Designing the Mechanical / HVAC Systems
I've learned in recent years that one of the biggest keys to being an effective architect, developer and/or general contractor is having a genuine curiosity (and minimal working knowledge) in the vast array of disciplines that make up the design, engineering, finance and construction fields. Why is this important? Because ultimately, all of these segregated areas of expertise must be integrated to produce coherent building and renovation projects, and it is up to the architect, developer and/or general contractor to ensure that happens, similar to the way the conductor is responsible for the coming together of the various instruments to produce a successful symphony.
That said, this week I've had some fun playing mechanical engineer on the Starter Home 2.0 Oakley Project, laying out the HVAC system in Revit and coordinating how it interacts with the structural elements, plumbing runs and room layouts. This will ultimately result in an HVAC reference plan that the mechanical sub-contractor will be able to use as a basis for sizing the equipment and routing the ductwork. This worked out really well in the build-out of the SH2.0 Pleasant Ridge HVAC system, which ended up being installed almost exactly as drawn in the reference plan I developed.
Below is a quick perspective I generated showing how some of the ductwork is modeled in the basement of SH2.0 Oakley house along with an image of the HVAC reference plan mentioned above for the original SH2.0 Pleasant Ridge house. Finally, here is a link to a previous blog post where I discuss the use of Revit/BIM for the various MEP systems.