Best Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software

Building design and building information modeling (BIM) software includes computer-aided design (CAD) products used commonly within the architecture and construction industries. Many of these products offer tools and libraries specifically targeted toward architectural design and construction, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) and building information modeling (BIM). BIM software offers a model-based process for designing and managing buildings and infrastructures, going beyond construction drawings to generate a digital representation of the functional properties of a facility. Other products in this category may be used for a range of CAD purposes beyond architectural design, but their rankings within this grid focus exclusively on their use as a tool in building design.

For more information about general-purpose CAD products, which include a broad range of 2D and 3D drafting and modeling tools, see our General-Purpose CAD category. For additional information about product and machine design tools, see our Product and Machine Design category, and for more information about civil engineering design products, see our Civil Engineering Design category.

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    Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

    Subscribe to Autodesk® AutoCAD® including specialized toolsets and get access to industry-specific functionality, greater mobility with the new web and mobile apps, and the latest feature updates. Speed up your work with specialized features & libraries for mechanical design, architecture, 3D mapping, and more while working in a familiar AutoCAD interface. Only AutoCAD, with the new web and mobile apps, gives you the freedom and flexibility to work on anything, anywhere, at any time. Design and draft using the latest features and functionality included in subscriber-only updates.

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    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, keeping designs and documentation coordinated and more reliable. Autodesk Revit includes features for architectural design, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, structural engineering, and construction, providing a comprehensive solution for the entire building project team.

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    SketchUp is one of the most popular 3D modeling and design tools in the world. Here at Trimble, our mission is to help make our users better, smarter, and more successful through the use of state of the art software and hardware. Trimble is an exciting, entrepreneurial company, with a history of exceptional growth coupled with a disciplined and strategic focus on being the best. While GPS is at our core, we have grown beyond this technology to embrace other sophisticated positioning technologies and, in doing so; we are changing the way the world works. Our solutions are used in over 140 countries and we have incredibly diverse lines of business. Our employees represent this diversity and can be found in over 30 countries, working closely with their colleagues around the world. SketchUp, part of Trimble’s Construction sector, is 3D modeling software that's easy to learn and incredibly fun to use. Today, hundreds of thousands of architects, engineers, contractors, woodworkers, artists, and other creatives use SketchUp Pro, LayOut, Extension Warehouse and the 3D Warehouse to design everything from transit centers to tree-houses and everything in between.


    ARCHICAD is the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) software application used by architects, designers, engineers and builders to professionally design, document and collaborate on building projects. Since its release over 30 years ago, ARCHICAD has been all about BIM. In this introductory video, learn what BIM is, and why ARCHICAD is the obvious choice of so many AEC industry professionals worldwide. ARCHICAD 21 introduces the highly-anticipated Stair Tool, featuring GRAPHISOFT’s patent-pending Predictive Design™ technology. ARCHICAD 21’s Stair Tool does the heavy lifting in the background – making sure the architect’s stair design complies with relevant global and local design standards – turning what is usually a painful task into something fun. We also further refined ARCHICAD’s best-in-class OPEN BIM workflows in version 21, making interdisciplinary collaboration a very smooth process.


    Vectorworks Architect is the industry’s only BIM modeling, drafting and documentation software built with the design process in mind. As the architect’s BIM tool, the software enables you to tackle complex ideas in 2D and 3D, refine construction details, increase your energy efficiency and streamline costs. Additionally, high-quality renderings can be created with ease and directly inside files thanks to default textures within thousands of Vectorworks content library objects and our easy-to-use Renderworks features. Learn how Architect empowers designers to transform the world like never before at www.vectorworks.net/architect.


    AutoCAD® Architecture software is the version of AutoCAD software specifically for architects.


    MicroStation’s advanced parametric 3D modeling capabilities enable infrastructure professionals of any discipline to collaborate on and deliver projects of any scale and complexity. Your team can aggregate their work on MicroStation, including designs and models created with Bentley’s discipline specific modeling applications. As a result, you can create comprehensive, multi-discipline BIM models, documentation, and other deliverables. MicroStation and all Bentley BIM applications are built on the same comprehensive modeling platform. You therefore can easily progress your MicroStation work into discipline specific workflows with Bentley’s design and analytical modeling applications. With this flexibility, each member of your project team has exactly the right application for the work they need to do.


