Detailed architectural plans are almost always large and complex. And so, until relatively recently, mobile and tablet-based architecture apps were simply unavailable. The amount of processing power needed to view digital blueprints or to comment on designs was simply too much for a mobile operating system.
However, in recent years we have seen an exciting increase in the number of architecture apps available. It is now possible to interact with and even make changes to a model using a touchscreen device. That’s something that would have seemed impossible as little as a decade ago.
Today, there are more architecture apps than ever, letting you do everything from editing BIM models, to creating floor plans using your phone camera to drawing sketches that get saved digitally.
According to a study of digital transformation in architecture, 56% of UK firms already use apps in some way in their work. If you have not yet started using architecture apps, the following seven benefits might just convince you.
7 benefits of architecture apps
There are multiple benefits to using architecture apps. These include:
Using a mobile app to view and interact with blueprints brings multiple benefits. Traditionally, you would need to either carry paper printouts whenever meeting clients or contractors or send very large files (or links to online folders in Dropbox or similar file stores).
An architecture app solves this problem by allowing you to travel wherever you want with all recent drawings or images in the palm of your hand. This makes it easy to open up and discuss files with clients and other stakeholders. You can even change things on a blueprint when you’re out of the office.
Although you might be carrying commercially sensitive data on your mobile, most architecture apps provide password protection and encrypted data. That means that even if you lose the device, your designs won’t be stolen. What’s more, most architecture apps will upload your designs to the cloud – so the files will not be stored permanently on a phone or tablet. This is, of course, far more secure than carrying designs around on paper blueprints!
Modern architecture apps can link in with the tools used by contractors. This means that contractors can report directly into the app on project progress and identify any problems or issues in the design.
4. Better communication
A mobile-based architecture app really supercharges communication between the architect, the client and the contractors. Now everyone can view the blueprint in the same app, make specific comments about parts of the plan or ask questions directly. This avoids misunderstanding or confusion and is a game-changer for construction communication.
If a worker wants to ask about something on site they can just open up modeling software on their phone that supports blueprints and mark-up where their inquiry or the defect is located, and send it to the responsible team member in seconds.
5. Always the latest information
Working with paper is not only more expensive and more harmful to the environment but the content also dates quickly. Therefore, working from paper causes many defects. If the architect works on a blueprint but their updated work isn’t available to contractors and the client, you potentially waste money, time and effort.
An architecture app resolves this problem and allows you to hold your project documents in your pocket with all modifications and updates. Your digital drawings can be edited while on the move and are always up to date for all users.
6. Be productive anywhere
Some people are most productive and creative when at their desk in the office. But this isn’t always true for everyone! An architecture app allows architects to open, view and edit their models anywhere. Whether you’re visiting a client’s office, are on-site and wish to make a change, or just have a moment of inspiration when you’re at home one evening.
A mobile-based app allows you to be productive any time, anywhere. Because it is loaded on your smartphone, you don’t need to open up your PC and find an internet connection. Instead, you can really be productive whenever you want.
7. Environmentally friendly
Environmental sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. Architects typically use thousands of sheets of paper when sketching ideas, presenting designs, printing off blueprints and fixing any clashes. On the other hand, using architecture apps and modern design software can cut the environmental footprint of your firm’s designs considerably.
Try PlanRadar and start using an architecture app today
PlanRadar is a popular iPhone, Android and iPad-ready architecture app designed to help architects share their models with clients and contractors and discuss any changes and issues. To learn why architects at leading firms across Europe use PlanRadar, begin your free trial today.