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Top 10 Architecture Design Software in 2024

Bandana Singh

10 min read

May 3, 2024


Table of Contents

When searching for the best architecture software, the ultimate goal is to find the best tool to help bring the design to its vision. The industry's shift from traditional architecture to digitalisation showcases that architecture has captured the essence of an architect's vision and enhanced productivity and collaboration.

As we move towards 2024, there are various free and paid architectural design software, but finding reliable software has become daunting. From 2D drafting to 3D modelling and beyond, the right tools can transform ideas into tangible realities, ensuring seamless workflows that bridge the gap from conceptualisation to construction, and even 3D printing.

Read this blog to find the best architecture design software in 2024 that every architect or designer should know!

Why Should You Learn Architecture Design Software?

3D floor plan of an apartment created using architecture software

Learning architecture design software is crucial due to the industry's shift towards digitisation. Here we are explaining the three top reasons why you should learn architecture design software:

Enhanced Design Capabilities

Design software offers refined tools for creating more accurate and detailed models than traditional methods, enabling architects to explore and communicate their ideas more effectively and practically.

Career Advancement

As the industry continuously evolves, employers increasingly seek professionals skilled in the latest architectural software, making knowledge of these tools essential for career growth and opportunities.

Read more: 5 Careers and Salaries for An Architect vs A BIM Expert: A Comparative Guide

Adaptation to Industry Digitisation

The architecture industry increasingly leverages digital tools for design, planning, and execution. Learning architecture design software ensures professionals adapt to and thrive in this digital environment.

Benefits of Learning Architecture Design Software

3D floor plan of an apartment created using architecture software

Knowing good architecture design software is extremely important. It creates a solid foundation for the project and minimises the potential risks. Here are the top benefits of learning architecture design software:

Identifies Areas of Potential Cost Savings

Learning architecture design software enables architects to design detailed pre-construction simulations, finding the potential material efficiencies and operational savings. It helps reduce overall project costs through resource allocation and strategic planning.

Better Communication and Collaboration

Architecture design software tools facilitate better communication and collaboration among all the stakeholders, enabling real-time sharing of designs. Using software improves understanding among stakeholders, reducing errors and aligning visions from concept to construction.

Increases the Quality of Work

Using architecture tools elevates the detail of architectural work, which helps in enhancing visualisation qualities. It allows for making informed decisions, advancing the project's aesthetic, functional, and overall quality.

Helps in Risk Management

The Advanced simulation features in the architecture design software enable identifying and mitigating design and construction risks early in the project lifecycle. This proactive approach to risk management can save time and resources, and prevent potential costly challenges.

Enables Quicker Changes

The digital designs created using the software are inherently more flexible than traditional paper blueprints. Software allows instant and real-time iterations and modifications, accommodating client feedback or adapting to unforeseen constraints without significant delays or resource expenditure.

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List of Top Architecture Design Software

Application of architecture design software

The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has advanced. Various architectural design software are available and each software has unique features, catering to different aspects of design. Here are the top 10 architecture design software in 2024:

1. Autodesk Revit

Annual Subscription: INR 1,58,120

Autodesk Revit is one of the most renowned architectural home design software, known for its comprehensive BIM capabilities. It offers tools for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction. Revit enables users to create coordinated, consistent, and complete model-based designs. Its key features include parametric components, multidisciplinary coordination, and the ability to make informed design decisions earlier in the process. These functionalities streamline project workflows, improve accuracy, and enhance collaboration among project teams.

2. Chief Architect

Annual Subscription: $1,995

Chief Architect is a specialised software designed for residential and light commercial design. Architects, engineers, and designers use it for its robust set of tools for 2D and 3D design, rendering, and drafting. It automates building and design processes, enhancing efficiency in creating construction documents, materials lists, and cost estimates. Its user-friendly interface and extensive library of architectural objects facilitate the quick drafting of detailed plans that meet client needs. Additionally, it offers powerful visualisation features, including virtual tours and realistic shadows, making it invaluable for presenting designs to clients.

3. Navisworks

Annual Subscription: INR 60,180

Autodesk Navisworks is a project review software for architects and designers primarily for 3D model review, coordination, simulation, and project analysis. It enables professionals to aggregate and navigate large models, inspect details from different disciplines, and collaborate effectively with project stakeholders. With its powerful clash detection tool, Navisworks helps identify and resolve conflicts before construction begins, saving time and reducing costly mistakes. Its simulation tools also allow for project scheduling and visualisation, providing a comprehensive overview of the project lifecycle. For more detailed information, please visit the Autodesk Navisworks product page. So, do architecture design software download and get a chance to save time and upgrade your skills.

4. STAAD.Pro

Annual Subscription: $3,210

STAAD.Pro is primarily an engineering and analysis software civil engineers use for structural analysis and design. It supports various materials, and its comprehensive analysis features allow for modelling different structural elements, such as beams, columns, and slabs, in buildings, bridges, and other structures. While it is more technical and focuses on the engineering aspects of design, architects and designers benefit from it in creating structurally sound designs, ensuring their architectural visions meet safety and reliability standards. It facilitates collaboration between architects and engineers by providing a common platform for the structural analysis of designs.

