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Archicad START Edition 2021

Emoke Csikos

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 was released on January 13th, 2021. Based on the technology of Archicad 24,  Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 is a professional BIM solution with critical features most smaller practices need.

Serving as a base for the latest Archicad STAR(T) Edition, Archicad 24’s robust, well-tested engine satisfies the needs of a smaller practice. Archicad STAR(T) EDITION 2021 provides the full power of Archicad 24’s BIM-based streamlined documentation workflow, allowing the project model to stay live until the very end of the design documentation phase: it helps keeping architects in the state of the creative design flow with as little disruption as possible. (To take advantage of the entire range of Archicad features and benefits, upgrade to the full version of Archicad at any time and continue editing all your previously started projects with it.)
Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 is a BIM solution for smaller architectural practices that contain all the features of Archicad 24 that are critical for them but those features that have little or no importance for them are omitted.

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 is not available on all markets.
To purchase Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021, contact your Archicad Reseller.

Find information about the previous versions of STAR(T) Edition in this article.

System Requirements

Supported operating systems:

Not supported operating systems:

Incompatible Operating Systems (STAR(T) Edition 2021 cannot be installed):


  • The latest updates are required to be installed on all Operating Systems
  • Only 64-bit Operating Systems are supported
  • HiDPI display support is not available on Windows 8.1 and on older versions

Hardware Requirements

Recommended hardware

  • Processor: 64-bit processor with four or more cores
  • RAM: 16 GB or more is recommended; for complex, detailed models 32 GB or more may be required
  • Hard disk: installing ARCHICAD on an SSD drive is recommended; 5 GB free disk space is required for the installation, 10 GB or more is required per active project
  • Graphics card: Dedicated OpenGL 4.4 compatible graphics card with on board memory of minimum 4096 MB using 4K display resolution or minimum 2048 MB using lower display resolution is recommended to fully exploit hardware acceleration capabilities.
  • Display: A resolution of 1920 x 1080 or higher is recommended

Minimum hardware

  • Processor: 64-bit processor with two cores
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard disk space: 5 GB or more is required for the installation
  • Graphics card: OpenGL 4.4 compatible graphics card with on board memory of minimum 2048 MB using 4K display resolution or minimum 1024 MB using lower display resolution
  • Display: A resolution of 1440 x 900 or higher

Optional Hardware Peripherals

All major plotters, printers and digitizers can be used with STAR(T) Edition 2021.

File Compatibility

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 will be able to open files that were created with:

  • STAR(T) Edition 2006 or newer versions
  • Archicad 8.1 and 9

STAR(T) Edition 2021 files can be opened with:

Protection key / Licensing

  • You will need a STAR(T) Edition 2021 CodeMeter hardware key or CodeMeter Act software protection key to start STAR(T) Edition 2021.
  • CodeMeter enabler is not available for STAR(T) Edition2009 and STAR(T) Edition2008 .
  • You can use STAR(T) Edition with a dongle which has full Archicad license on.
  • Licensing limitations:
    • No License Borrowing available,
    • No NET license type available.

New Features

Issue Management

Archicad’s new issue management tools allow users to avoid all the coordination overhead, and instead concentrate on solving issues.
Architects and engineers can communicate more efficiently, and also propose design changes via issues, without interrupting the project.

Learn more...

Content Library Update - New Residential Furniture Elements

As part of our continuous library development, Archicad has applied a little polish to its residential interior furnishing elements. Improved user interface makes it easier to select and place the new, modern-style library objects into your scene, bringing both 2D and 3D views to life in a more contemporary manner.

Learn more…


Polyline Editing Functions Refined

Polyline editing has been improved:

  • The Intersect command now works between two or more independent Polylines, and between Polyline and Wall/Beam/Line/Arc.
  • When intersecting Polylines: if only one end intersects after the first Intersect command, repeat the command to intersect the other ends as well (this is the same function as for Lines).
  • Fillet/Chamfer command now works on Polylines, (If more than one Polyline is selected for this command, first they will be intersected and then filleted or chamfered.)

Import and Use Revit Families as GDL Objects

This feature has been released as part of a stand-alone Archicad 24 add-on. Download the add-on from GRAPHISOFT's Downloads site and install it.

