best building design bim software

G2 Crowd Publishes Winter 2015 Rankings of the Best Building Design and BIM Software

Two platforms earn Leader status while DataCAD tops overall satisfaction rankings in crowdsourced report

CHICAGO – February 5, 2014 – The first Grid℠ report for building design and building information modeling (BIM) platforms, published today by business software review site G2 Crowd, ranks seven products to help purchasers in their selections.

The Winter 2015 report is based on more than 180 reviews written by business and engineering professionals.

The Grid℠, which is created from G2 Crowd’s software review platform, factors in customer satisfaction reported by users and vendor market presence determined from social and public data to rank products.

Building design and 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 for architectural design and construction, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) and 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 a facility’s functional properties. 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 Winter 2015 General-Purpose CAD report. For additional information about product and machine design tools, see our Winter 2015 Product and Machine Design report; for more information about civil engineering design products, see our Civil Engineering Design category.

To qualify as a Leader, a product must receive a high customer satisfaction score and have substantial market presence. Revit and AutoCAD were named Leaders. High Performers have high customer satisfaction scores with a smaller market presence than Leaders. DataCAD, Vectorworks Architect and ArchiCAD were named High Performers. DataCAD earned the highest overall customer satisfaction score in the report.

Across all building design software and BIM software, reviewers reported the product they use meets their requirements at an average rate of 86%, and on average reviewers said they were 85% likely to recommend the product they use.

Some highlights from the building design and BIM software reviews on G2 Crowd:

“Revit provides the design professional the opportunity to ask the ‘what if’ questions necessary for good design…Starting with Revit 2013 the object selection tools have been improved. With 2014 and 2015 they [were] made better. Improvements to the Stair and Scheduling tools are a big improvement. 3D view controls continue to be enhanced.” John Bund, Sr. BIM Specialist DTS at Callison

“AutoCAD is very helpful in the designing of electrical schematics and wiring diagrams, [They make] constant updates to simplify the use of the software by including tabs and icons that you can easily click on and run updates to entire drawing sets at once.” Mark Eenigenburg, Electrical Designer at Quad Plus

“For all my [architectural,] construction and presentation drawings I use [DataCAD,] have since…Version 9. It is by far my preferred [CAD] program, and will develop my drawings first with it even when a client demands the products be supplied in [a different] format. No software I have used is even close to DataCAD for ease of use and features for my architectural work.” John Kennedy, Architect and Principal at Kennedy Design

“I’ve been using [Vectorworks Architect] for 20 years…I find it far more intuitive than other systems I’ve used in the past. Now that I’m adopting a BIM workflow, or at least headed that way, its [built-in plug-in] objects make it easy to develop a design concept quickly. The use of layers and classes allow for easy control of attributes and features both in the model and in the drawing sheets. A drawing can be generated fairly quickly and look great too.” Lee Calisti, Architect and Principal at lee CALISTI architecture+design

“ArchiCAD is very good for 3D BIM modelling. The best parts are the intelligent building materials and the material composites. I like to work with the 3D model best because the output is amazing. Generating [floor plans], sections, elevation, renderings at the same time. The teamwork function also works very well for remote collaboration.” Bettina Jochum Duller, Freelance Architect

Of the more than 15 software vendors listed in G2 Crowd’s Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) category, the seven ranked products each received 10 or more reviews to qualify for inclusion on the Grid℠.

Satisfaction rankings are generated from the user reviews, and market presence is calculated from vendor size, market share, and social impact. Based on a combination of these scores, each software solution is categorized as a Leader, High Performer, Contender, or Niche.

Premium research access can be purchased on the site for $599. These offers the original data for filtering and weighting, as well as individual profiles of each platform with the most helpful positive and negative building design and BIM platform reviews, detailed company information, user satisfaction ratings, feature scores and customer metrics. Future refreshes of the Grid℠ will provide updated rankings based on the latest reviews and social data.

Be sure to check out the new Grid℠ for the best building design and BIM software and subscribe to the premium research. For any questions, please contact G2 Crowd; you can also follow G2 Crowd on LinkedIn and Twitter for more frequent updates.

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About G2 Crowd, Inc.

G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business software review platform, leverages its roughly 25,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Technology buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Co-founded by the founder and former executives from SaaS leader BigMachines and backed by more than $4.5 million in capital, G2 Crowd aims to bring authenticity and transparency to business technology research. For more information, go to G2Crowd.com.

Comments 3

  1. I’m new to drafting and architectural design and I recently started working for a building construction company. I was wondering what architectural design software you would recommend for a Lumberyard/building company. I would like to start drawing building plans for homes, pole sheds, additions, etc. I would be the only employee drawing blueprints for our building crew which consists of 4-7 carpenters. We currently use AutoCAD 2000i for all of our drawing projects, but I don’t want to learn how to use it if there are other better options out there. I’m a quick learner and am not afraid of difficulty. I’ve come across so many different software (Chief Architect, CadSoft, ArchiCAD, Sketchup, Revit, Softplan, Rhinoceros, DataCAD, TurboCAD, etc), but I’m struggling to make the best choice fit for my business. If you have any helpful advice, please let me know. Thanks

    1. Thanks for asking, Jaron!

      You know, it might depend on the features that are most important to you, as well as integrations with other tools you’re already using.

      Depending on the category, there might be specific considerations. When you find your category page, check out the resources we have linked in the left side of the page (e.g. “Before You Buy” and “Common Features”). That’ll help you narrow down the options!

      Example here: https://www.g2crowd.com/categories/general-purpose-cad (check out the links on the left rail)

      Hope this helps!

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