Read more:  The Ultimate Guide to Prominent Global Architectural Movements and Styles

5. Rhino

Annual Subscription: $250 

Rhino, another 3D architectural design software, also known as Rhinoceros 3D, is a versatile 3D modelling software used widely by architects and designers for its ability to handle complex geometries with precision. It is highly beneficial for conceptual design and visualisation, offering tools for NURBS modelling, ideal for creating smooth, free-form surfaces. Rhino also supports multiple plugins like Grasshopper, enhancing its functionality with parametric design capabilities. This allows for efficient iterations and exploration of design options. Its compatibility with other design and engineering software makes Rhino a valuable tool in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary design process. 

6. SketchUp Pro

Annual Subscription: $349

SketchUp Pro is another 3D architectural design software popular for its intuitive interface and qualitative 3D modelling features. It allows designers to create and visualise quick architectural designs, from initial concepts to detailed plans, with an extensive library of models and materials. It supports a fast design process, making it ideal for professionals and beginners. Its compatibility with various plugins and software enhances its functionality, allowing for advanced rendering, animation, and analysis. This adaptability makes SketchUp Pro a versatile tool in the design workflow, facilitating collaboration and innovation.

7. AutoCAD

Annual Subscription: INR 1,10,920 

Autodesk AutoCAD is a premier computer-aided design (CAD) software used across the AEC industry for creating 2D and 3D drawings. It facilitates the drafting, designing, and editing of architectural plans, engineering drawings, and other layouts with high accuracy. Beneficial for architects and designers, AutoCAD streamlines project workflows, enhances productivity through the automation of repetitive tasks and supports collaboration through the easy sharing of design data. Its extensive library of tools and customisable features make it adaptable to various project requirements, improving the design and documentation process.

8. Civil 3D

Annual Subscription: INR 1,51,040 

Civil 3D from Autodesk is a civil engineering design software that supports BIM with integrated features for drafting, design, and construction documentation. It's beneficial for architects and designers for its tools tailored to civil infrastructure projects such as roads, land development, rail, airports, and water. Civil 3D helps streamline tasks like surveying, alignments, surface modelling, and more, enhancing project efficiency, accuracy, and coordination.

9. Cedreo

Annual Subscription: $690

Cedreo is a web-based 3D home design software enabling architects and designers to create conceptual designs and high-quality visualisations quickly. It's particularly beneficial for streamlining the pre-sales and planning stages, allowing for creating floor plans, elevation views, and photorealistic 3D renderings in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional software. This efficiency aids in client presentations and decision-making processes. Cedreo's user-friendly interface and library of customisable elements make it accessible for professionals to convey their designs effectively. 

10. ArchiCAD

Annual Subscription: $2,700

ArchiCAD is one of the best Building Information Modeling (BIM) software developed by Graphisoft. It is famous for its advanced design and documentation workflow features, specifically designed for architects and designers. The software facilitates the creation of detailed, accurate 3D models and architectural drawings, enhancing productivity and collaboration across project teams. ArchiCAD's benefits lie in its automatic design tools, extensive library of materials, and seamless integration with other software, making it an essential tool for efficient project management and delivery. It supports sustainable design, visualisation, and analysis, proving beneficial in developing high-quality, innovative design solutions. 

Best Institutes To Learn Architecture Design Software?

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (2017) by Herzog & de Meuron (Hamburg)

1. Novatr

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Novatr offers a Building Information Modelling (BIM) course designed to equip participants with in-depth knowledge and practical skills in BIM. The syllabus covers foundational BIM concepts, advanced modelling techniques, and the use of various software and tools like Navisworks, Revit, Rhino, etc., essential for modern architectural and construction projects. The course is taught by industry professionals working in top global AEC firms and comes with placement assistance. 

2. BIMLabs Global

BIMLabs Global offers comprehensive courses on BIM, covering various software and tools crucial to the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. These might include Autodesk Revit, Navisworks, and more, focusing on practical applications, from basic design to advanced modelling and project management.

3. CMU School Of Architecture

The CMU School of Architecture offers an innovative curriculum integrating design theory and practical knowledge. It emphasises using cutting-edge software and tools in architectural design, including BIM technologies, digital fabrication tools, and environmental simulation software. The program aims to equip students with the skills necessary to navigate the complexities of modern architectural design and urban planning.

4. Architectural Association School of Architecture

The Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) is a renowned institution in London known for its innovative architectural education and research approach. It offers programs in architecture and urbanism, focusing on contemporary challenges and design strategies. The AA explores a range of digital design tools and software like Revit, Rhino, and more, integral to modern architectural practices. However, specific software taught can vary based on the course and curriculum focus. 

5. Ace Design Institute

Ace Design Institute is one of the leading institutes offering comprehensive training programs in architecture design software. They offer multiple programs and training, covering some of the best tools used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, such as Revit, SketchUp, AutoCAD, Rhino, and more. The courses are designed to help students with the skills required to excel in digital design, from basic designing to advanced BIM and 2D modelling.


Learning architecture design software has never been easier. Multiple institutes teach online and offline courses, showcasing the industry’s advancement towards integrating technology with creativity. All the software mentioned above streamlines the design process and opens new avenues for innovation and collaboration in the AEC industry. As the architectural landscape evolves, mastering these tools will be crucial for professionals striving to lead in the design and construction fields.

To learn 15+ architecture software and their workflow, enrol in the BIM Professional Course for Architects offered by Novatr.

Check our Resource Pages to learn about industry trends!

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