Friday, November 10, 2017

How Did the Interior Designer make MEP Spaces Disappear?

I have seen a number of reasons MEP Spaces disappear or not possible to place to being with. I will share one a dealt with recently. And to be fair, for this example, anyone working in the architectural model could cause this problem for the MEP team, not just the interior designers:) I do cover the thing that causes the problem in my interior design book, but when done as instructed this problem can be avoided.

First, we have an architectural model with'''
walls and Rooms. A structural floor also exists, but is usually coming from a linked structural model.
Next we have an MEP model with Spaces placed within this linked in award winning design. FYI: A Space is similar to a Room, but holds engineering data. Also, when a Space is within a Room, it can read the Room Name and Number.

Later in the project, someone places thin floor elements to represent a floor finish in specific rooms. I will talk more about this concept in general in my next post - this is not a bad thing. In this example, two rooms received a floor finish.
Now, when we open the MEP model, one of the Spaces appears to be missing. But why only one? We added two floor finishes.

A troubleshooting step, but not a solution, is to go to a section or elevation and try adjusting the Computation Height for the level as shown below.

Switching back to the floor plan we see the Space now appears. Thus, we know the Space is still there. FYI: The Computation Height setting determines the plane at which the boundary (and area) of the room is calculated. So, there is something interfering with the Space between the floor and this new calculation height.

Let's cut a section in the problem-room. Here we see the structural floor and the thin finish floor. It turns out, in one room the 1/8" finish floor element was accidentally shifted up 1/4", rather than an 1/8". The tinny 1/8" gap between the floor level and the bottom of the thin floor finish is hiding our Space!

It is best to make sure the bottom of the thin floor is aligned with the structural floor, but it is also a best practice to turn off Room Bounding for all of the thin floor finish elements. This avoids the problem altogether and will not interfere with Autodesk's energy model workflow!

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