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Architecture reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Architecture Software

Architecture software is used primarily by architects to visualize, create, view, and document building designs with powerful 2D precision drawing and drafting tools. Additional capabilities include schedule management, drafting automation, and customizable work environments.

Products in the Architecture category offer a repertoire of 2D design tools that assist in the process of scheduling, planning, and executing detailed construction drawings. Using personalized environments, these platforms allow architects to simulate real-world obstacles, helping provide advanced problem solving abilities. Some products, similar to those in General-Purpose CAD and Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) categories, include 3D modeling capabilities and integrations, allowing for a greater ability to visualize and generate complex designs.

To qualify for inclusion in the Architecture category, a product must:

Have capabilities specifically designed for architects
Include 2D precision drawing and drafting tools
Provide a customizable platform
Offer documentation and scheduling capabilities

Top 10 Architecture Software

  • Revit
  • SketchUp
  • Cinema 4D
  • The Wild
  • V-Ray
  • Lumion
  • Blender
  • Enscape
  • SoftPlan
  • Modo

Compare Architecture Software

G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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(651)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$290 per month

Autodesk® Revit® software is built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), helping professionals design, build, and maintain higher-quality, more energy-efficient buildings. Using the information-rich models created with Autodesk Revit software, architects, engineers, and construction firms can collaborate to make more-informed decisions earlier in the design process to deliver projects more efficiently. Any design changes made in Revit models are automatically updated throughout the model, kee

(464)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$119 Single User/Year

The most popular 3D modeling and design tool in the world, SketchUp users model everything from treehouses to intricate, energy-efficient buildings. Owned by Trimble Inc., an entrepreneurial company focused on leveraging technology to change how the way the world works, SketchUp is both intuitive and powerful for professionals and creatives of all kinds. The suite of tools within the program enhances workflows and creative concepts across a variety of industries including architecture, enginee

(116)4.6 out of 5

Cinema 4D Studio is the very best that MAXON has to offer for professional 3D artists. If you want to create advanced 3D graphics but need a helping hand to ensure you create jaw-dropping graphics quickly and easily, then this is the choice for you.

(33)4.7 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

The Wild is an immersive remote collaboration platform that uses virtual and augmented reality to enable architecture, design technology, and BIM teams to save time and make better decisions by experiencing their work together, immersed in a shared virtual space. With native support for SketchUp and Revit, The Wild aims to shape the future of collaboration by connecting people and their ideas across distance into a shared experience. For more information, visit thewild.com.

(58)4.5 out of 5

Chaos Group provides state of the art rendering solutions for architectural, VFX, film, media and entertainment, automotive design, and other industries.

(48)4.5 out of 5

Lumion is Architectural Software. Make an image, a video or a 360 panorama, which you can view with VR glasses. Render ultra fast. Make changes all the time. Upload a 3D design (made with Revit, SketchUp Rhino, Archicad or many other 3D modelling programs) and upload your design into Lumion. Lumion includes a large library with beautiful materials and objects. Dress up your model with sky, grass, glass, materials, people, lighting, furniture, cars etc. and add effects. Feel the space. It's ea

(162)4.5 out of 5

Blender is an open source 3D creation suite that supports the 3D pipeline, modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking, video editing, and game creation.

(18)4.6 out of 5

The real-time rendering plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino and ArchiCAD.

(17)4.2 out of 5

SoftPlan is a subscription based facility that helps the design process by providing you with a suite of cloud-based services and knowledge to give you access to content, data and more.

(53)4.5 out of 5

Modo’s powerful and flexible 3D modeling, texturing and rendering toolset empowers artists to explore and develop ideas without jumping through technical hoops. Modo® is your starting point for creative exploration. Whether you’re creating addictive real-time experiences, innovative product designs, compelling advertising images, or engaging film and video content, MODO’s artist-friendly tools let you iterate freely to realize your ideas’ full creative potential.

(10)4.6 out of 5

Frank is a friendly platform that supports architecture and engineering studios with their operations and project management. Find Everything in One Place Rather than switching from one program to another, view every detail from the same platform: Documents Communications Employee/Project Performance Financials Real time Dashboards We like to think of Frank as a person who takes care of your back office needs, helps you see the bigger picture and bottom line of your business,

(10)4.4 out of 5

Floor Plan Application

(14)3.7 out of 5

Maxwell Render is rendering technology capable of simulating light exactly as it behaves in the real world

Corel DESIGNER combines technical illustration tools including the ability to manipulate 3D CAD drawings with tools to help you produce technical drawings.

(11)4.1 out of 5

OctaneRender uses the graphics card in your computer to render photo-realistic images super fast.

