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ryan.castelli

Best Software for HVAC System Design?

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Hi,

A little backstory: I changed jobs a few months ago from working at an HVAC equipment manufacturer to now working at a small mechanical contracting company. One of the duties I have in my new role is to design HVAC systems and draw up layouts for architects and for our in-house install team. We occasionally do design-build work where we need a formal document of the HVAC layout; my boss is a PE and stamps our design drawings about once every three months. Since we "rarely" need formal drawings, we get by with one license of AutoCAD LT software that we purchased back in 2010 or so (I don' think we maintain the license so it is still the 2010 version and crashes all the time). The owners are willing to purchase new software in order for me to take-over drafting as they aren't very tech-savvy. I worked on SolidWorks a lot on my last job so I'm confident I'll be able to master whatever software we choose. 

So, now I'm trying to decide which software to pursue. I have narrowed down the list to AutoCAD or Revit. For what we currently do, I think AutoCAD is the right choice. But, I am wondering if most of the industry is moving towards using Revit. If it is, I am thinking it may be better long-term to learn Revit. Anyone have any thoughts or recommendations they can share in deciding between AutoCAD vs Revit? 

Thanks, Ryan

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Ryan,

You should be thinking about your next job, after this one.  If you already know AutoCAD move to Revit.  I look at the jobs I want to apply for now but they require proficiency in Revit.  I only know AutoCAD.  That leaves me in a disadvantage....  

Advance your knowledge.  Advance yourself.

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Thanks for the feedback. I have spoken to a few architects and consulting engineers and it seems like all of them use AutoCAD. Since I don't have very much experience with AutoCAD, I think I will go that direction for now. And because it's an annual subscription, I can always re-evaluate if I want to move to Revit. 

Also, I am in grad school for an MBA. Autodesk has a program where you can download a program for free for 3 years if you are a student or educator, but it has to be used for educational purposes only. I might download Revit and play around on it for various projects to see how beneficial it would be compared to AutoCAD. 

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Every outfit I am aware of that does HVAC uses AutoCAD.

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Designing HVAC or plumbing in REVIT is pointless for the most part and takes WAAAAAAAYYYY more time than using Autocad.  Unless you have a very significant piping job or are designing complex HVAC for a 25 story bldg REVIT is overkill IMHO.

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We require our MEP and all sub-consultants to perform work only in REVIT and it seems to be a non issue (the electric guys are the last to change). We are starting to use racking systems and as much pre-manufactured components (bathroom/kitchen PODS, wet walls, etc.)  as possible.  Using REVIT is essential to have everything coordinated.  

Edited by ruggercsc

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On 9/11/2019 at 2:32 PM, ryan.castelli said:

@goodal and @ruggercsc

I appreciate the responses but this doesn't help me very much! lol. I have been using AutoCAD and it seems to be the way to go.... at least for now. 

If you want me to be more clear - "Learn REVIT, it will open more doors.  AutoCAD is good, but will limit your potential".  As I mentioned above, we are requiring everything in REVIT.  The projects I am working on are using the REVIT models to build a the improvements in virtual space prior and create RFI's, identify issues, etc. there first before they occur in the field.  Also, we are trying to using as much pre-manufactured components so it is essential that everything is done in REVIT.

.

Edited by ruggercsc

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