GRAITEC Offers BIM Solution for Concrete Design
Marc Howe posted on November 02, 2018 |

GRAITEC’s Advance BIM Designers - Concrete Series is a BIM solution providing a range of excellent features for concrete reinforcement creation, design and documentation that are fully integrated into Revit.

 special focus on rebar for the three key concrete features of footings, columns and beams.
Advance BIM Designers has a  focus on rebar for footings, columns and beams. (Image courtesy of GRAITEC.)

The program aims to optimize Revit’s native tools and user environment for drafters and engineers during the process of reinforced concrete design, with a special focus on rebar for the three key concrete features of footings, columns and beams.

With Advance BIM Designers, GRAITEC has produced a software package that slots smoothly into the existing Revit user environment and provides considerable ease of use while optimizing processes for concrete rebar and reinforcement. The program is seamlessly incorporated into Revit via an additional GRAITEC tab in the standard menu, with footings, columns and beams each enjoying their own dedicated user interfaces and dialogue boxes.

Advance BIM Designers provides a range of heightened functionality that is available in two packages—a detailing package with dedicated tools that cater to the daily needs of drafters and a design package that provides extra analytical features for engineers.

the program facilitates the generation of 3D rebar for Revit BIM models
The program facilitates the generation of 3D rebar for Revit BIM models. (Image courtesy of GRAITEC.)

At a basic level, the program facilitates the generation of 3D rebar for Revit BIM models, enabling geometric clash detection between reinforcement and structure. It also provides a better understanding of how the building site will arrange the reinforcement in a complex environment.

The core advantage Advance BIM Designers brings is the automation of numerous processes in relation to rebar design, including both model and document generation. Users can generate 3D reinforcement cages for beams, columns or footings via dedicated dialogue boxes that enable them to enter the specific parameters of the models they need to create.

The interface for the dialogue boxes is direct and intuitive, producing models of concrete features to the precise demands of users right away. For beams, the dialogue boxes enable users to add longitudinal bars to the model by specifying parameters including beam span, diameter, precise number of bars, right and left abscissas, anchorage length and hook angle, and number of layers.

A similar process applies to the creation of 3D reinforcement cages in columns. Users enter the parameters for main longitudinal reinforcement, secondary longitudinal reinforcement, upper and lower longitudinal reinforcement, and traverse reinforcement into dedicated dialogue boxes to generate the models. Advance BIM Designers also allows for the quick and easy addition of openings around pipes or depressions in columns via the use of dedicated dialogue boxes.

For the reinforcement in footings, Advance BIM Designers’ dialogue box provides fields for bottom bars and top bars along the X and Y directions, as well as the selection of bar diameter, number of bars and hook angles for both ends. Once bars are inserted into the model, they can be labeled and tagged in all views.

The program possesses powerful automation capabilities. It has reinforcement wizards that define the geometrical parameters to automatically generate 3D rebar cages for beams, columns and footings, freeing users from the time-consuming process of placing bars manually.

Another powerful feature is the ability to save, copy and download 3D reinforcement cages following their creation. Once reinforcement cages are generated within footings, beams or columns, they can be saved into individual files for subsequent loading into other objects.

Advance BIM Designers also contains dedicated tools that cater to the daily usage needs of drafters working with concrete reinforcement. These include tools for reinforcement management, renumbering rebar and creating graphical details. There are other tools that address the specific needs of beams, footings and columns.

In order to improve workflows, Advance BIM Designers provides a more convenient process for making adjustments to rebar visibility in the Revit model. With Revit’s native features alone, toggling the visibility in rebar models can be a lengthy task. It can require at least half a dozen clicks, including selection of the model, isolation of the rebar, opening of the properties window and inspection of features.

With Advance BIM Designers’ Rebar Visibility tool, users only need to make two clicks in order to completely conceal or display the rebar within a model, which is a major boon for drafters working on complex projects.

When it comes to the needs of engineers for concrete reinforcement, the design package provides the ability to generate calculations for the design based on the specific code requirements for beams, columns and footings.

