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What is Architecture Software?

Architecture software is utilized by architects, civil engineers, students, interior designers and others to make 2D and 3D home, remodeling, and structural designs. They use the software to design and visualize the structures they wish to build. This platform can be leveraged to produce architectural drawings and documentation and to make design iterations which is a time-consuming process. Show moreIn this era of automation, professionals are utilizing architecture software to minimize the time and effort needed to create detailed structural plans. The tool offers automated features and a wide range of 2D and 3D plans to make designing simpler. Beginners can opt for basic software while professionals can invest in advanced applications. Start by checking our leader Cedreo, and other recommended solutions in this category.Show less

How was this ranking made?

In order to create this ranking of best Architecture Software we have analyzed 172 various tools currently present on the market, contrasting their features, ease-of-use, customer service, available integrations and mobile support with our unique SmartScoreTM rating system. This list has been prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our B2B expert responsible for the Architecture Software category.

List of Top 12 Architecture Software

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1. Cedreo

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 95%

Easy-to-use, browser-based home design tool for creating floor plans and realistic 3D renders.

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2. Esri CityEngine

Our score: 9.8 User satisfaction: 100%

An easy-to-use, standalone 3D editing and visualization tool designed by EsriR&D for users in urban planning, architecture, simulation, entertainment, general 3D content productions, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

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3. CorelCAD

Our score: 9.6 User satisfaction: 100%

An affordable and precise computer-aided software used for 3D drawing, design, and printing, and 2D drafting; providing design tools and features that accelerate workflows, improve productivity, and boost collaboration. CorelCAD is also capable of transforming 2D drawings into 3D models. Plus, it is interoperable, which makes it flexible.

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4. Floorplanner

Our score: 9.6 User satisfaction: 98%

An intuitive, web-based room design application for interior designers, homeowners, and real estate agents. This platform helps users make quick professional designs easily. It is fitted with key features including photo and video support and 3D rendering. You can even play around with interiors to create actionable floorplan layouts.

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5. SmartDraw

Our score: 9.5 User satisfaction: 100%

An easy-to-use and powerful flowchart maker and diagramming solution which is an alternative to Microsoft Visio; helping companies and organizations document processes, manage projects, plan strategies, and convey ideas. SmartDraw can also integrate with other Microsoft productivity tools like Word and Excel. Additionally, it facilitates collaboration through file-sharing.

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6. Home Designer

Our score: 9.5 User satisfaction: 98%

A powerful home design and floor plan application engineered by RoomSketcher for personal and professional users. It includes easy-to-use features for customization. The platform also provides a library of generic and brand-name furniture and appliances. This way, you'll be able to create and preview your design close to the actual space and outcome.

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7. Planner 5D

Our score: 9.4 User satisfaction: 97%

A simple floor plan and photorealistic 2D and 3D rendering application for home decorators, interior designers, builders, real estate renovators, and architects. With its intuitive interface, it makes design accessible to novice users while making complex design work simple for experts. This bridges the gap between design intent and reality.

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8. ARCHICAD

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 98%

An industry-leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform for urban planners, interior designers, designers, and architects. The platform makes planning and designing simple. This is thanks to its key design features combined with intuitive productivity and workflow tools. It also provides precise construction documentation and accurate cost estimates.

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9. Bluebeam PDF Revu

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 86%

A design and construction document management software that transforms simple documents into multi-dimensional PDFs. This helps architects, engineers, and designers boost their efficiency by cutting time and costs for document processing. Key features include concurrent editing, automatic form creation, batch link creation, and document sharing among others.

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10. SketchUp

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 97%

SketchUp is a CAD software that excels in creating and editing 2D and 3D concepts. With its intuitive interface and controls, novice users can create professional-looking output and simplify complex design for experts. The platform is complete with animations, textures, 3D models, lighting effects, and many more for realistic looks.

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11. Præsto AE

Our score: 6.5 User satisfaction: N/A

A project management software that lets you track, manage, and organize your AEC business.

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12. ActCAD Professional

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: 90%

A 2D Drafting & 3D Modelling CAD software meant for Engineers, Architects and other technical consultants. ActCAD is a native DWG & DXF CAD software to create and edit drawings. ActCAD is based on the technologies from IntelliCAD Technology Consortium (ITC), ODA, ASIC, wintopo, ps2edit etc.

