Taco Completes Its BIM Product Catalog
HVAC Manufacturer’s Entire Product Line is Now BIM–Ready & Database Driven
Taco, Inc., a leading manufacturer of hydronic-based equipment and systems for use in commercial and institutional buildings, began its association with Autodesk® Seek in August 2009 and declared its intention to make all of its commercial products available as Revit® files for use by mechanical design engineers using BIM. At that time Taco was the first pump manufacturer to begin offering Revit files to the MEP engineering community.
Tom Lawrence, Taco’s Senior Vice President, Commercial Sales & Marketing, commented then: “One of the reasons we’re so eager to get our products onto the Autodesk Seek web service is that our products will literally be at the fingertips of design engineers as they are designing in their applications. As more architects and design engineers adopt the BIM process, it’s vitally important for Taco to be part of that trend, and as early as possible. In short, Taco needs to be where HVAC design engineers are going with BIM.”
Going into 2012 Taco is definitely standing alongside design engineers in their use of Revit MEP, having completed its conversion of all its commercial pumps, heat transfer products and air controls to Revit file formats – over 900 individual products in all, encompassing 24 separate product groups.
In a further move into the BIM arena, Taco initially selected CADworks’ BIMXchange, a powerful search and configuration tool which runs inside of Revit, and provides clients with direct access to content right in their design. Taco has subsequently added the complementary functionality of Catalog Data Solutions’ BIM Content Management Solution, including its multi-format CAD modeling engine, in order to bring additional capabilities and reach to Taco’s management of its growing library of detailed product information. CADworks is an Autodesk MEP technology partner.
Catalog Data Solutions (CDS) is a leading provider of online product selection tools for industrial and building product manufacturers. CDS helps grow sales and strengthen customer loyalty for its clients through interactive online catalogs, eCommerce, automated CAD & BIM model delivery and product configuration solutions. Customers can access the best Revit MEP content at a variety of destinations, starting with the Taco website (www.taco-hvac.com), which serves as the most authoritative source for Taco product information and where the CADworks BIMXchange is accessed, and also through Autodesk Seek.
With the implementation of CDS’ powerful BIM Content Management platform, Taco can ensure that its large library of BIM models remains current and accurate wherever customers discover them. Not only is Taco able to provide additional formats to support popular mechanical design applications (ProE, SolidWorks and others), but customers know that the files they download are the most current revisions and of minimal size, providing them with just what they need for their projects.
According to David Bandi, CDS’ Director of BIM Solutions, the CDS system allows Taco “to maintain their product content in a central database so that modifications are automatically reflected in any product as the CAD or BIM file is created on-demand. Taco has transformed the traditional view of catalogs and cut-sheets to create a content platform that makes them truly ‘BIM ready.’ They have embraced the growing adoption of BIM and re-architected the way customers are able to discover, configure and select the right product and the right data to drive their project.”
“Taco is investing in the CDS’s BIM Content Management Solution to maintain our market leadership position,” says Eugene Fina, Commercial Product Manager. “Once this solution goes live, Taco will offer the best and most complete HVAC content to the design community. Adoption of our innovative hydronic technology is dependent upon architects and design engineers discovering our products, configuring them and downloading them directly into their BIM models as well as other 3D CAD platforms.
“The CDS solution, coupled with our existing BIMXchange Revit add-on, extends our reach and ensures that we can better manage and maintain a rapidly growing library of rich-data product information. The addition of the CDS tools guarantees our information is up-to-date and complete in the many destinations our customers expect to find us.
“We recognized early on that BIM was creating data demands beyond just design engineering – into architecture, fabrication, construction and even facilities management. Our implementation of a BIM content management platform will help us leverage our substantial investment in Revit to help create new formats and structures like IFC, COBIE or SPIE to serve all users and workflows in the AEC industry,” he adds.
