3 Architecture Design Challenges Solved with BIM Software

Posted by Carter Hartong on 9/17/21 3:00 PM  |  6 min read time

There are noticeable challenges in architecture. Some of these challenges — budget, client approval, etc. — are ever-present. But, there are other, specific obstacles that arise in the design process. Overcoming and adapting to these challenges, however, is incredibly satisfying. 

Although they may sound simple, practical design solutions can yield some of the most creative designs. And, with that in mind, we’ll examine three common challenges in today’s architectural practice, as well as how Vectorworks’ unique software capabilities can help you overcome them. 

Architecture design software can help with:

  • Quickly and accurately assessing spatial relationships.
  • Establishing a time-efficient workflow with the cloud.
  • Monitoring risks of a coordination workflow. 
Challenge #1 — Understanding programmatic elements and their spatial relations

Understanding the relationships of programmatic elements is crucial in the early stages of your design.

Vectorworks’ Space tool is a great resource to take advantage of in the early stages of your design. With this, you can examine areas, zones, and the overall relationships of different spaces. Consider the Space tool when you’re making a bubble diagram or schematic floorplan. 

In early planning phases, a space style might define something as simple as usage or color. But additional data, such as the number of occupants for a space, can be defined by style as the design progresses.

Space styles

The Space tool allows you to take advantage of Vectorworks’ powerful worksheets and reports. Not only can the tool let you create beautifully colored plans, but it can also compare square footage to program requirements. Such reports allow you to easily make any necessary adjustments to meet a specific program. This will save you and your client both time and money. 

Essentially, with better spatial awareness and data access, you can provide your client a clearer understanding of your design from the start. And you can be more efficient and creative as you move forward. 

Challenge #2 — Resource-heavy processes can occupy your machine and waste time

Once you’ve finished an initial design, you and your firm might have to send a rendering or large drawing set to a client. This is an important step, as it lets the client see your design in greater context. Technical drawings and early spatial relations are great for your design process, but not for communicating your vision with clients. 

However, resource heavy processes like renderings and PDF publishing tend to tie up your computer and limit your ability to work on anything else.


You can send renderings to the Vectorworks Cloud to spare your computer’s processing power, letting you continue to design. You can render any Vectorworks file with the computing power of the cloud. Built on the award-winning Cineware by Maxon, the fully integrated Renderworks feature set provides you with the industry’s best tools to visualize your designs and produce stunning illustrations. 

In Vectorworks Architect, you have access to a number of real-time rendering solutions like Enscape, Lumion, and Twinmotion.  

Computing on the Vectorworks Cloud lets you share files, create presentations and virtual tours, as well as publish a set of documentation that you’ll need in the design process for reviews. You can also share links to the Vectorworks Cloud with clients and consultants. With these links, they can easily make comments on your project, enabling a real-time review process.


Let the Vectorworks Cloud do the heavy lifting while you’re detailing, drafting, or beginning a new design. Whether you’re a staff of one or a staff of 50, such freedom will certainly be a boost to your workflow.

Challenge #3 — Risks present in a coordination workflow 

Understanding spatial relationships overcomes a challenge in the early stages of your design, while cloud computing increases your efficiency and lets you move on to the next task; but it’s also important that your software addresses risks that are inherent to a collaborative design workflow.

The great thing about integrating Building Information Modeling (BIM) into your process is that, when it’s being executed correctly, it’s something you don’t even have to waste time thinking about.

With a BIM process, you can manage risk while designing. Whether you’re using parametric tools or free-form 3D models, you can see any conflicts in your design that you simply wouldn’t be able to see in a 2D sketch. A door may seem perfectly placed in a 2D sketch. However, when you go to construct the home, you may find that the door doesn’t fully open, due to the dimensions of an adjacent wall. Having access to BIM and 3D modeling capabilities would allow you to catch such an oversight. 

BIM and 3D modeling capabilities let you:

  • Reduce the risk of errors.
  • Ensure no important details are omitted.
  • Coordinate every stage of your design with consultants.
  • Collaborate with a model checking solution, like Solibri Office, via the Solibri Direct connection within Vectorworks.
  • Coordinate every stage of your design with consultants using a certified Open BIM process.

During your design process, time management and budget considerations are also critical. Using BIM software helps manage the overall documentation of a project. And, because the documentation derives from the 3D model, any design change is reflected in documentation and vice versa. Not only does this help prevent any unnecessary oversights, but it’ll save you tons of time!


With a better understanding of spatial relations, cloud computing, and consistent risk management, you’ll be able to create the most successful project possible.                                                                                                                                            

If you’re not already using Vectorworks, consider the best all-in-one BIM software on the market.


Topics: BIM (Architecture), Tech Tips and Workflows

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