In the next few weeks, Graphisoft will begin shipping its recently released ArchiCAD 17, with all 26 local versions to reach users by this fall. The latest version of the CAD, rendering, and BIM program, which was first released in the 1980s, has added new design capabilities and workflow improvements.

Two new tools are Priority Based Connections, which helps users develop structural sections and details at the intersection of building elements, such as walls, roofs, and floors; and Intelligent Building Materials, which helps components retain their visual and material properties throughout their geometry in the BIM model. Other improvements include an updated Morph tool for creating custom components and structures, and the ability to edit three-dimensional cuts through the model in real time.

ArchiCAD 17 enables real-time, three-dimensional section cuts through building projects.
Graphisoft ArchiCAD 17 enables real-time, three-dimensional section cuts through building projects.

The integration of energy modeling into BIM software, rather than having to construct separate models for both tasks, comes closer to reality. ArchiCAD’s updated energy evaluation tool supports multiple thermal zones, allowing users to test their designs’ compliance against standards. Moreover, in the near future, Graphisoft is anticipating to release EcoDesigner Star, a tool that evaluates energy performance directly with ArchiCAD and turns building information models into building energy models. A release date has not yet been announced.

For users resigned to calling it a day when their computer tries to render a BIM model, the latest ArchiCAD version uses background processing, advanced OpenGL (Open Graphics Library), and improved code to expedite the creation of complex models, and to ease workability in the models. The software also supports BuildingSmart International’s Coordination View 2.0, the most implemented model view definition of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema; the data schema allows building models and data to be shared among different building consultants and edited with different BIM programs. ArchiCAD 17 connects to content from and, two libraries of smart BIM components.

Graphisoft will host a webinar to demonstrate the capabilities of ArchiCAD 17 on June 18. A new license for ArchiCAD 17 retails at $4,995. Tiered upgrade pricing is available for users with previous software versions; an upgrade from ArchiCAD 16 costs $1,050. Graphisoft also offers a free educational version for students, teachers, and schools.

Building rendering with section cut
Graphisoft Building rendering with section cut