Monday, May 11, 2020

Post Apocalytpic Revit 2021

Hey there, hi there, ho there...

So it's apparent that Autodesk is in this thing for the long haul.  

Reader 'hysteresis' let me know that lists of Revit 2021 'features' have been dribbling out, so I thought I would give them a quick look-over to see if any of them actually addressed the utter failure that is Revit MeP.

I wasn't disappointed, as the first one that caught my eye was the ability to have a slanted (i.e. 'tilted') wall - which was definitely one of the main reasons it was fucking with my productivity and work flow.  It does beg the question as to what people were doing prior to this release if they needed a slanted wall.

The answer is probably 'faked it in', and then 'kept up with the fact that it was faked in throughout the project so that nobody made the mistake of thinking it was done properly. 

I was really surprised to see more than one or two items in the official list that related to the electrical portion - this actually came close to an admission that the panelboard families, schedules, etc. that were included with Revit were incapable of taking into account fairly common situations.

"Single phase L-N panelboard: To better support distribution systems commonly found outside the US, Revit supports single phase two-wire L-N panelboards."

Oh wait, never mind - the very first one only applies to applications in other countries outside the US.

"Electrical circuit naming: To better support circuit identification conventions outside the US, you can define circuit naming schemes in the Electrical Settings dialog. Use the Panel's Circuit Naming instance parameter to select a scheme. "

And... so does the second one.

Select phase for switchboard circuits: Use the Switch Phases command to assign a phase to a circuit in a switchboard panel.

Ah - here we go.  The ability to assign a phase to a circuit.  This used to come up all the time.  No wait... I mean 'this never came up - ever'.  One of the big 'selling points' of Revit in the early days was that it could automatically balance phases - which, over the course of 12 years, and two different engineers, I never had a single time that they expressed concern over unbalanced phases.

I guess if I had shown them a schedule where I had specifically put everything on Phases A and B and skipped any breaker slot for Phase C, it might've led them to question it, but besides never actually doing that, I think most of the reason they didn't actually care was that most of the really large loads were three-phase already, so the panels tended to already be more or less balanced.

Combine that with the fact that installers didn't always follow our panel layouts (panels tended to arrive on-site with factory installed breakers, and rather than waste time rearranging them, they would simply wire it up) and it was a waste of time to even think about it.

New parameters for spare and space circuits: The Frame parameter is now available for spare circuits and displays in panel schedules. Similarly, Space circuits now support the Poles and the Schedule Circuit Notes parameters.

Thank God.  Spares and spaces.  Just - fuck you Autodesk.

Panel schedules display in the Project Browser: The Sheets view lists the panel schedules that appear on each sheet.

Whaaa?!?!?!  That's amazing!!!!!!   Wait...  did I say 'amazing'?  I meant to say 'who in the fuck cares?!?!'  My bad.

Max #1 Pole Breakers: This parameter on panelboards has been renamed to: Max Number of Single Pole Breakers.

So... they renamed a parameter - you know they are really reaching when they add renaming a parameter (i.e. rearranging deck chairs) to a list of 'new features' - although the fact that they called it 'max #1 pole breakers' in the first place pretty much lets you know how much of a fuck they gave about the electrical portion of the software.

I should probably also mention WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF BREAKERS, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY GODDAMNED POLES THEY HAVE?  A standard 120/208V 3-Phase panelboard has 42 spaces - which can be filled up with any variety of breakers, as long as when you add up the number of poles, it comes to 42.

Panels could also have feed-thru lugs that would take up 3 spaces to allow a second panel to be connected and give you more space for breakers - for a total of 81 spaces, that could be filled in any arrangement of breakers.

Max Number of Circuits for Switchboards: Switchboards now have a Max Number of Circuits parameter, replacing the maximum number of #1 pole breakers.

This is basically a re-wording of the last item - so, again.  Padding much?  Max number of circuits comes into play in two situations, one is where you have a panel smaller than the standard 42 space commercial panel I described above, and two is if you need to leave a certain % of spare capacity in a panel.  Of course, when I did it manually, I simply modified my schedules as necessary - and if it was a matter of capacity, I could simply fill it up with 1-pole breakers (or a mix of breakers) tagged 'future capacity' and then size the panel accordingly.