A pivotal advantage of Advance BIM Designers for concrete engineers is the ability to import analytical models generated by external applications, such as finite element mesh (FEM) software, and incorporate them directly into Revit models via the “Import Analysis Results” tool. This gives users the option of using a specialized program for the development of complex analytical models before porting them directly into the Revit context.

For the convenience of AEC professionals working on large scale collaborative projects, GRAITEC has taken pains to ensure that the tool is compatible with a range of FEM software, including GRAITEC Advance Design and Autodesk. Engineers can also incorporate data themselves at their own discretion using the Load and Combination tools, which enable them to manually input parameters via a table. These two options give engineers the flexibility to either incorporate advanced analysis generated by external software or directly manipulate the data for the model themselves.

The Revit model can then display key structural data such as bending moments and values for analytical purposes. Reinforcement ratios can also generated directly within an object, covering specific attributes including volume, formwork area, reinforced weight and reinforced ratio. Advance BIM Designers also permits the incorporation of related data into the model, including the status of a structure and whether it’s designed or not, as well as the inclusion of warnings.

While the incorporation of large amounts of data and analysis is great for engineers and designers, it’s not that handy if it can’t be readily accessed by users or communicated to other stakeholders. To this end, Advance BIM Designers seeks to optimize workflows by facilitating the movement of information in the opposite direction and giving users the ability to export data from the Revit model to Excel files or Power BI.

giving users the ability to export data from the Revit model to Excel files or Power BI
Users have the ability to export data from the Revit model to Excel files or Power BI. (Image courtesy of GRAITEC.)
This means the full array of detailed information and data the program allows users to incorporate into models can also be easily exported to documents for presentation purposes. Business analytics software such as Power BI can then convert the data into visual reports and dashboards, so that it can be better shared with collaborative partners and key stakeholders.

Advance BIM Designers also provides a slew of enhanced workflows for the production of key documents such as schedules, drawings and reports by automating the often tedious process of their generation while also providing added features.

The Schedule Scheme tool permits the automatic generation of schedules for an object based on customizable templates, while also adding the ability to generate a customized JPEG based on the geometry included as a property of the rebar to serve as a visual diagram with values in the schedule. This is a highly appealing feature that can really make a difference to the quality and usability of the completed schedule.

users of Advance BIM Designers can automatically produce drawings
Users can automatically produce drawings by selecting a feature. (Image courtesy of GRAITEC.)

With the Generate Drawings tool, users of Advance BIM Designers can automatically produce drawings by simply selecting a feature, whether it be a column, footing or beam.

Advance BIM Designers also provides specialist templates for beams, columns and footings, which users can customize and adjust to their own liking. This enables them to select the size of the drawing sheets, type of title block and scales, as well as decide where to place the elevations and top section to produce unique templates that suit the particular requirements of a work team or project.

This is an extremely handy optimization for the drafter. It frees him or her from manually performing the lengthy process of drawing production, which would normally entail sheet creation followed by view creation and placement.

Advance BIM Designers can also automatically generate design and engineering reports via the Generate report tool. Like the schedules and drawing tools, the reports tool uses customizable templates for the automatic generation of reports based on local standards. The report can be produced in either Microsoft Word or a PDF format. Microsoft Reports is used for making adjustments to the customizable template.

Another major advantage of Advance BIM Designers is its localization capability, which automatically adjusts program parameters to satisfy the building requirements of specific jurisdictions. All templates and user interfaces are adjusted based on the user’s geographic setting, with Advance BIM Designers making reference to the specific reinforcement standards for that location.

This is a very powerful feature that spares users the need to stipulate the local standards or benchmarks for the project themselves. It is especially beneficial for engineering teams working on projects beyond their native jurisdictions.

To learn more about Advance BIM Designers, visit the Graitec website.

Graitec has sponsored this post. They have had no editorial input to this post. All opinions are mine. — Marc Howe

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