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Architecture Software Guide

Table of contents

Industry Report - Architecture Software for 2022

CloudRank™ system is a unique algorithm that our research team uses to evaluate Architecture Software solutions in a detailed and accurate way. The Winter 2022 edition of the ranking was prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our leading expert in the field of Architecture Software, who has authored 1380+ product reviews in this category. The goal of CloudRank™ is to present an unbiased, multi-layered perspective on Architecture Software, considering a wide range of metrics and factors, and educating potential customers about both opportunities and challenges associated with each piece of software.

In order to achieve full objectivity the position in our CloudRank™ is based on:

  • Expert Score: which involves extensive analysis by our internal team which carefully examined all key elements of each software and testing it in real-life situations
  • User Score: which involves an aggregated opinion of actual users of each product whose identity was properly verified
  • Market Position: which involves general recognition of a given vendor on the market and reflects its overall popularity and reach
What do the tiers in CloudRank™ mean?

What do the tiers in CloudRank™ mean?

We’ve calculated a score for each product based on the average experience shared by our users in their product reviews and arranged the list in three tiers. You can see the methodology below on how the calculations were made.

  • Leaders: those with a User Score of 8.0 or higher; this tier includes products that are currently leaders on the market and are appreciated by both experts and actual users. They always represent the best of what the Architecture Software market has to offer and are all worth trying out if you’re looking for a reliable solution.
  • Contenders: those with a User Score between 7.5 and 8.0; this tier includes high-quality products that still have some minor drawbacks that prevent them from becoming leaders on the market. They always represent well-designed tools that, over time, will most likely develop into market leaders as the missing features are added.
  • Rising Stars: those with a User Score between 6 and 7.5; this tier includes products that have high-potential but still lack some crucial features or services expected from a leading solution. They are products with solid foundations and a vision that makes us eager to see what they will become as their solution improves in the future.

Regardless of their tier, all products included in our CloudRank™ are popular, quality products considered top-performers by our team of experts. Make sure you read a more detailed review of each solution to find one that will work best for your specific needs and budget.

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Rising Star
Contenders
Front-Runners

MARKET POSITION

A score between 1 and 10 based on popularity and market reach of each product.

TOTAL score

A score between 1 and 10 based on the average of our Expert Score and User Score.

How does CloudRank™ work?

Arrow top

Market Position

A score between 1 and 10 based on popularity and market reach of each product.

Arrow right

Total Score

A score between 1 and 10 based on the average of our Expert Score and User Score.

CloudRank™ tier

Based on product's total score.

Rising Star

Contender

Front Runners

20 Most Popular Architecture Software

Here is a list of all 20 Architecture Software solutions evaluated with our CloudRank™ analysis. We have compared their features, user satisfaction, market presence and other key factors in an in-depth analysis you can find below:

1. SketchUp

8.15
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:8.15
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

BIM modeling

%

Tool palettes

%

Visualization / presentation

%

3D modeling

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Dynamic input

%

Project management

%

Sheet sets

%

Proposal management

%

Manufacturing design data

%

2. Autodesk AutoCAD

8.10
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:8.10
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

2D drawing

%

Drafting

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Document management

%

Dynamic input

%
Worst features

Manufacturing design data

%

Tool palettes

%

Sheet sets

%

Project management

%

BIM modeling

%

3. Bentley MicroStation

7.77
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:7.77
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Project management

%

3D modeling

%

BIM modeling

%

2D drawing

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Document management

%

Tool palettes

%

Sheet sets

%

Contract management

%

Dynamic input

%

4. Planner 5D

7.45
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:7.45
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

3D modeling

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Tool palettes

%

2D drawing

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Dynamic input

%

Project management

%

Document management

%

5. CorelCAD

7.44
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:7.44
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Drafting

%

2D drawing

%

3D modeling

%

Manufacturing design data

%

Visualization / presentation

%
Worst features

Document management

%

Tool palettes

%

Client management

%

Sheet sets

%

BIM modeling

%

6. Revit

7.42
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:7.42
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Drafting

%

2D drawing

%

3D modeling

%

Proposal management

%

BIM modeling

%
Worst features

Document management

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Project management

%

Dynamic input

%

Tool palettes

%

7. Esri CityEngine

7.38
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:7.38
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Drafting

%

3D modeling

%

Document management

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Manufacturing design data

%
Worst features

Tool palettes

%

Project management

%

Proposal management

%

2D drawing

%

Sheet sets

%

8. SmartDraw

7.35
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:7.35
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