That's one of the things that always drove me crazy in Revit - you had to select a panel and configure it first, THEN fill it up and see what the actual load was.  When I did it manually, I would start with a generic panel schedule, fill it up with circuits, tally them up, and THEN decide what size the panel needed to be - although I got really good at guessing what they would need to be based on electric vs. gas heat, type of lighting, kind of building, etc.

Changing it was just a matter of typing in a number on the schedule (and on my riser that I was generating in tandem with my schedules - and then tagging it with the proper size of feeders based on the size of the panel and the distance that it had to travel from the transformer or switchboard.  Sure it took a little more effort to do this manually (and when I made changes I had to keep up with them) but if you compared the amount of time I spent on an average project manually calculating it was more than offset by the amount of time (and mental effort) I would spend watching Revit load, saving to central (just to find out that they had been making changes that destroyed everything I had just gotten done working on) and of course, trying to figure out why the thing I had just done five minutes before would not work the same way again - and spending an hour coming up with a workaround (leaving me mentally drained).


So - that's the sad little list of 'updates' relevant to the electrical portion of Revit.  I expected nothing, so I was not disappointed (the power of negative thinking).  I'm sure there was some 'general tidying up of shit' that went along with these that may have created the appearance that they actually gave a fuck, but I think we know better.

In the meantime - they found it necessary to remove some functionality (to make room for all the new awesomeness).

"Revit Model Review has been removed and is not available for Revit 2021."

This was actually an add-in that I'm sure people raved about how awesome it was, and that some people probably still rely on, so whatever.

"Site Designer for Revit has been removed and is not available for Revit 2021"

I'm sure this thing was a fucking abortion of a program - since every Civil Engineer/Designer that I know still uses Civil 3D (basically CAD with some discipline specific tools).  It probably allowed Architects to slap their models on a shitty attempt at modeling a site, and drove Civil people crazy as they had to de-fuck incompetent morons attempts at comprehending how that actually works.

I've mentioned it in the past, but I was personally responsible for bridging the gap between the Revitards and the Civil people on every single project I worked on.  Unless someone was holding my face to the Revit grindstone and forcing me to waste time/effort modeling something that I was just going to issue on 2D floor plans and some details, then the only time I would spend in Revit would be to slap my lights into the their model (and maybe the panels, if I felt like it) so their reflected ceiling plans would be correct.  After that, it was 'export to CAD' and 'do my fucking job'.

Next, I would go back in and fix my lights after they fucked around with the plans, the mechanical people ignored my lights and put plenums over them, etc. - and would occasionally notice that one of my wall packs that was supposed to be over (or next to) a door was no longer in the right place because they had moved the door.  Five seconds later I've fixed the Revit model and my CAD version.  Then I let Civil know that the Revitards have been up to their old tricks, and almost certainly haven't bothered to re-export CAD plans for Civil to use.

In fact, Civil got to the point where they didn't even waste time talking to the Revitards, and would just use my plans.  The trick being that if a door gets moved in the Revit model, Civil has to adjust sidewalks leading up to that door - and just like I would regularly find some 'minor' change that an architect made that required considerable rework on my part (in Revit or in CAD), Civil would find out that the sidewalk moving just set off a domino effect as it fucked up where their handicap parking spaces were, radius of curbs, locations of various utilities, easements, etc. that the Revitard was whollly unaware even existed before they made a (often arbitrary) change to the model because they rarely think outside the envelope of the building.

While I've been working on the tower project I mentioned in the last post I spent some time talking to the engineer who got the unenviable job of trying to figure out how things got so fucked up on that project (lack of communication, people with too much time on their hands, etc.).  He had recently taken the deep dive into the shallow end of the Revit pool (on another project - not on the tower), and was describing some of the very same issues that I (and everyone else involved) had run up against early on.

One of the selling points of Revit is how 'easy' it makes making changes.  That's all fine and good - *EXCEPT* that it makes changing things SO easy that people don't have any motivation to leave shit the fuck alone that would be better off left the fuck alone.  Obviously changes are going to happen, that's reality - but then you start to get people bumping stuff around out of boredom, and without any consideration as to how much you are fucking someone else over.  I've described the Civil issue, but this guy was designing sprinkler systems.

He was overcoming the myriad issues with the Revit application, but was running directly up against other disciplines that were constantly moving things, and then expecting him to make adjustments as necessary.  Again, this is obviously going to happen to some extent, but it became apparent to him after a little while that absolutely no concern was being given to the fact that there were a half-dozen disciplines all trying to share the same space, and none of them gave a fuck if they screwed another one (or all of them) over.

