Saturday, July 18, 2009

Take My Families, please!

As a consulting engineers and a Revit MEP users, there are some things we have to live with. I am interested in what others think about this situation.

I work for a firm that performs MEP engineering. That's mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. It should be common knowledge that any MEP firm that has been using Revit has created a great deal of content. What may not be common knowledge is that sometimes a MEP firm bids on a project, but is only awarded part. I may win the electrical and loose the mechanical. This means that a different MEP firm is doing that work. In the past I was sad because I didn't get all the work, but I went on and worked with the competition as best I could.

Now things could be a little more awkward. In a situation where the project is being completed in Revit, my families are now subject to be shared with a direct competitor. Especially now, I may feel my families give me an advantage. I most likely have quite a bit more information in a Revit family than I would ever have in an AutoCAD block. How and what I schedule, work flow and simple intellectual property is now in the position of being compromised. The whole idea of BIM is to share. That didn't sound bad until I thought of it this way.

I brought this up while speaking at the Revit User group of Nebraska a couple weeks ago. Some people suggested only sharing a 3D DWF. There is no real way to lock down a family like a lisp. It seems like you are in or your are out.

For me, take my families... please. It doesn't matter how awesome they are, they won't make me any more creative in my design. They don't listen to the client, I do. They don't establish relationships and build trust, the team does. Families are wonderful, for those of us who have created them, we hold them very dear. But just like children, at some point you are going to have to let them go. If you haven't thought about it yet, you might want to, they are growing up fast.

Like I said, I am very curious to hear from you. Please post a comment.
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