2D drawing

%

Drafting

%

Tool palettes

%

3D modeling

%

BIM modeling

%
Worst features

Client management

%

Project management

%

Sheet sets

%

Contract management

%

Document management

%

9. Floorplanner

6.95
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.95
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Visualization / presentation

%

2D drawing

%

Drafting

%

3D modeling

%

BIM modeling

%
Worst features

Dynamic input

%

Manufacturing design data

%

Sheet sets

%

Project management

%

Tool palettes

%

10. ARCHICAD

6.91
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.91
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

2D drawing

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Document management

%

3D modeling

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Project management

%

BIM modeling

%

Tool palettes

%

Manufacturing design data

%

Sheet sets

%

11. Chief Architect

6.89
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.89
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

3D modeling

%

Visualization / presentation

%

2D drawing

%

Tool palettes

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

BIM modeling

%

Document management

%

Dynamic input

%

Project management

%

Sheet sets

%

12. Vectorworks Architect

6.88
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.88
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

2D drawing

%

BIM modeling

%

Drafting

%

Document management

%

Visualization / presentation

%
Worst features

Proposal management

%

Contract management

%

Sheet sets

%

Dynamic input

%

Tool palettes

%

13. Home Designer

6.80
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.80
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Visualization / presentation

%

2D drawing

%

3D modeling

%

Tool palettes

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Dynamic input

%

Document management

%

Sheet sets

%

14. Edificius

6.65
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.65
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

BIM modeling

%

2D drawing

%

3D modeling

%

Drafting

%

Proposal management

%
Worst features

Dynamic input

%

Manufacturing design data

%

Tool palettes

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Project management

%

15. SoftPlan

6.59
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.59
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

2D drawing

%

3D modeling

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Client management

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Proposal management

%

Document management

%

Tool palettes

%

Dynamic input

%

Manufacturing design data

%

16. Space Designer 3D

6.58
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.58
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Dynamic input

%

3D modeling

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Sheet sets

%

2D drawing

%
Worst features

Tool palettes

%

Project management

%

Drafting

%

Document management

%

Proposal management

%

17. Cedreo

6.58
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.58
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Client management

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Proposal management

%

3D modeling

%

Drafting

%
Worst features

Contract management

%

Document management

%

BIM modeling

%

Sheet sets

%

Tool palettes

%

18. Planningwiz Floor Planner

6.42
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.42
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

3D modeling

%

2D drawing

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Drafting

%

Tool palettes

%
Worst features

BIM modeling

%

Project management

%

19. ZWCAD

6.42
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.42
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Dynamic input

%

3D modeling

%

Tool palettes

%

Visualization / presentation

%

2D drawing

%
Worst features

Drafting

%

Project management

%

Sheet sets

%

BIM modeling

%

Manufacturing design data

%

20. ArCADia-ARCHITECTURE

6.25
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Our score and features analysis:

Total User Satisfaction

Total Expert Score

Market Position

} CloudRank™
Score:6.25
Customers company size

No. of employees:

1-10 11-50 51-100 100+
Best features

Dynamic input

%

3D modeling

%

Tool palettes

%

Visualization / presentation

%

Sheet sets

%
Worst features

BIM modeling

%

Document management

%

Drafting

%

Manufacturing design data

%

Project management

%

Our report covered 20 most popular products from the Architecture Software category. We’ve analyzed their features, performance, integration, customer support, pricing, and several other key buying factors and combined it with feedback from user reviews to come up with the current list of best solutions:

SketchUp makes the leap to the top of Architecture Software CloudRank 2022, besting Autodesk AutoCAD by a slim margin. The 3D modeling and design tool has an intuitive platform that’s easy to use. The simple UI makes it easy for any level and type of user—from students and interior designers to architects—to create 2D and 3D visualizations of their projects on their own. Although primarily used for 3D modeling, SketchUp is not limited to architecture and interior design only. It can also be used for landscape architecture, industrial and product design, mechanical and civil engineering, and even for theater, film, and video game development.

SketchUp comes with a great set of top-notch features such as tool palettes, 3D modeling, and BIM modeling. The modeling software works well with other software and design tools with its powerful interoperability function. SketchUp also has the Extension Warehouse where users can get plugins developed exclusively for SketchUp, allowing the user to customize based on what they want and need.