The reasoning behind Reviting the whole goddamned thing was 'coordination' (another 'selling point' for Revit) - but what it actually turns into is 'hey, I had to move this thing' - and the question comes up 'Did you *actually* need to move that?  Because I finally had my entire system designed, and now I'm having to revisit it for the third time'.

To someone outside of the process, obviously you want to coordinate every single change (no matter how minor) so that everything will work out perfectly in the field - only for it to get into the field and have it immediately fall completely apart.  The engineer and I were laughing about how you can always tell which discipline's installers got on-site first, because they would just run roughshod over everyone else's shit, leaving them all scrambling to *coordinate* (remember that word?) their work on-site.

I told him about one of the vary first projects my old firm did in Revit (I've mentioned it here before) where they had large ductwork running across the bottom of structure above racking, only for the client to buy taller racking, and force the mechanical installer to custom-fabricate fittings to allow the duct to run flat against the roof deck, and then wrap around the bottom of the structure in between racks.  (Someone actually took a picture of it, framed it, and hung it up in the office - to the best of my knowledge nobody knows who did it - I wish I could've taken credit for it).

I'm not saying that you shouldn't attempt to do ANY coordination - but as I've said countless times over the years, coordination happens when PEOPLE COORDINATE, not when they expect a piece of software to do it for them.

Fuck Revit 2021, and fuck anyone willingly using, selling, or propagating it.  You can all eat a bag of dicks.

Any Way You Kick It,

Next Time: (If There Is A Next Time)

Monday, May 4, 2020

Letters From The Apocalypse

WTF is up you stupid bunch of cocksuckers?

I've slacked off writing anything on this blog for a while now because my only exposure to the idiotic clusterfuck of retardation that is Revit is when I receive yet another shitty looking set of floor plans that take a day and half to clean up and/or make any sense out of.

I've been fortunate to be able to work from home during this whole goddamned pandemic - even though I pretty much just go into my office and am more or less left alone the vast majority of the time (most of the people I work with just kept going in since we are considered an 'essential business').

I'm not really that concerned about catching Coronavirus, but I live in a state filled with idiots who buy into conspiracy theory bullshit and suck a lot of Donald Trump cock (which, regardless of how this whole thing started, the response at all levels has been the equivalent of watching retards attempt to have sex).

I didn't bother asking if I could do it, I just packed up my shit one day, dumped all the stuff I was working on into my dropbox, and loaded a student copy of ACAD onto my laptop (2017, because it was the oldest one available - and they haven't added a single bit of functionality that I need or want in the last decade).

I had my QAT set up pretty quickly and tweaked it as I went, and was off to the races - it's funny, I'm pretty sure 2017 was the version of CAD I was stuck with before I left the Revit job, and the only real concern I had with it was that they had made the dashed line that extends from the origin of an object you are moving orange for some stupid reason with no way to change the color.

Minor quibble, I know, but that's the kind of thing that gets slipped in there and ignored by the majority of people, and once they start operating under the 'you'll get whatever we give you' mentality, it goes sideways pretty quickly.  Anyway, I'll ignore it for now and be back to working on good old ACAD 2014 (that doesn't even have to access a license) when I get back to the office.

I'm always glad not to be working in Revit, but this particular fuckaround would've been next to impossible with the size of the files, the size (and requirements) of the program itselt, etc. - and while my laptop is a beast, it can be a beast while not trying to run a shitty piece of resource hogging software.

Anyway, the latest project that I received is an office building tenant finish out - actually two tenant finish outs in a building that we designed the shell for.  One tenant is taking up half of the third floor, while the other tenant is taking up half of the first floor, the entire second floor, and the other half of the third floor.

In between when we designed the shell building and now, someone realized that the building was going to be built inside the fence of a government facility (an arsenal specifically) and that it would need to meet all of the requirements that the rest of the buildings at that facility were built to.

Fortunately they hadn't actually started installing any of my systems yet, so I was able to take the old drawings, tweak them a bit, then start work on the finish-outs.  Unfortunately the finish out plans were done in Revit, by two different sets of firms, and besides not being designed to the same specifications (which I'm SURE someone is going to notice - and probably result in me getting fucked).

Both sets of firms did the standard botch-job in Revit - but one went the extra mile, with walls that they couldn't figure out how to connect, so there were hatched regions hiding their fuckups all throughout the drawings.  Both also had shit sticking through walls, random crap showing up at the wrong level, and just... fucks sake people.

