There is a dizzying array of software and apps out there for AEC professionals. Don’t believe us? Just check out this BIM History map by Big Data Construction:
In this blog post we will break down 3 power-combo app kits curated for Architects, BIM Coordinators, and Project Managers. We will also feature 6 real-life app kits from the wider AEC community, including their favorite “wild card” apps.
Check out this brief summary video 👇 or dive straight in.
What’s in your App Kit?
Here are three dream app kits that we have curated for Architects, BIM/VDC Coordinators, or Project Managers. Which one would you choose?
Revit and Archicad are the most widely used BIM software, but Architects also have options like Rhino, BricsCAD BIM and Vectorworks to choose from.
If you’re into customization and automation, you can add a computational design tool like Dynamo, Param-o, or Grasshopper.
Rendering / VR tool
There are some fantastic rendering and VR platforms for immersive design review and client presentations that leave a lasting impression. Enscape and Vrex are our favorites, because they have BIM Track integrations 😉 but you can also check out our guide to VR platforms for a longer list.
You need a way to communicate design modifications and comments. (Please, not email.) Check out this blog on how BIM Track can help you manage communication and modifications during the design review process.
Fancy espresso machine
Ok, this one’s not an app. But good coffee surely contributes to good design, no?! ☕
Navisworks and Solibri are probably the reigning champions of clash detection and model checking respectively. Check out our guide to see a wide range of alternatives.
this is a file format not an app, but if you’re federating models from a variety of different software platforms, you’ll need a format like IFC to allow smooth collaboration.
Point cloud software
Tools like Cintoo Cloud and ClearEdge3D Verity can help you tackle Scan-to-BIM comparison and as-built verification with ease.
You need a place to store and exchange all those design models. Options include BIM 360, Bentley ProjectWise, Google Drive, and more. Check out our interactive quiz to help you find the best option for you.
BIM Track is your best friend for managing issues, running coordination meetings, and creating easy issue reports. Check out our list of 50 tips for better BIM coordination meetings for more detail.
you need an epic Spotify playlist to keep you calm while spinning around models all day! 👇
When #VDC managers search through the Navisworks #BIM looking for clashes without @BIMTrackpic.twitter.com/WFGrVDLfsB— TITAN AEC (@TITANAEC) February 9, 2021
This is essential for managing stakeholders and tracking design coordination progress to ensure construction starts on-time.
Find out more about how to measure project health with BIM Track.
Construction management platform
You need a time-effective way to manage everything in the construction phase - RFIs, action items, documentation, and ideally something you can use on-site. Procore is very widely used, but there are alternatives like Autodesk Build, Construtivo, and Aconex (now acquired by Oracle).
Project Information Management platform
You’ve heard of BIM, but have you heard of PIM? Newforma Project Center is a leading PIM management platform that centralizes emails, RFIs, drawings, submittals, and action items in one place.
When it comes to managing the construction schedule, Smartsheet is a strong choice, as well as Primavera P6 (now acquired by Oracle) and Microsoft Project. We’ve also heard good things from clients using Asana.
When it comes to creating dashboards, the clear winner here is Power BI. 💪
You can also check out Tableau.
6 Featured app kits from the AEC community
"Mr Coffee Coffee warmer - because nobody likes cold coffee 😉"
"For fast screenshots with easy editing tools. Greenshot has options to save directly to the desktop,export as different file types, or copy straight to the clipboard. I use this hundreds of times a day to document step by step processes, capture errors, and send instructions to folks.”
"It’s amazing how often you have to batch rename files, and yet it’s something I never thought I would use so often in my day to day work.”
“My wild card app would be the idea of generally sharing knowledge. Whether that be twitter, a personal blog, LinkedIn, or whatever, sharing is huge. The more generous you are, the bigger your whole world will become.”
"It doesn’t sound like it would be strange/unexpected, but actually I consider Asana to be that. As tasks get completed, every once in a while a flying unicorn or other mythical creature flies across the screen. I found that out as a pleasant surprise before I read about the feature later on. I love it!”
"So maybe in between the VR coordination I kill a lot of zombies in VR… Brraainns… 🧟♂️"
Thanks for reading our review of 9 killer AEC app kits. We would love to know what’s in your app kit - reach us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.