Architecture Software

Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of organizations choose the right architecture software to create, edit, and replicate the design of architectural elements.

Showing all 38 products

Monograph

Monograph is available at per user monthly subscriptions and support is extended via knowledge base and live chat. ... Read more

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BigTime

BigTime is an online time and billing solution designed to serve professional service firms like accounting, engineering, government contracting, legal and IT services. The integrated solution offers features like time and expense... Read more

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BQE Core Suite

BQE Core Legal is a cloud-based solution that offers integrated accounting, time tracking, and billing and invoicing. It can support the operations of a variety of law firms including litigation, corporate, family, tax, immigratio... Read more

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Enscape

Enscape™ is a real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Archicad, and Vectorworks. It plugs directly into your modeling software, giving you an integrated visualization and design workflow. As an ... Read more

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SmartDraw

SmartDraw is a diagram and chart tool that helps businesses of all sizes manage diagramming processes through predefined templates to create infographics, network designs, mind maps, organizational charts, and more. Key features i... Read more

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Cedreo

Cedreo is a 3D home design software for home builders, contractors, remodelers, real estate developers, and interior designers. With more than 7,000 customizable furnishings and materials, it allows users to create a complete conc... Read more

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Projectworks

Projectworks is a cloud-based business management software designed to help enterprises manage the entire project lifecycle from initiation to planning, execution and monitoring of performance. HR managers can track employees and ... Read more

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Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu is a document and project management solution designed to streamline existing workflows. This solution can help increase collaboration among project team members in real-time with customizable markup tools. Bluebeam ... Read more

SketchUp

SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that is designed for businesses in several industry segments, including architecture, construction, urban planning, woodworking and interior designing. It enables designers to create, store and a... Read more

Streamtime

Streamtime is a cloud-based project management solution that offers task management and team management functionalities to help businesses manage their operations. The solution caters to businesses of all sizes across various indu... Read more

Revit

Revit is a building information modelling (BIM) software that helps constructions companies, structural engineers, architects and mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) service providers manage designing, 3D visualization, ana... Read more

ARCHICAD

ArchiCAD by Graphisoft is a building information modeling (BIM) solution designed for architects, designers, interior designers and urban planners. The product caters to small and midsize businesses and is available both in cloud-... Read more

ArcSite

ArcSite is a mobile drawing, takeoff and estimating tool for professional contractors who are constantly on the road. ArcSite users can quickly and easily create or mark up scaled drawings with all the measurements, then create de... Read more

Unanet A/E

Unanet’s ERP solutions are purpose-built from the ground up for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services organizations. 3,100+ organizations utilize the power of the Unanet software to gain insights, make more strate... Read more

VectorWorks Architect

Vectorworks is a versatile, on-premise application that provides extensive 2D drafting, 3D modeling, BIM and rendering capabilities for your architectural and landscape design needs. Vectorworks is equipped with designer-focused t... Read more

CorelCAD

CorelCAD is a computer-aided design solution that helps architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals create 2D drawings and transform them into 3D models. It enables users to render files into DWG, STL, PDF and ... Read more

Ungerboeck Software

Ungerboeck is a cloud-based event management software designed to help sporting venues, exhibition centers, theatres, trade show organizers, museums and universities manage the entire event lifecycle, from registering guests and b... Read more

BrickControl

BrickControl by SMH is a cloud-based construction project management suite used primarily by small and midsize construction companies, architects, remodelers, interior designers and universities. It features applications for ... Read more

Space Designer 3D

Space Designer is an online architectural space-planning application that lets users visualize their projects in 3D. Its intuitive tools are user-friendly for professionals and novices alike. Its technology is adopted by a large ... Read more

SKYSITE

SKYSITE from ARC Document Management Solutions is a cloud-based content management solution designed to help construction companies track their files and communications. The program is compatible with Android and iPad interfaces a... Read more

ConstructEx

Newforma Project Center is an on-premise construction project management solution suitable for a number of industries including design and build firms, custom and production home builders, government, commercial plumbing and more.... Read more

Tekla Structures

Tekla BIMsight is a Windows-based construction collaboration solution for architects and construction industry professionals. Tekla BIMsight lets users combine 3D models, add projects and allows project participants to identi... Read more

Praesto AE

Developed specifically for architecture and engineering firms, Praesto AE is a fully integrated system that integrates with existing applications to maximize office and administrative efficiencies, improve client relations and inc... Read more

Teamogy

Teamogy is a comprehensive cloud system for professional services companies. Covers all steps from first contact with the client, budgeting, project management to capacity planning and time reporting, 3rd party cost and client bil... Read more