If I weren't concerned about how shitty my drawings looked, I could just ignore it and slap my stuff on top of it, but that's just not how I roll.  I've had people comment on how much easier my drawings are to read - and they will often use them when marking up other system because you can actually tell where the fuck doors, openings, windows, etc. are - because they don't look like they were scribbled by a mentally deficient third grader.

I got the plans cleaned up, put my devices on them, and wired them up - only to get pulled off of that job to fix YET ANOTHER screw-up by some installers that had given us a huge stack of hard-copy markups to integrate into a building (the building consists of a two story main level, and then two 14 story towers - which we were designing a smoke removal system for, but which the installers didn't bother to wire the way we showed).

The first set of markups had HUGE amounts of mistakes, including outdated information - which I wasted my time putting on my drawings, only to have to go back and erase most of it and start from scratch.  The final result was nothing short of FUCKING IMMACULATE, but it didn't have to take that much time and effort to get it there.

In fact, the whole reason I was up against the wall on the office building was that I had wasted time with the first set of markups thinking I would get it out of my way (plus the owner of my firm had kind of requested that I make it a priority).  Instead, it got me behind on both projects - and falling further behind as I tried to interpret the scribbled BULLSHIT from where someone had attempted to document what was installed.

Fortunately, I'm a fucking badass, and I have a FUNCTIONING SET OF SOFTWARE that doesn't require me to suck its dick and swallow whatever nasty diseased shit that spews out of it, so by the end of the day yesterday I had the tower project 100% and then jumped back in and finished running calculations on the office building (I had sent on a copy of the floor plans when I got them done, as well as a riser diagram that I finished the next day - and of course the first comment was 'herp derp - where are the calculations?!?!'

Not - 'thanks for busting your ass to get this project that we dropped on you on a Friday after telling our client it would be done the day before we even gave it to you' or 'we appreciate you not immediately driving to our office and punching us in the face when we promised that we would have it three days from now since we weren't able to get before we actually gave it to you'.

I decided I didn't want to have to think about it all weekend, so I busted my ass and finished the calculations and sent them on.  There are still a few holes in them, and there are still some details for other systems that are lacking (and I'll need to give the calculations some tweaks to make the  proprietary software that the company we purchase equipment from shat out to make it spit out an accurate bill of material).

I'm putting it on the back burner though, and jumping on another project documenting the changes to a building deep inside a local government facility - they were able to provide CAD files that were spit out from Microstation (worlds better than Revit) and some marked up .pdfs - so it shouldn't be terribly hard (other than interpreting their attempt at documenting what they built).

Fun and excitement!


Next Time: 2021 Revit - if there is a 2021....

Monday, October 28, 2019


Hola Amigos!

With no real Revit shit to bitch about (other than receiving garbage background files of buildings designed and modeled by morons), I'm left having to bitch about other stuff - like our idiotic/incompetent 'salesforce'.

Now, these are the guys responsible for making this whole thing a reality - although a lot of our actual clients come to us through other channels - only to be delegated to various salesmen to do takeoffs, estimates, submit bids, and hopefully get signed contracts before we go to work doing detailed designs.

These salesmen's ability to do this correctly, and see a project through to completion does have an impact on our ability to retain clients, as well as get new ones through word of mouth.  Fortunately some of the systems we design and install are requirements of any kind of building, and the rest are highly desired (and will have to be done by someone - so why not us?)

On top of that, some of the systems have to be monitored, and receive regular testing and occasional maintenance - so we kind of have some people by the balls (or lady balls).  Obviously there are other firms doing the kind of work we do, but we've got a pretty solid client base that includes several federal and state government agencies, city/county school systems, etc. (across several states), as well as other large companies - along with all manner of medium and small clients.

These tasks require maintaining a fairly large salesforce, as well as making sure we take into account the type of client, and any special requirements they may have with a salesman (or salesmen) who are going to be capable of handling the scope of the project, and (if necessary) hold the client's hand throughout the process.

Some clients (especially those at the federal level) have people who literally do one project at a time, over disturbingly long amounts of time - so the level of detail they start to go into in order to justify their paychecks goes FAR beyond anything in reality (and dragging us down with them).  Even once a building is built, and as-built documents are submitted, they often continue to fiddle with inconsequential items and pull us back into the mix again and again.

