Integrating video surveillance into building plans with Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit®

Article
March 18, 2021
Network video surveillance, audio and other connected sensors have now become an essential part of any new building. Where once they might have been something added to a building after completion, today’s surveillance solutions are being planned as an integrated part of a building’s infrastructure. Here we look at how Axis supports this through the Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit®, one of the world’s most popular building planning software solutions.

Along with other building systems and infrastructure - from power supply to network cabling, from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) to plumbing - network video surveillance, network audio and related sensors have become an essential part of any new building.

As the capabilities of these technologies becomes increasingly advanced, and with innovation in advanced, deep learning-based analytics, the value of network video, audio and connected sensors is far more than security alone. The technologies are being combined to optimize the use of a building, create efficiencies in energy consumption and, of course, keep the people using and occupying the building safe and secure.

Integrating network video into the fabric of a building

With such a fundamental role to play, architects need to plan network video and audio into the fabric of a new building from the outset, alongside other essential services and components. To do so, they need the capability to add devices and associated technology within their core planning solution. With Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit®, architects and building planners have the full portfolio of Axis technologies at their fingertips.

Autodesk® Revit® is one of the world’s most popular building information modelling (BIM) software solutions. The software allows architects, designers, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, planners and construction professionals to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, creating coordinated design and plans from conception to construction. Within Autodesk® Revit®, every aspect of a building can be designed and specified, from the foundations to the furniture.

Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit® brings the Axis portfolio of network devices into the designer’s building design. The plugin not only allows designers to choose any specific Axis device and place it into the 3D projects, but they can also accurately see visualize and tailor the coverage delivered by an individual surveillance camera or speaker, ensuring that the specified solution meets the customer’s needs.

Full interactivity in surveillance solution planning

Clearly, every individual Axis camera has unique capabilities and optimal use cases, and it’s essential that building designers operate within the model specific device’s technical parameters when planning surveillance or audio in a building.  When placing a camera in a project, Axis Camera Viewer allows the designer to see a complete 3D visualization of the area of coverage as seen from the point-of-view of the camera, delivering an intuitive way to confirm camera placement and settings.  This visualization is critical to align with the customers’ expectations early in the design process.

When placing a camera into a project, the plugin simulates the cameras hardware controls.  Once the camera location is selected and the mounting configuration is defined, the camera height, pan, tilt and zoom of is adjusted to determine the field of view for each individual device. Multiple settings for pixel density (PPM / PPF) are available to illustrate the field of view for industry standards - from detection to identification - to ensure compliance to actual results.  Finally, a setting to illustrate corridor format, a 90° rotation of the camera lens, is also available to ensure that every aspect of the scene is covered.

Once the desired settings for each camera is established, the Collision Detection feature is available to recognize solid or transparent objects in the projected field of view. This rendering provides a true 2D representation of the camera’s coverage and displays exactly what is visible from the camera.

The designer’s perspective

Nathan Mudler, production manager at Guidepost Solutions LLC, is using the Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit® on a weekly basis, and expands on the benefits: “The plugin adds great functionality to Autodesk, both in aiding solution design and in providing easy access to up-to-date Axis content, including product information and configurations.

“We’re using it in design projects across commercial, healthcare and education sectors, and I find the 3D view creation and Collision Detection incredibly useful in automating what would otherwise be a manual task. As an example, we recently completed a project where we developed 3D views and employed Collision Detection on a plan including 120 Axis cameras. The time saving through automation was significant, and we were also able to provide a high level of design detail to the field installers which creates additional efficiencies in system installation.”

Network video surveillance, network audio and analytics have grown to be as fundamental to a building’s infrastructure as any other essential service. With Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit®, their integration is intuitively integrated into the essential planning tool for architects and building designers worldwide.

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Axis plugin for Autodesk® Revit®
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