Smith Brothers Group is one of South Australia’s largest plumbing and pipeline contractors. Innovation is key in its resolve to be No. 1 for service. That’s why BIM technologies are at the heart of the group’s design and engineering work. 

Business Need

New projects required Smith brothers Group to place seismic hangers on pipework with construction grade (LOD 400) detail. They needed to place complex equipment in very limited overhead spaces and ensure a clash-free model. 

The solution had to be compatible with Autodesk® Revit® and support the incorporation of Trimble points for on-site positioning and layout. And the company always prefers innovative solutions that offer a competitive edge. 

Solution

A search of the market for hanger distribution tools led the company to AGACAD’s MEP Hangers software, recalls Jason Harris, a Hydraulic Designer at Smith Brothers Plumbing. 

MEP Hangers automates the insertion and revision of support elements for ducts, pipes, cable trays and other objects in Revit® models. Other features include element splitting, instant shop drawings for assemblies, and support for IFC files. 

“I was especially impressed with the ability to add and manipulate hanger families to accommodate site specifics. Hosted brackets allow pipework to be shifted without having to go back and shift brackets. And Trimble points could be added to the family,” Harris says. 

So they bought the software and were able to put it to work immediately thanks to the great initial training and close support provided by AGACAD. 

Results

AGACAD’s software took Smith Brothers Group hydraulic projects to a new level by enabling the creation of clash-free models which incorporate all hangers for in-ceiling services and are truly LOD 400. That’s a competitive advantage. 

“Others claim to provide LOD 400, but due to the time it takes [to do it manually] don’t place some items like brackets at all. For us as a high-quality contractor, professional models are very important,” Harris notes. 

They were also amazed by how simple it was to add points to a hanger family and export to their Robotic Station “to mark out thousands of hangers on site super quickly and with a high degree of accuracy (+/- 3 mm).” 

Thus MEP Hangers efficiently delivered accurate detailed modelling and precision on-site layout. The result, according to Harris, has been “very few site clashes and limited rework, saving many hours of site labour.” 

Meanwhile, he adds, support from AGACAD has exceeded all of Smith Brothers Groups’ expectations: “Live meetings and fast email responses make AGACAD a great company to deal with. They’re clearly keen about building relationships and taking good care of international customers.” 

Hydraulic pipework, with and without other services, for a complex project where AGACAD’s MEP Hangers made it possible for Smith Brothers Group to design clash-free fixings in Revit. 

Jokūbas Vaišvila, an MEP specialist and BIM software engineer at AGACAD, has worked closely with members of the Smith Brothers team to help them take full advantage of the capabilities of Smart Hangers. He has also been impressed by their insights as advanced Revit users and BIM practitioners. 

“They’ve had some great ideas. One –for hosting fire collars to pipes– is now implemented in AGACAD’s Cut Opening solution,” Vaišvila says.

“And that’s a great thing about AGACAD – we’re continually creating solutions to accelerate Building Information Modelling based on the insights and experience of the most advanced practitioners,” he adds.

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