niessen product data available in Spain.

Spanish and English
The App interface is available in Spanish and English so MEP engineers who master any of these two languages can work with the Sky Niessen products within the Switch Range Configurator, directly within Revit. Please be aware that the products are only available in Spain/showing the product information such as article number for the Spanish market.

Switch ranges in a few clicks
With just a few clicks you can configure, place, and manage Revit electrical families for Niessen switch ranges. Easy to design in both 2D and 3D, even when working on linked models or architectural models.

More than 30 functions
Configuring a switch range is fast and easy: just choose a function for each element (like one pole or two-way switch, socket with or without earth, loudspeaker, digital radio, and many more) of your switch range. And always get the correct annotation for each function in the floorplan.

Choose the hosting type
Choose whether you want to place a switch range on a faced object like a wall, or anywhere without being dependent on a hosting object.

To find the Niessen Switch Range Configurator, please go to the MEPcontent store

You can download this App for free!
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5 Things You Need to Know About BIM Content

Many manufacturers ask themselves the question: why is it so time-consuming and complicated to create high-quality BIM content? And once created, why does the content seem to become instantly outdated or obsolete? Wouldn’t it be easiest if everyone just creates content and stores it in one single place? A place in the cloud for example?

Why the cloud isn’t the (full) answer


Admittedly, it sounds great: having one place where all data is kept and can be retrieved from. But the main BIM goal of a manufacturer is to deliver accurate and high-quality content, readily available for use by engineers and designers globally. And for this, simply storing the content in the cloud is not enough. Here’s why:

  1. Content is susceptible to change
  2. The manufacturer holds the truth
  3. Content is always a representation
  4. Specialized knowledge is required
  5. Manufacturers need feedback

Read the full article on the Constructible platform where we go into detail about these points >>>
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New products DP pumps

The pressure boosting systems from the Premium Line have been improved by DP pumps. With this update they are ready for the new EEI2020 norm. The systems are available with IE5 engines by default. The pumps can be applied conform to the needs or wishes required for a building. It is the only booster system on the market where a 100% continuous flow is guaranteed. This makes the systems legionella free! Thanks to accessibility via apps or bluetooth it is now even more easy to use the system.

These updates have been done in close collaboration between DP pumps and MEPcontent. The new families contain all necessary parameters and dimensions for engineers in order to select the right pump.
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Accurate and verified Henco news directly in your Revit App

The communication channel is the newly added feature to the Henco Product Line Placer for Piping App. This feature opens up a direct and accessible information path between manufacturer Henco and you, the Revit professional. Regularly, the manufacturer publishes relevant product news, knowledge articles about how to best use their featured products and real use cases of projects in which Henco content was used. For instance, this article about a project undertaken by a Belgian company is such an example of good practice.

To access the communication channel, first gain free access to the Henco App. Download it for free from the MEPcontent App store, install it on your computer and open it from the Revit MEPcontent plugins ribbon. Click the menu in the top right corner of the App and choose the communication channel.

You can now view a selection of Important information that can give you a boost in your projects when designing Henco piping systems. Click on the news items and read through!

To be able to improve your future experience, please let us know what types of news would interest you most:

  1. App updates
  2. New content available in the App
  3. New products launched by Henco
  4. Upcoming events
  5. Other
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ABB news: 2 new junction boxes

HW252-F Wall junction box


The ABB catalog on MEPcontent now also features some items available with localizations for the Netherlands and Belgium. The HW252-F wall junction box is equipped with 2 entries x 16/19/20 mm.

Central junction box C60


The central junction box C60 for wall and ceiling mounting is another ABB product available for download on MEPcontent. It features 8 x 16 mm and 8 x 19/20 mm entries.

Read more about the ABB company here and download Revit families and CAD files for free now!
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Mitsubishi Ecodan Air Source Heat Pumps

Mitsubishi content for Ecodan heat pumps is now available to be downloaded for free from MEPcontent. Here you can find Revit families and CAD content available immediately. Whether you work in Revit or AutoCAD, you can download the content you need straight away.

Mitsubishi Ecodan Central Heating Systems


The Ecodan heat pump series is suitable for domestic environments as well as for small commercial applications. The units only require electricity as an energy source to provide hot water and space heating. There is no need to set up a ventilation system or a gas supply.

Because they use electricity which can be generated from renewable generators, they do not consume fossil fuel to provide heating or hot water. The Ecodan heat pumps require low maintenance and operate quietly with the New AA chassis being suitable for even the strictest planning regulations regarding noise in built-up locations. This provides comfort for the user with lots of hot water, controllable space heating, low noise for neighbours, increased overall efficiency and reduces the toxic emissions by using clean electrical energy.

The Mitsubishi Ecodan heat pumps have the ability to cascade up to six units of the same output and they are designed to provide high performance with outside temperatures as low as -25ºC.
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Remeha boilers: Tzerra HP and Tzerra ACE

Boilers may run on different types of fuel such as natural or liquid gas, the HP part will be fueled by electricity. The Remeha Tzerra HP hybrid boiler series combines the energy saving advantages of heat pumps with the efficiency of fuel based boilers.

Tzerra HP


The Remeha Tzerra HP boiler has a C.O.P. (coefficient of performance) between 3.13 and 4.1, depending on the heating conditions. This guarantees a high reduction in heating costs, especially in the long run.

Tzerra ACE


The Tzerra ACE is a small and compact boiler that is prepared for smart coupling with sustainable technologies such as solar systems and heat pumps.