    For projects that encompass elements of architecture, landscape and entertainment design, Vectorworks Designer software is the ultimate solution. Packing the power of the entire suite of Vectorworks’ products including Architect, Landmark and Spotlight into one robust program, Designer offers digital terrains, plants, lighting, rigging, BIM modeling and rendering tools to help users draft, model and present in a single interface. Additionally, high-quality renderings can be created directly inside files with default textures within thousands of Vectorworks content library objects and our easy-to-use Renderworks features. www.vectorworks.net/designer


    AutoCAD® MEP software helps you draft, design, and document building systems.


    Experience intuitive Building Information Modeling (BIM) with Revit LT™ software. Produce high-quality 3D architectural designs and documentation using BIM software that uses a coordinated, model-based environment.


    Navisworks is a project review software designed to allow architecture, engineering, and construction professionals to review integrated models and data with stakeholders to better control project outcomes.


    Civil 3D civil engineering design software is a civil design and documentation solution that supports Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows.


    DataCAD is a professional-level CADD program for architectural design, presentation, and construction document creation. Developed by architects and software engineers for architecture, DataCAD includes tools that make design and drafting easier, such as automated walls, doors, and windows, associative dimensioning, and Teigha-based DWG translators.


    Vectorworks Landmark software offers tools geared toward streamlining landscape-specific design and BIM workflows. Landmark’s intelligent tools, such as plants, hardscapes, terrain models, automated irrigation tools, powerful databases and flexible documentation features, will help you produce 2D drawings and 3D models to easily design, analyze, present and collaborate on projects. Applying geodesign processes in the planning of built and natural environments is simplified with integrated GIS file management. Additionally, high-quality renderings can be created directly inside a Vectorworks design file thanks to default texture and render settings within Vectorworks objects and Renderworks features. Learn more at www.vectorworks.net/landmark.


    IrisVR is the leading software for immersive design review and collaboration in virtual reality. It is used by BIM and VDC teams, design firms, and engineers who coordinate 3D models and implement design and construction processes. Because IrisVR integrates with Revit, Rhino, Navisworks, SketchUp, and other 3D tools out of the box, you can instantly create an immersive VR experience that allows you to present to clients and work more effectively with your team. IrisVR offers a desktop product called Prospect that works with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows MR headsets, as well as a mobile product called Scope that is compatible with the Samsung GearVR, Google Daydream, and Cardboard. Both products have a 45-day free trial, which you can start at www.irisvr.com.


    An Architectural BIM Application for MicroStation, PowerDraft, and AutoCAD


    We provide software tools, web solutions and services to assist our customers in the creation, conversion and publishing of BIM objects on the web and create a straight path to the users of any BIM software.


    Revit Live cloud service turns Revit models into an immersive experience, helping architects to understand, explore, and share their designs. Revit Live is only available in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection.


    Altium Designer bridges all facets of the PCB design process to keep you seamlessly connected to every aspect of your design at all times.


    Aurora Solar develops cloud-based software that enables sophisticated solar PV engineering design, provides workflow management functionality and facilitates sales and customer acquisition for solar installers and financiers.


    The Cadmatic plant design solution is dedicated to plant layout, piping design, HVAC design, design review and related tasks such as the 3D modelling of complete industrial projects, the creation of P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams) and the generation of isometric drawings as well as data sharing in different formats.


    GT Digital Project features design, engineering, and project management in a comprehensive 3D environment specifically tailored for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry.


    Trimble Connect is a new way for designers, builders, owners and operators to collaborate, share and view project information. It is based on GTeam, the ground-breaking collaboration platform developed by Gehry Technologies.


    AECOsim Building Designer is a single building information modeling (BIM) software application for multi-discipline teams.


    The Altium Vault is a full-blown engineering content management solution that delivers high integrity, smart design and product data management, by providing storage, formal revision management, supply chain intelligence, and lifecycle state management.


    Ecotect Analysis sustainable design analysis software is a comprehensive concept-to-detail sustainable building design tool. Ecotect Analysis offers a wide range of simulation and building energy analysis functionality that can improve performance of existing buildings and new building designs.


    CostX® is used by many different quantity surveying, commercial/residential construction and subcontracting firms around the world because of its superior electronic takeoff capabilities and integrated workbook. Some of the main features of CostX® include: • Measuring counts, lengths and areas with a single click • Supports scanned, PDF and CAD drawings, and also 3D BIM models. • Compare drawings and highlight the changes to identify drawing variations • Live-linked workbooks that can be taken down to ten levels • Ability to hide or show different drawing layers depending on what you wish to work on • Ability to create unlimited rate libraries • Subcontractor comparison/ Bid Day workbook In addition, we have a range of products designed to suit all needs and budgets.



    GenerativeComponents (GC) enables designers to explore more possibilities, in less time, create better designs, and efficiently create and manage complex geometric relationships.


