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MEP Product Research

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Dear all,

As a Product Manager for MEP related developments I would like to better understand the needs of architects and engineers using our products. Because of this I have compiled the following survey: https://bit.ly/GSMEP.

Responses are more than welcome. I'm also open to any ideas you might have regarding this topic, feel free to provide them here in this topic.

Best regards,
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager
96 REPLIES 96

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
I think that at the moment Param-O can create only elements that can be opened with the Object tool. So, it is not possible to create GDL-based elements that can be used by the Door/Window tool or MEP tools, etc.
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Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
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2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

A_ Smith
Contributor
vdentello wrote:
I would add the Option to make custom Bends selectable and also their angles.
As long as they meet the GDL standard parameter criteria, of course.
Do settings angles for bend have any effect? or am I missing something?
AC 22, 24 | Win 10

A_ Smith
Contributor
Insulation problems in 2 words
a). connection of two elements with different insulation looks bad;
b) inline elements do not have it

Please, add for all transition elements possibility to have different insulation (same as we can set different diameters). Because bigger diameters tend to have bigger insulation. And when you make Tee small pipe to the main pipe... well that looks not attractive (ofc is insulation is set to different values)
or you could simply add some kind of feature to building pipes/ducts - if connected pieces have different insulation values - add a ring to cover free space between insulations.

Plus it's better to add insulation for all elements - including inline. Because you put valve to isolation pipe - it simply cuts it. When some inline element is with isolation you could:
1. If insulation is bigger enough to cover the whole element - it will look the same as a pipe.
2. If it is some kind of valve - add height to its handle, so the handle will be above the insulation.
3. I understand it's hard to decide what to do with other elements, like filters, cock valves, and so on.
...
n. Lazy decision - at least, continue that insulation on the same level as it was for pipe

and would be nice to have a summary table that will show the amount of insulation Ø, thickness, length

I can't say it's a "must-have", but if you want MEP to be better looking, precise, ..... all in all, it will put this tool on a higher level.

P.S. I haven't tried it for rectangular ducts, but I assume it has the same problem

Edit: I already had mentioned problems with inline elements insulation, but thought it'd be better to say all issues connected to it at the same place
AC 22, 24 | Win 10

A_ Smith
Contributor
Ducts
When ducts are placed vertically in 2D window only rectangular ducts have correct hotspots representation, same as for ellipse. But if I change them to circle shape - circle has same position of hotspots as for rect or ellipse. Basically, if i have rect duct 1000x500 and then change it to cirlce Ø1000 - hotspots would be 1000x500. So, in order to make hotspots fit the circle, I have to go back change rect to 1000x1000.
I guess everyone has this issue.
I'm not sure if someone mention it...
AC 22, 24 | Win 10

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I want to know whether the poster is still active in this post, given that his last reply was last May.... page 3 of this thread and now we are in page 9....
Sure, I'm here. All the ideas and issues I'm receiving from you are more than welcome. The ideas discussed here, other's learned during user meetings and also internal initiatives decide what gets built for later Archicad versions.

If I'm not replying to your ideas that does not mean that I do not agree with it or did not see it. Please keep this discussion going as this is really an important source for ideas about what should be developed.

Also if I can ask another thing from you all, is when you are writing about an issue or an idea, please also classify what kind of work (Architect, MEP Engineer, etc.) you do. This along with your reasoning about why do you think it makes sense to develop that feature would really help me in making decisions about what get's built.
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
scraptrash wrote:
Will there be more developments in MEP capacity in the archicad roadmap?
We’ve thrown lots of ideas here and I’m actually eagerly waiting. We are working for contractors and have been using Archicad MEP for spatial coordination.

And let us not forget that Archicad 24 Update 2 already brought new enhancements to the MEP Modeler tool:

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Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
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Loving Archicad since 1995

gpowless
Contributor
Please fix the angled duct that disappears in plan.

Please fix the jumping stories issue. MEP should automatically be placed on the story that visible even if the story offset is selected for another storey. ie When a duct is placed with an offset to an upper storey then it should be immediately visible on the storey it was created on.

Please fix the 2d offset duct runs in combination. This works correctly when ducts are connected in the same plane but won't offset where vertical sections connect ducts at different elevations.

The "new" MEP components should be integrated into the MEP library on the next update.

In the pet pallet for automatic connection please provide "none" selection among the various types of connections. There are case where duct don't need to be connected automatically but alignment with the centerline of another duct is necessary for reference.

Please provide option for ducts and pipe to inherit the ID of the duct it is connected to as a global default. Set insulation thickness, flange on/off, centerline on/off as a global default as well as allow for individual customizations in the object settings.
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bouhmidage
Enthusiast
scraptrash wrote:
Balint wrote:

is when you are writing about an issue or an idea, please also classify what kind of work (Architect, MEP Engineer, etc.) you do.
I’d like to share that when you expand the capacity of archicad, you at the same time enabling a new type of service that can be provided by the users, (I'm an architect)
E.g. You wouldn’t have expected ContraBIM would use archicad to provide QS services to contractor, instead of using CostX.
Why? Because graphisoft hasn’t realized the available quantity that can be extracted from Archicad models would be so dxmn good!
It beats Revit + CostX in every bit.

Same thing happens to MEP modeller.
Have you researched how bad and unusable are Revit MEP models? One obvious example is revit cannot handle large model. That means MEP models of a typical building could be split by trade AND floor.
But when MEP pipeworks are split by floors, the pipe works are disconnected. So if there’s still anyone saying that Revit can do design calculation, the first thing you can ask is have they split the MEP model? I keep seeing disconnected MEP routings in revit models.
My experience is I still haven’t heard any MEP engineer really make use of design calculation function in Revit.
That means people use Revit MEP for geometry only, which brings archicad to the same battle ground.

