EastCoast CAD/CAM will begin working with Autodesk to provide integrated 2-D and 3-D design software. The announcement was made Jan. 21 at the AHR Expo in New York City.

The agreement between the two companies will combine EastCoast CAD/CAM's HVAC, sheet metal and piping fabrication work with Autodesk's development in design and documentation applications.

Both companies believe that the fabrication and contractor segments are important markets that will benefit from the integrated software.

David Derocher, president of EastCoast CAD/CAM, said that contractors are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of interoperability and software compatibility.

In a recent industry-funded research study by the New Horizon's foundation called "Impact of Incompatible Software on HVAC and Sheet Metal Contractors," the authors discovered that the lack of interoperability between software tools used in the HVAC industry costs lost hours and profits.

"This illustrates the value of interoperable and compatible software working together within a single standard platform."