Software Tools for Architects

Rendering: Metalmoon

OVERVIEW

Design-stage tools for modeling the appearance and performance of projects are getting better all the time. They’re getting smarter, too, and more user-friendly for people without an engineering degree.

But there is no substitute for understanding how your building works, and being able to squint-test the results from any simulation. Knowing what each tool is good for—and how to leverage its strengths—is one key to effective performance simulation.

The other is knowing what questions to ask so you don’t waste time modeling scenarios that don’t matter.