If your mechanical company strives to grow in a balanced, healthy way, providing employees with career opportunities for personal improvement, then you have something in common with MTech Mechanical. Located in the Denver metro area of Colorado, MTech Mechanical is a design/build and specialty piping contractor for commercial and industrial projects. The company provides engineered solutions and processes, offering technical and operational expertise and turnkey design/build/maintain processes.
For fabrication in the mechanical BIM process, MTech Mechanical has been shifting its workflows toward using Autodesk Revit® since 2016. As with many MEP construction firms, the MTech Mechanical move to Revit is driven by owner and/or general contractor requirements for using BIM on projects. The company is also finding that it’s easier to work with the engineering team on inhouse services for large scale jobs when using Revit.
At first, the Revit interface was a challenge with the mechanical fabrication pieces, but that has improved over time. Virtual Construction Manager Steve Schmitt admitted there are pains and struggles when moving into Revit, and the lessons learned can be bumpy. “We don’t want mediocre work,” Schmitt said. “Revit is innovative, and we’re trying to go that route. As the technology grows, it gets better.”
Based on the experiences of MTech Mechanical, the staff offered the following recommendations to other firms contemplating the move to Revit:
- Vet out your options well.
- Make sure the software can do exactly what you want it to do.
- Remember the platform is different, so there is a learning curve.
- Test the use of Revit on a smaller project first before doing a larger project.
One important time-saving benefit is the work that can be done in advance with Revit. Once the company is through the contract documents, the staff realized the design model is so complete it’s almost a fabrication model already. At that point everyone is very familiar with the model, and it basically represents the full building. All the trades can be working on it at the same time.
Schmitt explained that he likes the fact Revit is more streamlined than AutoCAD, so there aren’t as many drawings as there would be with AutoCAD. It’s just another aspect of using Revit that the employees appreciate, plus the links and backgrounds are far easier to do in Revit. When changes are made, everything that is affected updates in real-time on all the drawings. In Schmitt’s experience, Revit doesn’t bog down with all the information in the drawings, even when there are multiple details on one page.
MTech Mechanical added the Revit plug-in eVolve Mechanical as a time-saving tool for the fabrication process. eVolve Mechanical helps increase productivity when working with mechanical Revit assemblies, families, spooling, and hangers. On its Ideas page, eVolve MEP collects feedback from users to drive development of the software.