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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. In 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 Esri CityEngine, and other recommended solutions in this category.

Architecture Software

Top 12 Most Popular Architecture Software

Esri CityEngine reviews
1.
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). Read Reviews

CorelCAD reviews
2.
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. Read Reviews

SmartDraw reviews
3.
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. Read Reviews

Floorplanner reviews
4.
Floorplanner

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 98%

An intuitive, web-based room design application for interior designers, homeowners, and real estate agents. Read Reviews

Home Designer reviews
5.
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. Read Reviews

Planner 5D reviews
6.
Planner 5D

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 97%

A simple-to-use floor plan and photorealistic 3D rendering applications for home decorators, interior designers, builders, real estate renovators, and architects. Read Reviews

ARCHICAD reviews
7.
ARCHICAD

Our Score 9.2

User Satisfaction 98%

An industry-leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform for urban planners, interior designers, designers, and architects. Read Reviews

Bluebeam PDF Revu reviews
8.
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. Read Reviews

SketchUp reviews
9.
SketchUp

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 97%

SketchUp is an intuitive CAD software that excels in creating and editing 2D and 3D concepts. Read Reviews

ZWCAD reviews
10.
ZWCAD

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 100%

A budget-friendly, DWG file format-compatible Computer Aided Design (CAD) software for MCAD and AEC industries. Read Reviews

CMS IntelliCad reviews
11.
CMS IntelliCad

Our Score 6.9

User Satisfaction 100%

Affordable AutoCAD replacement software designed to be fast, efficient and versatile, offers power and versatility users expect from a standard CAD program Read Reviews

progeCAD reviews
12.
progeCAD

Our Score 6.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Affordable AutoCAD alternative with a similar interface, menus & commands, available as a perpetual license, installable on two Windows PCs Read Reviews

How To Choose The Best Architecture Software

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 do 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.

Get to know each product with free trial

We recommend you start your search for the best architecture software 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 do 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.

Targeted Businesses

Architecture software 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-based, 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 the 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

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, roof 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 for 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 reality and augmented reality features so that you and your clients are able to 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.

Latest Trends

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 building site 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 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.

List of Architecture Software Companies

Originally published on , updated

Selected products (0)

1.
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). Read Reviews

  • Pricing: By quote
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Pricing Model: Quote-based
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: On Premise

2.
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. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $699
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: One-time payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

3.
Floorplanner

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 98%

An intuitive, web-based room design application for interior designers, homeowners, and real estate agents. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $14.95
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

4.
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. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $297
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: One-time payment, Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

5.
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. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $49
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Mac
  • Pricing Model: Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: On Premise

6.
Planner 5D

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 97%

A simple-to-use floor plan and photorealistic 3D rendering applications for home decorators, interior designers, builders, real estate renovators, and architects. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: By quote
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Quote-based
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

7.
ARCHICAD

Our Score 9.2

User Satisfaction 98%

An industry-leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform for urban planners, interior designers, designers, and architects. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: By quote
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Quote-based
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted, On Premise

8.
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. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $9.99
  • Devices Supported: Windows, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: One-time payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: On Premise

9.
SketchUp

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 97%

SketchUp is an intuitive CAD software that excels in creating and editing 2D and 3D concepts. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $695
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Mac
  • Pricing Model: Free, One-time payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: On Premise

10.
ZWCAD

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 100%

A budget-friendly, DWG file format-compatible Computer Aided Design (CAD) software for MCAD and AEC industries. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: By quote
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Pricing Model: Quote-based
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: On Premise, Open API

Our Score Read More

Our site employs our special SmartScore™ system to analyze all the products in the Architecture Software category in orded to help you choose the best possible service. It pays attention to the following elements: main features, collaboration tools, customization, integration, how easy a software is to use and learn, help & support, how secure a software is, mobility, scores in other media. As of now, Esri CityEngine is the leader in this category and our experts are really satisfied with it. Following thorough examination it had the best results among its competitors and our experts strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the alternatives for your needs.

User Satisfaction Read More

An overview of general user satisfaction with the services in our Architecture Software category based on our unique algorythm that analyzes client reviews, comments and opinions across a broad range of social media sites in order to help you make an informed buying decision.

100%

100%

98%

100%

98%

97%

98%

86%

97%

100%

Pricing Read More

Each vendor in the Architecture Software category will provide a different group of pricing plans for its app and every package will include a unique set of tools. Below we list the general pricing for the cheapest package provided for each service. Please note that advanced features may cost extra.

By quote

$699

$14.95

$297

$49

By quote

By quote

$9.99

$695

By quote

Devices Supported Read More

An overview of what kind of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B tools in the Architecture Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.

Windows

Android

iPhone/iPad

Mac

Web-based

Laguages Supported Read More

Learn what languages and geographies are served by the top B2B services in the Architecture Software category, including services aimed at international markets and prepared for multi-cultural teams of employees.

Pricing Model Read More

Find out which pricing models are offered by the vendors in the Architecture Software category to see which one matches your business requirements and expenses best. Note that certain apps can provide free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.

Free

Monthly payment

One-time payment

Annual Subscription

Quote-based

Customer Types Read More

A brief look at which groups of customers a selected B2B service in the Architecture Software category aims for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.

Small Business

Large Enterprises

Medium Business

Freelancers

Deployment Read More

An overview of what kinds of software deployement are supported by every B2B vendor in the Architecture Software category. While almost all modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based certain solutions might offer an on-site deployment model as well.

Cloud Hosted

On Premise

Open API

Post by Alex Hillsberg