Adam Laskey - Blogs
CAD is an acronym you’ll have come across if you’ve done any investigation into architecture for new builds or home renovations – but what is it and why is it useful for your building project?
Firstly, it helps to break down the acronym. CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. That means rendering what would have once been created on a drawing board on a computer, as a digital image.
There are lots of different software packages to help architects draw sections and elevations of their home and extension designs. The industry standard is AutoCAD by Autodesk, which is mostly used to create drawings in 2D. Then there’s Revit, made by the same company, which creates 3D modelling.
Architects use these, and other software packages, to create scalable drawings from the initial building survey through to concept design, planning permissions, building regulations, etc. All these CAD architecture software packages are learnt as standard when architects and designers do their training, often alongside traditional hand drawing on a drawing board.
How we use CAD Architecture
At Märraum architects in Cornwall we use a programme called Archicad by Graphisoft as it best allows us to render our designs in 3D before turning them into Virtual Reality spaces that clients can walk around using our state-of-the-art 3D goggles.
We start using CAD architecture from the beginning, using a computer to physically draw the whole house design in 3D. From that we can extract the necessary schedules, elevations and details.
This is a detailed way to start a dialogue with our clients about their design. We’ll often produce more than one option at the start to show different ways we can interpret the brief and overcome any obstacles and limitations of site, budget or client need.
We can also link our 3D model to google earth to show the surrounding environment and other properties in the area, creating animated videos to submit with official planning requests. These help planning committees to understand the vision and to see how the design and finishes will help the building to work within its surroundings.
We take things a step beyond the norm of CAD architecture with this approach, making our designs easy for everyone to understand in detail, and enabling us to see any potential problems from the client’s perspective much more easily.