Sweet Home 3D

Sweet Home 3D is an architecture modeling solution that helps design the interior of homes and office buildings. The system comes with 3D modeling, which can be utlized with common interior items such as rugs, furniture, bathroom... Read more

PlanRadar

PlanRadar is a project management solution that enables businesses in the construction industry to communicate with teams and manage documents on a centralized platform. Professionals can create floor plans, highlight specific com... Read more

Program Leader

Program Leader is a hybrid project management solution that caters to small businesses across various industry verticals and helps project teams to collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. offering a wide suite of tools. The s... Read more

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DataCAD

DataCAD is a computer-aided design and drafting tool that assists architects, engineers and construction professionals with Building Information Modeling. Its features are drafting, designing, 3D modeling and document preparation.... Read more

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Edificius

Edificius is an on-premise 3D building information modeling solution designed for small and midsize architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies. It offers parametric architectural objects, landscaping design, a text... Read more

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Envisioneer

Envisioneer by Cadsoft is a 3D building information modelling platform that assists users in designing, developing and constructing residential projects. The product is offered in four tiers based on the types of professionals and... Read more

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Carlson Takeoff

Carlson Takeoff is an on-premise 3D takeoff solution developed for design/build firms, earthwork/excavating, engineers, heavy/highway contractors, paving and utility contractors. It enables users to accurately estimate cuts and fi... Read more

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ElectroPlan

ElectroPlan is an on-premise software package for planning, estimating and documenting commercial and domestic electrical installations. It is suitable for individual users and small to midsize businesses. Floor plans can be ... Read more

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magicplan

magicplan is a residential construction estimating software designed to help contractors create and share floor plans and estimates with clients or business partners on a unified dashboard. It enables managers to click images, rec... Read more

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Inktronic

Inktronic is a cloud-based markup solution designed for architects, engineers, construction and utility professionals. It allows users to mark up drawings and documents digitally on a computer, tablet or touch screen and on paper ... Read more

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Linkd

Linkd is a cloud-based project management solution that helps businesses in the construction industry to automate workflows and manage collaboration between owners, contractors and sub-contractors. Key features include scheduling,... Read more

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Tenera

Tenera is a cloud-based software designed to help businesses in the construction industry streamline tender management processes using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It enables managers to search for new subcontractors, ... Read more

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Floorplanner

Floorplanner is an architecture management software designed to help businesses in the real estate, manufacturing, retail, education and other sectors create 2D or 3D floor plans of properties and share them with colleagues. Admin... Read more

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CADMATE

CADMATE is a Windows-based 2D and 3D CAD solution, which enables businesses across engineering, automotive, or construction industries to create and modify drawings using various features such as quick measure, import/export custo... Read more

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Buyers guide

In construction firms, architects and engineers design complex architectural elements. They also control the design process from start to finish and maintain all related documents. For these professionals, using hand-made drawings or manual methods can be time-consuming as well as complicated to manage in terms of design revisions, stakeholder collaboration, and document control.

Architecture software allows architects and engineering teams to create, edit, and replicate the design of architectural elements digitally. It offers features such as 3D modeling and animation to help visualize the final structure of a building construction and check if the patterns are feasible in the real world. It also lets them collaborate online to discuss and implement design changes using a virtual 3D model.

Many architecture software options are available on the market, but one size doesn’t fit all. To help you choose the right software, we’ve created a buyers guide that has all the information you need to select an architecture tool that fits your needs.

Here’s what we'll cover:

What is architecture software?

Architecture software is design software used by architects, engineers, builders, and contractors, among others, to design and visualize building structures. It runs on a computer-aided design (CAD) program that lets users create high-quality designs, maintain design records, and check interferences between one or more design aspects.

Besides basic design features, the software also offers team management, workflow management, and presentation tools to help track project time, collaborate on tasks, and predict and plan labor and material requirements. It has a variety of applications, including 2D drafting, 3D modeling, animation, interior design, and image editing.

