6 Software Solutions Every Architecture Firm Needs in 2020

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Sketches and drawings, at its core, is the foundational skill that architects use to bring their ideas and their clients’ ideas to life. Liner pens, an architect’s scale, and a Moleskin classic notebook are the basics of architect tools used in drawing plans. And although these drawing basics are still relevant and very useful today, it’s pretty safe to say that the method for creating drawings has drastically evolved over time.

In addition to hand skills, architectural design has evolved into the digital world. According to the New School of Architecture and Design, it takes around five years to obtain your undergraduate degree in architecture, but it’s a safe be that while you’re in school, you’re learning about the various software programs that will prove to be very beneficial in your architectural career.

Various types of software have now made it easier to do everything from streamlining your architecture firm on the business side to being able to digitally draw, save, and print your designs. 

And that’s the best part of architecture software… It not only allows you to design but it also allows you full control over workflow management. However, architectural design software is very niche, meaning that certain programs are meant to meet specific needs. It also means you’re more than likely going to have to jump from program to program but luckily, a lot of the information can be easily exported from one program to the next.

That reason alone is why it’s so important to make sure you’re choosing the right program that meets your needs.

There are, of course, different considerations to think about in choosing the right program. Things like cost, how much time you plan on spending in the drawing phase, and the overall compatibility with other programs you have are the major considerations you have to think about in choosing an architecture program or programs.

If you’re needing help in determining the best programs for your architecture firm, here are the six best software solutions every architect needs for their firm.

6 Software Solutions Every Architect Firm Needs in 2020

1.SketchUp Studio

SketchUp is an easy-to-use software solution that allows architects to create 3D designs that make it easy to express your design ideas to your clients and team members. It features a vast component library that’s great for residential architecture.

This program is well worth the investment, especially when you can prototype a design to your clients during the conceptual stage and they’re able to see the vision you created.

2.JD Edwards

With architecture, you can’t forget that although you’re designing buildings, it’s also a business as well. JDE Software is designed to meet the challenging demands of the business world, including the busy demands of an architecture firm.

This software solution has over 80 fully integrated application modules ranging from manufacturing and supply chain to finances and customer relationship management. This program is intended to streamline your firm, making it easier to communicate with team members during the entire project process, from start to finish.

Team members will always know what needs to be done and what the numbers are looking like.


When it comes to 2D and 3D projects, Revit is your all-in-one solution. This software provides users with features of real-world characteristics of structures including, windows, doors, and walls, and any changes you make, you’ll be able to update your changes in all your views. The ability to update your changes in all your views is going to help you use your time more efficiently in reducing your drawing time sizably.


You’ve seen those home remodeling shows where the host will show the homebuyers a digital design of what their home will look like with renovation changes? Did you notice how real those digital visualizations look? Well, it’s a safe bet that the homebuilders use software programs like V-Ray.

V-Ray is probably one of the top software solutions for realistic visualizations of design plans. You can see the different textures, plays on light, and surfaces in the model buildings your create through this particular software.

If you’re wanting a software solution that will convince potential clients that you can make their visions come to life, V-Ray is the way to go. Whether it’s a residential or commercial structure you’re designing, your clients will be blown away at the realistic features this program provides.


AutoCAD is the pioneer software solution for architects and engineers alike and is compatible with almost all architect software programs. This program is actually at the top of the list for precision in 2D and 3D drawings.

It does have a bit of a steep learning curve with its older practices, but nonetheless, it’s still a great software solution for architects. There are resources that will help you learn more about 3D modeling that you can purchase before purchasing the AutoCAD software.

6.Chief Architect

Chief Architect is a software solution that’s ideal for residential buildings. It specializes in the areas of home and interior design as well as the designing of kitchens and bathrooms. That alone should let you know it comes in two versions. You have Chief Architect Interiors which is great for designing the interiors of a home. Then there’s Chief Architect Premier, which is great for home design. Based on your architectural niche, you decide which program is best for your firm.

As you can see, there are lots of different software solutions for architects, whether you prefer the “old school” practices that AutoCAD comes with or the new age design elements that V-Ray provides, you have a plethora of options to fit your firm’s needs… All you have to do is determine which one is the right fit for your firm’s project niche.