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    By Gary Mann

    A happy and prosperous new year to all our customers. I thought I would start the year with a couple of items which reminded me why I like working with design software. The first was a call I received via the helpdesk from a Cymap champion who worked for a national consultancy. Usually, helpdesk calls are about helping user’s resolve various issues, all which impede them completing their daily work. This one was slightly different as the user had called to tell me that having had the 2 day’s training a few months previously, he was now in a very confident position and had input a building model, used the calculated heat losses to size the radiators, input the ventilation ductwork and had completed the hot & cold water pipe sizing all within two days, which he then confirmed that it would have previously taken a week or more. On the down side he explained that many staff in his office still preferred manual calculations, despite the comparative speed and output issues.

     

    The second incident occurred during a Cymap training course. This user was a relative new entrant from university employed by a prestigious consultancy. He had been shown his company’s spreadsheet and manual methods for heat loss calculations and radiator selection and was on this course to see how it could be done using the correct tools. Shortly after I demonstrated the “Auto-place radiator” command and followed with “Clone returns from flows” and “Auto-connect emitters” routine, I questioned why he was sitting at the back of the room laughing on his own? Would he like to share the joy? I thought that he may have received a humorous text but his response was that he was laughing because he could not believe that his company were still manually calculating all their projects and could have used software to vastly improve the speed and presentation. I am not a philosopher, but I do realise that we are creatures of habit and change seldom happens without a big external push.