Every building, regardless of its size comes from a single idea and/or need. The first perspective then goes through a series of stages or testing that involve different tools and opinions until a project is created and then built. Read on to understand the role that the almighty CAD has on this particular process that involves many people.

The Vision is always the First Step

All buildings come from an idea, a vision, a concept. This is the kick-off of this architectural path and usually involves a very experienced, expert architect that wants to create a new building to bring something new into the world.

For example, the Burj Khalifa, which is currently the tallest building in the world with its astonishing 163 floors and over 800 meters was requested by Emaar Properties and designed by architects: Adrian Smith, Marshall Strabala, William F Baker and George J Efstathiou. They were the ones who came up with the idea, the concept that will then turn out to be the tallest building in the world and satisfy the demands of Emaar Properties at the same time. Once the idea has been approved by the client, it is time for the most time-consuming part of the first stage: designing in CAD.

Mastering your Skills at Designing with CAD

During this series of steps, the original vision and concept are going to suffer modifications to make it feasible in real life if it is not. Let´s review some of these steps:

1. Schematic Design:

The initial stage of design is very basic and works its best when multiple iterations can cover multiple needs.

For example, it is possible to make different designs to cover the perspectives, styles and functionality of the future building design. At these initial moments, CAD architecture design is very high-level and basic.

2. Design Development:

One of the iterations that were created in the previous step is chosen for further development. This work is carried on by an architectural designer and he or she will develop the plan fully addressing the form, function and fit of the original concept in a real building.

It is common that the client will give out revisions and advice during this initial stage.

3. Bidding Documents:

These documents are developed to go into the market in the search for a construction company to build the structure that was developed and approved by the client. The general contractor will get from the bidding documents all the needed construction information as well as technical specifications.

If the document is well-created and doesn´t leave any doubts behind in terms of construction details, all constructing companies to which it is given will provide a document in return with a cost for the construction of the building plus the approximate lead time to complete the project.

The client will then choose the one that suits his or her budget and time expectation better.

4. Construction Documents:

Once the constructor-selection period is over, the company that got the task will receive other documents named Construction Documents.

These are a more in-depth version of the previous documents and contain every detail about how the building should be built. The detailed architectural drawings require a CAD expert to make them and deliver them.

5. As-Built Drawings:

The as-built drawings take into consideration every little nuance suffered by the building during the construction process and are the final version of what the building design actually is.

Every design change is reflected in this last iteration and the design can be archived for any future eventual change, repair, refurbishment or addition.

Before CAD

Before CAD was popularized among architectural design companies in the world all these stages were drawn by hand by skillful drawers and architects. Even the last iteration that represented the exact way the building design had ended up was drawn by hand by an architect.

All modifications to the original design often meant to ditch the original design and start from scratch to create a new version and add to it the slight modification made to the original.

After CAD

Man-hour consumption for those who used to draw the plans in each stage of the way to the finished building design was drastically reduced and the accuracy was drastically improved.

Also, collaboration is way easier among all the involved in the project. Finally, there is no need to start from scratch every time there are minor modifications made to the original plans because of construction problems or client opinion.


CAD architecture has changed the way architects do things in their field and has also improved the way they can relate to clients and other construction-related professionals.

Especially in the construction of bigger buildings, CAD architecture simplified and increased the accuracy of designs saving time and money while increasing effectiveness and results. Choose an expert company and have the best CAD designs done today.

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