A large hotel or university campus needs an upgrade on their Security, AV or Life & Safety systems, and you now find yourself bidding on a very large, multi-million dollars project that involves hundreds of the same type of installation. Think of a 350 rooms hotel or a government building/campus. You need to be able to quickly build a quote for this project, while re-utilizing the data on this quote to create their actual project (drawings, install, QB, etc.). You are working in D-Tools and wondering “What is the best way to do this in D-Tools?”. We have an answer for you.


When working with hundreds of rooms, there are four important requirements to consider:

A- You need to create different room types, where each type contains the same equipment.

B- You need to be able to group and counter for the room types

C- This information needs to be reported in the most efficient way (Short proposals)

D- This project needs to be easily represented on drawings.

With these requirements in mind, what is the best approach to effectively build this  in D-Tools? By using Packages! Let me elaborate.

  • First, let’s conceptualize the term of a “room” as a package, and set the contents of this room into a package.
  • For bidding purposes, add multiples of those packages on the first location level, such as building, or campus.
  • This will enable to group and “Quantify” room types, which is a main requirement on those very large projects.
  • Once the bid has been approved, as needed, create the long list of locations and add the correct package(s) to each location.
  • A custom report can be created to show the price and details (equipment + labor, image, description) of each room type variations, (since it is a package), followed by a count of each room type and project totals. This makes the report very short and manageable.
  • For the drawings, a package shape can be used to illustrate where each room type would be placed, while a detailed equipment drawing can be used for a view of each room type.

Let’s walk through an example:

We have a Hotel with a total of 400 rooms. They have 150 suites, 200 standard rooms, and 50 duplex. Our first determination is to find out which equipment would go into each one of those 3 rooms types. With this information, we will create 3 packages, one for each room. For this example, I added a LED TV and a cable as the two equipment for each room. The TV’s are different for each room type. Take this opportunity to review all the details of the packages to include the package image. Make sure you have selected to “Group by package” under the Layouts tab. My project would look like this with the 3 types of rooms added.

Now we will need to add the quantity of rooms. The “Clone” is the easiest way to accomplish this. Remember that the number of clones will be “minus 1” the total number since you already have one instance of the package.

You should now have a nearly “endless” list of products and packages in your Project Editor Window. You can change the “View Type” to a Summary View to verify the quantities.

Now let’s run a report. I selected the Proposal By location (With Images).

You can also show which items exist on each package, by changing the Summarize to “None”. You can the opt for showing the quantities of the equipment on each package or their total. I have selected to show the quantity per package.

Drawing can be accomplished in two ways. You can use a shape for each package (new feature on SI 2016 R3) or you can use a shape for each item. More information on this can be found on this link.

A lot more can be done with the method. Let me know if you have any questions!