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Why Choose Archicad?

Haneef Tayob
Newcomer
In some ways, I'm the 'cad manager, at our office. I also get friends calling me to advise them on which cad system they should use and why.

In 1989, I was asked to make a decision for our offices 1st cad package and chose AutoCad. We had no regrets. We developed a large database of details, standards and other customised tools which allowed us to produced work fast and efficiently. We used to have sales reps come in to demo other software, but did not find anything to really warrant a change.

Around 1996, I was asked again to see if there was something which will take us to the 'next level'. This time we chose ArchiCad. It was a totally new way of working, but we had no regrets. Some of the friends to whom I had recommended Autocad to earlier on were reluctant to take my advice and migrate, citing difficulty in changing to a new system (we were vindicated). We feel that we benefitted by changing early to this 'virtual building software'. Improvement in quality, efficiency and consistency was evident. Even today, having seen the competition, we don't feel like were sitting with a piece of outdated software.

If I were now asked to make a decision for the next few years, what decision would one make today? I would appreciate some thoughts on why one would choose to remain with ArchiCad?
Haneef Tayob
Aziz Tayob Architects
AC23 INT rel 3003, OS X 10.14.6 iMac 3.3ghz i5 dual monitor, 24GB RAM
6 REPLIES 6

Laura Yanoviak
Booster
I originally worked with AC back in '92 - '93 and loved it -- moved back to the mainland (from Hawaii), and everything here in Denver was AutoCAD. The firm I worked for in 2002 was looking to transition to ADT, and I knew that even the AC of 10 years prior made ADT out to be a joke. Of course, the idea of changing CAD software fell on deaf ears.

A group at the firm I'm with now had a similar experience when presenting AC to the partners at about the same time. Then AutoDesk purchased Revit and "BIM" became mainstream...

I was given the task of evaluating BIM software at the beginning of 2005, and it soon became clear the choice was between AC(9) and Revit(7). We ultimately chose AC because:

1) AC had over 4x the market history as Revit, and there was simply more information available: third party applications, object libraries, tutorials, external support systems and publications.

2) Interoperability

3) Teamwork

4) The Lightworks rendering engine

5) We felt AC far more flexible, without Revit's "enforced associations between elements" and automatic updating

6) Not having to deal with AutoDesk

7) Of lesser importance, but still considered: National CAD Standard compliance, plug-in for SketchUp and the fact that AC is cross-platform

Now, a year-and-a-half later, Revit has made significant progress (although, I'm not sure I'd want to manage a system that upgrades every 6 months), but I still feel AC superior. I believe the competition in the marketplace is doing AC (and us) much good, and eventually the two systems will be comparable. So... it really comes down to which software you're the most comfortable with...

I don't know if this answers your question, but if AC is the best BIM package on the market today, why change?
MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core i9, 32 GB of RAM

AC25 US (3011) AC24 on Mac OS Catalina 10.15.7

Geoff Briggs
Booster
Laura wrote:
if AC is the best BIM package on the market today, why change?
Even if it is a close second it is still wiser to preserve your investment in ArchiCAD and support competition in this market. Revit's ascent will help us all. Many firms are finally convinced that they should switch. If Graphisoft can capture a significant portion, based on assessments like Laura's, then they will earn the right (and revenue) to compete. Thus the tide rises.

My concern is that Graphisoft's focus has been diluted by the dollar signs they see in the construction industry. Not that they should ignore this lucrative market. It just seems their approach is too compartmentalized based on their belief that contractors will need to re-model projects to effectively take advantage of BIM. This viewpoint is already being challenged in the marketplace and hopefully Graphisoft will recognize this error and adapt a more integrated approach.
Regards,
Geoff Briggs
DeForest Architects
Seattle, USA

AC24 INT, Mac (home), Win10 (work)
Yes, you read that correctly, we are in the US but use the INT version.

Laura Yanoviak
Booster
Actually, part of what motivated our firm to take the plunge was the use of BIM within the construction industry. Under construction for the past 4 years, Daniel Libeskind's addition to the Denver Art Museum could not have been constructed without the use of BIM. As of 2 years ago, more contractors than architects saw the benefits of BIM [within our market of commercial architecture].

So I think Graphisoft's focus on the construction industry is a good thing; however, I certainly hope the priority remains on architecture.
MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core i9, 32 GB of RAM

AC25 US (3011) AC24 on Mac OS Catalina 10.15.7

Geoff Briggs
Booster
Laura wrote:
I think Graphisoft's focus on the construction industry is a good thing
I do to. But Graphisoft seems to have taken the position that the "design" model is not good enough and that contractors will need to create a fresh "construction" model.

From an AECbytes article Visual Estimating: Extending BIM to Construction:
Graphisoft, for instance, has made a strong case for a separate construction model by arguing that the building model required for construction is substantially different from the model generated during design, and that in most cases, even if a BIM model has been generated by the architect and engineer, it is not very suitable for construction and will have to be substantially reworked—to the extent that it would be easier to simply start from scratch.

This I feel is a mistake since it breaks the collaborative chain before it's ever been forged, and perpetuates the division between trades that should regard each other as partners. It also strikes me as a cop out, a rationalization of the weakness of the ArchiCAD model when applied to construction and Graphisoft's questionable decision to create construction solutions that are not entirely compatible with ArchiCAD. If you believe the article it's a dead end approach that is already being challenged by better technology. That's why I encourage Graphisoft to rethink this methodology and retool their product line to form an integrated end to end system. That's what Bentley has and that's what Revit is becoming. It starts at the beginning by focusing on and building from their crown jewel, ArchiCAD.
Regards,
Geoff Briggs
DeForest Architects
Seattle, USA

AC24 INT, Mac (home), Win10 (work)
Yes, you read that correctly, we are in the US but use the INT version.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Really, some piece of what propelled our firm to take the plunge was the utilization of BIM inside the development business. Under development for as far back as 4 years, Daniel Libeskind's expansion to the Denver Art Museum couldn't have been developed without the utilization of BIM. Starting 2 years prior, a bigger number of builders than planners saw the profits of BIM [within our business of business architecture].

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hello,

I dig up this post because in one year it will be too late.
So, Why to choose Archicad?

September 24th, 2014, our agency won the trophy of National Gold BIM Awards (all merged categories, and thanks E. Wilk for yours helps ).
I don't know why this information was not published on the official site, ( or I don't find it ...)?

Yes, France is a small country in Europe and more still in World ! But it's a pity to not communicate about this subject... Nevertheless the "battle" was hard between Allplan, Archicad,Digital Project, and Revit.

More links ( sorry in french )
"news" here
If some want the PDF of all "competitors", say it ! I shall put another link

Good Week

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