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VW21>Landmark>Irrigation>Record Format question

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Good Evening Everyone.  

When designing irrigation systems like a 4" sprinkler I want a swing joint to be used. What I am lookin to do is count all the parts I will need. I was looking at creating two records formats since i need three streel ells and one for the 6"riser then put those two records in the desired sprinkler outlet.  Would you recommend that?  Thanks!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I would have to say sure! I do it all the time! They can be in one RF as a number item. Then with a custom selection generate your selected outlets, attach the record formats, adjust the data in bulk and generate a worksheet. I would absolutely use this method to generate connection qtys.

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@bgoff I'm curious, why go to that level of complexity?

My process is to:

Place symbol on plan

identify symbol as representative of an assembly consisting of parts

use math in the legend to break out the parts (if required, not necessary in my use case)

use a detail to explain how it is to be built.


I could see records being useful for assemblies of assemblies, such as a pool equipment layout or irrigation pumping station, but for a sprinkler assembly repeated across a project many times?  Seems like more effort than necessary to get to the same end result.


Seriously curious as to the advantage you suggest, perhaps I'm missing an opportunity.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@jeff prince I have used this method from a simple res yard to 400 acre private res with vineyards. depending on the specifics I can set a custom record to fit any unique situation and apply to specific outlets. Swing pipe and ells for turf rotors, funny pipe and ells for sprays on the boulevard. Drop lines, balancers goosenecks and impacts. 


It can be a way to modify and define qty specifics per head and per type of head. 3/4 vs 1/2 vs 1 vs 2,3,4,6,8 for ells and even if they are mixed. This ensures that the 300+ heads on the site are not using an assumption of 600 funny x male 1/2 when 125 need funny x female 3/4. This creates accurate info every time. It does however pose another level of info you need to manage, so this may not work for everyone.

I have also used them to attach to mountain gravity feeds to determine and track available (allowed) access to water. Or even monitor date and times of installation and by who.


The fact is Record Format attachment to any object enhances drastically the BIM operation and detailing of the site. I use the extensively for years.



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Good Evening.   The question about the level of detail was asked.  As a designer  and contractor that is going to be getting my hands dirty my whole thing is about data.  I want to see everything on a report on what I am going to need.  I worked with to many people where they have a list of some things they need for the project from their blue prints then hand that over to me.  Most of the time the contractor is so busy with other stuff they just hand this list to the supplier and that be that.  When It came time to install all this, 90% of the time we had to get in the truck many times to get the other supplies.  The plan details that were usually buried deep in the notes and we just did not have time to read them. Now keep in mind we had to guess because we were just the workers.  So all the back and forth of the trips add up.  Labor, gas, time, its always those little things that usually kill off a landscape business in the San Francisco area.  Trust me if the parts are not on hand at the job site workers will "make due" to get the job done.  Its always all those little things that kill off a business. A friend of mine use to work for ValleyCrest back in the day.  When he submitted proposals everything and he ment everything was on that proposal down to the single dry splice wire connector. It adds up! 

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@JohnnyGreen it's definitely a balancing act as to what level of detail is sustainable at both ends of the project lifecycle and it depends on the construction type and client.


At the design stage, getting to actual number of nuts and bolt required is often beyond the scope of work.  We usually focus on # of assemblies such as trees, shrubs, linear feet of wall, quantity and type of sprinklers, etc.  But to count the number of threaded risers and fittings?  There comes a point where diminishing returns and accuracy due to field variation comes into play.


At the construction stage, there is a level of trust required with your designer and suppliers in order to get good data and quantities.

Ultimately, someone has put the time in to quantify a project while accounting for potential field variation.  And to be sustainable, that time has to be paid for by someone.  In a design/build firm, there is an opportunity to capture and use data that generates profit.  In a design firm, the level of detail is a function of the contracted services and fees charged with little profit opportunity derived from a complex bill of materials.


If you do public projects, sometimes there is a lot of latitude given to the contractor in terms of how a particular assembly is built when using a performance based spec, which becomes impossible to quantify beyond "I need # of sprinklers here, controlled by # of valves here".

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