How a new set of tools unleashes Revit’s potential

kBIM Template and Library works with Revit to facilitate faster project start-up, more accurate schedules, and better productivity.

Devices from kBIM library

Revit has brought a new way of thinking to building design.

“Revit is the software that had the potential to fulfill the dreams we’ve had the past 25 years,” said Rocco Gallo, Principal and Director of Electrical Engineering at Karpinski Engineering. Rocco leads the firm’s BIM Core Team, providing guidance for the firm’s continually-evolving use and integration of BIM.

Revit’s powerful capabilities, however, aren’t configured out-of-the-box. Rather, that customization is left to the end-user, who might spend hundreds of hours developing standards, creating devices, and making templates – or who might find themselves starting from scratch with every new project.

That’s where kBIM comes in.

What kBIM does, Rocco explained, is unleash Revit’s potential.

kBIM Template and Library is a package of standardized Revit tools. It’s designed for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology disciplines. As the name suggests, kBIM includes a customized Revit library containing hundreds of devices – such as diffusers, VAV boxes, electrical devices, lighting controls, and technology devices. It also includes a customized template for project start-ups and a set of help documents. (See how it works in these videos on our YouTube channel.)

Jump-start your engineering design

kBIM lets designers get a faster start on their projects, explained Emy McGann, Karpinski Engineering’s BIM manager. In collaboration with the Karpinski Engineering team, she created the templates and library that became kBIM.

Instead of starting with a blank document and building from scratch, the kBIM template allows designers to set up their drawings using a pre-developed framework.

Emy compared it to creating a budget in a spreadsheet program. A person can start with a blank spreadsheet and create all their own formulas and categories, or they can start with an existing budget template, placing their information into already-established formulas and categories, and modifying as needed.

Populate schedules automatically

When asked what the best thing about kBIM is, Emy is quick to reply. “Schedules.”

There are 68 mechanical schedules, for example, covering everything from boilers to chilled beams to air handling units. When a designer places a Revit component from kBIM’s custom library into their drawing, the corresponding schedule is automatically populated.

This automation is a tremendous boost to productivity and quality assurance.

Rocco gives an example for comparison. For a new, 300,000-SF hospital project that the firm worked on, he calculated that quality assurance for electrical drawings alone – verifying that the drawings and schedules matched – took two people one month.

With kBIM’s library and scheduling features, that process is automated. When schedules and devices have been properly set up and linked, the software cross-checks automatically and flags discrepancies.

Make drawings look good in 2D and 3D

The devices in the kBIM Library are configured for both 2D and 3D. They have controls that allow users to offset the 2D symbol for the 3D device. This feature allows designers to produce legible construction documents, while also representing the design accurately in 3D – which is helpful for architects as they show 3D models to their clients. 

Sharing a competitive advantage?

The decision to release kBIM for sale was debated. After all, kBIM is rooted in Karpinski Engineering’s efforts to improve workflow and standardize the firm’s use of Revit. There were concerns about giving away a significant competitive advantage that the firm had invested in developing.

But the idea of helping the whole industry move forward prevailed. Rather than hoard it, Rocco said, “Why not share it with the world?”

To learn more or to purchase kBIM, visit the ASRHRAE website.

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