For this reason, we generally front-load these projects with plenty of extra time for revisiting the same (often not even very large) project over and over and OVER AND OVER.  Many of the projects are renovations of part of larger buildings, and over the years before I started working here, people apparently had serious difficulty keeping track of what went where, and so they would occasionally start new projects to do a renovation of a piece of a building where we did the original building - and the renovations should have started with those drawings in order to maintain one master set.

Add to this, the process of submittal, mark-up, re-submittal, etc. has always been sketchy (at best), sometimes involving direct contact between the client and me (or whoever is designed their project), a mix of the client, electrical contractor (who we are sometimes a sub-contractor for - depending on the nature of the project), and the salesman - who may or  may not be capable of juggling several projects at a time (along with their personal issues).

The best way we've figured out to handle it is for the salesman to be the one point of contact, that way we make sure that everything we are doing actually falls under the scope of a project that we have a contract for, and if we start to experience 'scope creep'  - like in the case of a small addition to a building that we were supposed to do that turned into a renovation of the entire existing building (not uncommon), then we make sure to submit change orders, or put together new contracts to address additional work.

It also keeps e-mail clusterfuckery down, where you have to dig through several different people's e-mails (even if you try to organize them by project) - sometimes discussing (and including file attachments) for more than one project.  This was the case for a series of projects that came through recently - and as I was looking at them, my brain started to turn completely to mush.

The saleman had tried to consolidate all of them down into a single e-mail/list - but as I started going through them, I couldn't help but shake the feeling that many of them sounded VERY familiar.  One of the biggest issues with this (federal government) client is that they refer to all of their projects through a series of acronyms - which would be bad enough, except that on top of that, many people  involved with the projects come up with their own names/nicknames.

Some are the words that the acronyms are made from, some will refer to the building numbers that the acronym projects are located inside of, and some are... just totally fucking made up (or, my favorite - people refer to them by the sheet numbers that address the portion of the building that we are addressing.  This last one isn't as illogical as it sounds, since each area has a set of sheet numbers allocated to it, but as I mentioned earlier, some people weren't clued into this standard, so they took off on their own, creating a series (or multiple series) of drawings with numbers that don't match up with the rest of the sets (it literally hurts my brain just trying to type this).

I found out why they seemed familiar when I opened the first set of comments, and discovered that I had actually done them - over a month and a half ago.  I point this out to the salesman, and he goes back and finds the e-mail where I had sent him drawings, and he neglected to forward them on (keep in mind, this guy wants everything sent to him for review before it goes to the client).  Now, this is great, because I'm already done - but to prevent him (and thus 'us') from looking like idiots, he has me re-date the drawings and send them again (so now we look like slow idiots).

I jump into the second project - and (sure enough) I find drawings that I had done SIX MONTHS PRIOR.  Unfortunately, this time, I couldn't find where I had sent him an e-mail, but after a quick dig through the pile of crap on his desk, I find a set I had printed (at his request) and left for him to review before wasting my time e-mailing anything (and having it disappear into his e-mail inbox).

In this case it kind of worked out, because while I was done with the drawings, the EC had sent over updated floor plans (that only sucked a little bit) for me to insert, so that's two down.  They've sent over the third one this morning, and it won't surprise me in the least if it was done as well - the only question is whether or not I have proof that I gave it to the salesman.  Fortunately while this guy is a bit of a space cadet (due to going too many directions at once - along with some health issues he's dealing with), he's actually a pretty stand up guy, and will admit when he makes mistakes.

He's a super genius compared to Dipshit McDumbfuck that had me wasting my time submitting shit to the wrong AHJ, or the guy that I literally had to start putting received/read receipts on everything I send him because he apparently doesn't understand how e-mail works (he would ask me to do something really quick in the morning, so I would stop what I was doing, knock it out, send it to him, then receive a phone call that afternoon asking if I had gotten to it yet).

Those two have the distinct advantage of not working in the same office as me (the second one being in another state), or I probably would've tossed both of them out of a window by now.  We've got a few more in this office that range from total space cadet, to reasonably concerned with making sure their projects get done properly.  And even all of these don't compare to the (fortunately) small number of guys who try to pull the good old 'throw me under the bus because they fucked up' routine.

I mentioned it in a previous post, but I did a massive renovation and addition to a school, sent it over - with the explicit instruction to have one of their guys go do a walk down of the existing portion to verify that it made sense (I had been compiling information from decades of drawings showing systems that had been 'grandfathered' in by AHJ's who may have literally be the grandfathers of the people doing the design work.