Users can directly create Objects, Doors and Windows from Revit Families (RFA; mostly manufacturer content) and use them in the Archicad project. The generated Archicad library items have the same precise geometry and all parameters (in non-editable mode) as those stored in RFA.

Archicad uses the ODA Teigha BIM Engine, which imports RFA file versions 2015-2020.


DGN v8 Support

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 supports importing the latest version of the .DGN file format (v8). Elements introduced in the v8 version are also translated to Archicad elements: the 2D and 3D elements will be transformed into 2D elements only. The import can be configured to tailor the translation method based on the user’s needs.

During export, Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 saves the previous (v7) DGN format.

Joint Openings for MEP Elements

The Opening tool developed in Archicad 23 has been updated to better suit collaboration between disciplines. With these enhancements, it is now possible to create joint openings out of pipes and ducts running parallel to each other. It is possible to set different merge tolerances lengthwise and sideways, giving the architect control over how the openings should be created.


This improvement is particularly useful in the following workflow:

  1. An IFC file, containing the whole MEP system, is received from the MEP engineer.
  2. The IFC file is merged and the MEP elements are converted to GDL objects or morphs.
  3. This MEP system or individual pipes and ducts can be selected to create the desired openings in walls.

Note: MEP Modeler is not available in STAR(T) Edition 2021, but the openings can be created for the MEP runs received in an IFC file, as describes above.

STAR(T) Edition 2021 Compared to Archicad 24



Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 contains all the necessary tools to create a proper Building Information Model (BIM), with everything you need in the residential scale, like profiled or composite structures, priority-based junctions, the Shell Tool, the Morph Tool, and GDL objects.


  • no Curtain Wall
  • no Point Cloud data import and visualization
  • no MEP modeling
  • no Param-O add-on

The complete 2D feature set of Archicad is part of the Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 package: model-based documentation, 2D tools, layout books etc. There are no limitations in this area.



Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 provides basic visualization techniques like real-time shaded 3D environment, a simple rendering engine (the so-called internal engine), 3D Styles and the ability to save BIMx Hyper-models.


  • no advanced (Cinerender) photorealistic rendering
  • no Sketch rendering

Latest IFC, BCF, DWG and DXF file exchange capabilities enable full model-based and hybrid coordination workflow with consultants.


  • no STL export
  • no Rhino export/import
  • no Grasshopper-ARCHICAD 24 Live Connection
Architectural collaboration

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 doesn’t contain any Teamwork feature, because it is intended for solo architects. It provides Full Control of IFC Preferences and Managing Classifications in IFC Import/Export.


  • no Teamwork
  • no Hotlinked Modules
  • no XRefs
  • limited external drawing support
  • no PMK file format support
  • no BIMcloud Basic support
  • no Collision Detection

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 doesn’t contain an analysis solution.


  • no Energy Analysis
Productivity tools

The main difference between STAR(T) Edition 2021 and Archicad full version is the productivity. You can do everything with the STAR(T) Edition, but you can work faster with the full version of Archicad.


  • no Graphic Overrides for design communication
  • no Renovation
  • no Publisher
  • no Revision Management
  • no Link element height to stories
  • no Import element property data from Excel
  • no JSON - Python API for Archicad

Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 is configured to manage small-scale projects with rapid software reaction, but it’s not ideal for large-scale projects.


  • Multithreading capable algorithms use max. 2 cores of the CPU.

Check the feature comparison chart to see the exact differences between Archicad 24 full version and STAR(T) Edition 2021.

Note: updates are not provided for STAR(T) Edition.


Follow the detailed installation instructions to install Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021. If you encounter any problem during installation please check this page.



To uninstall Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 from Windows, it is best to use the “Programs” or “Add or Remove Programs” utility, accessible from the Control Panel.
You can also browse to your Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 folder and execute the uninstaller in the Uninstall.AC subfolder.


On a Mac, navigate to the “Uninstall.AC” folder in your Archicad STAR(T) Edition 2021 folder, and select the “” application.

The Uninstall Wizard will remove files which were installed by the Archicad Installation Wizard. CodeMeter and associated components are not removed.

The uninstaller will not remove any files you have created in the Archicad main folder - e.g. Archicad project files that you saved into the Archicad main folder.

For Silent uninstall check the Install Guide.

Find information about the previous versions of STAR(T) Edition in this article.

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