[Bldg-sim] Tools to draw HVAC diagrams

Wyman, Kevin L CCS Kevin.Wyman at carrier.utc.com
Thu Jun 7 08:44:36 PDT 2012

I have been using Visio for a long, long time for HVAC diagrams and schematics especially when sketching out additions to existing systems etc. It is an excellent tool for this although most of the stock templates are not to my liking so I have made my own shapes and saved those on a stencil for reuse. Nothing too “intelligent” but with connection points and ability to quickly create schematic. I also tend to use the ductwork layout stencil to create exhaust layouts. The purpose of the drawings or sketches are for pricing assistance and not a detailed engineering drawing.


A CAD tool might also be a reasonable tool (at a former company we had a Visio-like AutoCAD product to do control drawings that I adapted to do some basic HVAC schematics but I came back to Visio. I found it easier but our CAD operators would beg to differ).  I have also used HVAC Solution. It is an excellent tool for creating diagrams as well as doing some calculations on the system.  They used to have a water-side only tool but they have discontinued  it. Taco, the pump manufacturer, has a similar tool (by the same developer I believe) available. Taco also has some other very interesting tools for the residential side that can be adapted for light commercial. 


From: bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org [mailto:bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] On Behalf Of Pavel Dybskiy
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2012 11:27 AM
To: EnergyPlus_Support at yahoogroups.com; bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org
Subject: [Bldg-sim] Tools to draw HVAC diagrams


Sorry for cross-posting,


Does anyone use MS Visio for sketching HVAC diagrams? 

Is it a good alternative to Ms Word, which is somehow tolerable for simple diagrams, but gets really out of hands for bigger diagrams?

The shapes, which are included in Visio, are they helpful, meaningful, give professional look?


Somebody is using Excel (might be lacking flexibility when topology is unknown).

Somebody is using Inkscape.
Any other thoughts

Thank you,


Pavel Dybskiy



On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 6:53 PM, Jim Dirkes <jim at buildingperformanceteam.com> wrote:


No “tool” Pavel, just Excel with formatted cells and arrows – pretty unsophisticated, but easier (I think) than learning Inkscape.  I know of others using Inkscape, however, and it looks like a very capable tool.


The Building Performance Team
James V. Dirkes II, P.E., BEMP , LEED AP
1631 Acacia Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
616 450 8653 <tel:616%20450%208653> 


From: EnergyPlus_Support at yahoogroups.com [mailto:EnergyPlus_Support at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Pavel Dybskiy
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 6:18 PM
To: EnergyPlus_Support at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [EnergyPlus_Support] Tools to draw HVAC diagrams



Hi Jim,

What tool do you use to draw your diagram?


Dear List,

I'm wondering if you can share your thoughts on your favorite tool to draft efficiently such diagrams.

Is there anything better than pencil and paper?





On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 2:10 PM, Jim Dirkes <jim at buildingperformanceteam.com> wrote:

Dear Forum,

The schematic I have attached is a common boiler plant piping configuration in my experience, using an individual constant speed pump for each boiler, plus a variable speed distribution pump.

Officially it’s a “primary – secondary pumping loop”.

I cannot make the primary pumps shut off when the corresponding boiler is inactive.  Has anyone successfully modeled this configuration?  Do you know of an example file with this configuration?

Thanks in advance.



Making me think….

Why is it?  We routinely use miracles of creativity and technology that 50-100 years ago would be considered impossible or black magic … and also assume that whole segments of society are incapable of helping themselves  or acting intelligently.  Is it a self-fulfilling expectation?



Best Regards,

Pavel Dybskiy
M.A.Sc. Candidate, Department of Architectural Science
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science, Ryerson University
E-mail: pdybskiy at ryerson.ca;
telephone: 647-984-4940


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