Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Revit MEP Coordination Memo

In order to be successful on a Revit project, or at least lay the groundwork in hopes of success, there must be good communication between the project team members, specifically between the architect and the MEP engineer. Most architects don't realize the impact their actions have on the MEP side of things. An architect sees deleting a wall as no different as a Revit MEP user deleting a piece of ductwork. Little do they know that simply deleting a wall can wreak havoc on a Revit MEP model. To help avoid this and other possible complications, I’ve devised a memo that the MEP user can send to the project architect before the project begins. The following items included in the memo address issues that myself and other Revit MEP users, who are part of a Revit MEP Customer Research Google group, have encountered while using Revit MEP on actual projects. If you have suggestions on how to improve the memo, please feel free to post a comment. This is the first draft of the memo and I'm sure it will evolve over time.

  • Deleting architectural elements: To the largest extent possible, please modify host elements (walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, etc.) rather than deleting them and replacing them with new elements. Some MEP objects such as light fixtures, diffusers, wall devices, etc. are hosted to these elements. If these elements are deleted, MEP objects can become orphaned and require a considerable amount of time to re-host. If an element must be deleted, please inform the MEP project team member so that appropriate actions can be taken.
  • Altering building location and orientation: Once the architectural file has been turned over to the MEP engineer for their use, the building model should not be moved, rotated, mirrored, etc. from its original location and orientation. This includes changing the plan location, elevation, and shared coordinates. Altering the location and orientation of a building model can severely affect MEP objects already present in the MEP model.
  • Rooms: In order for Revit MEP users to utilize an architect’s Revit model for building analysis and scheduling, all rooms must be defined correctly and properly enclosed with bounding elements. All rooms must be uniquely named and numbered.
  • Coordinates: Always Publish Coordinates. This is especially important on a project that contains multiple buildings on a common site.
  • Design Options: Although the MEP users can access an architect’s design options through a linked file, the design functionality within Revit MEP in conjunction with design options is not yet fully developed. Wall devices, diffusers, light fixtures, etc. can be shown for design options but they cannot be included in the MEP design in regards to circuiting of electrical devices, duct connections to diffusers, piping connections to fixtures, etc.
  • Grids: It is common practice for Revit MEP users to utilize the column grids included in the architect’s model. If the structural engineer is also working in Revit and the structural grids are to be used instead, that information needs to be relayed to the MEP engineer at the start of the project.
  • Phasing: If phasing is going to be used in a building renovation project, it needs to be coordinated between the architect and MEP engineer at the start of the project. Phase mapping will need to happen between the MEP model and the linked architectural model in order for phases to appear correctly in the MEP model.
  • Worksets: It is common practice for Revit MEP users to set their views to “By Host View”. This allows us to easily create and modify views to fit our requirements. Therefore, when creating a workset, please keep in mind that if the “Visible by default in all views” option is not checked, any object placed on that workset will not be visible by default in the views created in the MEP model when the architectural file is linked. Therefore, for such elements to appear in views within the MEP model, the MEP project team member has to take extra steps to create views that are linked to views present in the architectural model.
  • Revit model updates: At the start of the project, the architect and MEP engineer should agree upon how frequently their Revit models are to be updated and uploaded to the project FTP site.
  • Links: Please provide the MEP engineer with any required files that are linked into the architectural model (Revit or AutoCAD).
  • Border/Titleblock family: As a convenience to the MEP engineer, provide a copy of the project border/titleblock family along with the building model. If changes are made to the border after it is initially sent to the MEP engineer, please send an updated border family or inform the MEP engineer what changes need to be made.
  • File names: As a convenience to the MEP engineer, the architectural model file name should remain the same throughout the entire project. Avoid using user names or dates in the file name.
  • Ceiling Heights: As a convenience to the MEP engineer, please provide ceiling height tags on all ceilings.
If you would like the memo in Word document format, click here.


  1. Revit Garage looks good. I posted the link over on Twitter.

  2. These are great points and should be part of any project coordination.

  3. Subject: Revit Revit MEP Coordination...
    Hi ...
    Jay, your post compelled propose is an excellent contribution to all archtect and professional contractors. Our task indicate the path to the best result archtecture and MEP.
    This is clear and correct.
    considerat ...

  4. Subject: Revit Revit MEP Coordination Memo...
    Hi ...
    Jay, your post compelled propose is an excellent contribution to all archtect and professional contractors. Our task indicate the path to the best result archtecture and MEP.
    This is clear and correct.
    considerate ...