Download the Remeha boilers now as Revit families or AutoCAD files to be sure that you always work with the latest and most updated Remeha content. The content includes a lot of information without slowing down your project and the materials are then easy to order from the material list.
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EMCS 4.0 the Extended MEPcontent Standard is available now

MEPcontent takes pride in announcing the newest EMCS: version 4.0. This version contains in-depth updates in relation to version 3.0. The EMCS in this version is split between a BIM platform specific section and a more BIM platform generic section. GLN is added to the basic article parameters. LOI, LOG and a section about Product Line Sheets (PLS) are new in this version.


The Extended MEPcontent Standard (EMCS) has been prepared by Trimble to provide MEP engineers and contractors all around the world with a clear understanding of the need for high quality and uniform content, i.e. graphical article information like it is offered on this content platform in close cooperation with leading Building Product Manufacturers. Where EMCS has previously focused on Europe, in the current version we extended its scope and relevance to a global level. The underlining principles of the standard have been generalized so they can be applied to more BIM platforms than Revit only.


Version 4.0 is created with the much appreciated support from editors and reviewers from Ajilon Engineering, Autodesk, Croonwolter&dros, Deerns, ENGIE, Grundfos, I-Commit, Inteco, Iv-Bouw, Kovo, Nathan, TBI, Tekenbureau M. Kragten and Victaulic. Standards are just proof of concepts unless they are proven and used in practice. Therefore, this practical feedback is very valuable to guarantee that those in the field can really work with the EMCS.

The EMCS 4.0 can be found here.
August 2018
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Blockchain and BIM: Does Construction Really Need This Right Now?

Following the success of the first BIM and Blockchain article, we received a lot of comments and responses from people both inside and outside of the construction industry on why this pursuit for progress and technological improvement is important. At first, we thought that Blockchain was receiving an unwarranted amount of attention from our community; after all, construction is so technologically regressive, we’re still fighting an uphill battle to digitize field work with basic apps and office-to-field-to-office communication.

Surely the priority for today’s growing number of BIM, VDC and innovation managers should begin with basic automation of data communications and the increased adoption of technology on the job site to improve productivity (the low hanging fruit to immediate profitability).

Having thought a little deeper about this, however, we decided that perhaps the focus is indeed well placed. Perhaps the push to make the job site adopt innovations in process improvement is too difficult, fettered by tight schedules, a reluctant workforce and reduced budgets, and we should be focussing on a stage further, reaching for the next gen of tech adoption and skipping the field adoption stage (despite the need in the face of a skilled labor shortage only immediately (and partially) satisfied with tech adoption in skill replacement).

Read the full article on Constructible
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50.000 users on MEPcontent!

MEPcontent is growing fast, we have had the pleasure to welcome the 50.000th registered user on the largest BIM platform for MEP engineers! This is a great milestone that we are able to achieve thanks to you, the members of the MEP community. MEPcontent the manufacturer approved content platform for MEP specialists.

Not only is the user growth on MEPcontent accelerating, so is our portfolio. Joining Trimble since the begin of this year we can offer you even more. Think of software, data and of course our Apps for Revit and AutoCAD, to help you get the most out of your content. Data, software and Apps combined provide you with a unique set of tools to get the job done.

Saving you time, increasing productivity and enabling you to get more out of BIM.

Thank you all for building this MEPcontent community and for being an active member in this community. Together we can move forward and help manufacturers by being BIM ready and making their products available to you. To innovate the construction industry. Together.

Underlining Trimble’s vision: Transforming the way the world works.

Thank you!
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Reconnecting Elements in Revit Has Never Been Easier

Why do Revit families disconnect?


Revit families can sometimes lose connectivity in certain situations. One such situation occurs when taps which connect branches to trunks are not properly aligned. If the main and branch are not at the same elevation, you will get an error notification warning you about this.

Another common case when disconnecting issues appear is when the model contains demolished elements. Even when the connectors are already lined up perfectly, the routing settings can fail to reestablish the correct connections.

Did you ever run into a problem with disconnected elements or orphaned Revit families? Let us know here.

How does Revit deal with reconnecting elements?


In Revit you would have to reconnect your families element by element. Sometimes this can be done easily, if you only have one instance of disconnected elements. However, when you are dealing with thousands of families that have been disconnected in bulk, it will take you at least a couple of hours to solve all of the errors.

There is another easier way to do this


Since we know that disconnected families can waste a tremendous amount of time, we developed a Revit plugin that works in a fast and simple way. You only need to select the elements you want to reconnect and your system will be connected instantly. You can directly download the plugin here: store.mepcontent.com/productivity-tools.

If you found this information useful, you will also want to read this article about how to connect Revit families.
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We Found a Quick Way to Connect & Copy Elements in Revit

The history of connecting and copying elements in Revit


When working with plumbing fixtures and piping systems in general, you often need to connect families. By means of fittings and connectors, all pipes have to be properly connected to each other to form a functional system.

Now, loading your desired fitting families in your project and correctly setting up the routing preferences will tell Revit what fittings have to be used in different scenarios when a connection needs to be established.

However, sometimes you have to manually connect two families or even copy entire parts of installations and connect them in another identical building for example. This can be quite a dull and repetitive task, not to mention time-consuming.

Top 3 reasons not to use native Revit for this


  1. The point where the connection needs to be made with the other part of the system will be marked as disconnected in Revit
  2. It will be impossible to keep the connectivity when you are copying elements and trying to connect them at a different elevation in your model
  3. In order to connect your resulted disconnected elements, you have to operate with different plan views and carefully align and drag the elements to the position where they should be connected, which is a very time-consuming job

A simpler and faster solution: the Revit plugin


An alternative to the native functionalities offered by Revit is this plugin that you can download for free right away. With this Connect & Copy tool you can make multiple copies of an element (like equipment or specific fittings) and connect it immediately to other elements (like pipes or ducts).
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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.
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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
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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.

Efficiency


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.

Investment


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.

Comfort



Safety


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!