Some of our office projects actually work for contractor and we use archicad for spatial coordination. We need to model everything builder works, structure and MEP. We don’t need any calculations, just follow consultants design drawings. My experience is on architectural and structural elements, archicad is already very solid and flexible (but with so glitches some may say, but not deal breaker). But on MEP elements and MEP space zoning, archicad is still lacking. There are tons of excellent suggestions above.

But why do we do spatial coordination for contractor? Because the architects haven’t done their job well before they sent out the tender! And why architects haven’t done their coordination job well? Because architects do not have a good and easy to use tool for MEP modelling! AC should work on this context!

Some examples I encountered recently in how archicad MEP excels Revit MEP are:
- revit cannot report invert levels of pipe (I can’t believe that, unless you do in API), but AC can retrieve and label it with a bit of gdl. ( https://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=72530&p=324259&hilit=Invert+level#p324259 )
- revit does not divide pipes into preset lengths but AC can.
- Revit does not have trunking (people use Duct tool instead) but AC has. (Cable tray with cover.)
- Revit Equipment (eg AHU) does not appear in MEP system browser as connecting to 2 systems (supply and return system), but AC can show using schedule.
- revit pipeworks has no flow direction. Same as AC though.

I guess I’m only scratching the surface of how lacking is revit MEP doing MEP modelling since I’ve only been modelling MEP in AC for a month or so.

I really hope graphisoft won’t look down its mep modeller but should compete with revit on MEP geometry versatility and parameter richness. Also to develop connections to MEP calculation with third party software. (This one I’ve no knowledge)
This is a good description !

Can you make a little comparison between ArchiCAD and revit MEP systems as it looks like you know both of them please ?
* Automation and intelligence when creating systems
* Library objects
* available ducts and cabling systems
* scheduelling
* modelling speed
* editing MEP systems

Thanks !
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Archicad 23

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Nader Belal
Advisor
Add the following,

1. Modeling can be done in elevations and sections.
2. MEP tools should be available in ARchiCAD Grasshopper COnnection plugin
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

Nader Belal
Advisor
add the following:
1. When MEP routing is being added based on a diagram of an already solved MEP network, the program will create many tiny parts (almost 0 mm length), that makes working with ArchiCAD MEP modeler a real headache.

2. When a MEP route start from a T or Wye branch connection, the route will always adds an automatic bend, when the modeler should ask the user what element type it should add.

3. There is an old forgotton way to add MEP connection graphically to downloaded library parts, but the problem relays in that when this object is being saved as a MEP library part it simple eliminates all object's previous parameter options.
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

Nader Belal
Advisor
Things to add:

1. Pumbing standard library lacks bottle traps.

Things to modify:
1. You should revise your Tees, Wyes and similar elements, cause branches may belong to a different system, while the truck belong to a totally different system.
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

Nader Belal
Advisor
Things to add:

ArchiCAD International MEP library lacks single wall mounted taps
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

bouhmidage
Enthusiast
Linking mep elemnts to building elements
For exemple, when the wall move, toilet and tap moves too
When ceiling moves down, hvac elements follow
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, RTX 3080 10 GB

Archicad 23

Windows 10 professional

https://www.behance.net/Nuance-Architects

Nader Belal
Advisor
Important thing to revise:

When working with federated BIM models, seperated by area of interest (Architecture, Structure, MEP), some of the equipments must be included in the Architectural model, but if it happens that this element had an MEP connection, and I wanted to connect a route from/to this equipment, the mep connection data isn't transtlated to the route, and hunting the hotspot becomes an excercise of pain
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

A_ Smith
Contributor
gpowless wrote:
Please fix the angled duct that disappears in plan.

Please fix the jumping stories issue. MEP should automatically be placed on the story that visible even if the story offset is selected for another storey. ie When a duct is placed with an offset to an upper storey then it should be immediately visible on the storey it was created on.
Have to agree, this is really annoying. At some vertical range elements just won't be showed on a floor plan. After placing it on a floor plan or 3D view element present in 3D. But you won't find it on floor plan (this, above, under). At least, it's hard to find. Though after 'ctrl+A' you'll see hotspots for this element (duct/pipe).
AC 22, 24 | Win 10

A_ Smith
Contributor
I've made several inline objects for pipes. They are kinda not finished, because don't have different LOD and for some reason in 3D hotstpots refused to appear in proper place if pipe is vertical. Also there could be others issues that I was not aware. Anyone is wellcome to modify them and enchance and of course to use them.

I hope some day GS will have bigger MEP library or more people would join to Alex Podolskij's open bim sourse. Plus I don't like that Ivanov sells his MEP library only as subscription. No offense, but current GS library doesn't have enough basic elements for pipes. Not mantioning elements for plastic systems etc.
AC 22, 24 | Win 10

A. wrote:
gpowless wrote:
Please fix the angled duct that disappears in plan.

Please fix the jumping stories issue. MEP should automatically be placed on the story that visible even if the story offset is selected for another storey. ie When a duct is placed with an offset to an upper storey then it should be immediately visible on the storey it was created on.
Have to agree, this is really annoying. At some vertical range elements just won't be showed on a floor plan. After placing it on a floor plan or 3D view element present in 3D. But you won't find it on floor plan (this, above, under). At least, it's hard to find. Though after 'ctrl+A' you'll see hotspots for this element (duct/pipe).
This seems to be a new "feature" across the AC tools. I have had it more frequently in recent AC versions where it is possible to place an elements outside the current view and then be greeted with the Undo option. I don't think it is a good move, after all, we usually draw something where we expect to see it.
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