What is professional architecture software?
Architecture software is a tool for planning and modeling 3D (or 2D) constructions. They are used in any type of architectural project: house plan, garden plan, urban planning, interior decoration, wood construction (wood frame) or naval architecture. The professional architectural software replaced the drawing board, which allowed to create a plan by hand, by the vector representation (schemas, plans, modeling) in a 3D studio.
How it works
We talk about architecture software to discuss the solutions for drawing virtually 2D or 3D plans but also to achieve very advanced designs by applying different textures or various coatings on the supports. The architecture software is mostly available on Mac and Windows (such as Autocad, Autodesk Revit, Autocad MEP, SketchUp) and much more rarely on Linux. They are also more and more usable online. Your architecture firm (or you as an architect) needs to design plans but you do not know which free or paid software to choose? Architecture software in the list above will be perfect to accompany you in the conceptualization of your project. On the other hand, for the construction of building, you must imperatively by a software of professional architect paying. They are far more efficient than free software for designing plans according to current standards (digital model BIM for example) by integrating the laws of urbanism as well as the new architectural constraints. 3D architecture software is also very useful for the exterior design and interior decoration of a room or a house.
Who uses architecture software?
Architecture software can be used by the following people:
- Office Architects and Architecture School Students as CAD Software (Computer Aided Design)
- Design Offices (on advanced 3D CAD features)
- Indirectly not the craftsmen (work, carpentry, paving, monitoring building site)
- Individuals on simple software for free download to express their need only (arrangement of rooms or house model for example). Execution plans from free software made by non-professional people do not conform to a construction project.
What are professional architectural tools' features?
In order to choose the most relevant architect software, compare the different software solutions and make sure they have some essential features:
- Easy to draw plans and get precise sketches for 3D or 2D design
- The ability to play on volumes with the functions of rotation, extrusion and resizing according to your needs;
- The ability to draw lines and curves (vectors) in 2D and 3D
- Importing DWG files (AutoCAD file and also the most popular in the world)
- Adding your quotes to draw with precision;
- The possibility of exporting your plans if you want to print them, send them by email or share them with your collaborators;
- Cost management and optimization of the quantities of materials used;
- Writing minutes of meetings and possible annotation on the plans;
- Batch and stakeholder management
- An application or software that can be used on a variety of media (computer, tablet or smartphone). This function is particularly useful for interacting with your customers or employees directly on a construction site;
- Collaborative work directly online. Imagine working with a collaborator on the same software.
- Regular updating of your architecture software. It must comply with urban planning standards and the latest laws in force but also be effective on new technologies.
And what are the benefits for your business?
3D architecture software is an investment that can be a good business for your business. If you need to create building plans or make a 3D kitchen design, it's more profitable to own your own architect software. But the solutions of decoration software or 3D architecture software will give you many other satisfactions:
- The design of your 3D home plan, an architectural project or landscaping;
- The mastery of your site monitoring and the opportunity to better understand the different stages of your project;
- Furnish the pieces in order to evaluate the final rendering of your project. This is ideal if you are in 3D kitchen design or bathrooms. Also project the work to consider if you are a real estate agent and want to present the potential of a property;
- Work with your colleagues directly on the software to stop having to multiply the media.
- Add BIM tools or CAD software to follow the design of a building of its design until the end of its life. For example AutoCAD is a 3D architecture software that is particularly accurate and often used by architects. It is adaptable to BIM and CAD.
Which architecture software to choose: Mac, PC, Linux or online?
Choose between software-as-a-service (SaaS) or in-house software depending on the needs of your business. In short, SaaS is an online software that provides you with more advanced services than software in-house.
- SaaS does not require updates that are done automatically and no maintenance.
- The cost is often lower for 3D architecture software than for internal software. You can find subscriptions with decreasing rates.
- Feel free to test architecture software by opting for free trial solutions. This is very often offered by software providers.
- On the other hand, certain functionalities are to be added for the SaaS and are paying.
- Choose a solid service provider to avoid losing your data if it were closed down! The advantage of an in-house software is that you own your work tool.
- Data security is safer for architectural software in-house, although service providers pay special attention to ensure high-performance security.
To define the architecture software that will best suit your needs, you must test the different possibilities. There are free software versions of free 3D architecture that often have small functionality like Sketchup. Frame your needs to identify the features that your business can not do without. You do not need to invest in high-performance 3D architecture software if you only rarely make plans.
Complementary solutions of Architecture
Building Information Modeling (BIM)