Architecture Software
Published December 13th, 2016 by

5 Tips on How to Compare Architecture Software

5 Tips on How to Compare Architecture Software

Choosing the right architecture software is important because it will be what the architects will use for most of their jobs. But it can be tricky to choose the right one since there are so many available tools out in the market. There are so many things they have to consider. How will architects know what to select? Here are five things you can use to compare architecture software.


The first thing to be considered is what kind of function you are looking for in an architectural software. Different softwares offer distinctive functionalities, so you have to be specific with what you are looking for. Knowing what you need will make it easier to narrow down your list of possible software. Here are three that you might need in the software.

2D. In designs and art, 2D refers to two-dimensional. Two-dimensional drawings are flat, focusing more on symmetry and lines rather than depth and space. There are many softwares that handle 2D designs, even in Microsoft Paint, you could do a two-dimensional drawing. An example of a 2D design is a floor plan. Here are advantages of using a 2D design software:

  1. It is cheaper than other softwares because of its limited functionality.
  2. This software is easier to learn and use as compared to other software with more complicated functionality.
  3. This is compatible with most architecture applications. So exchanging and exporting data will be easy.

Here are some of the disadvantages of using a 2D design software:

  1. The functionality is limited to two-dimensional. If you want to work on 3D renderings, you would need to get another software.
  2. There is no automation function. So you have to do everything manually.
  3. Because there is no automation, doing changes with this software is very time-consuming.
  4. Most 2D software cannot be upgraded to have 3D functionality. If you plan to use 3D in the future, you would need to spend again.

3D. This refers to three-dimensional. With this functionality, you could design more complex objects. It is no longer just line and symmetry, 3D will allow you to add depth and space to your work. With 3D, it would look like the real thing or design is alive in the computer. It would not be flat anymore but a real representation of the design. Here are benefits of using a 3D software:

  1. The design method using this software is more intelligent than 2D. It could really create some realistic drawings.
  2. All the changes made will be seen in 3 dimensions. This means that all changes will be shown in all views.
  3. There is automation in this, so repetitive tasks can be eliminated. This would also save you on time.
  4. The drawing is very alike to the finished product or the real thing, so you will really get a feel for what it being done even with just the drawings.

The only disadvantage you would get from this software is its higher cost. Because of its great functionality, it would only make sense that the software provider will also ask for more money. As compared to a 2D software, this is much more expensive. You would need to pay a higher investment to get a 3D software. This program is also not for beginners since it is a bit more complicated than the 2D software. It would require time and effort to learn and be able to use this software efficiently. Here are the skills you need when using a 3D software.

BIM. BIM refers to Building Information Modeling. If 3D uses only three dimensions, depth, width and height in its designs, BIM uses five dimensions. The fourth is time and the fifth is cost. BIM is more than the just the geometry of the design, it also tackles the light analysis, spatial relationships, the components and quantities of the materials that will be used. Because cost is also covered in the BIM, it is best used with a construction estimation software.

Check out this article to know more about the uses and who uses an architecture software.


After you have figured out the functionality that you need, the next thing you have to consider is the cost of the software. As was already mentioned above, the more complex the functionality is, the more expensive the software is. But you shouldn’t look at the price as your sole factor in determining which architectural tools you will get. You have to fork out a little more money if you want the best software. In the long run, your investment will be worth it.

There are free tools being offered on the internet, but you would only get limited functions and features with those applications. Looking at the rankings page of architecture software at, you could see that the price ranges from low to medium. Low ranges from $20-$1000 subscription fee a month, while others offer a free subscription for the most basic functions. On the other hand, medium ranges from $1000-$5000 one-time payment and a different subscription fee per month.

There are also tools, especially those with BIM functionality that can cost up to $10,000. If you own a big company and is really in need of this software, then you could go for the more expensive ones. But if you are just starting out, it might be a good idea to start with tools in the low price range.


After looking at the architecture software, we also have to look at those that will use the software. This is one criterion in choosing a software that is often overlooked. It does not matter if it is the best in the market and if it is not compatible with those that will use it. Here are some factors that you have to consider when it comes to the operability of your software:

  1. How many people will be using the software? There are tools that work best with solitary users. This means that the software is not good for collaboration. If your business needs to collaborate with a lot of workers, then find a software that will meet your criteria. You can check out architecture software reviews to know which ones are good for collaboration.
  2. Can the software be accessed remotely? If your business encourages employees to step out of the office to get inspiration for their designs, then you need the one that uses a cloud server. This will allow the engineers and architects to be able to work even if they are not in the office. All they need is the software, a device, and an internet connection. You can compare architecture software to know which ones uses on-premise or cloud servers.
  3. How do you want the software to be licensed? You have two ways to go about this. You could buy the license or you could rent it. If you think you have found the best software for your company and won’t likely to change it in the future and you have the budget you could buy the software. But if you are still not sure and might change software providers and do not have the budget at hand to buy a software, then you can opt for the monthly subscription.

You can learn more about architecture software in this article.

Additional Applications

If you want designs with more than just the standard three dimensions, you need one that has additional features and applications to make this happen. Here are some things that you might want to consider other than height, depth, and length.

  1. Kinematics. This is concerned with the movement of an object. If your company deals with product designs, then this might be helpful.
  2. This also refers to the movement of an object but when force is introduced to that object.
  3. Temperatures
  4. Stress
  5. Vibration
  6. Deflection

You could also look for a software that has an integrated analysis tool in it. This will help you analyze the mentioned dimensions above.

If you want to know more about the benefits of using an architecture software, you can check here.


Compatibility means that your design files can be easily opened by other people that you send the designs to. This would include suppliers, customers and other architects or engineers in your workforce. The popularity of the software will make this possible. The more popular a software is, the greater chances that it is also being used by the people you work with.

Another thing to look at is the ease of how files are imported and exported. It would be easier to collaborate with other people if files are easily transferred from one to another. The most common file standards are IGES, IDF, VDA, and STEP. The top architecture software will surely be able to handle these files. But just to make sure, read reviews and comments of other users about a certain software. Doing a thorough research will be ensuring that the software will be able to handle these files.

Looking for the best architecture software? Check out reviews and rankings of other users at

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