AEC Design Practice Survey: 3D-CAD/BIM and Green Building Design


A recently completed industry survey of CAD use in building design practice updates results from previous surveys conducted in 1999 and 2000. The new survey was expanded to address the movement to building information modeling (BIM) and 3D-CAD tools, data exchange between design team members and applications, as well as green building design and LEED rating.

The survey was sponsored by GeoPraxis, an architectural, engineering and construction software and services company, and Pacific Gas & Electric, in conjunction with McGraw-Hill Construction, Autodesk, Inc., and Bentley Systems.

According to the AEC Design Practice Survey, which included 585 architects and engineers, the use of 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. Of the CAD using respondents, 52% percent indicated they produce a 3D model on 75% or more of their projects. This movement will streamline the design process, and reduce the costs of reviewing alternatives and making informed building design decisions, at the earliest project stages.

Architects and engineers report that integrating whole building energy analysis, cost estimating, energy code compliance, and LEED certification into 3D-CAD and BIM applications are key drivers for the expanded use of 3D-CAD and BIM modeling at their firms. They also report that 3D-CAD and BIM approaches would be used 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 as part of their regular programmatic requirements.

“The survey confirms that adoption of building information modeling is definitely accelerating,” said Jon Pittman, senior director of strategic research at Autodesk. “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.”

For more information go to .

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Exploring fire pumps and systems; Lighting energy codes; Salary survey; Changes to NFPA 20
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me