Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How Low Can Your Standards Go?

So there I am - opening a set of drawings from an electrical engineer for a 5 story hotel.

I'm first struck by the sparseness of the sheets - especially considering that they've broken up the building into four quadrants (I was able to fit each floor onto 36"x48" sheets - although it is crammed on there).  The overall plans are only showing equipment in the corridors/common areas (oh, and they've got some of the common areas broken off into enlarged details - which they conveniently didn't provide CAD files of (fortunately I was able to locate a .pdf set).

Based on how shitty the drawings looked, I was pretty sure it had started off as a Revit file - confirmed by a quick glance at the clusterfuck of exported layers.  Whoever did the electrical design was obviously flying by the seat of their pants, slapping devices here and there, putting forth the absolute minimum effort to give a fuck as they almost certainly were having their rectum discombobulated by the Revit dick.  The fact an engineer signed off on them is just fucking sad.

Even with my formidable skills, It took quite a while to clean up the drawings (which I can't stress enough, were fucking atrocious) figure out what the fuck was going on, and actually get all of the equipment that I cared about onto one set of plans.  I will have six floor plan sheets (as opposed to their sixteen sheets - and they even had their lighting/power on the same sheets -and a typical plan for second through fourth floors) and not only will mine look fucking immaculate, they will also be 100% accurate.

When I went to put equipment from their typical units onto the plans, I was amused to find that out of eight typical plans - only five of them even had the necessary equipment shown.  In addition to this, a catch-all note was included to describe additional/alternate equipment for the accessible units (despite there already being separate plans for those accessible units). At first I thought they had the wrong keynote next to a device, but it turned out that what should've been keynote '10' was only showing '1'.

Also, thanks to one (or more) of the quarter-trillion view settings, there are a fuckton of doors missing from the plans.  Some just show openings, some show headers (some of which are missing doors, some of which are actually supposed to be openings), and one especially confusing one has a 6' sliding door.  Keep in mind, this isn't just nitpicking on my part - there is no clear path of egress on most of these plans.

They had no equipment in elevator shafts, insufficient equipment in elevator equipment rooms, and due to the parking garage that runs up through the middle of the building, they will most likely end up having to come back through and change all of the smoke detectors into carbon monoxide (or combo) detectors.  I'm going to be making a list to send to the guy who sold/quoted the job to determine if we fix these oversights/fuckups or if we just submit 'as-is' and let it get rejected.

If we do the latter, I will take the same approach as I did on the apartment building I did last year, and size everything for the additional equipment so I can just plug it in.  My co-worker just recently had a job where he knew that they were going to need a bunch of extra equipment, so he simply put the additional equipment/wiring/etc. on a separate layer - so when it came back rejected (as we knew it would), he just flipped a few layers on and off, and 'voila'.

Of course, then they ended up making additional changes that couldn't have been predicted (par for the course there).  Based on how little thought was put into slapping these drawings together, I have very little doubt that other things (like codes, local requirements, etc.) were also overlooked - meaning I will most likely end up back in these drawings again - possibly even redoing them almost from scratch as I have others in the past - thanks to nobody giving a fuck until (way) after the fact.

The funniest part is that, aside from anyone I grumble to about it, nobody will realize the amount of thought I have put into it (especially if all of that thought gets negated by a complete redesign).  I've got another recent project that was a renovation of a small building at a waste treatment plant.  The client told us exactly what they wanted to do, so we did it (well, at least I did after deciphering the nonsense that the guy who quoted it shat out).  Then at a meeting yesterday, they did a complete 180.

Fortunately our office manager was at both meetings (due to the guy who quoted it being an alcoholic with a fucked up back that keeps him home a lot of the time) - otherwise (as he even admitted), he wouldn't have believed that it was the client's doing, but misunderstanding on our part.  This was especially important, because he was in a position to then request additional money from the client, since it constituted a complete redesign (after the original one had already been completed AND submitted to the city for review).

That last part is the kicker, because while we could contact the city and tell them not to bother reviewing the first set, that could open a whole other can of worms.  Instead, we're going to let it go forward 'as-is', and then reissue - at which point, everyone's time/money will have been wasted (all due to a clueless client, who really should've known better).  Oh - and to pile irony on it, the work we are doing on the building itself is only a temporary fix to alleviate a much larger problem.

Within two years, that building most likely won't even be there anymore - and the vast majority of what we are doing is to allow personnel to remotely operate equipment in that building (and tie into the adjacent university so they can monitor trouble signals).  Given that the AHJ will have reviewed the first set (and will almost certainly reject it), it will look very much like the client (or our firm) is trying to get around their rejection (based on a building that doesn't come close to meeting code).

I really should've known when I issued the first set of drawings that something was wrong, because it all went smoothly and made logical sense - but that's the world we live in.  The only up side is that I didn't waste countless hours fighting Revit to generate a set of shitty looking drawings, only to find out that it was all for naught.  I'll be drawing a couple of diagrams/schematics, our people already know how to install the shit, and despite all of the attempts to prevent it - we'll actually turn a healthy profit.

Fuck the low standard that Revit has allowed people to drop to - and fuck anyone perpetuating the Revit myth.

And if you don't like it - Fuck You.


Next Time:Let Me Tell You Why Your Model Sucks