One day I have the owner of the company come into my office and tell me that this salesman is telling him that I did a bunch of stuff incorrectly, and had added tons of extra equipment - instead of doing a one-for-one replacement of the existing system (which nobody had informed me was the plan).  I told the owner (who is actually a really good guy) that I had sent over a set for them to review and mark up literally weeks prior.

We got on speaker with him - and he claims 'yeah, I had my guy go out and mark up drawings', so I said 'well - then send them to me'.  He agreed, and two days later I called him back to ask why he hadn't sent them - and it came out that he had lied while on the phone with me and the owner to cover his own ass, and worse - had been lying to a co-owner that is in his office as well.

I resorted to my tried and true method of blind carbon copying (bcc) both the owner and co-owner on all future correspondence with this guy - and hilariously both of them would respond to me by telling me to 'get him'.  It's always funny when someone goes to a higher up to try to throw me under the bus, not realizing that I'm on good terms with the higher ups (anyone reading my blog for any length of time should know I'm not a kiss-ass, but it always pays to  have friends in high places).

Unbenownst to the the guy trying to scare me by going to the higher-ups - the owner is a fanatic for old Ford/Shelby race cars, and I've been building classic Mustangs for years as a hobby, and the co-owner is a metalhead - and any time he's in town and drops by our office, he will come back to my office and we talk metal bands.

Everyone else is scared of these guys - and they think I am too, and it cracks me up every time someone threatens me with going to them.  Dude, seriously - we're just going to have a good laugh at your stupid attempt at covering your ass, so why not just do your goddamned job, because I damn well do mine.

Vaya Con Dios,

Skuzzy AF

Next Time: Apocalypse Wow

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

How Much Shit Could a Nitwit Submit If A Nitwit Could Submit Shit?

What's Crackin?

Well, no new Revit news to report here - just a half a day wasted trying to figure out WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO TWO PROJECTS WE SUPPOSEDLY SUBMITTED SIX MONTHS AGO.

Of course the guy who did the projects goes on vacation - leaving me to field a call from an irate salesman screaming about 'I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET THESE PROJECTS APPROVED FOR SIX MONTHS!!!!  He actually tried to claim there were THREE projects, but after a quick check only two of them were actually done (the third is still waiting on info showing an equipment layout - which he apparently requested, only for them to try to resend the lighting plan... again).

I have access to the guy's computer who is on vacation, so I dig through his clusterfuck of e-mails back and forth, and talk to a girl in the front office who specifically remembered having our old office manager come back and sign off on the drawings (since he is the only guy with a Georgia license), but either those drawings got lost in the mail, or they were never shipped, or some damn thing.

I checked out UPS shipping records, but there was nothing.  It's possible someone ran them out after hours to a UPS or FedEx store, and there is a tracking number laying around somewhere, but nobody bothered to make note of that.

I talked to the plans review office in Atlanta, who apparently only have one engineer for the entire goddamned state (for this kind of project), and noticed while I was going through the menus that they have the wrong suite # on their transmittal sheet that you have to fill out in order to submit.  I thought for a minute that may have been the problem, but they assured me that they would've still received them even if it had gone to the wrong suite (although I don't know if I believe that or not).

So, all of this bullshit basically resulted in me having to re-plot two copies of both projects (they have to have two hardcopies, wet signed, and mailed to them - in 20 fucking 19.  Nearly every other jurisdiction we deal with has gotten on last centuries bandwagon and have some kind of ability to accept drawings/submittals online (although they vary from 'barely functioning'  to 'written in crayon').

Then I got to print out a set of data sheets for each project, and finish filling out the transmittals (whoever did them the first time made a number of mistakes and failed to fill in several fields).  Now I'm waiting to find out if the guy who signed them last time can swing by and sign them (again) so that I can cram them in boxes and send them off.

The ONE engineer they have reviewing shit is apparently WAY behind (big surprise there) so they will most likely sit somewhere until they are fucking lost again.  The only difference is that THIS TIME I will have done it all myself, and will have a tracking  # to reference.

While I was writing this I received a .pdf showing equipment layouts for the third project - which is absolutely not going to be at the top of my (or anyone else's) list to do - but whenever we get it done, it will have to go through the same process as the other two.

Oh well - at least it wasn't Revit.




