In a systems approach, the optimal design often depends on local circumstances. Think, for instance, about the expected load of an electrical circuit when determining cable cross sections, or the expected solar gain of a building when determining the capacity of the heating and cooling system. The input data are different for each case, but the calculation for optimising the system is always the same. This is typically a situation where design tools can be useful, substantially facilitating the tasks of designers, decision makers and installers, and making the systems approach accessible to a wider range of organisations.
Unfortunately, freely available design tools are provided by equipment manufacturers and are consequently not brand neutral. It could be an important role of policy makers to provide technology and brand neutral design tools free of charge for use by installers to optimise functional systems.
Design tools make the systems approach accessible to a wider range of decision makers and organisations.