Engineering consultancy Semple & McKillop, with office bases in Ireland and the UK, has an enviable reputation for delivering high quality sustainable design solutions for its clients.
Semple & McKillop provides consultancy engineering services to the built environment including mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), low carbon and environmental consultancy, and specialist technical services.
“We feel that we’re ahead of the competition in terms of BIM capabilities, through our desire to continually develop, adapt and innovate in the M&E field. This led to our early adoption of BIM back in 2011, and MagiCAD. By doing so, it has given us an edge in procuring projects,” said Jordan Glasgow, building services engineer.
Semple & McKillop added MagiCAD for Revit to their BIM toolset in 2014 and are now using the software on 80-90 per cent of their projects.
Jordan said, “The effective integration of BIM and the MagiCAD software within our design and business processes means we are continually improving our high quality engineering consultancy service.”
The firm’s construction projects are wide-ranging from education and healthcare facilities, to community and leisure, and industrial facilities.
How do MagiCAD’s BIM capabilities add efficiency to a project?
Jordan said, “In terms of speed and coordination, it helps speed up the modelling process and increase productivity within designs, allowing project delivery to be completed much quicker and the release of information to happen a lot sooner.”
Does MagiCAD improve the exchange of information in the model?
Jordan said, “BIM is generally a more controlled format of file sharing. Information flow has been streamlined since we’ve used MagiCAD – between all members of the design team, so that would be MEP designers, architects, structural and civil engineers – who are typically all working out of different offices.”
Jordan cited specifically, “The MagiCAD tool, Automatic Builderswork Openings, gives us interoperability. Openings information can be exchanged and embedded with other disciplines. All this can be achieved without the structural engineer or architect having MagiCAD installed on their machines. It is a powerful free add-on which they can install and use to view our requests for openings.”
Can you explain more about when different project members are using different software? Do you all need to have MagiCAD, for you to benefit
Jordan said, “No, quite often the MEP designers are the only team members using MagiCAD.”
He continued, “MagiCAD’s BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) tool allows the exchange of review comments between the relevant parties – even if they’re on separate software – so the fact that the BCF manager is within the Revit environment streamlines the process.”
“With MagiCAD, I can do all that within one integrated software environment,” he said.
Jordan listed out some features of MagiCAD that his practice benefits from:
- Extensive MEP content library – With more than 1,000,000 manufacturer-verified MEP products and 1400 generic families the MagiCloud content library enables Semple & McKillop’s M&E team to customise products before insertion. Jordan said, “We don’t need to store large amounts of content on our servers – we download and use MagiCAD product families on demand.”
- Accurately modelled BS / EN pipe series – “The integration of the MagiCAD dataset provides another layer of quality control within our BIM workflow, by enabling UK aligned content to be pre-loaded at the start of a job.”
- MagiCAD’s crossing and other advanced modelling tools – “They save us time, by enabling us to quickly correct and avoid collisions within our MEP discipline.”
- The sheet manager – “It streamlines the process of producing MEP sheets on which our designs are illustrated, automating a lot of the process,” Jordan said.
“In addition to the above, MagiCAD enables us to run a number of different UK aligned calculation standards within the Revit environment, which is extremely important,” said Jordan. “Out-of-the-box, Revit only provides the ASHRAE American aligned calculation outputs, which are not suitable for UK-based design work.”
“There are also a few quirky features in MagiCAD that I love,” Jordan added. “The reference function in the duct/pipe/tray MagiCAD modelling tool is very helpful – you can quickly reference other existing elements and their properties. This reduces unnecessary time spent re-defining all the necessary parameters each and every time.”
He continued, “The 2D symbol organiser tool is really well received by the electrical team. We can create clean 2D floor plans where the 2D symbology is all scaled accordingly, and symbols sit neatly aligned, while still leaving the 3D geometry in the correct location in the model.”
Jordan concluded: “Overall, the features of MagiCAD fundamentally solve many of the MEP limitations of the standard Revit MEP platform. This greatly increases our productivity for BIM projects, saving us time and ultimately providing our clients with a high-quality service.”
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