Revit data extraction for Asset Management Information System (AMIS)

Capturing information on existing assets is a challenge Wellington City Council (WCC) has over 2200 social housing units and so getting good information on them in a consistent manner was a challenge. They undertook a condition survey with surveyors on the properties. It took the surveyors on average 4 hours to survey each unit. There was a variance on naming conventions and also on measuring methodology in the trial survey of 300 units. The procedures were reviewed prior to the main survey being undertaken.

An exercise on wall area of 26 identical units on wall area  in a rectangular room with one door and one window was undertaken, the actual wall area (minus door and window areas) was 22m2. The average of the 26 surveyed rooms was 22m2 but there were outliers as low as 14m2 and 32 m2. A bell curve of results from the actual surveys.

As part of the collection process 2d plans of each unit were developed from existing plans held in the Council’s archives, and these were used to create 3d Revit models to create the 2d plans required with correct room naming convention for the survey team.

A byproduct of the 3d models was that an accurate quantity takeoff was able to be taken from the models of each unit. So the models were used to do quantity takeoffs and the surveyors, not having to measure each unit only required 20 minutes a unit to survey conditions of the units. The initial cost of creating the models was high but they can be re-used and added to to gather more information about the units (such as services etc) if there was a need.

The work was extended to include all the Councils buildings including offices, sport facilities (arenas, club rooms , indoor swimming pools etc) theaters and other performing art centers and conference facilities. In all over 400 other buildings. External areas were also quantified and each door and window was also given a unique number. This information was extracted and put into the database.

See videos for process:

Setting up the model

Creating Shared parameters (for data extraction)

Wall lining quantities to schedules and  export

Room quantities to schedules and  export part 1

Room quantities to schedules and  export part 2

Views and Schedules to sheets

Extraction from external consultants revit model

Extraction from external consultants ArchiCad model

Bridge in revit  data to separate Database extract

Background information

The intention is to capture AS-BUILT data from new construction projects and select data relevant for the Asset Management Information System (AMIS) and transfer that data, at handover to the AM/FM team. So that all relevant data for managing the building is in the AMIS system.

Once  asset data is in the AMIS analytical programmes can be run on the data for forcasting future costs based on variable proposals for effectively maintaining assets for their life and the life of the building.

As only about 2% of the WCC portfolio come on stream each year, an important part of the process was capturing information on the existing buildings in the portfolio.

The project started looking at the housing portfolio of 2200 units from stand-alone housing to large apartment estate buildings.

The initial proposal was to do a pilot test on 300 units with visual inspections and measuring of inside of units and condition assessments of the units.

What was found was an inconsistency of room numbering in the units and room designations, although numbering was done on a clockwise basis in each unit.

so it was proposed to do plans of all units, using archive documents held in Council, so that when surveyors did inspections they had numbers and names for the rooms and could mark up any  changes  that they found.

These plans were modeled in Revit but only 2D pdf plans were utilised for the surveys and updated after inspection.

Having the plans with room numbers names that matched to the Asset Management DataBase was useful as a cross reference. WCC also had external maintenance contractors and their naming convention differed from the survey numbering. Later the plans were issued to the contractors so that work orders were assigned to the correct unit and room. So going forward any component that was updated/replaced would be correct in the AMIS.

The initial idea was that the As-Built automated process would be based on the 2D process, but as most design firms were working in 3D it was seen as a backward step, so a 3D process was explored.

Revit was chosen as the BIM package based on:

  1. The WCC architects were using AutoDesk products so they could stay with their software vendor
  2. Although Archicad was used by 37% of designers and Revit by 21% (2012 NZ BIM Survey by MasterSpec) Revit is able to do the MEP and Structures so is a more holistic for data capture in the BIM environment( Note: ArchiCad is about half the price of Revit AutoDesk suit so a much larger uptake for smaller architectural firms).
  3. It was a package I was familiar with.

The actual data capture process has gone through several iterations:

  1. From exporting schedules from Revit to Excel, and then importing each schedule into SPM Asset Management Software
  2. We then looked at Revit DBLink both exporting to Access & Excel but found that exporting data from Revit such a vast amount of data was unmanageable, as in Excel from a simple stand alone house it came to 252 worksheets and over 3000 headers. So data was dispersed across the worksheets and was hard to collate sensibly.
  3. Matt Cantwell came onboard and suggested using RTV Tools to develop a programme similar to their document management tool. The tool developed is called RTV Reporter Pro. It was specified to do a number of things:
  • It had to be able to be used by contractors and consultants
  • It had to have a validation process
  • It needed to be able to map to the specific AMIS, in this case SPM (note, we also mapped to RAMM for bridges & currently working to map to TechnologyOne OneCouncil product).

Simon Del Favero of RTV Tools had designed a similar process for 2D cad as the Open Spatial tool and so he had a good understanding of the  mapping required from the CAD/BIM side to the AMIS. In initial meetings it was understood that Revit could export a lot more data than the SPM AMIS could deal with, with its current setup, so it was proposed that there was  a 2 step approach, based on the products configuration. That data was exported from Revit to an SQL Database  and then a further export from the database mapped to SPM output in a CSV format. This in tun was uploaded to SPM.

For the management of the process the team split into 2 parts. The BIM modellers and the AMIS data analysts. The modellers would create the models and export the data to the database and on to the CSV file, and the Data Analysts would take the files and upload to SPM AMIS after some data manipulation.

Some uses of the models and plans

The plans have been used for correctly identifying where work was done in a unit (previously, for a 3 bed unit, confusion reigned as to which was bedroom 1. Was it the largest, the main one or the first one you came to?). Having all the rooms named and numbered has helped external contractors assign costs correctly to the room/unit ( a major source of confusion before).

The plans have also helped when managing calls from tenants with issues so correct space identified for work orders.

They have also been used for surveying units after a major earthquake.

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