“The demand for current, accurate and detailed models and metadata from building product manufacturers continues to grow,” explains John Major, CEO, Catalog Data Solutions. “Whether its Revit files for BIM or manufacturing standard mechanical CAD files, users need a way to easily find and download just what they require in their design. To get specified and win bids in the highly competitive world of commercial building requires having the right data in all of the right places.
“The CDS solution will help Taco manage this complex data and give designers and specifiers confidence they are working with the best and most accurate content wherever they find Taco’s products. By selecting the CDS BIM Content Manager, along with our industry leading online configurator and CAD Model Server, Taco will be at the forefront of both content management and online product selection technology. This significantly differentiates Taco from its competitors and puts their products at an advantage to get designed-in early, and stay in, through construction.”
Taco has always been a forward-looking company and has been at the forefront of HVAC companies embracing software solutions during the past decade and a half. The company’s System Design Suite Software package – an outgrowth of its TacoNet® specification tool for Taco equipment – includes a Load Tool for calculating heat gain/losses, a System Analysis Tool for comparing energy and life cycle costs, and its Hydronic Systems Solution® Software, which assists designers in hydronic systems design.
The overarching aim of Taco’s software programs, as well as the very design of its latest products, is to make its customers’ jobs – be they an installing contractor or mechanical engineer – easier to accomplish. Company President and CEO John Hazen White, Jr. often repeats the company’s mantra: “Taco means to be the easiest company to do business with, offering products that are simple and easy to install and to maintain.”
Autodesk Revit product file offerings fall under that objective, by allowing system design and building construction professionals practicing the BIM process to more easily select Taco commercial products earlier in the design process. “Our goal is to make life as easy as possible for our mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) engineer customers,” says Taco’s Fina. “MEP engineers can incorporate these information rich models in their designs and keep working without interruption – and without losing sight of the big picture.”
Design professionals using Autodesk Revit MEP software and Taco Revit files would agree. Scott Robbins, project Manager for Vanderweil, a Boston-based company specializing in designing sustainable MEP systems. Back in 2009 Vanderweil incorporated Taco Revit models into the design of 185,000 sq. ft. office and lab building for a Mass-based biopharmaceutical manufacturer going for LEED® Silver certification and a 20-percent reduction in energy consumption.
“The combination of Revit MEP for BIM and Taco product models helped us produce a better quality design in less time,” says Robbins. “We believe a major Taco is an industry leader in advanced hydronic systems for residential and commercial heating and cooling systems that are at the forefront of green and sustainable building projects. They are way ahead in this arena.”
“MEP engineers don’t have to spend hours drawing a single piece of equipment anymore,’ says Chris Wilson, Director of Engineering Services for Taco rep agency Emerson-Swan. “Now they can insert a product model in minutes.” MEP engineers can download the many Taco models now available as Revit files from the Autodesk Seek web service when they need them most – during an active Revit MEP design session. And by using the powerful parametric search service in Seek, users can search for Taco products in a number of ways – by manufacturer name, product type or performance criteria.
Mark Ohanian of mechanical design firm WSP Flack & Kurtz of Boston has been using Taco Revit files since they first became available. The projects he works on these days are mostly Revit-based because of the clear benefits: more product-rich intelligence, much improved and fully coordinated drawings, and much better spatial awareness and real time “clash detection.”
“BIM and Revit are tremendous assets in the design coordination process,” he reports. “CAD was essentially two dimensional and flat. As designers we always thought in 3D, and now with Revit we can do it in 3D.” He agrees with Robbins that Taco is far ahead of its competitors in offering data rich Revit files. “Other manufacturers offer Revit-compatible files, which is not the same thing.”
In addition to its current individual products available in Revit file formats, Taco also has four short instructional Revit videos available for viewing. The videos provide basic instructions for accessing and using Revit family files and can be downloaded for viewing at www.taco-hvac.com/revit.
Taco, Inc.1160 Cranston St.
Cranston, RI, 02920
tele: (401) 942-8000
fax: (401) 942-2360