I would really like to hear from any QS / Estimators out there, specifically in HVAC industry to discuss what estimating software they use. The primary purpose of the software is not as much the estimating part, but more the materials takeoff. I am interested in HVAC ductwork and pipework only, please understand that estimating software used mainly for architectural (carpet, walls, hardware, painting, etc) or civil works (excavated volume, etc) are of no use, I want to discuss HVAC sheet metal duct and steel / copper pipework only.
As I said, the main purpose is to be able to generate a materials takeoff from PDF drawings.The drawings are sometimes scanned, but I am sure that any software you use would have a feature to allow you to set the scale.
Even more importantly, is anyone out there using CostX for HVAC duct and pipework take offs?
The company is planning to get CostX (which we will have to start to learn and use!) but I personally believe it is rubbish for HVAC due to sooooo many limitations in how the takeoff is presented, and additional manual entering and typing you need to do in Excel afterwards, as it won't export a duct take off to show sq.m., which is the primary goal of the take off. I need to be able to see in the take-off separate quantities (size & meters or sq.m. for fitings) for straight duct, fittings, insulated (internal, external, various thickness, etc).
Youtube made me like FastDuct instantly, but I am not sure if there is an agent in NZ? Local support would be important for the company, I do not believe they will just buy software from anyone on the other side of the world (being that UK, USA, etc)...