Building Information Modeling (BIM)

ArchiCAD 14 Eases Model Sharing and Updating between Architects and Engineers

3 Jun, 2010 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

Latest version of BIM solution supports open design collaboration and boosts productivity and Teamwork 2.0 functionality.

With the introduction of ArchiCAD 13 last year and its new BIM Server and Teamwork 2.0 file-management technologies, Graphisoft changed the game of shared building information modeling (BIM) for architects. The recently launched ArchiCAD 14 further improves the BIM workflow by facilitating collaboration and data exchange between architects and engineers, helping the company realize its goal of providing best-in-class open design collaboration, said Akos Pfemeter, Graphisoft's director of global marketing. "ArchiCAD 13 has been a great success in the market. ArchiCAD 14 finishes what we started," he stated.

Miklós Szövényi-Lux, vice-president of product management at Graphisoft, said, "With ArchiCAD 14, Graphisoft helps designers realize the true potential of model-based collaboration by turning simple file compatibility between architectural and engineering software into intelligent workflow solutions for industry-first open design collaboration."

The new version of the PC- and Mac-based modeler also offers a number of improvements designed to increase productivity and support work in a team environment.

Open Design Collaboration

So you want to share data seamlessly for review by your structural or MEP engineer, for model coordination, or for code checking and analysis in any mainstream software solution — then just as easily import model changes back to your design? New features in ArchiCAD 14 aim to support just that.
ArchiCAD, an IFC solution, has always supported open exchange of data, including AutoCAD and 3D architectural data of nearly any origin. ArchiCAD 14 turns IFC technology into full-fledged workflow solutions, enabling collaboration regardless of the engineer's discipline or the name and version of the application used, according to Graphisoft. This broadens designers' options for integrated project delivery (IPD), resulting in faster delivered projects and significantly fewer coordination errors.
Architects using ArchiCAD 14 can prepare a model to pass to a structural engineer that maintains only those structures that are load bearing, for example, such as the concrete core of a wall. If for instance an object such as a drop ceiling was modeled using the slab tool, the user can reclassify that element and easily change IFC status for refined model mapping. To save a model in IFC format, users select from a list of predefined translators for common CAD solutions, or they can use translators of their own. ArchiCAD product manager Tibor Szolnoki called this "translation with one click."

When a model arrives back from the structural engineer, the architect can use the new Detect IFC Model Changes wizard in ArchiCAD 14 to identify the proposed engineering changes and decide which to accept. 

New model coordination functionality in ArchiCAD 14 allows the architect to easily review and accept engineering changes in the building model environment.

Productivity Improvements

ArchiCAD 14 also delivers a variety of productivity improvements, such as enriched details to modeling doors and windows, better 3D visualization, enhanced 2D drafting, improved handling of libraries and library parts, and refined user interactions.

  • Optimized model exporting. Targeted workflows for Autodesk Revit Structure, Revit MEP, Tekla Structures, Nemetschek Allplan and Nemetschek SCIA enable change management and version tracking. Revit 2011 plugins are available on the Graphisoft web site. 
  • Extended options for doors and windows. ArchiCAD 14 offers increased control over model-based sections and details of doors and windows. An extended set of Reveal and Wall Closure setting options automates the creation of refined details. 
  • Easy merge of terrain data with the BIM model. Site survey data can now be imported into ArchiCAD with a single click. XYZ coordinates automatically convert into an ArchiCAD Mesh element to provide an accurate 3D model of the building environment.
  • Improved scheduling. New standard spreadsheet editing techniques improve productivity in Schedule and Index windows. Quantity take-offs can be exported to Microsoft Excel with graphical information included for WYSIWYG results.
  • OpenGL shadows for lively 3D previews. ArchiCAD 14 offers in-model visualization with shadow casting in 3D OpenGL views. Live 3D views of the BIM model can now serve as basis for communicating the design intent with clients.
  • Dimension text prefix/suffix. Custom prefixes and suffixes added to associative dimensions increase documentation productivity.

New scheduling tools in ArchiCAD 14 allow users to refine schedule lists and export data to Excel.

Teamwork Improvements

ArchiCAD 14 builds on the BIM Server and Teamwork 2.0 file-sharing platform introduced in ArchiCAD 13. New features include the following:

  • Single-user mode. Teamwork solo mode helps practitioners tap the potential of the BIM Server infrastructure on independent projects and streamlines workflow for project leaders at the early phases of large team projects.
  • Pack and Go. This new tool provides an easy way to transport Teamwork projects, saving all necessary files and libraries of Teamwork sessions into a transportable data package that can be stored on a thumb drive for further edits via any remote computer, without the need for physical access to the BIM Server. Work sharing is controlled by the BIM Server, prohibiting changes by other users while the model is checked out. If the remote computer has access to the BIM Server, uses can send in changes.
  • Project monitoring at the server level. This new feature provides details about the current or past activity of each user, server memory use, and overall project-related activity.
  • BIM Server 64-bit for Mac. Introduced last year for PC users, this performance upgrade is now available for Mac-based users.


ArchiCAD 14 is available for purchase worldwide. Shipment of localized versions will begin on June 9 with the INT, US, GER, AUT, AUS, and NZE versions. All 26 local versions are planned to reach the market by the end of Q3 2010.

More information about ArchiCAD 14 is available on the Graphisoft web site. 


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