Survey Finds Opportunities to Accelerate 3D CAD/BIM Adoption and Green Building Design

27 Sep, 2004

The transition to next-generation 3D CAD and BIM building design software is happening more rapidly than originally thought, and will accelerate with the release of a wider range of engineering analysis tools that can interact and share data across design teams. This according to a recent online survey of 585 architects and engineers conducted by GeoPraxis, an architectural, engineering, and construction software and services company, and Pacific Gas & Electric, in conjunction with McGraw-Hill Construction, Autodesk, and Bentley Systems.

Of the CAD-using respondents, 52% indicated they produce a 3D model on 75% or more of their projects. Architects and engineers report that integrating whole-building energy analysis, cost estimating, energy code compliance, and LEED certification into 3D CAD and BIM (building information modeling) applications are key drivers for expanded use of 3D CAD and BIM modeling at their firms. They also report they would use 3D CAD and BIM approaches more if clients and design team members simply asked for BIM files rather than 2D drawings. This suggests that building departments, utility efficiency programs, and green building rating organizations could become major drivers of change by specifying documentation derived from BIM or 3D CAD models.

Jon Pittman, senior director of strategic research at Autodesk, said, "The survey offers new insight into which key engineering design and analysis applications are necessary to drive changing design processes and BIM adoption within the AEC industry. The sharing of critical information between architectural design and engineering analysis applications to facilitate green building design, for example, is a real testimony to the value of this new way of working."

Full survey results are available at