Developed by a startup in 1999, SketchUp was snapped up by Google for its nascent Google Earth project. SketchUp was eventually sold to Trimble, a titan in the software industry in geospatial mapping, and construction. It is part of Trimble Construction and is available in paid and free versions.

Most users of Architecture Software solutions confirm that in most cases these tools allow them to reach the following business goals:

  • It assists in better visualization. [ 87.0% of users ]
  • It helps to enhance productivity. [ 86.2% of users ]
  • It helps to improve collaboration. [ 86.8% of users ]
  • It improves communication. [ 85.4% of users ]
  • It is cost-effective. [ 86.2% of users ]

How did we select products for this Architecture Software report?

The Winter 2022 version of the report includes a total of 20 Architecture Software products that were compared and analyzed by our team. We selected them based on the following factors:

  • Popularity of a given brand in the SaaS market (based on our own market research)
  • How popular a given brand is among FinancesOnline users (based on number of mothly readers for each review page)
  • Availability of statistical data generated from user reviews of a particular product (we excluded products with not enough data to draw meaningful conclusions)
  • The current listing reflects the state of our database and research as of January 2022. An updated version of the report will be released quarterly to keep data fresh and incorporate information about shifts and changing trends in the market.

What are the current Architecture Software trends?

3D Modeling is all the Rage

2D drawings have served architects and engineers well, but as far as realism is concerned, they fall short. As architectural presentations move from the draft tables to tablets and desktops, 3D modeling is getting intrinsically weaved into the architectural lifecycles. It’s easy to understand why. First, using an architecture software solution with 3D modeling tools expedites the design process and empowers architects to be more creative and experimental.

Second, with 3D modeling, designers can play around with numerous ideas and tweak various aspects of a design to avert potential problems. Most importantly, 3D modeling helps combine all the design pieces together, and then, using rendering and virtual reality (VR) technology, offers a real-view of the finished project. It brings the project to life without moving a single speck of dust, allowing designers, architects, and clients to get a better feel for the finished product.

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Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features

Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Reduce project error, data friction: 61%

Reduce project error, data friction

61%
Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Reduce time needed for communication, workflows, and decisions.: 55%

Reduce time needed for communication, workflows, and decisions.

55%
Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Increase client satisfaction with better visibility and input: 52%

Increase client satisfaction with better visibility and input

52%
Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Deliver more creative designs: 52%

Deliver more creative designs

52%
Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Facilitates more advanced application of BIM: 43%

Facilitates more advanced application of BIM

43%
Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Reduce need for co-location: 41%

Reduce need for co-location

41%
Benefits of Using Architecture Software With Project Management Features
Win more work by being able to take part in collaborative project delivery models: 32%

Win more work by being able to take part in collaborative project delivery models

32%

Source: Dodge Data Analytics (2016)

Designed by

Advances in Real-Time Rendering

Much like presentations, the way architectural projects are marketed is changing rapidly. As digital marketing continues to grow exponentially, industry players have been forced to adapt to keep up the pace. Fortunately, with the advent of advanced architecture software solutions that support real-time rendering, engineers, architects, and project owners have nothing to worry about.

Real-time rendering is a formidable technology for producing virtual project tours that intrigue potential customers. It significantly cuts the sky-high cost of traditional render and makes it easy to create engaging models that can be explored in real-time. Beyond cost and time savings, the innovation allows architects to make design changes on the fly even during meetings with stakeholders.

Source: Hindawi (2019)

Use of Generative Design is on the Rise

Traditionally, or as has been the case, when architects create masterplans they’ve to meticulously check the designs against an array of functional and non-functional factors to optimize them. But, this is no longer the case, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and multi-physics simulation technologies. At the intersection of these technologies is generative design innovation—the new frontier of architecture software.

Leveraging this technology, engineers can input their designs and apply filters such as cost, supply, material, strength, and weight. And then, the software automatically adjusts the designs based on predefined factors to generate optimized versions. The innovation is so easy to use that even early-career engineers can optimize designs quickly and effectively. Perhaps most importantly, generative designs facilitate the effective use of materials and ultimately lead to significant cost savings.

Architecture software is used by architects, civil engineers and others to create drawings and blueprints for structures. There is a plethora of quality solutions in this niche. This makes it hard to make informed comparisons to select the best architecture software for your requirements.

We help you in this task by providing info on the main factors and features you should look for in these tools. This includes possible benefits, potential issues, and popular payment schemes you can take advantage of. 

