Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Ninth Circle Of Revit

I was pondering just how PTSD several years of being exposed to Revit had made me (and based on posts and comments of other people banging their heads into their desks, questioning how the fuck they had gotten stuck with this idiotic bullshit - other people are in the same boat), when I picked up a hotel project that someone shat out in Revit while apparently high on crack.

After eliminating a handful of 12,000 line segment gooseneck lights from the front of it (linework so dense it was almost generating a 3d surface - for no discernible reason), I started cleaning up the drawings for my use.  That's when I ran across their third floor that was either cut at the wrong height, had the wrong view depth setting, or one of a bajillion other settings that are necessary to tweak in order to get an actual plan view out of Revit - making it to where the doors into the bathrooms weren't showing up (and these were the drawings they submitted - which means they were reviewed and signed off on - without anyone in their firm noticing).

I'm sure they are there - but I'm just looking at the wall above them (since they are shorter than the doors coming into the room from the hall - which are showing up fine).  A Revit apologist would probably just toss out an 'oh yeah - just tweak this' but I can guarantee that if I were still in Revit 'just tweaking this' would result in something else breaking (that's the way it tends to work).  Then it would be four hours later, two calls to the Architect Lackey/Reviteer, three to 'Revit Guru', and I would finally be able to start work (and then crash headlong into the next problem).

Fortunately, since I was in ACAD, all I had to do was spend a minute or two deleting the remnants that were still visible (they are sliding doors - that apparently block the closet adjacent to the bathroom when the door is open), copying the necessary linework into place, and then trimming the wall segment out.  That's when I start to notice other mistakes they made because of their fucked up view settings - bathroom countertops extending into walls, walls that stop short of other walls or overlap, doors that overlap desks, etc.

Then it's on to plumbing fixture locations that got screwed up when they moved walls around (and of course - no standardization, with nearly every single room layout with custom dimensions), and finally - fixing the exterior doors so you can tell that they are entrances/exits - and not a stack of lines showing the curb, wall above the door, and other stuff that inexplicably extends part of the way into the openings (oh - and these issues are all evident on the .pdf construction document set I received from them - so it's not a problem with exporting to ACAD).

My next task was to decipher their typical floor plan layouts - they actually did a good job of distilling down a building full of rooms into one sheet with four layouts that were representative enough to use throughout, but I noticed that all four showed exactly the same equipment - and their notes (that were attempting to clarify this) had several conflicts in them.  Their legend seemed to be the most logical and accurate, so I based how I proceeded off of that and ignored the notes for the most part (for some reason the concept of handicapped vs hearing impaired rooms turns people's brains from 'low' to 'off'' - I've seen dozens of projects where they couldn't keep them straight - or remember to include them in the first place).

I take a great sense of pride in the appearance of my drawings (not to mention things like missing doors is a good way to have an AHJ immediately reject a set of drawings - which I'm sure the Architect is going to have to deal with at some time in the very near future), and it amuses me greatly to have my drawings be superior in quality to the ones that the Architect submits.  It's worth it to me to spend a few extra minutes tweaking them to perfection (especially compared to spending hours fighting Revit to get something half-assed).

To those still suffering under the Revit boot heel - there is hope.  Go somewhere that you are appreciated for the skills and abilities you possess and are capable of learning - rather than your compliance to an arbitrary standard set by uncaring, unfeeling, and incompetent fucking assholes that have been responsible for this nonsensical garbage.



Friday, March 4, 2016

Revit Breeds Incompetence

Another beautiful day outside the Revitsphere - the sun is shining, the birds are singing, productivity is high, and holy shit this apartment building I just got looks like somebody had a fucking stroke while they were trying to model it (which wouldn't be surprising, considering the amount of stress and frustration involved in modeling even a simple building).

Like other apartments, it is a lot of repetition - so they detailed out a pair of units (one normal 1-bedroom, one handicapped 2-bedroom).  There are a lot more variations than that - but I actually appreciate the acknowledgement that other disciplines (including those tasked with actually constructing the building) can infer the rest of the units from those two layouts.

They then proceeded to detail out every single unit on the overall plan.  Again, this is appreciated since in my current discipline I do have to show my systems throughout the building - but (of course) the devices laid out on the 'typical' plans only fit one set of apartments, and required rotating, mirroring, and then endless adjustment to get them to show up correctly.

Nearly every single unit they detailed out through the building has some minor difference in it - this as a result of someone sitting and modeling each one, rather than being able to copy/mirror throughout and retain some semblance of consistency (or detail out a handful of units - instead of every single unit).

Actual Architects (as I've mentioned in the past) appreciate consistency throughout a project because while they like to include subtle variations to break up monotony - they know it costs money, and in the case of an apartment building/hotel/etc. - very few people are going to notice that the unit across the hall from them has a slight variation.

Except the guy building it.  He will absolutely notice when he has to basically custom build every single fucking unit, modifying countertops, etc. - then the other disciplines will notice as they attempt to pack a water heater, HVAC unit, electrical panel, comm panel, etc. into a closet that got smaller because some dipshit Reviteer got bored and rotated the washer/dryer around in one unit.

At any rate - then I start noticing they have random pieces of wall and countertops (and devices) missing, more handicap units shown on their plans than their cover sheet calls for, and the third floor is missing room names/#'s altogether (meaning they might have even more) and that's when I notice even more units that have layouts identical to the handicap units, but not labelled as such.

After reviewing the room and device layouts, it occurs to me that there has most likely been mis-communcation (or more likely - a total lack of communication) between the Architect and Engineer as to what units are 'handicap accessible' and which ones are hearing impaired - exacerbated by the fact that, while every unit is detailed out, there are only two 'typical' plans.

Now, I can ignore these oversights and proceed based on their drawings, but it will require a number of assumptions to be made - all of which are likely to come back and bite me (as well as turn into a cascading series of problems as devices get added, equipment gets overloaded, etc.), but attempting to communicate these concerns can open a whole other can of worms, so I have to tread lightly.

How I proceed will have a lot to do with the attitude I encounter - which (due to Revit) has increasingly been one of indifference.  People simply don't have the time or ability to give a shit about important details anymore (for example - the address on the construction documents I received lists the building at 'the corner of x avenue and x street' rather than an actual street address).

Fortunately, I have already determined the actual address, zip code, and a few other key pieces of information missing (or shown incorrectly) on their documents, and while it probably won't get noticed by anyone that isn't seriously OCD, my project submission will be on a superior set of floor plans after I fixed all their screw-ups.

I had to leave the 'custom' aspect to make it match theirs, but damned if I'm going to turn out some chicken-scratch looking piece of shit.  My reputation (and the reputation of my firm) stands on the quality of the product that I put out - even if I could blame them for any mistakes from their drawings that make their way onto mine, it still makes mine look incomplete/incorrect.

Obviously not all of this can be blamed on Revit - if a firm hires stupid and careless people, then they are going to get bad results, regardless of the software they use, but it seems to have been a downward spiraling trend though, as firms are forced to hire people with Revit ability (but no industry experience) in order to meet the demand for Revitization.

I hear from people on a regular basis who tout the advantages of Revit, I'm just not seeing it make it's way into the quality of the product that they produce.  If I hadn't worked in this industry for several years prior to the Revitlution, I might not know that standards used to be much higher, and (like some of the Reviteers who try to sell me on it) would think this was the norm.

As always, I am just glad I don't have to work directly with these fucking people anymore, and ecstatic that I don't have to even look at Revit, even if I do have to look at the crap people using it manage to churn out.  Now I can apply my skills and abilities where they are appreciated, instead of having people blow Revit crack smoke up my ass.

Fuck Revit.