3D modeling in AutoCAD architecture software

3D modeling in AutoCAD architecture software (Source)

Common features of architecture software

Software features vary by product or vendor, but most architecture tools have the following overlapping features:

Project management Manage the complete project workflow, from planning, scheduling, and coordinating resources to estimating the cost and time required to execute each project phase.
2D drawing Draft, design, edit, and annotate on 2D drawings of floor plans, building layouts, elevations, and more.
Drafting Create diagrams or graphical representations of construction structures for technical, architectural, and engineering purposes. These diagrams include the dimensions of the different parts of buildings, materials to be used, elevations, and other specifications.
3D modeling Build 3D models of structures to get the actual view of a finished project. Check errors that may occur in the design process, give virtual tours to clients, and so on.
Building information modeling (BIM) Analyze every step in the building process, such as safety assessment and resource management. Centralize all information about planning, designing, operations, and maintenance.
Contact management Collect and store information about leads and customers, including their contact details, interaction history, and contract documents, in a centralized platform.
Document management Create, store, track, and manage all project-related files and documents in a centralized database that can be accessed only by authorized stakeholders.
Presentation tools Create immersive presentations with the help of text, images, videos, and animations to communicate your design ideas to clients. These tools help explain or discuss any modifications or special requirements that the clients may have.
Bill of materials Create a list of all the materials required to complete a project. A BOM includes raw materials, subassemblies, intermediate assemblies, components, and subcomponents. It helps define the labor and tools required for the construction process.
Contract management Manage the creation, negotiation, renewal, and data analysis of legal contracts. Contracts include the project overview, deliverables and timelines, scope of revisions, payment terms, and other specifications discussed with clients.
Quotes/proposals Automate the process of creating quotes and proposals for requests of service by clients. A quote includes information such as pricing, terms of service, and all other proposal details offered to clients.
Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry Use BIM and CAD workflows to cater to clients from the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Automate design and construction workflows across the project lifecycle.

What type of buyer are you?

Before purchasing software, you should understand which buyer segment you belong to. The majority of architectural design software buyers belong to one of the following categories:

  • Freelance professionals: Freelance architects or designers are solopreneurs who usually work on a single architectural project at a time. They offer construction designing services as well as provide consultation and guidance throughout the project. They need architecture software to share ideas with clients, reduce design costs, and save time by referring to previous design documents. An architecture tool with features such as 2D drawings, 3D drawings, presentation tools, quotes and proposals, and document management would be suitable for their needs.
  • Businesses: Buyers in this segment include businesses that have many architects and design engineers working as part of their project teams. These design professionals work on multiple projects simultaneously and need software for project scheduling, workflow management, document management, and design visualization. They also want to determine the cost of the materials and manpower needed for project completion. A full-featured architecture design software package would be suitable for these buyers. Integration with existing applications such as construction management, BIM, and general contractor software tools is another functionality they should look for.

Benefits of architecture software

Implementing an architectural software platform has various benefits, including:

  • Improved productivity: Architecture software allows your designers to experiment with ideas, identify design issues before construction begins, and save design patterns for future use or reference. It also offers prebuilt templates and a centralized data repository to save the time otherwise spent on creating designs from scratch and searching and retrieving historical documents.
  • Fewer errors: Architecture software allows your design team as well as your entire project team to coordinate on design updates in real time. It creates a 3D model of the building structure to let project members identify and fix errors before the actual construction begins. By visualizing the entire construction, your stakeholders can also provide feedback throughout the design process.
  • Better communication: Using architecture design software, you can create, manage, and store all designs and documents at a centralized location. A centralized design database ensures all your team members have access to up-to-date information. You can also visualize the building structure to better locate errors and discuss design changes or other client specifications.

Key considerations

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting an architecture design software tool:

  • Business needs: Different businesses have different architectural requirements. Therefore, evaluate your business needs first. A basic architecture tool will have 2D and 3D designing and project management features, which can be beneficial if you’re a freelance professional or you own a firm that’s involved in low-budget construction projects. But if you have a large enterprise with complex projects and multiple stakeholders, you may want an enterprise architecture system with advanced features such as BIM, 3D rendering, and 3D printing.
  • Learning curve: Moving to new software will involve a learning curve for your staff members, and without adequate training, they could struggle to complete their tasks. This can affect their productivity as well as your project outcomes. Therefore, select an architecture software tool that’s easy to learn and offers adequate training and support for your staff. You can also opt for a demo or a free trial to get a first-hand feel of the tool before deciding to invest.

Market trends to understand

Here are some architecture software market trends that you should be aware of:

  • Augmented reality (AR)-supported architecture tools are helping create interactive design visualizations. Augmented reality allows designers to place 3D models of their designs into the physical environment or the construction site. The technology uses mobile apps, headsets, and other smart devices and is widely adopted by vendors for design analysis—i.e., virtually walking through a completed model even before a brick is laid. It allows clients to get a realistic view of the project outcomes and stakeholders to review work as construction progresses. It also lets the project team collaborate on changes to accelerate design decisions and reduce errors resulting from communication gaps.

Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.