The architectural industry is moving forward at a rapid pace as new technology continues to evolve and provide a more precise detailed view of building design. With Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) both offering a unique perspective into the look and feel of a building, which should you be using?

With architects leaving their drafting tables to gather dust, our marketing team researched extensively into the subject of BIM vs CAD and wrote a whitepaper which analyses real life examples of both types of files, the history of these innovative techniques and industry opinions to provide you the answer to the question above.

In the battle of BIM vs CAD, it’s important to remember that these are two different practices, however they can be used either individually or in unison to achieve the desired result. In this article I will look to give you a brief glimpse of what we found.

Key Findings

Interestingly, our primary research showed that BIM was the dominant process at 42%, however 26% stated they use both BIM and CAD in unison, and 32% exclusively using CAD.

Some of survey respondents felt that CAD will die out in the next 10 to 20 years and will be completely replaced by BIM in the construction industry. Whilst others said CAD will die for larger projects but will remain useful for producing quick details.

Supporting the prediction that CAD will soon be replaced, we saw that 53% of survey respondents had previously used CAD and made the switch over to BIM. We feel this could be due to pressure within the industry. This stems from 74% of respondents stating they prefer the visualisation of BIM than CAD.

So, what do we think?

Well, more projects are requiring BIM modelling, but this wont exactly replace CAD. If an architect is detailing a section of the project they will probably still use CAD, and in terms of the future of BIM, at the moment only a few projects are going the BIM route, but in the future, I feel it will become essential on all projects in the next few years.

For us at INTRAsystems providing both these files will continue to be a big part of the specification process, allowing architects the flexibility to use whichever process and software is best suited to their project.

What are your thoughts on this subject?