This week, Budapest-based Graphisoft has unveiled the latest release of its flagship BIM software—Archicad 26. The new software includes key updates across multiple levels, plus a one-year free Enscape subscription for visualization workflows.
“Architectural visualization is an art form,” said Csanád Meszes, ArchViz Director, DVM Group, Hungary. “With Archicad and all the connected offline and real-time rendering tools, the sky’s the limit!”
Additionally, Graphisoft announced important new updates to BIMcloud, BIMx, and DDScad, the Norwegian MEP software that came into the Graphisoft fold when the two companies merged recently. Covering the launch event live from Budapest, Architosh heard directly from company leadership about Archicad, BIMx, BIMcloud and other product technology and its roadmap directions. We will be covering those items in more reports next week. Below is a highlight of what is new the company’s flagship BIM product.
New in Archicad 26
While there are dozens of new features, some key highlights include new integrations with DDScad for a more fully integrated MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) design experience, plus new connectivity between BIMcloud and Autodesk BIM 360.
The BIM leader also announced an upcoming Apple Silicon version of Archicad for the Mac. (note: Architosh will report more on this soon!)
In the areas of design, Archicad 26 offers multiple new improvements, importantly including smart parametric object creation with graphical editing methods (requires Graphisoft Forward subscription). Other items include:
- More intuitive navigation and management of attributes through a structured hierarchy.
- Fast finding of, and navigation to, specific views and layouts in the design project.
- Faster modeling and documentation of surface openings.
- Quick and easy customized kitchen cabinetry that meets local standards and requirements.
- Improved 2D editing for circle and ellipse Radial Stretching.
“Thanks to the powerful enhancements in Archicad 26, users can focus on their designs while increasing productivity through smoother design, documentation, and collaboration workflows, and their increased productivity translates into more time for design,” said Zsolt Kerecsen, Vice President, Software Success at Graphisoft. “Beginning with Archicad 26, our newly unveiled Adaptive Hybrid Framework approach helps us bring new technology to market faster,” he added.
For more powerful visualization technology, this year, Graphisoft has offered users not just a free year of popular real-time rendering tool Enscape, but improved visual technology for the rendering project modes in BIMx implementations (app and desktop). Plus:
- Powerful 3D model publishing with a simpler, more informative workflow and easier control over texture, file size, and export time. BIMx Web Viewer and BIMx Desktop Viewer have new, more realistic visualization with on-the-fly rendering, reflecting project orientation, and a Camera View Cone in the 3D model.
- Fast and easy client approval enabled by fresh content added to the Additional Surface Catalog. (Available for Graphisoft Forward subscribers only.)
While Enscape has recently become available for the Mac in a public beta version and is available now for users to try for SketchUp, it is not yet available for the Mac version of Archicad. The estimated planned release for the first Mac version for Archicad is later this year, but Graphisoft was not specific.
New features that improve Archicad in the areas of collaboration boast new out-of-the-box energy and CO2 building material data, which will greatly aid architects with ongoing accurate building lifecycle analysis and reports on sustainability.
That feature, however, will be available for select localizations of Archicad 26, says the company. GRAPHISOFT has also continued to boost SAF-based connections between Archicad and structural analysis packages, among other features below that improve collaboration for users:
- Faster, automated interoperability between architects and structural engineers in Archicad 26 saves time and increases access to detailed information in the model.
- One-click direct connect feature saves time when working with FRILO.
- One-touch information exchange between Archicad and Structural Analysis applications keeps architects and structural engineers in sync and on track.
- Greater accuracy of Structural Analysis calculations with multi-profile analytical elements that better describe complex segments.
“We collaborate using Graphisoft’s solutions and get feedback from everyone on the team. Not just top down,” said Robert Harris, Senior Associate, Pappageorge Haymes, USA.
New documentation improvements include the ability to import multiple pages from a PDF with a single click as well as the following new capabilities:
- Save time and reduce errors with faster, more accurate documentation thanks to new autotext in automated layouts.
- Find and add multiple rules to combinations at once without unnecessary scrolling.
- Using the information already available in the model in multiple ways makes documentation fast and easy.
Commencing 14 July 2022, the International, US, UK and Ireland, German, Austrian, French, and Italian localized versions of Archicad 26 are available for download. Users and those interested can contact their local Archicad resellers through this link, for specific language information and shipping dates for each of the 29 localized packages coming later in the year.
For more info about all the news, visit www.graphisoft.com/archicad-26
Architosh will follow up with additional reports in the days ahead and inside details from press events here in Budapest. So stay tuned and read our analysis and commentary below.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
The Graphisoft 2022 Launch Event for both public and press included, for the first time in the company’s recent history, a detailed look at the future of Graphisoft’s technology and product roadmaps out to the year 2025. While Architosh will have a detailed feature report next week on much of this information, what we can say briefly in this article is that the company has a comprehensive vision for its Graphisoft ecosystem with both Open BIM and Integrated Design technology options for its users and their digital toolchain particulars, which vary among regions around the world.
Archicad itself, now at this version 26 release, has new foundational technologies. For example, OpenGL has been stripped out and replaced with low-overhead graphics APIs from both Apple and Microsoft. By using Metal on macOS and DirectX12 on Windows, Archicad 26 can tap the underlying power of these more powerful core graphics technologies from the underlying operating systems and leverage the more modern capabilities of GPUs.
Of course, the company has also announced its Apple Silicon support, leveraging ARM-based chip technologies from Apple on macOS. Coy about speed gains in yesterday’s presentations, our private press time did reveal impressive numbers, which Architosh can talk about later. The truth is, Graphisoft aims to finish their Apple Silicon support in the second half of the year, so talk of performance gains now is premature, even if they are impressive.