Get to know each product with free trial

We recommend you start your search for the best architecture tools by registering for the free trial or demo of leading platforms. Top architecture software providers offer this convenience to help you check out their app’s features and make a detailed comparison with other programs. We recommend you try out SketchUpCorelCADSmartDrawBentley MicroStation, and ConceptDraw PRO. These applications have won impressive reviews and rankings in our architecture software reviews. These are great places to start. 

Targeted Businesses

Architecture tools are commonly used by qualified architects, interior designers, and civil engineers as well as students for class projects.  

Examples of Architecture Software

  • SketchUp: An intuitive CAD platform that you can use to create and edit 2D and 3D concepts. The solution helps you to create stunning 3D models of landscapes, furniture, interiors and more. It is easy to use and offers a range of professional-quality functionalities. Key features include animations, layer manager, textures, and lighting effects.
  • CorelCAD: A CAD platform that is perfect for technical design work. You can use it for 2D drafting as well as 3D design, drawing, and printing. The tool enables you to collaborate effectively, improve productivity, and communicate your visual plans efficiently. The best part is you can transform basic 2D sketches into sophisticated 3D models.
  • SmartDraw: A diagramming solution and flowchart maker you can use to plan strategies, manage projects, and document processes. It is robust yet easy to use and is a good alternative to the established Microsoft Visio. With SmartDraw, you can create schematic, graph- and chart-based diagrams. Plus, you can easily integrate it with other apps, such as MS Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Bentley MicroStation: A visual modeling tool designed for architects, engineers, owner-operators, and constructors.  It provides features for visualization, drafting, modeling, and object management. This robust modeling software accelerates project delivery and enhances the quality of infrastructure assets. You can use it for all kinds of utilities and infrastructures, including mining, process plants, communications networks, water networks, buildings, rails, roads, and bridges.
  • ConceptDraw PRO: A full-featured suite of graphic documentation modules for all kinds of companies. It offers thousands of templates and stencils for instant diagramming. You can easily share your drawings and presentations with your team by using a wide range of export options. With this tool, you can create and share interactive and lively presentations, blueprints, computer network diagrams, electrical diagrams, maps, organizational charts and more.

Types of Architecture Software

The following are common types of architecture software:

  • 2D architecture software
  • 2D and 3D architecture software
  • BIM (Building Information Modeling) software  
  • Presentation and rendering software
  • CAAD (Computer-Aided Architectural Design) software

Key Features of Architecture Software

  • Flexibility. If multiple users utilize the software, look for a solution that supports the requirements of both novices and experts. The software should have a simple user interface, allow users to draw from scratch, and include elements, such as windows, roofs and other objects to make designing simpler.
  • Workflow support. It is important for architects to analyze all proposed concepts, set deadlines, and meet objectives during project implementation. Therefore, look for a platform that supports workflows and allows you to check progress.
  • Support for building info. The tool should support building information by providing details, such as cost approximation, list of required materials, complete documentation, and 3D designing. This feature helps professionals working on residential and industrial projects.
  • User friendly. For sustainable designs, the software should incorporate changes made in one parameter in the implementation of the entire project. This leads to efficient and consistent designing. The tool should be easy to use and users should be able to easily operate it without a manual.
  • Technical support. Architecture software offers many tools and functionalities. The requirements of a lay user are different from those of an expert. Therefore, the software should support all levels of users. If you get stuck, the vendor should be able to provide prompt technical support to bail you out.

Benefits of Architecture Software

  • Improves collaboration. Collaboration and sharing are important to architecture and construction projects. A project often involves different designs as well as multiple versions of a single design, which can cause confusion.  The solution is to use cloud software, which makes all stages of a project lifecycle available. You can view your projects offsite or onsite on any internet-ready device which improves coordination and communication between teams.
  • Better visualization. Clients may find it difficult to understand 2D and paper designs in a real-world scenario. Architecture software allows you to include detailed 3D models and floor plans as well as virtual and augmented reality features so that you and your clients can visualize the whole design before starting construction.
  • Cost-effective. It is expensive to correct a design error, such as a pipe going through a wall after starting construction. Architecture software helps you avoid this as it automates clash detection. You can detect clashes early before you start construction, which means you can avoid costly on-site clashes.
  • Enhanced productivity. In the engineering and construction industry, if you make a mistake in a stage, it can set back the whole project. Architecture software helps you avoid this as each alteration you make to one model is automatically made in other models. The change is automatically added to the 3D model and construction plans. This speeds up the production process, minimizes labor costs, and boosts client approval times.
  • Improves communication. Architects and designers often find it difficult to communicate their technical designs to lay clients who may not be able to interpret them. With architecture software, you can show your designs in an interactive format and present info in an understandable manner. This helps to boost communication and collaboration with your client.

