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ArchiCAD 15 reveals its mighty paws! - May 2011

archiCAD 15

"Broaden Your DESIGN Horizons!" is the phrase of the month, as ArchiCAD 15 was announced last week and there've been some eager beavers (myself included) to see if all the rumours are true, together with our hopes and dreams wrapped up in a nice little installation package! Well, they haven't let us down.

The new version brings many new features that ArchiCAD users have been requesting to improve their design workflow. It is considered to be one of the strongest upgrades since version 10. As always some prayers have been answered, yet some people have been disappointed that their requests have not been heard, but as Jared describes in his blogpost "I upgrade, you upgrade, we all upgrade" on the Shoegnome blog, ya can't make everyone happy, but I gotta say I’m thrilled :)

ArchiCAD 15 addresses architects in their native language with an innovative approach to handling design spaces and forms,” said Miklos Szovenyi-Lux, vice president of product management, GRAPHISOFT. “In addition to reinventing the 3D design space and providing architects with a wide array of new design tools, ArchiCAD 15 also addresses the increasing number of architects who earn their living from renovation and refurbishment projects,” he continued.

ArchiCAD 15 enriches architectural forms available for designers to unleash their creative minds. The new version also expands the scope of the BIM workflow to include renovation & refurbishment projects.

The general features in ArchiCAD 15 include an impressive list of new and refined design tools and workflows, but also improvements to its IFC interface and OPEN collaboration workflow with engineers, full 64-bit support for the Mac OS, and improvements to its parametric object libraries as well.

Check.... them.... out :

A new definition of design space

The evolution of the design process has gone through at least as many revolutionary steps as the forms and structures themselves. During the course of the past few decades, architects have gradually left the “flat-lands” of 2D sketching for the exciting “high-lands” of designing in 3D virtual spaces. The increase in freedom brought about by the third dimension, however, adds a new degree of difficulty to orientation in space as well. ArchiCAD 15 introduces 3D guidelines and editing planes to revolutionize the 3D space definition, making the perspective view the natural, 3D environment for building design.

New 3D Editing & Navigation Tools

- 3D Editing Plane for Element Placement
- More Sophisticated 3D Feedback
- Guidelines Now Available in 3D Window
- Simpler Guidelines Settings

New 2D Drafting Improvements

- Easier Guideline Definition
- Drag or Delete Guidelines
- Better Guideline Feedback
- Simpler Guidelines Settings

New Roof Modeling Tools

- Multi-Level Roof as a Single Element
- Integrated Editing of Roof Geometry
- Custom Modeling of Individual Roof Planes
- Custom Roof Editing Commands

....and now we also have

Renovations Workflow Support

The advent of modern technology has significantly increased the life-cycle of a building. As a result, renovation and refurbishment projects are nearly equal to the volume of new buildings in most of the developed areas of the world. ArchiCAD 15 expands the design scope to renovation and refurbishment projects with native BIM design and documentation workflow support all the way through. In most developed areas of the world the refurbishment of existing buildings is approximately the same volume of activity as new buildings. Due to sustainability and pressures to conserve and reutilize previously developed lands and buildings, this renovation side to AEC should likely increase.

Most design CAD and BIM tools have failed to account for a proper “renovation workflow.” ArchiCAD 15 addresses this thoroughly, making it seamless and easy to account in the BIM the existing from the new.

New Renovation Features

- Element-level Definition of Renovation Status
- Renovation Related Plan Types
- Graphical Highlighting by Renovation Status
- Style Editor for Renovation Types

New and Enhanced Objects

- New Objects Supporting Sustainable Design
- New and Updated Doors / Windows
- More Contemporary Sanitary Objects
- More Modern Furnishings
- New Objects Supporting Healthcare Design

Increased Performance

- 64-bit ArchiCAD on MAC & Windows
- Superfast Autosave
- Optimized BIM Server
- Accelerated IFC Usage

Enriched Architectural Forms

(a.k.a the Shell tool!!)

The evolution of forms has always walked hand-in-hand with the evolution of structures. From the simplest barrel vaults to the most sophisticated rib vaults, the architect has always aspired to combine durability, utility and beauty (Vitruvius). These very principles can be seen in the finest examples of modern architecture as well. ArchiCAD 15 expands the design capabilities of its BIM tools, including new Shell structures, to support the broadest spectrum of architectural shapes and forms found in both classical and modern architecture. ArchiCAD 15 also offers automatic connections between building structures and elements where such connection helps the creation and maintenance of the BIM model while preserving the flexibility architects need.

So, to show off some of these new features Graphisoft has released some fairly instructional videos of some classic buildings being modelled in ArchiCAD 15.

New Shell Tool for Complex Forms

- Create Complex Forms with Shell Tool
- Graphical Editing of Complex Forms
- Accurate Display of Shell Elements in Plan
- Associative Connections for Model Editing
- Precise Element Trimming with Shell & Roof

USAFA Cadet Chapel - El Paso County, Colorado - Walter Netch of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Chrysler Building - Manhattan, New York, NY

Saint Francis de Sales Church, Muskegon, Michigan - 1966 - Marcel Breuer

ArchiCAD 15 will be released
May 23, 2011, with a few weeks to wait for the shipping after the official release. Following a tight release schedule, all 26 local versions are planned to reach the market by the end of Q3 2011. For more information about ArchiCAD 15 visit: http://www.graphisoft.com/archicad

Don't miss the live demonstration of ArchiCAD 15, register for the upcoming
“BIM and DESIGN” Webinar on June 7, 2011.

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