Embracing BIM

Posted on December 21st 2014

Anyone who has ever worked with Lees Associates will know that we are passionate about the CAD software we use. We have used ArchiCAD for over twenty years, recognising it even then as the most advanced, user-friendly CAD package for Architects. Today it remains the market leader, perhaps not in terms of units sold but certainly, in our view, the quality of what it offers. To put it into context, ArchiCAD was a “BIM” product before the term “BIM” even existed.

A couple of years ago ArchiCAD’s maker, Graphisoft, launched a companion app to ArchiCAD, BIMx. This allows us to share our 3D models in a fully interactive and navigable way with anybody else who has the app. It has been very well received by our clients. More recently an update to BIMx allows the 2D drawing information to be integrated into the BIMx “hypermodel” in a beautifully intuitive way, which in our view could be game-changing. Drawing markers are visible in the 3D model, which can be clicked on and viewed in their standard 2D format or overlaid on a 3D cutaway of the model. The potential this offers Architects to explain their design either to clients during the design stage of a project, or to contractors during construction, is immense.

Here’s an iPad screenshot as an example from a refurbishment project we are currently working on. It’s the section as drawn at RIBA Stage 2 (Planning), where it is possible to toggle between existing, demolition and proposed layers. We are now at RIBA Stage 3-4, using the model to build a full suite of technical construction details:


Using ArchiCAD, Lees Associates has always been a BIM-compatible office but with developments like BIMx we are forging an exciting new direction in how buildings are designed, and how those designs are then represented. Our office includes a number of highly-proficient ArchiCAD and BIM experts whose experience makes us the go-to architect if your project needs that extra level of design coordination.


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