Mobile cloud apps. Cloud collaboration will continue as people in different locations can simultaneously view real-time data from the design and construction process. All they need is an internet-enabled device. Thus, partners can perform cloud collaboration from the design stage to delivery. Architecture models can be quickly shared with the building site and reporting can be done instantly to facilitate productive collaboration.

Green is the mantra. Architecture and BIM software enable you to take into account energy and materials properties during the design stage which helps to make buildings more energy-efficient. During the construction stage, modular constructions, prefab, and BIM can be used to reduce CO2 emission as well as energy costs.

Potential Issues

Misunderstanding the software’s capabilities. Some users may expect too much from architecture software or may not know how to use it effectively. If you face these issues, contact the vendor’s customer support team for help on how to utilize the tool properly and efficiently.

Misunderstanding of final models. During construction, problems may arise if the architect’s drawings and model are erroneous. Another reason for issues is that the subcontractor may not be able to correctly interpret the model due to miscommunication or misunderstanding of the info provided. The solution is to use architecture software correctly to create error-free designs and blueprints and then communicate the models properly to the building contractors to ensure perfect construction.

Payment Schemes

Usually, architecture software solutions are available in three deployment types. These are (1) on-premise, (2) cloud-based, and (3) hybrid. Each type has benefits and disadvantages. Thus, you have to carefully consider which of them fits your company best. 

On-Premise. This is the traditional deployment type. Software solutions of this type are needed to be installed on your machines to be used. Also, software performance depends on the power of your hardware. Most of the time, architecture software solutions of this deployment type require faster machines to run well. 

Also, many software solutions of this type are offered via a one-time license. However, this license could just last you for a numbered edition. And, you might need to buy a new edition of the software in the next few years should you want new upgraded features.

Cloud-based. A good thing about cloud-based architecture software is that you can access your designs on any device and at any time you need them. Also, you can save costs on hardware for these. Computational power for performance is outsourced to a remote server. However, more complex designs and heavier files are usually better-processed using on-premise hardware. 

Also, having a cloud-based platform will allow you have flexible collaboration.

However, there are two considerable drawbacks. First, these types usually come in a recurring plan (monthly and yearly). Second, you can’t work without an internet connection. 

Hybrid. Other providers offer their products via both an on-premise client and an online portal. Now, you can work on complex projects using your powerful on-premise machine. And, you can work on the go using the web interface for simpler projects. 

The Bottom Line

There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the right architecture software solution for you. Price and payment schemes are top of the list for smaller operations. Power, building support, and speed are the most important requirements for larger firms.

Needs are quite different. Therefore, you really need to carefully consider which product and plan can help you do your job well and earn more ROI. You need to look out for the bottom line. It’s not really all about having the best software out there. The game is about having the software that’s the best fit for the job.

List of Architecture Software Companies

Order by:

Newest
  • Newest
  • Score
  • User Score
Product name:
Category:
Smart Score:
Price:
User Satisf.
User reviews:
ManageEngine OS Deployer reviews

ManageEngine OS Deployer

Architecture Software
8.9
$325
94%
Drawboard Projects reviews

Drawboard Projects

Architecture Software
8.1
$19
95%
Cedreo reviews

Cedreo

Architecture Software
8.8
$119
95%
cove.tool reviews

cove.tool

Architecture Software
8.0
By quote
-
Coohom reviews

Coohom

Architecture Software
8.0
$30
100%
Renoworks reviews

Renoworks

Architecture Software
8.0
By quote
100%
SoftPlan reviews

SoftPlan

Architecture Software
7.8
$2585
100%
Draft It Architectural Software reviews

Draft It Architectural Software

Architecture Software
7.6
£20
76%
ARCHLine.XP reviews

ARCHLine.XP

Architecture Software
7.4
€349
100%
Synergy reviews

Synergy

Architecture Software
7.4
$10
97%
ArctechPro reviews

ArctechPro

Architecture Software
7.4
€95/₤75
-
DataCAD reviews

DataCAD

Architecture Software
7.4
$35
87%
ActCAD Professional reviews

ActCAD Professional

Architecture Software
8.0
$199
90%
Arcon Evo reviews

Arcon Evo

Architecture Software
7.7
£409.99
-
Domus Cad Pro reviews

Domus Cad Pro

Architecture Software
8.0
$275
-

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

To choose a suitable SaaS system for your company, begin by asking the following questions:

