Associated Construction Engineering is a mechanical and electrical engineering consulting company with offices in three locations in Montana. ACE currently uses Design Master for commercial projects, including both new construction and remodel of schools, hospitals, office buildings, and restaurants. We recently discussed with them how they came to use Design Master, and how the software has been working for them.
When the company initially began evaluating Design Master, they compared it to Autodesk Building Systems, which they had previously been using. Amber Broch, mechanical designer and IS manager with ACE, said, “Design Master was so much more organized and logical than Building Systems. DM was simple to use, and we didn’t have to fight with it to get what we wanted like we did with Building Systems.” In particular, she mentioned that before purchasing and using Design Master, the company’s engineers and designers had to complete a large number of hand calculations. “When something changed (architect changed the floor plan, etc.) it was a very painful process to handle those changes with Building Systems.”
Naturally, Ms. Broch’s most appreciated features of Design Master are the “automatic/integrated calculations, because they take so much of the arduous hand calculation out of the design process.” Additionally, she noted that “It’s great to have mechanical and electrical design software that is designed by engineers, because it is so logical and production driven.”
During the transition from Autodesk Building Systems to Design Master, ACE’s Design Master users experienced the typical bumps expected when learning to use new software, but expressed appreciation that “the technical support we got helped ease the transition by leaps and bounds.”
ACE recently announced their decision to purchase a license of Design Master for each member of their engineering staff. When asked about this decision, Ms. Broch had the following to say – “We have been using Design Master HVAC at Associated Construction Engineering since 2002. Our production over this time frame has steadily increased. In the past 12 months, we have completed more projects in less time at greater profit than ever before. The consensus among the mechanical engineering staff is that we would never have been able to complete this volume of projects at current staffing levels without Design Master HVAC. While we have added several employees to our staff during this time, management has recognized that these staff additions are not the primary reason for the high production rate we have achieved.
“We have a definite edge over our competition because we can meet deadlines – with accurate designs – that were once impossible. Our clients have come to expect incredible results in a short amount of time and it is Design Master HVAC that allows us to provide these results. Our users are very excited with the release of HVAC 5.0, as we are certain we will continue to see increased production with excellent accuracy in a time where fast-track projects have become the norm rather than the exception.”