    GT STRUDL has offered structural engineers a complete design solution, and we've now incorporated 3D CAD modeling and 64-bit high-performance computation solvers into all versions. The structural analysis software is a high-quality, fully-integrated, database-driven system for comprehensive frame and finite element analysis and steel and reinforced concrete design


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


    Matterport's 3D media platform lets you create, navigate, modify & share interactive 3D & virtual reality spaces for multiple industries incl real estate, travel, AEC.


    The SmartBIM Platform enables Building Product Manufacturers to automate and syndicate their BIM / digital product across multiple distribution channels.


    SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D enables you to place electrical components and use SOLIDWORKS routing technology to automatically interconnect electrical design elements within a 3D model. 2D schematics and 3D models are synchronized bi-directionally in real time so any changes are automatically updated


    Tekla BIMsight enables project participants to identify and solve issues already in the design phase before construction. With Tekla BIMsight the entire construction workflow can combine their models, check for clashes, and share information using the same easy-to-use BIM environment.


    The Professional Home Design Solution - TurboFloorPlan 3D Home & Landscape Pro 2015 is the easiest way to design your dream home! Plan all phases of your home from foundation, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing to the walls, windows, doors and custom roof. Visualize a new kitchen, bath, or room addition with custom cabinets, lighting, furniture and appliances. Easily edit to see design alternatives. Even design outdoor landscapes including decks, fences, paths, lawns and gardens with custom topography and outdoor lighting. It’s everything you need! • 2D/3D design with precise auto-dimensions • Automatic cost estimator and "Building Green" design tips • Design Tools, Landscape Tools, Building Structure Tools • Interior and Exterior Lighting Simulations & Fixtures • Multiple ways to view your TurboFloorPlan Design • QuickStart™ for a simple way to create custom home designs • Floor Plan Trace to scan and trace your own floor plans • Professional Designed Home Plan Templates • Thousands of drag-and-drop symbols


    Allplan Architecture is object-oriented 3D design software. Allplan Architecture supports architects and designers from presentation of the initial draft to the production of working drawings and detailed design layouts, as well as construction cost planning.


    Allplan Bimplus is the ultimate open BIM platform for all disciplines to collaborate efficiently in building projects. BIM model data, information, documents and tasks are managed centrally over the complete building life cycle.


    Allplan Engineering Building is a powerful BIM tool that is optimized to the work processes of structural engineers in building construction. Due to a direct connection to the cloud-based BIM platform - Allplan Bimplus, Allplan Engineering Building is a complete BIM solution (up to BIM level 3). The software helps you to reduce planning and construction times and comply with cost frameworks.


    Allplan Engineering Civil is a powerful BIM tool that is optimized to the work processes of construction engineers within infrastructure construction. Due to a direct connection to the cloud-based BIM platform Allplan Bimplus, Allplan Engineering Civil is a complete BIM solution (up to BIM level 3). The software helps you to reduce planning and construction times and comply with cost frameworks


    ArCADia 10 EN is a program supporting 2D and 3D design, closely resembles the Autocad program.


    ArCADia PLUS 10 EN is a software help to create and edit ACIS solids, precise work on full solids, penetration, sums, and differences.


    Pioneer of 3D modelling since the 90s, ARC + is the ideal tool with which to build your BIM projects.


    AutoSteel gives lengths for bars with various diameter in the form of measurement sheets. Separate measurement sheets are available for columns, Beams, Slabs, Staircase & Footings. Step footing, pile foundation and such aspects of steel can easily be worked out from this software.


    Bricks is an online collaboration app designed by architects who want to reinvent Architecture design and BIM with an Agile approach.


    Building Design for Fabrication efficiently and consistently covers project requirements end-to-end: from planning and design to fabrication and execution within an integrated BIM environment. Mock up all projects from office furniture to industrial sheds, high rise buildings and custom architectures.


    CADISON is a solution provides the flexibility to customize workflows, object models and catalogs to one's own company standards and automatically generate reports, BOM, MTOs, Isometrics and 2D GA drawings to improve project execution efficiency. It also has built-in revision control and project coordination capabilities.


    CircuitStudio the PCB Design Tool ready to pick up and go. With the 1.5 release now making it easier than ever to transition your historical Eagle data into a modern tool, with the peace of mind that you will be able to continue editing your design files today, tomorrow and into the future.


    Cubicost provides a BIM integrated solution for the construction industry.


    Design Master HVAC is a complete ductwork drafting and calculation software program that works directly inside AutoCAD or BricsCAD.


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