Waste Water Treatment – New Facility


Our client, specialists in plant and processing equipment, had previously only modelled in SolidWorks purely for visualisation purposes. Our team of mechanical and electrical engineering specialists introduced BIM based Enterprise Lifecycle Management solutions into the new build design to meet the clients aim of being able to determine the lowest lifecycle cost to the end user by evaluating various approaches to balance initial design and build costs with ongoing operating costs, to develop predictable, reliable performance and optimisation of the investment. This was assisted through the creation of a Bespoke Revit Family to support Waldeck’s Digital Solution.

Our Solution:

Following initial tests on design and other digital comparisons, a suitable solution was developed allowing us to fully integrate and co-ordinate with other project based models. Our approach:

  1. Take the existing bespoke SolidWorks .Step files into Autodesk Inventor and undertake a BIM Exchange to create an .ADSK file (Autodesk Exchange File). This trialled and tested approach ensured no data loss during the migration process which had been the case with .IFC files (Industry Foundation Classes).
  2. Then taking the .ADSK file directly into Revit and saving as a Revit Family item, brought the objects directly into Revit and permitted the population of the clients object library.
  3. Within Revit we added shared parameters, including the specifications and system data which could then be added from relevant data sheets.
  4. We were able to use system connections and components within Revit that permitted the inclusion and integration with the MEP system design.
  5. Data schedules were created within Revit to permit validation of data as part of our checking process as well as exporting into Excel format for the inclusion into operation and maintenance documentation.
  6. The native Revit file contains all the information required to be used as a digital operation and maintenance model.
  7. Shared parameters were present within the object identity data of the Navisworks files – this permitted the interrogation of items/objects within them and during any Navisworks based project co-ordination exercises which took place.

To facilitate the client’s specific needs, our detailed approach was undertaken as outlined below:

  1. Identify within their object library, which existing object/components could be readily obtained from manufacturers in .RVT (Native Revit) format to carry straight into Revit to incorporate into the MEP Models and co-ordinate with the structural models.
  2. Determine which items were bespoke/unobtainable in .RVT format and review/assess how these existing SolidWorks objects could be converted into .RVT.
  3. Following this review, we ensured that the most effective and efficient solution was employed for the remaining activities. The design and development of an approach to fulfil the brief would enable:
  • Full use of the existing bespoke SolidWorks 3D objects
  • The 3D object translation had to ensure no data loss from the original object
  • Speed of object translation
  • Retain focus on re-building the clients object library in Revit format for future projects and activities
  • Ensure all translation and modelling activities provided the opportunity to include the system and asset data
  • Ensure all activities permitted both 2D and 3D Model based deliverables

The Results:

We provided our client with benefits to include:

  • An effective use of model data, now containing sufficient data to supplement the design stages through from ‘brief’ to ‘in use’
  • The ability to operate an efficient asset – the model and asset information will be intrinsic for future modifications, upgrades or demolition
  • A clearly balanced view of design and build costs with accurate ongoing and maintenance costs

Once live, our creation of a Bespoke Revit Family for our client ensures that all model elements work intelligently within our design calculations and display attribute data, flow rate values and the required level of operations and maintenance asset information. By aligning these objects intelligently to schedules and specifications from within the model, our client has been able to determine the lowest lifecycle costs for the new build asset solution.