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Contractors see Revit add-ins streamline pipe routing and design

Amanda Comunale

Tailor-made content brings improvements to native Revit functionality, making projects even faster from the start

No stone is unturned as companies in the construction industry seek productivity and efficiency gains. To compete at the local, national and global levels, contractors are leveraging Building Information Modeling (BIM) proficiencies and technologies to hit the mark for customers and win recurring business.

Revit has become the software of choice for many contractors and engineers due to its powerful 3D views, ability to streamline preconstruction, and enable BIM workflows and best practices.

Adding add-in’s or customizations to Revit can take preconstruction workflows to the next level. These value-added solutions further enhance native Revit functionality based on a user’s specific project, preferences, or building materials and are making projects even faster from the start.

Contractor looks to enhance native features

SPC Mechanical – a contractor based in Wilson, North Carolina – made the switch to Revit from CAD in 2013 and has since built out a team of 11 coordinators in three offices. While the team was pleased with their decision, they wanted to find an add-in for Revit that would further enhance BIM workflows and streamline their team’s software transition.

“The initial transition posed a few challenges, which we expected,” said SPC’s BIM Coordinator, Nick Clawson. Nick’s team quickly saw the benefit that Revit brought to SPC’s modeling capabilities and workflows but was still in search of a tool to streamline their preconstruction processes and allow for simple creation of fabrication spools within Revit.

Bespoke software brings efficiency gains

Clawson soon found Victaulic Tools for Revit® and explained how the enhanced routing tools and the innovative platform has streamlined his processes.

“I was astonished at what it claimed to do for the price,” said Clawson. “With the suite of productivity tools, I was able to model at a much faster rate.”

He noted the benefits of using specific tools, including the AnyConnect tool, which easily links components in any view to ensure connection, and is programmed to identify, line up and snap together the open pipe connectors.

Nick also noted that “the productivity tools will spoil any draftsperson,” referring to the streamlined pipe editing tools available in the toolbar.

Victaulic Tools for Revit toolbar

A better link to prefabrication

Beyond designing and modifying models with a single click, Victaulic Tools for Revit® users can create fabrication drawings within Revit.

“The toolbar helps masterfully produce spool drawings from assemblies with a single click,” said Clawson. “Our prefab drawings have improved our bills of materials, they have a more polished look and have the potential to contain even more detail.”

Creating fully integrated assemblies is a unified process with the Victaulic toolbar, where loose parts are never omitted, and fabrication spools include detail such as labor estimates and manufacturer information.

“The tool truly provides the methodology for any given BIM department to aid their company by being able to provide logistics plans in regards to shipping, sequencing, and jobsite staging,” he explained.

Onboarding and customer service drives sustainable success

Pivotal to SPC’s success in using Victaulic Tools for Revit® was the onboarding and customer service experience provided by Victaulic’s Virtual Design and Construction team, based in Easton, PA. Customized training and attention to detail have all been instrumental to SPC’s success in seamlessly implementing Victaulic Tools for Revit®.

Clawson said he never expected the level of customer service to be part of the deal but was pleased Victaulic continuously provided the highest level of care.

“I would both personally and professionally recommend Victaulic Tools for Revit® to any contractor that provides BIM coordination or produces prefabricated pipe spools,” said Clawson. “I would even recommend it to engineering firms, as it just makes modeling less labor intensive.”

Pump room

The future: total project optimization

SPC demonstrated the power of Revit add-ins. But there’s more on the horizon. Users are exploring how to completely optimize their overall project, from drawing through installation, by pairing Revit add-ins the innovative Victaulic system solutions they’re deploying in the field.

“If toolbar users also choose Victaulic materials, these processes are unstoppable,” noted Clawson.

Contractors can join pipe with Victaulic couplings up to 10-times faster than welding. Couple that with Victaulic’s Revit add-in software, which is specifically designed to improve native Revit functionality for Victaulic solutions, and both customers and contractors can chop months off installation times.

The future is bright for the industry, so construction and contracting companies should expect to see new and more robust Revit add-ins and more enhanced features in future versions.

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Amanda Comunale

Amanda Comunale is Director of Virtual Design and Construction at Victaulic, a manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining and fire protection systems. Amanda leads the teams responsible for software and content development, estimating, BIM and training, and drives the development of new offerings that enhance service to Victaulic customers throughout the project life cycle. Amanda’s specialties include fire protection, fabrication, logistics, distribution management, operations management and MEP piping. Prior to joining Victaulic, Amanda was Vice President of Operations/Services with S.A. Comunale, a leading mechanical, fire protection and HVAC services company based in Akron, Ohio. She is a member of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) as well as the American Supply Association's Women in Industry Division. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Stephen A. Comunale, Jr. Family Cancer Foundation and as a board member of the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. Amanda holds a BA from Union College, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a certificate in Lean Six Sigma from Villanova University. She is also a graduate of Leadership Akron.

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