One of the most consistently “in-demand” job positions here in Australia at the moment is for Revit MEP Drafters.  Personally, as part of my coordination role on the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, I’m spending lots of time in and around Revit models that have originated with a huge range of MEP subcontractors – mechanical designers and consultants, plumbing, drainage, fire sprinklers, syphonic roof drainage, medical gas, pneumatic tube – the list literally does go on from there. Invariably, these models end up as NWCs that I use to federate and clash against one another.

Accordingly, it made a lot of sense for me to investigate and fully understand the features of the originating “flavour” of Revit – RMEP, otherwise known as Revit MEP. Accordingly, I have spent the past week checking out The Aubin Academy: Revit MEP 2014publication, authored (somewhat obviously) by Paul F Aubin, along with Darryl McClelland, Martin Schmid and Gregg Stanley

Paul Aubin is one of those guys that really needs no introduction, especially when it comes to Revit. Chances are that you have read something he wrote, watched a video he recorded, or seen him at AU or RTC. As the author had such established credentials, the question for me was “does this book fit my particular needs?”

Like many of you, I have spent a lot of time around Revit over the years. I have even done some basic modelling with the MEP tools in the suite version of Revit. In any case, I’m glad to report that this book strikes a nice balance between theory, explanation and step-by-step workflows. It covers broad aspects related to BIM management and office processes, but it also steps deep enough into the workings of the program to show you how to actually get work done in Revit MEP.

One of the great things about the book is the way that the information is segregated. Do you want to learn specifically about Mechanical modelling tools? Turn over to Chapter 5 – Mechanical Systems. Or perhaps you are more interested in pipework tools? Then try Chapter 6 – Piping Systems.

The beginning of the book shows great sensitivity to the actual project procurement process – how does MEP Revit modelling fit in with the overally Revit model development? You will likely start by receiving a model from the Architect for context – the book describes “best practice” methods of linking and interacting with this data. It also provides some useful insight into data segregation (the kind of information you should definitely file away for future use), like:

“As a guideline, projects up to about 150,000 square feet may reside in a single common MEP model…”

The book also considers the conceptual way that Revit considers and calculates various MEP related items. For example, it includes this illustration of the Darcy-Weisbach Equation as used by Revit:

This type of “conceptual background” is invaluable to me – it comes back to figuring out What Revit Wants. How is RMEP going to analyse and interpret the things that I am modelling? What project parameters are key to the systems analysis process? This book will help you get your head around all of those things, and it does so in readily understandable, easy-to-follow language and layout.

Along with specific workflows for MEP, it also includes great tips that apply to all users of Revit, like this:
“We are going to actually delete all the levels. As such, it is important that you select all levels at once as Revit will not otherwise allow you to delete a single remaining level.”

Notes relating specifically to BIM Managers are included in the context that makes them most useful, like:
“BIM Manager Note:
Revit MEP has added Plumbing as a separate discipline and in conjunction has created a new Plumbing Template. For more information on templates and how to create one for your company refer to Chapter 3. Existing projects will be upgraded on open to add the Plumbing Discipline to Project Browser.”

Analytical considerations beyond Revit are also described, such as:

“Avoid negative offsets of roofs as this might cause exporting errors through the gbXML tool.”

Finally, Paul and his team make sure that they include information that is useful on a day-to-day basis. Here are a couple of examples:

  • In lieu of deleting sizes it might be best to leave the sizes in the table and simply deselect the size in the “Used in Size Lists” and/or the “Used in Sizing” column.
  • Once you click Finish or Cancel in the Floating System Inspector panel the System Inspector Information tags will disappear. If you want a permanent tag to remain, you will have to build a custom tag Family for this purpose and attach it to the object.
  • NOTE: Currently, fittings and equipment cannot have a fill pattern applied to them
  • As you are placing your ductwork you can use the Justification Controls to keep your ductwork flat on top, flat on bottom, etc.

In this post, I have included just a small selection of the productivity- and knowledge-enhancing gems that you will find if you take the time to read The Aubin Academy: Revit MEP 2014.

To conclude, I would like to include this quote regarding the scope and intended audience of this book:
“If part of your job requires that you design building systems and produce construction documentation and engineering design drawings, then this book is intended for you. Specifically, this includes anyone in the Mechanical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Electrical, and other building design engineering professionals.”

You can get it here:

Dataset downloads:
Read Me

Dataset Download

Chapter 4 Dataset Update (Replace your copy of this file)

Content used in the book:

“You can’t do that in Revit” is a common catch-phrase for those who do not know the program well.  Happily, there are people out there who do know how to do those things in Revit – you just have to find those people and take the time to learn from them.  One such person is Paul F Aubin.

He is the author of many Revit-related books, but the most recently published edition focuses on using Revit to make and present Classical and Renaissance building forms and architecture.  What I like about this particular work is that it does not just cover simple “how-to” steps for certain tasks.  It has a larger and more interesting scope.

Combining elements of history, architectural theory, good Revit practices, and of course, the “how-to” bit as well, Renaissance Revit is well worth a read.