(11)4.1 out of 5

Artlantis is a 3D rendering application developed for architects and designers, ideal for quickly and easily creating high resolution renderings and animations.

(12)4.7 out of 5

Corona Renderer is an integrated solution for selected 3D applications. It's both biased and unbiased renderer that's capable of outputting photorealistic visuals.

(7)3.4 out of 5

MASTERSPEC is a building specifications resource for producing specifications that fit your needs with features and functions to help you manage your practice.

(8)4.2 out of 5

Twinmotion is a real-time visualization software changing the way architects and designers interact with their models.

(4)4.5 out of 5

Archi is a solution help users to enter in the ArchiMate modeling language, or in cross-platform ArchiMate modeling tool for companies or institutions to engage with the language within a TOGAF or other enterprise architecture framework.

ASSA ABLOY Openings Studio is a full-featured, web-based suite of BIM software tools for creating and visualizing 3D doors, frames, and hardware objects and modifying their associated parameters for use in design, construction, and facility management.

(4)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$79/month

Cedreo is a 3D architecture software publisher founded in 2005. It is the only solution made for home builders, remodelers and interior designers to draw floor plans and create 3D renderings in order to get conceptual designs in just 2 hours. It allows you to create 2D and 3D floor plans and fully furnished interior and exterior photorealistic 3D renderings to help your clients envision the project before it is built, facilitate communication and sell faster. With Cedreo, you can streamline yo

(8)4.4 out of 5

Design Master Electrical is a MEP design software that allows you to do your calculations and drafting, organize your files, manage time with calculations, design, and drafting by automating those functions and more.

(4)4.0 out of 5

Take your 3D model into 2D space.

(4)4.5 out of 5

IStruct is a layout, design and structural analysis solution that combines layout/drafting, single member design, reporting, and a real-time 3D experience.

(3)3.8 out of 5

progeCAD 2010 Professional is a CAD software solution built for drafting, AEC, MCAD and all your cad usage to help you manage design costs, quality, and more.

(32)4.5 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Unanet is a leading provider of ERP solutions purpose-built for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services. More than 3,100 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and nurture business growth. Unanet A/E, powered by Clearview, is purpose-built ERP for architecture and engineering firms and offers a powerful combination of Project Management, Business Intelligence, Time and Expense Tracking, Finan

(2)4.0 out of 5

Cost Gem is a tool to manage cost and income for architectural or engineering management. Timesheets, Work Schedule, Project Reports, Calendars, File Management, Non Productive Time, Sub-consultants, Revenue Forecasting & Invoicing.

(3)3.0 out of 5

Easy Blue Print is a software program used to quickly create floor plans for office and home layouts with precise measurements.

(2)4.5 out of 5

Use this tool's intuitive editor and furniture library to create interactive floor plans and share your projects with clients online.

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Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
SketchUp
Sensopia
Revit
Cinema 4D
Blender
SoftPlan
Modo
Lumion
Maxwell Render
V-Ray
Frank
The Wild
Enscape
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Learn More About Architecture Software

What is Architecture Software?

Architecture software allows architects to communicate their designs, intentions, and expectations in a digital format. That communication happens between architect, designer, contractor, engineer, material supplier, and (most importantly) client. At the minimum, architectural software reduces errors, boosts efficiency, and ensures accuracy of calculations. Architecture software can enhance manual drawings and workflows, as well as streamline and provide comprehensive oversight for the entire architect and construction project lifecycle. The software also allows architects and contractors to ensure their agendas and cost estimates are set in place–—and agreed upon with the client—prior to embarking upon a project. Architecture software makes sure that those plans meets legal and safety requirements.

The requirements and needs of architects blur the lines between architectural software, BIM applications, and CAD systems. Architecture software also isn’t architect- or architectural firm-exclusive; this software type can be used by drafters, engineers, contractors, and builders.

Architectural software facilitates the creation of any and all documents regarding the plans for a project.

While the idea of an architect’s studio covered in blueprints and paper contracts is romantic, it’s neither efficient nor desirable. Human error is always an inevitable part of any industry, but it comes at a higher cost (literally) in the architectural industry. Why slowly and manually calculate mathematical equations or painstakingly redraw plans after client feedback? Software is equipped with algorithms and allows designers to manipulate their drawings at will. Architects are no longer constrained by the limits of paper; they can easily work in 3D and 4D.

With an architecture software tool, you can:

  • Publish designs in PDF format
  • Develop overall standards for the production of design content
  • Produce more precise designs
  • Manage and organize assets

Why Use Architecture Software?