So, the guy who was on vacation returns from vacation, and after discussing it with him, it turns out that over a month ago, he had e-mailed a scanned signed set of drawings to this dipshit, who didn't even acknowledge that this had been done (I found these sets on our server, but didn't actually see the e-mail where he had sent them).

Now, these scanned drawings would've been wholly insufficient to meet the requirements of the AHJ reviewing them - even if he printed hardcopies (due to the requirement for them to be 'wet signed'), but the guy was acting like a) nothing had been sent, and b) we were supposed to know about the submission process 'eight months ago' (per the snotty e-mail he sent the guy who got back from vacation).

Now - here's where it gets hilarious.  I go ahead and have the two sets wet signed, include two sets of specifications for the job, finish filling out the required transmittal form, and ship the whole thing to the AHJ via UPS.  A few days later I get two packages back, and I'm like 'There's no way in hell they actually reviewed these - so I'm hesitantly opening them, expecting to see some kind of 'you didn't submit these properly' response that some AHJ's love to do.

Instead, there is a a letter in each package informing us that their office (the state office) doesn't review these drawings, and they need to be submitted to the local AHJ.  I scanned these letters in and allowed the guy who had received the 'durrr... you were supposed to know how to submit these 8 months ago... durrr....' e-mail from the salesman.  He sent it on with 'FYI' in the subject line, and no message.

I waited a day or so, and no response (typical).  Finally, I called the salesman, and he is totally nonplussed - and while it was not entirely his fault, since he had submitted some similar projects before and they DID have to be submitted to the state office, he (and/or the GC) had dropped the ball BIGTIME in giving us the runaround.

I showed the letters to several people around our office, and every single response was 'what a dumbass' (or my favorite - 'he doesn't know his head from his ass').  They are now hanging on my wall - right next to an e-mail read receipt from another idiot salesman that I received a full six months after having sent a completed project.

Next Time: SALESFORCE!!!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Really Packing 'Em In

Bang Bang...

So I open a file that someone exported from what I assume is Revit, and the first thing I notice is 'holy fuck this file is massive', then I notice 'holy fuck this thing is slow as death', then I notice 'goddamn - this thing has fuckloads of unnecessary detail in it'.

That's a window detail that someone thought would be a good idea to insert every single place that glass appears in the building, rather than have a simple rectangle and a note to refer to a detail sheet.

Below is another type of window detail - there are a fuckload of these in the project too.  I did some rough calculations and came up with a conservative estimate of 440,409 line segments JUST TO SHOW HOW WINDOWS ARE MOUNTED - and which ISN'T EVEN VISIBLE AT THE SCALE THE DRAWINGS WILL BE PRINTED AT.

As I always acknowledge - it's entirely possible that a program like Revit is affected differently by having this level of detail slapped all over a project, but at the same time I can also guarantee that it isn't helping.

And this is just windows - as you go through the rest of the project, there are all kinds of things that look like hatching until you start to drill down to the microscopic level - and find out that not only are they pointlessly detailed - THEY ARE FUCKING SIDEWAYS ON THE PLAN, SO YOU CAN'T FUCKING SEE THEM ANYWAY.

Lovingly rendered 3D signage on walls (that in elevation view just looks like letters, and even in a 3D view is barely noticeable).  Chairs, tables, desks, sinks, toilets/urinals - in all their wireframe beauty.


The file is small, the response time when working in it is instantaneous, and now... the project is FUCKING DONE.

All in the time it would've taken to open the file in Revit, find out it's in the wrong version and it's trying to convert, open it in an older version, find out that someone fucked up the way the files are linked (including the MEP files that aren't being done in-house), having it crash once or twice, rebooting your computer, rebooting the server, finding out the model is corrupted, trying to hunt down the last known good model, and then redoing all of the work that you lost.

Just... fuck every bit of that.

And if you don't like it - FUCK YOU.

Next Time: Submission Regression

Friday, September 13, 2019

Giant Bag o' Dicks

It's the 200th Post!!!! Holy fuck!!!  Oh well who fucking cares?

It's been a while, but people insist on continuing to shit out complete garbage with their Revit boxes, meaning I get to waste time cleaning them up so that I can have something passable to use as backgrounds for my drawings.

Combine this with a dipshit salesman that sends me useless information (when he actually sends me information) and what could be done in a few days ends up taking 2-3 times as long, since I have to beat information out of people.

