MEP Associates, LLC is a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting and design firm with headquarters in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The firm currently has five offices located in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Oklahoma. Serving clients nationwide, MEP Associates specializes in a broad range of services including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, geothermal, fire protection, commissioning and energy modeling.
Based in MEP Associates’ Norman, Oklahoma office, Will Davis, Mechanical Engineer, EIT, has been using Design Master HVAC for just a few months. “My colleague Jesse Babb, who’s an electrical engineer, introduced me to the software,” Mr. Davis recalls. “Jesse has been using Design Master Electrical for about five years. I tried the HVAC version and immediately realized how much it could help me.”
“Much of our work is in K-12 schools and other school buildings all over Oklahoma,” explains Mr. Davis. “The designs for these facilities are often straightforward, and Design Master HVAC is extremely effective for that type of project.
“We also do some high-end commercial jobs, and I’ve used Design Master HVAC with great success on those projects, too. For example, recently we did a hospital job that had a very small mechanical room. With Design Master HVAC I could 3D-model the air handler and all the connecting ductwork, just to make sure everything could fit—and the drawing also turned out really nice.
“I use Design Master HVAC for all the design work I do, including BIM and 3D modeling,” says Mr. Davis. “It just makes everything go quicker.”
“Design Master HVAC was very easy to learn,” states Mr. Davis. “I taught myself by downloading the 30-day free trial and walking through the tutorial. That took me less than two hours and at that point I was pretty much ready to go! Design Master is definitely the most user-friendly engineering design software I’ve seen.”
“MEP Associates has very rigid CAD standards,” Mr. Davis observes. “But now that I’ve implemented them in Design Master HVAC I don’t have to worry about them—the software automates all that for me. It is easy to adapt to fit company CAD standards, and makes it very simple to maintain a standardized look-and-feel.”
“Design Master HVAC also eliminates a lot of small errors I’d probably otherwise make,” Mr. Davis comments. “For example, it automatically calculates the appropriate duct size, drafts the duct, and inserts volume dampers. Those are easy places to make mistakes.
“I still review the design afterward, but it is extremely helpful to have Design Master automatically do a significant amount of the design work. Plus fewer errors and omissions means a higher quality drawing.”
Mr. Davis continues: “Design Master has also been extremely helpful support-wise. I haven’t had to contact them much, but each time they’ve gotten back to me very quickly.
“They’re also really receptive to feedback, which I appreciate. There’s even a ‘wish list’ on their website where users can suggest features they’d like added and vote on others’ suggestions. It makes sense the software is so effective and helpful, since it is created with direct input from people using it.
“In my current role I do everything from meeting with clients to designing to drafting to delivering the final product,” explains Mr. Davis. “The drafting is obviously a huge time sink and Design Master HVAC helps me minimize that.
“Through automating steps, enforcing standards, eliminating errors and minimizing repetitive work, Design Master HVAC improves my efficiency across the board. Drafting would probably take me at least twice as long without it.
“Once you use Design Master it’s hard to imagine drafting and sizing every last duct—that would just be tedious and painful…” Mr. Davis concludes.
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