I’ve been doing design/build electrical construction for about 40 years now. Over this time I have seen lots of innovation and technological advances in electrical engineering and design – particularly in the use of computers and applications. However, until recently I had been having a difficult time finding something that would help us easily calculate building services, load summaries and similar aspects of electrical design. The problem we kept running into was finding an application that would keep up with the ongoing code changes as well as the many, many different kinds of load calculations depending on things like building types, loads served, etc. Our local inspectors have become more and more demanding and want consistent information that is easy for them to follow and evaluate. In the past we had simply used spreadsheets based on the various types of load summary calculations contained in the NEC. I had even tried a couple of apps that promised to do what I wanted only to be disappointed that they did not, in fact, do all that we needed. Finally I ran across the website for KalcMate. I downloaded the program and started trying it out in trial mode with some simple applications. It really seemed to be what I had been looking for all along. I decided to buy a one year license and dive in. My first project was a 117 unit mixed use high-end 5-story apartment building with underground parking and potential for up to about 8 commercial tenant infill areas including a dedicated restaurant space.
KalcMate is an extremely versatile desktop application that provides consistent load calculations, load summaries, panel schedules, fault current studies and can even give you alerts when you have something a little out of whack. Our local plan reviewers and inspectors love the printed output (we put ours right into our drawings!) because not only are they consistent but they are based on the NEC suggested formats for easy interpretation and review. It’s all based on a highly modified and automated Excel spreadsheet program that is possibly one of the most comprehensive and intricate uses of Excel I have ever seen. I highly recommend KalcMate.