Michaud Cooley Erickson (MCE) recognized the potential of computer technology for our industry early on. Tools like Revit bring significant value to our client as they efficiently represent multiple, optimized and accurate options for consideration. Quality designs start with proper planning using the right tools to determine the systems selected are energy efficient and will operate per the client’s requirements. We evaluate and readily adopt new technology tools as they become available to our industry. These tools mean value to our clients as we provide a way to efficiently present multiple, optimized, and accurate options for our client’s consideration: Building Information Modeling (BIM), Revit, Navisworks, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Energy Modeling, and Daylight Harvesting. Engineering of facilities is more than just printed drawings and specifications. With the use of the latest computer aided design (CAD) technologies such as AutoCAD and Revit, fully coordinated buildings can be designed so the client can see 3D models of their facility and ensure a smooth construction.
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Photo Reference: Mission Critical
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a design approach providing the construction team with more detailed documents from which to build. BIM can provide the Owner with a real time document, commonly referred to as a 3D model that can be used by facilities to manage current and future systems.
Navisworks, much like Revit, imports all discipline models to create a single collaborative 3D model. A benefit of using Navisworks is it affords you the ability to run clash detection between disciplines for coordination of design elements. With Navisworks, a perspective can be created that allows our client to see how their building will look inside and out before construction starts.
There are several energy modeling programs available to our industry. We regularly use three different programs – eQUEST, Trane Trace EM and IES-VE, depending on the application. All of these applications are approved by the USGBC for LEED certification. These programs take detailed building inputs and use weather data to calculate the heating and cooling requirements as well as the annual energy usage. These programs are excellent tools for comparing multiple system types to optimize a building design for energy efficiency while helping to determine the return on investment. MCE’s projects are designed to meet capital budgets while considering future operating costs and the energy modeling can provide this future outlook. Energy modeling is also required by several states and local jurisdictions and must be performed properly to recieve building permits in a timely manner.
With a drive toward more energy efficient buildings, harvesting any available daylight not only lowers the building’s lighting costs, it improves the tenant’s workspace by providing quality spectrums of light. We have the capabilities with AGI photometric software and the RadianceIES application within IES-VE to study the daylight potential of a given space and determine means for enhancing daylight harvesting. We can then provide quality coordination with the architectural designs to achieve the desired results of the modeling.
Revit MEP is a technology MCE has integrated into numerous projects. Revit MEP performs advanced calculations and facilitates project coordination and quality control between design team stakeholders. Revit allows the visualization of complex models and quickly detects system interference between objects. The dynamic sectioning process allows us to create multiple sections with a complex design so that we are able to more easily convey design intent. Revit provides a platform for a simultaneous design process and a unique work environment structure that fosters collaborative project development.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
MCE uses two different programs for CFD modeling. Both of these programs are design tools provide the ability to analyze and predict airflow graphically during the design phase of a project.. These graphical results show temperatures, pressures and air velocities throughout an entire region. The Tileflow program is used for modeling airflow in mission critical environments. This tool can perform growth modeling to predict hotspots and trouble areas in advance as well as failure analysis to model cooling performance if a cooling component fails. The MicroFlow Application within IES-VE is another program that can be used for unique airflow analysis situations outside of mission critical projects. MicroFlo calculates the air flow and heat transfer inside and outside buildings given minimal information. This allows MircoFlo CFD to be utilized and provide feedback early in the design process and influence decision making.
Arc Flash Studies
MCE provides an Arc Flash Study for the power distribution system within the facility. The system would be modeled using SKM PowerTools software to create a short circuit study and corresponding arc flash study indicating the incident energy available at each location on the system. Deliverables would include an arc flash study report and Arc Flash Category Level labels that can be affixed to the power distribution equipment.
Power Coordination Studies
MCE uses SKM PowerTools to model the power distribution system, including detailed overcurrent device information, to perform a coordination study for both new and existing facilities. All modes of operation are considered as part of the study to ensure that condition changes do not result in an unnecessary outage to the facility. Deliverables include oneline diagrams with verified power distribution information, time-current curves illustrating coordination between devices and reports with coordinated device settings.