It is hard to put it better than Andy Milburn in the Forward:
“The fact that you are reading this foreword suggests that you too are excited by what Revit can do. Take my advice. Grasp the nettle. Don’t look back.
(yes, I did have to look up what “grasp the nettle” meant 🙂

The book delves into proper use of the two key Revit family environments: the traditional Family Editor, and the Massing Environment.  While it may initially seem that the content of this edition is for advanced users only, in actual fact Paul has provided appropriately basic parts to help beginner Revit users, and at the same time even highly experienced users will have the occasional moment where they say “ah, that’s much better than the way I currently do that…”

It is packed with detailed diagrams, images, formulas and workflows.  Here is just one example:

Datasets of lessons are included, with additional progress files provided at logical points through the lesson.  You will be able to download “completed” versions of those families by registering at  Also of note – Aaron Maller is the technical editor, and I’m sure most of you are aware of his excellent Revit reputation. 

Discounted pricing available at:
Renaissance Revit: Creating Classical Architecture with Modern Software | Paul F. Aubin

(You can choose between a Black and White or a Full Colour version)

You can also read Paul’s post:
Renaissance Revit Now Available | Paul F. Aubin

Lastly, consider this brief list as a “teaser” of the real scope and value of what is included in this book:
“we will look at practical examples of how to approach many common Revit challenges, such as:

  • Strategies to planning and building reusable family content
  • How to control scale and proportion reliably
  • How to parametrically control curves like arcs, ellipses and compound curves
  • Strategies for working with appropriate levels of detail
  • Approaches to effectively managing repetitive elements
  • Building rules, relationships and design intent into your content
  • Strategies to use two-dimensional geometry instead of 3D

Thank you, Paul Aubin, for bringing a new level of depth and class to the greater Revit bibliography.

Some wisdoms from Paul Aubin:
BIM isn’t a particular product, but rather a description of the process and intent of the deliverables used to describe, construct, and even maintain a facility. It’s therefore possible to deliver BIM with any tool, even AutoCAD.

The hardest part of the transition from AutoCAD to Revit is not the learning of the new tools and interface, but rather the “unlearning” of AutoCAD approaches and replacing the thought process used to approach a building design project with the corresponding Revit-based workflow.

In other words (dare I say it), you need to learn What Revit Wants

Read the whole post:
How to approach migrating from AutoCAD to Revit | |

Links via

I just grabbed them and added them to a playlist for easy access… about 3.5 hours worth!

Here are the basic video titles in the playlist (as at 17 September 2012):

Revit Architecture: How to make global changes

Understanding the building information modeling process

Revit Architecture: The Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar

Revit Architecture: How to use the modification tools

Revit Architecture: How to work with DWG files

Revit Architecture: How to add curtain walls

Revit Architecture: How to create key styles

Revit Architecture: How to use the Blend tool

Revit Architecture: Working with the Project settings

Understanding Revit Architecture’s Family Editor

How families work in Revit Architecture

How to work with Revit’s Family Editor

How to work with Revit’s reference planes

How to use Revit Architecture’s camera settings

How to use the Sun Path feature

How to use non-photorealistic renderings

What you should know about Revit Architecture

Rivet Architecture design asset management + general overview

Rivet Architecture tutorial: Building an in-place mass

Revit Architecture tutorial: Working with curtain panels

Revit Architecture: Exploring advanced stitching strategies

Revit Architecture tutorial: Understanding adaptive points

Revit Architecture tutorial: Working with DWG files

Revit Architecture: Creating custom walls

Revit Architecture: How to work with floors

Most of you know who Paul Aubin is. You can download his Autodesk University Datasets, Papers, Epub files and Videos all at this link:

Autodesk University | Paul F. Aubin

This was Paul’s teaching schedule at AU2011:

Tuesday, November 29
MP4483 – Ask the Experts, Autodesk® Revit® MEP (Panel Discussion)

Wednesday, November 30
MP4636 – Ask the Experts, AutoCAD® MEP (Panel Discussion)
AB3744 – Detailing in Autodesk® Revit® Architecture (Lecture)
AB3737-L – Autodesk® Revit® Families: A Step-by-Step Introduction (Hands-on Lab)

Thursday, December 1
AB3733 – The Autodesk® Revit® Theory of Relativity: Understanding Shared Coordinates (Lecture)
The Autodesk® Revit® Worksets Workshop (Hands-on Lab, Co-Presenting with Matt Dillon)
AB3737-L – Autodesk® Revit® Families: A Step-by-Step Introduction (Hands-on Lab, Repeat)

Paul Aubin has posted his RTC files for download.  In this package is a ‘Detailing Sandbox’ RVT file that includes a pretty comprehensive Wall Section that is annotated using Keynotes.  There is also folders with content related to Coordinates and to Finishes.

To quote:
For those of you who attended my sessions at RTC Australia, I mentioned that I would be posting the dataset files from those classes. I am not sure when the RTC folks will publish them to their site, but I thought I would get them posted here in the meantime. …

RTC Dataset Files | Paul F. Aubin

Here are some other links to RTC files for download:

Revit for Planning RTC USA files for download

Revit Conceptual Massing on a REAL Project (via Revit Futures)