Autodesk Building Systems 200531 May, 2004 By: AIA ,H. Edward Goldberg
AUTODESK BUILDING SYSTEMS 2005 is a comprehensive solution for building engineering. Built on the object CAD technology of Architectural Desktop 2005, Autodesk Building Systems 2005 includes features for architects and structural engineers as well as all the functionality of AutoCAD 2005, enabling you to produce a complete 3D building model.
Figure 6. Autodesk Building Systems helps mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers create accurate designs and analysis.
Building Systems 2005 costs $5,995 and includes Architectural Desktop 2005 as well as AutoCAD 2005. If you already have AutoCAD, you can upgrade for $1,995; from Architectural Desktop, upgrades are $1,795.
With Building Systems you work with intelligent engineering objects, or parts, to create a complete model of your design. Then, through the use of automated tools, you can generate conventional 2D construction documents. Because the model carries design data, such as sizes, in the parts, you can easily extract this information from the model to use downstream in the design process.
Version HighlightsBuilding Systems helps reduce manual tasks by producing a preliminary model of the spaces you intend to service. With new building elements, such as Engineering Spaces, or eSpaces, you can benefit from calculated values for space dimensions, square footages and volumes, and estimated loads and quantities. You can extract engineering data directly from the model in standard formats such as gbXML to use in third-party applications that handle heating and cooling load calculations and building energy analysis (figure 7). For more information about third-party applications compatible with Autodesk Building Systems 2005, visit www.autodesk.com/buildingsystems-partners
Figure 7. Building Systems’ intelligent design data, stored in engineering spaces and zones, can be exported in standard formats such as gbXML.
Building Systems lets you change your model at any time during the design process. You can select parts directly from extensive catalogs of parts such as fittings, equipment, and fixtures based on common industry standards. For our friends across the lake, Building Systems includes a content library of parts formatted for the UK market to meet British standards.
Intuitive design tools such as built-in sizing calculators available in the Add and Modify dialog boxes help you quickly size ducts and wire. You can size ducts based on CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirements. Customizable design parameters determine whether duct sizes are calculated based on equal friction or equal velocity. You can size wires automatically when you connect devices and panels based on customizable engineering data, including conductor sizes, material, insulation, and temperature ratings according to the NEC (National Electrical Code) industry standards.
Duct system layouts export to standard file formats such as ddXML for use with third-party duct-sizing applications. Building Systems also offers additional tools to resize duct systems based on the results of the external sizing calculations.
With the addition of fire protection parts such as sprinkler heads and control valves, you can lay out entire fire protection systems that are accessible through the API (application programming interface) for use in pipe-sizing applications for sprinkler analysis.
Building Systems 2005 reduces the risk of finding conflicts during construction by letting you gather instant feedback about your design through the intelligent parts used to produce the building model. It automatically detects spatial interferences between objects in the same drawing or in xrefs. Interference detection finds collisions between building systems objects and structural members (figure 8).
Figure 8. Building Systems detects spatial interferences between objects in the same drawing and in xrefs.
When engineers receive architectural xrefs, the plumbing fixtures are not intelligent engineering objects. The MvPart Convert feature converts 2D blocks such as your plumbing fixtures into Building Systems parts that you can manipulate, connect to layouts, and size.
You can export scheduling data to Microsoft Access, where you and others can view, sort, and query data. You can also export from Access to other applications to perform tasks such as cost estimation or convert to interactive facility maps using Autodesk MapGuide.
As with Architectural Desktop 2005, tool palettes provide centralized access to commonly used design tools. Building Systems provides a collection of design-specific palettes, including HVAC, piping, electrical, plumbing, architectural, and structural groups. You can customize palettes to suit your needs.
RoundupWith Autodesk Building Systems, Autodesk has gone to great lengths to make a complete building design solution specifically for the engineering industry. With the added benefit of architectural and structural features, this product provides a comprehensive solution to ensure design coordination in multidiscipline firms. With this product, Autodesk provides a complete building design and documentation solution that is second to none.
H. Edward Goldberg, AIA, is a practicing licensed architect, industrial designer, and AEC industry analyst. Ed's book, Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2004: A Comprehensive Tutorial (Prentice Hall, 2003) is available now (www.prenhall.com). His new book Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2005: A Comprehensive Tutorial will be available in August. You can reach Ed at email@example.com. Visit his Web site at www.hegra.org and this fall watch for his new AEC Web portal at www.aecwp.com.