A major benefit of utilizing architecture software is that it opens up channels of collaboration and communication between architects, designers, engineers, and clients. Architectural software enhances workflow, regardless of whether an architectural firm uses it for design. Software enables electronic file sharing, automatic quantity takeoff and estimation, and overall project management. Editing features ensure that everyone relevant has contributed to the project, before and during construction.

Architectural software also reduces fragmentation between different players: All designs, information, edits, and changes are centralized into one database. This minimizes conflict, creates a source of truth, and simplifies project coordination. Additionally, architecture software improves business outcomes for clients, because of its tendency to create transparency at every step of the project.

Who Uses Architecture Software?

Those who are involved in architecture agencies and projects utilize architectural software. This includes architects, designers, contractors, subcontractors, clients, and compliance and legal professionals.

Architecture Software Features

Rendering – 2D and 3D renderings (even without the help of augmented reality (AR) technology) enable architects to show clients realistic models and visualizations. By rendering their concepts, architects can present to clients how their plans will look upon completion.

Drafting – Architectural software must allow for direct drafting or the import and/or export of drafts in the software. Whether the drafts can be initially drawn in 2D and then prototyped in 3D doesn’t matter, so long as the software enables drafting capability. An added bonus to this drafting feature is architecture calculators, which can automate the counting of resources, materials, and finances.

Workflow – Effective architect software should facilitate the integration of existing workflows. Once those workflows are uploaded into the software, they can be better monitored and tracked, ultimately enabling full collaboration across the organization. Integrated workflows also speed up the entire design and construction processes, because they reduce redundant, back-and-forth communication.

Database – A lot of architecture software offers some version of a database. This can range from a materials database, full of updated costs and availability, to a file storage database. Regardless of database type, it will be helpful for the architect who wants to go back and find context for their original drafts and plans.

Document management – Architect assets are digital designs and drafts. Architecture software that provides a place to store, edit, and share those pieces of content helps professionals stay on top of things. With document management capabilities, drafts, plans, and communication can be standardized and tracked more efficiently. Additionally, some document management modules can ensure file compatibility. For those that do, this can be a make-it-or-break-it feature; if a software is unable to export or import files in a certain file type, then architects are forced to jump through hoops during presentation and sharing. Some software will integrate with business content management solutions, easing the entire process of identifying, discovering, and tracking down relevant content.

Additional Architecture Features

Project management – Job costing, job coordination, time tracking, and business reports are not architecture industry-specific features, but they are crucial to keeping architecture projects from blowing past initial estimates and undermining client relationships.

Integration with accounting solutions – Beyond basic invoicing and generating of BOQs (bill of quantities), architecture software usually does not offer a full-fledged accounting module. Integration with third-party accounting solutions, then, can enhance the benefits of architectural software within a design firm.

Integration with CAD and BIM – Despite any overlaps between CAD and BIM software with architecture software, not all architecture software necessarily offers those capabilities. Integration with CAD and BIM enables architectural software to demonstrate a greater ability for visualization and design generation.

Construction site management – Contractors, engineers, and construction crews make possible the physical reconstruction of design plans into tangible buildings. Therefore, architectural software that offers construction site management features helps provide synchronization and consistency across the entire building lifecycle.

Potential Issues with Architecture Software

Ideally, architecture software reduces the time and energy spent on creating drafts, communicating with clients and relevant parties, and adjusting plans throughout the project lifecycle. Architecture software equips agencies and professionals with the tools to discover efficiencies, ensure accuracy despite speeding up the lifecycle, and facilitate integration between disparate solutions that may already be in place.

However, despite the hundreds, if not more, hours of manpower that could be saved by utilizing such software, there are still some issues that arise when implementing it:

Sweeping learning curve – Ironically, the biggest hurdle with architecture software is the technology bit. Like landscape designers or other trades that put emphasis on hand drawing skills, it’s difficult to convince professionals to switch to a mostly—if not entirely—digital platform. Additionally, some architecture solutions are either too expensive for smaller-sized design firms or independent architects or too expansive for the technically-unsavvy user to comfortably learn.

Hand drawing versus digital drawing – Architecture software logically increases efficiencies in drawing, drafting, and file sharing. However, some architects resolutely prefer the old-school creative process. The issue, then, is how to onboard those architects who refuse to adopt new technologies. The silver lining here, though, is that those architects would probably gravitate toward software that allows them to export their hand drawn sketches into the software.

Project management – If an architecture software doesn’t provide visibility into the progress of projects and continued availability of resources, it’s difficult to argue that the unfamiliar tool will ultimately be useful. Helpful architectural software should take over the manual process of coordinating project leads, contractors, and team members. The tool should also unify the entire architecture project, allowing for harmony and reduced friction and misunderstanding.