5 Ways to Build a Better HVAC Business
Written By Molly Gunn

The current business environment offers opportunities for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors to look closer at the technologies that can help them survive and thrive. In fact, it was this survival instinct that resulted in the mechanical segment of the MEP industry taking up the mantle of building information modeling (BIM) over 30 years ago. A great deal of the weight of a project rests on the shoulders of the skilled trades, and the BIM process has been imperative to coping with that reality.

Now, another technology turning point faces contractors, and it involves Autodesk Revit software. Revit spreads out the weight of the project more evenly onto all of the project teams. It is a transition you must directly participate in, but it can help you do BIM better and make your business more resilient in this increasingly demanding construction environment.

Here are five examples of the ways Revit will help you build a better HVAC business:

1. Modeling.

The most important difference between working in CAD and Revit is the model. You can revamp your old, tired AutoCAD-based processes using Revit and do them smarter and faster. Rather than having your project represented by a 2D set of drawings, it will be a 3D model with all the features of the job explored before construction ever starts. If anything changes, the model is immediately updated, and work proceeds based on the most up-to-date set of drawings. People who have been through the transition to Revit recommend jumping in with both feet. Half-hearted efforts do not achieve half the rewards. Is the transition easy? No, but what important business transition is ever easy? Waiting to implement Revit simply allows your competition to pass you by. Choose an experienced Revit specialist like Applied Software as your partner to help with the implementation, and you’ll be able to avoid the struggles and frustration that can bog companies down when they make changes.

2. Collaboration. 

Collaboration is the way of the future. The ability to virtually collaborate has become increasingly important to the construction trades, and contractors know it. The challenge seems to be finding the right software solution, the right host, the right project, the right champions within the company, and the right time to move projects to the cloud. Unfortunately, the stars rarely align that perfectly. As we’ve all learned, things can change overnight to affect your business and the world of construction. Autodesk BIM 360 tools are invaluable in cloud collaboration.


3. Apps and Plug-ins.

Detailing is skilled-labor intensive, so the more time you can save a detailer the more profitable a job can be. eVolve Mechanical automates detailing tasks, like spooling and hanger layout, for a faster workflow. eVolve Mechanical was designed specifically for HVAC contractors by people who have worked in the HVAC industry. Using eVolve Mechanical makes the move to Revit easier and provides the fastest workflow for mechanical detailing.

4. Shortcuts.

Like most software tools, Revit offers many keyboard shortcuts so you can streamline your design process. Even if you only learn a few of them, you’ll perform tasks more quickly and efficiently, because you won’t be poring through menus when modeling. Here again, eVolve Mechanical is helpful because it adds the ability to develop custom shortcuts. The customizable, searchable Family Browser feature loads families on demand, so the project templates don’t get bogged down. The Element Feature palette enables you to create custom rules affecting elements in view based on parameter values.

5. Schedules.

There’s a lot of information in a Revit model, and you can use the Schedule feature of Revit to make that data work for you. By using a Schedule to alter the underlying database in a project model, you can change different features of a model without manually remodeling and get a revised model in less time. Revit Fabrication (ITM) data can be included in tags and schedules using eVolve Mechanical, which synchronizes with shared parameters. You can also build rules to automatically sync parameters not typically available for tags and schedules – like global or family.

A majority of HVAC contractors know all about the improved ideas, designs and operational details using BIM. But working from highly accurate 3D virtual models sets the bar higher. By using a Revit model that’s a single, accurate point of reference, rework could almost become a thing of the past. Isn’t it time for you to enjoy more profitable jobs using Revit?

If you are looking for advice or help with implementing Revit or choosing the right plug-in to save time and increase productivity in your business, contact eVolve MEP today and talk to an industry expert to learn how you can propel your business forward.

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