· Is this cloud system the best product—economically and features-wise?
· Will it be uncomplicated to do long-term business with the cloud provider?
· Is the system easy to use and does it simplify technology?
· Can the product help your business to handle compliance, security, and operational risks?

Find out if other enterprises have successfully implemented the system. Get proof about the provider being able to offer the desired business value and ROI. Peruse case studies to learn about the user experiences of other buyers. Get references from the vendor and find out about the caliber of the software and service provided.

Another important aspect to consider is the free trial. Before you make such a critical decision and spend your hard-earned money, be sure if the software actually fits your needs. You can do this by registering for the free trial and checking out the program’s functionality. Also, find out if the vendor can help you to pilot the platform. You may need to shell out for the deployment of the pilot, but the cost is worth it as it will give you results and proof points to evaluate before you make a key investment.

Frequently asked questions about Architecture Software

What is the best architecture software?

The best architecture software is Esri CityEngine. It is used by professionals to design urban environments. In fact, you can design and build entire 3D city models. You can do this through a five-step process. 

First, you choose your area. Second, you sketch and design over the city. Third, you add 3D models like roofs, trees, and other assets. Fourth, you add details and textures. Lastly, you export your 3D city to the web or for game engines, geodatabases, and VR experiences. 

Esri CityEngine is popular among city planners, architects, and even game designers. It has been used in urban planning in Marseille and the reconstruction of Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain.

What are the benefits of architecture software?

The benefits of architecture software spans file security to accuracy and compliance. Here are the most common benefits below. 

Accurate Planning. With snap-to-grid options and scale limitations, architecture software solutions help you create accurate designs. Plus, some of them have real products with dimensions for interior design. 

Collaboration. Usually, architecture software allows multiple users to edit plans and designs. Some even allow concurrent editing. 

Professional Visualizations. Thanks to powerful rending, users can create beautiful and realistic 2D designs. Also, premiere software solutions can even create immersive 3D models. 

Improve Communications. These tools allow users to go back and forth with their designs and ideas. Usually, architecture software comes with a commenting tool and other project management features.

What are the features of architecture software?

Different architecture software have different features. Some programs are generic, while others are quite specialized. Moreover, there are also those that are quite basic and limited. Some premiere platforms can render accurate, realistic, and actionable design plans. However, there are features that are generally available with varying degrees of comprehensiveness. Here they are below. 

Design Tools. These tools allow you to draw, draft, add objects, and create digital spaces for planning. 

Building Support. These sets of features include documentation, cost estimates, and a list of required materials. 

Customer Support and Tutorials. Software providers offer both technical and business support for their products. Also, most companies provide easy-to-understand tutorials on the web to guide novices to becoming experts.

What is the easiest architecture software to use?

The easiest architecture software to use is SketchUp. It sports a slick and clean design. Also, its interface is very user friendly. Novice users will feel like experienced users in no time. And, almost anyone that can just hop on and try get into designing. 

There are options to draw by hand or to use the smart modeling creator. You can even customize your workspace. Plus, you can share your design and collaborate on it with others. It even has VR capabilities and is used in game design as well.

What is a good free architecture software?

SketchUp Free is a good free architecture software. It is the unpaid version of the popular SketchUp offering. However, you don’t get an on-premise client for it. You only get to access your account and work through its web portal. What’s great about this free version is that users can have up to 10GB of cloud storage for free. 

Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Nestor Gilbert is a senior B2B and SaaS analyst and a core contributor at FinancesOnline for over 5 years. With his experience in software development and extensive knowledge of SaaS management, he writes mostly about emerging B2B technologies and their impact on the current business landscape. However, he also provides in-depth reviews on a wide range of software solutions to help businesses find suitable options for them. Through his work, he aims to help companies develop a more tech-forward approach to their operations and overcome their SaaS-related challenges.

Updated

Why is FinancesOnline free? Why is FinancesOnline free?

FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.

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