My current project is a massive aerospace production facility - and goddamned did the architects and engineers responsible for designing this thing consume a lot of Revit penis.  The electrical revit-bot in particular seemed to be having a lot of difficulty with it - which isn't surprising, because (as I experienced first hand) the software sucks ass for doing electrical design.

The first files I got were architectural reflected ceiling plans - as if those were going to be of any use whatsoever.  I managed to dig up a set of electrical plans - which were better, and which ended up being the drawings I used to generate a floor plan.

They were some of the shittiest looking drawings I had ever seen - bathrooms in particular seem to escape Revitards ability to get right, with equipment inside walls, random objects (and/or lack of ability to comprehend the astronomical number of view range settings) wiping out little things like 'doors' and 'walls'.

I was able to fill in bits of information, including missing or incorrect room designations from the RCP's and a set of sprinkler drawings (that were equally useless, as they showed four risers - but only three details, and NOTHING telling you which one(s) occurred where.

The salesman kept claiming he was getting HVAC drawings so I could show equipment for those - but after a few days of getting jack and shit, I decided to take matters into my own hands, went directly to the Architect (since they were the only company that I could find a phone number for) and convinced them to give me a full set of .pdfs.

My first concern had been the lack of any second floor drawings in any of the sets I had received (but the existence of stairwells/elevators allowed me to infer the existence of).  I was able to convert the second floor plans from the .pdfs (which I'm still cleaning up).

I had made a few attempts at laying out some equipment in the high bay areas - but it was only when I got this full set of .pdfs that I actually had elevations (what are those?) showing the bottom of the structure at 52 goddamned feet off the ground.

This meant that any device layouts, circuits, or calculations I had done all had to be scrapped as I derated all of the devices for ridiculous mounting heights - which will result in a buttfuckload of circuits, power supplies to feed those circuits, plus - just.... shitloads of extra wire.

It's par for the course for projects that come from this particular salesman  I was talking to another designer who had been arguing with the same guy about how many circuits a project was going to need, despite it being obvious that the salesman had underestimated what it would take to handle the sheer amount of devices.

Then there was the fact that the building (a hotel) is four stories high, so it made sense to run one circuit per floor for these devices for ease of design,  installation, commissioning, and troubleshooting.  The guy seemed content with loading every circuit - instead of leaving at least a little spare capacity (which is a recipe for total fucking disaster down the road (or right away, depending on how much additional shit gets added as we find out that other people dropped the ball.

I just had a guy duck his head in on another project where we left a lot of spare capacity (at the owner's request we actually left more than usual) but where they are wanting to add a minor fuckload of devices to handle a number of fire/smoke dampers (this project having gone through dozens and dozens of internal reviews, before being reviewed by a third party engineering firm.

It's fucking amateur hour, as usual - with the only saving grace being that I'm not Reviting any of this bullshit (which has already irked a few people who wanted us to show our equipment for 'coordination').  This being bullshit as usual though, as they move our shit around in the field regardless of whether it is 'coordinated' or not.

Just... fuck Revit.  Fuck the useless garbage that people using Revit crank out (and then pat themselves on the back for being so awesome), fuck those people, anyone else involved in the process, and fuck Autodesk (whose stock continues to nose-dive).

Fuck the world.


Next Time - the 201st post.  Or not. Who gives a shit anymore?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Spam Spam Spam Spam, Spam Spam Spam Spam

Lovely Spam, Beautiful Spam!!!!

So my phone is blowing up this morning because some jack-ass calling himself 'lost_in_woods'
decided to start spamming my blog by posting comments on dozens of my most recent posts - ostensibly with the aim of directing traffic towards a website offering 'BIM Global Solutions' with the intent of garnering business from people who might click on this link.

This is hilarious to me on many levels, as they obviously did not bother to read anything on this blog (or even the name of it), or they might have ascertained its general attitude towards BIM in general, and Revit specifically.

Now I get to spend time this morning cleaning out all of that spam, and figuring out how to report this ignorant fuckstick (since there doesn't seem to be an obvious way to do it).  In the meantime, feel free to send Mr. 'lost_in_woods' and/or all the love and support they deserve for spreading the BIM disease throughout the world.

Fuck this guy, fuck this firm, and fuck everyone perpetuating the Revit lie.

MISTER Skullfuck to you.

Next Time: The 200th Post.

P. S. - Just this morning I had another (or the same?) idiot post some more spam on a handful of my entries to advertise their Revit services. I guess they'll never learn!