Workflow Example: Project Setup
PROJECT SETUP & DESIGN
The next category in our workflow example is for project setup. Practically speaking, this stage gets us up to the point where we’re ready to layout the system.
By the end of this stage, we really want all of our big-picture questions about the system answered. Dry system? Coverage areas? Occupancy classes?
Yeah – let’s dive in.
DETAILED REVIT VIDEOS
We could spend hours on this, and I do break this out separately on how I set up backgrounds for Revit users, but as a short overview I usually use BIM 360 now when I'm doing shop drawing work. If you want to see more detail on this, go to our Catalogue under Tools > Revit > and look for the project setup videos.
I sometimes get Revit models, sometimes CAD files and I sometimes only get PDF's to work from. In either case I'm always using Revit and I go through my process of cleaning the background files, putting them on the cloud and linking them to my model.
In order to get a clean deliverable that I send out to clients, I need to make sure my backgrounds are clean and crisp. If they’re loaded with unnecessary information, it’ll be distracting for anyone using the drawings.
ROOM & CEILING TAGS
Once the background is linked to my model, I'm going through and updating room and ceiling tags. For me personally I like to combine the room named the room number the occupancy classification, the ceiling type and the ceiling height and any custom notes all in the same tag within revit. This helps me consolidate a lot of information all with one label and hopefully make things clear for plan reviewers exactly what my understanding of the space is and what my intention is for the design.
I used to have this later on in the workflow, but I realized it was important to familiar with my eyes myself with all portions of the project at this stage. Understanding the room ceiling component makeup and the hazards that are going into the project sets me up later on to have a smooth progression from start to finish.
Again – I go into a lot of detail on this in a separate video. See the links below.
GRIDS & TITLEBLOCK
From here I update the grids and then the title block. In CAD this may be an external reference or X ref file that you update once and then link to all of your different sheets, in revit this is a whole lot more simple you can update global parameters that effect all the sheets in the project at once, and very easily.
The title block features of revit are exponentially better than CAD and it's one of the reasons that overall, it could be way more efficient to be in revit than it is in CAD. I recognize that's a controversial statement but we'll explore that in a lot more detail later.
PLANS & SHEET SETUP
Here my next step is placing plans onto sheets. These are both using Revit terms because my process is Revit based. It's at this point that I'm taking floor pans or reflected ceiling plans or views or overall plans and putting those onto the sheets.
If the job is large enough, I'll also go through a step of doing an overall plan. That gets requested by my contractor clients quite a bit when I break up building so much into individual sheets. Have one quick overall plan set up so that they can see the big picture becomes important.
SHEET NAMING & NORTH ARROWS
Now I actually have a checklist item for sheet names. It sounds silly but it's an easy item to check off and it's a reminder to myself that I need to actually go through and review sheet names to make sure that they align with what I'm trying to show. It's too easy to send a project out after copying a whole bunch of files around or sheets around and have level 5 labeled as level 4. This is just one example of something that's not difficult to do, but it's really simple as a reminder to myself that I actually need to do it.
The exact same thing is true for the north arrow that follows up on sheet names.
I want to confuse the heck out of a lot of people by submitting a permit said with AN arrow that was in the wrong direction. It was a square building, and it just about threw everybody off. Had it not been for my site plan and the obvious misorientation with the surrounding roads, it would have been a difficult catch and I probably would have had plane review comments about where the service entry was and where the fire department connection was.
After I missed a bear a very basic thing like AN arrow, I added it to my workflow and made sure that I always looked at that and got it right going forward. I haven't missed AN hero since it's been on this checklist.
For me my next step is to go through the first sheet detailing. Sometimes this is a cover sheet or a title sheet or could have an infinite number of other names, but essentially, it's the very first page that introduces a reader to what the project is. For me the first sheet detailing includes a map of the state and then the county that the project is located in, so you understand from a national level where the project is, and regionally where the project is located. This first sheet detailing for me includes all of my schedules, which outlines the different commodity classifications and occupancies at the sprinkler design is under. I try to make as much of that as transparent and clear as possible. On this first sheet I also include things like symbol legends general notes, flow test information, seismic design information, and anything else that applies globally to the project. I usually have room for details so I try to include my details that apply to the whole project on this sheet. As far as the workflow goes this is the stage where I get that done, again because it helps me reframe the next steps.
HAZARD & OCCUPANCY
I've had projects where I haven't thought about the occupancy classification about the building until after I made an assumption and already laid it out. It's way too easy to assume that something is ordinary hazard group 2, and lay it out, only to find later that it's some type of storage or racking or something that changes my spacing. the big effort with the workflow is that I'm not duplicating work period so figuring out my occupancies and dialing that in from the very beginning, will save me time so that I don't have to re layout sprinklers and pipe later.
If you're in a technician role or an entry level role and you have different levels of quality control or your internal review, this is a great time to fully evaluate the project and really understand the different occupancy classifications or commodity classifications that you need to dial in for the project. Don't lay out your sprinklers and pipe until you have confidence and how the spaces are categorized. We don't ever want to have to do work twice. if we do, something in our process is wrong and we need to tweak it.
READY FOR INITIAL LAYOUT
At this point in my workflow, I’m pretty much ready to start the initial system layout. We have the initial time-sensitive information underway if not complete. This includes the water supply and owner insurance information, site visit measurements, and anything else we’d need. We’ve coordinated the necessary local requirements with the jurisdiction.
We’ve explored and dialed-in the big picture concepts – like what our occupancy categories or storage criteria are. We know what types of construction and ceiling layouts we have because we’ve done our initial code research and looked space-by-space to get a feel for how the building lays out when we were setting up the project.
At this point, with big-picture questions getting answered, we’re ready to begin laying out and detailing our system – with the goal – as always – to do it once in an intentional single swipe.
I'm Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
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Aaron Johnson, CFEI
Al Yakel, SET
Chris Campbell, PE
Chris Logan, CFPS, RSE
David Stacy, PE
Ed Henderson, PE
Joe Meyer, PE