PLQ 3.3 – Configuring Costs

Hello BIMfans,
After ensuring that my I have as much information possible about my managed assets, I think it is time to cost up my preventative maintenance schedule.  To do so, I have enlisted the help of Jonathan from Hewitt Consult Ltd. who has kindly offered to undertake the cost estimating on my behalf.

jellybeans
This cost exercise as bean a long time coming….

So, the first question I asked was:

“What do you need from me?”

To assist with the cost estimation, I wanted to ensure that the information I was providing was as suitable as possible.  I initially offered my IFC files, but I was told by Jonathan that while CostX could import IFC, they advise that the most optimal file format is DWF or DXFx.  As a further (subtle) hint, I was also given a copy of the CostX Drawing File Optimization Guide.  This document outlines how my information should be structured to ensure the information can be imported into CostX correctly covering the following areas:

Export Settings

The preferred export format into CostX is a multi-sheet DWFx.  This is done by setting up a 3D view which includes all of the required objects ensuring that there is a sufficient level of detail applied to the view.    In addition, they recommend that the view’s graphics are set to hidden line.

3D

Optimization required?  New view created A-Zz_70_05-M-CostX

Project Units

Because CostX calculates quantities using the exported base values, all project units need to be sufficiently accurate (at least millimeter accurate).  If these values are rounded off then they will affect the exported quantities they support.  For example, my dining room at 3.46 x 3.56m would export an area of 12m² (3x4m) instead of 12.89m².  Luckily for me, I am already using a sufficient degree of accuracy.

Optimization required? None

Family Naming

As CostX sorts objects according to their family names, it advises that descriptive family naming is used.  Thankfully, as you’ve seen from Naming Omnibus I have adopted the BS 8541-1 and ISO 4157-1 naming conventions I have quite descriptive names already.

DoorNaming
Heisenberg “Say my IfcName”

Optimization required? None.

System Assemblies

When assemblies, such as floor, walls, and roofs are exported into DWFx, they appear as a single homogenous object.  To resolve this, CostX suggests that further detail is provided within the objects’ description, additional information is provided through detail sections, or Revit’s parts function is used.  However, as we are producing a maintenance schedule, this level of granularity shouldn’t be required.

Optimization required? None.

Area/Rooms

To ensure that room information is exported, CostX advises that rooms are represented within the native model and that the setting “Rooms and Areas in a separate boundary layer” is checked to export this information.  As my native model already has rooms, I just need to ensure that this setting is correctly selected.

Optimization required? Export setting “Rooms and Areas in a separate boundary layer” to be checked.

Shared Parameters

To further optimize the sorting of information, CostX advises that the additional parameters QSID and ELEMENT CODE may be included.  However, as I have not been asked by Jonathan to include and populate these parameters, I haven’t.  In addition, CostX advises that parameters should generally be added as instance level but as this would affect how my IFC files are produced, I will not be changing this.

Optimization required? None (due to awkwardness).

Once I exported the DWFx, I checked it within Design Review.  The file appears to contain all the information I expected.  So, the next step is finding out what Jonathan thinks of it, as well as whether or not he is able to use the information within to cost my preventative maintenance schedule.

 

DWFx.PNG
You can access the DWFx from here

 

And there we have it.  By using the guidance I was given on how to optimize my information, I now have a container ready to be exchanged for costing.  By listening to Jonathan’s needs, I have (hopefully) managed to produce suitably configured information in the best possible container.

Operation and Maintenance
3.1 What are the sizes and condition of the windows & doors?
3.2 What assets are in a poor condition?
3.3 What costs can be attributed to my assets?
3.4 What are the most cost effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

Now that I have updated my components, it’s time to bring all my information together and complete my preventative maintenance schedule…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my DWFx exporting, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

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3 thoughts on “PLQ 3.3 – Configuring Costs

    • Hi Nick, the intention has always been to run the exercise in both IFC and DWFx. Next month’s post should include the costing exercise as well as Jonathan’s views on using both files to complete the task. Jonathan has experience in taking quantities from IFC, so I do not expect the IFC to inhibit this process.

      One advantage I can see immediately with DWFx is that in addition to the model, all of the drawing sheets are also provided within the container providing ease of access. Perhaps a function for IFCxml?

      Like

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