Step up your BIM!

Graphisoft, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) software developer for architects and designers, launched ARCHICAD 21, the upcoming release of its industry-leading BIM software solution, in regional events across South Africa last week. The latest version of ARCHICAD introduces the highly-anticipated Stair Tool, featuring GRAPHISOFT’s patent-pending Predictive Design™ technology.

Showcasing the latest features, new business supporting price models and why the worlds most innovative Architectural Practice – Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) changed to ARCHICAD, the events ran with full houses in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.  It is key for the market in South Africa to get familiar with the possibilities ARCHICAD provides and how it can enable African Architectural and Design practices to compete within new international standards.

Intuitiveness has been a key differentiator for ARCHICAD since the beginning. Our next-gen Stair Tool provides a creative, productive and enjoyable user experience — the reason why architects love ARCHICAD,” said Peter Temesvari, Director of Product Management at GRAPHISOFT Head Office in Budapest, Hungary. “ARCHICAD 21’s Stair Tool does the heavy lifting in the background – making sure the architect’s stair design complies with relevant global and local design standards – turning what is usually a painful task into something fun. We also further refined ARCHICAD’s best-in-class OPEN BIM workflows in version 21, making interdisciplinary collaboration a very smooth process.”

Dean Naidoo, Business Manager of Graphisoft SA added “With the new cost effective introduction of ‘Pay Per Month’ which is now available in South Africa, Graphisoft is yet again showing commitment to supporting its users with a unique market offering that provides support for businesses to scale and manoeuver the market based on workload.  It also offers an opportunity to new users to adopt ARCHICAD without a big upfront investment profile”.


What’s new in ARCHICAD 21

New Stair and Railing Tools

Designing stairs is one of the most complex tasks in architecture, since the stair must comply with stringent standards. The countless iterations required to sync design intent with these standards in a specific building has meant tedious, manual work – up until now. The new Stair Tool in ARCHICAD 21 extends architects’ creativity with automatic validation against human ergonomics — on the fly.  In other words, ARCHICAD’s algorithms validate thousands of design options in the background and offer architects the most optimal stair designs to choose from within the context of the specific building.

With ARCHICAD 21’s next-gen Stair Tool, architects can jump right into the creative process: placing stairs with simple polyline input and choosing from various design options. If a problem can be solved in a variety of ways, the software offers a selection of the best options that fit both the user’s graphical input and the chosen standards. Intuitive graphical methods allow users to easily tweak the stair’s shape and to customize structural and finish components. As for

the Railing Tool, one-click input creates an instant associative railing along stairs or other building elements, whose posts and panels can be assigned as patterns, or customized individually.

Updated CineRender Engine

CineRender by MAXON offers architects integrated, photo-realistic rendering options in the BIM context. The latest version introduces Light Mapping and Secondary GI methods for more realistic, yet fast rendering.

Element Classification System

An ARCHICAD model can be described as a central BIM database that stores all project data and makes it accessible to any project stakeholder. While previous ARCHICAD versions provided a fixed set of Element Classifications, ARCHICAD 21 introduces a flexible way to classify elements supporting any national or company-standard classification system. In addition, classifications are core to intelligent OPEN BIM workflows, providing unprecedented interoperability among disciplines. Classifications can be transferred between projects via XML file format.

IFC Model Referencing

Place IFC files as hotlinks into ARCHICAD projects as protected reference content. Model Filtering narrows the inserted IFC reference content by categories, such as Structural or MEP, or by element selection. The inserted IFC model content can be updated easily from the linked source file. If the link is broken, elements of the inserted IFC modules can be edited as regular ARCHICAD elements.

Collision Detection

With the evolution of BIM as the de facto workflow, architects increasingly receive consultant information in a BIM format. To help architects fulfill their role as lead coordinator of the model, Collision Detection becomes a standard part of the feature set starting with ARCHICAD 21.

In addition to the features highlighted above, ARCHICAD 21 delivers several other performance and functional improvements. For more information about ARCHICAD 21, visit

One of Graphisoft’s biggest success stories has been the recent conversion on to the ARCHICAD BIM solution of the world’s most successful architectural company Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in Copenhagen Denmark. This shows that the solution is on the forefront of innovation which is needed for South African Architectural companies to make an overwhelming presentation when entering the highly competitive international markets.


GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects.  GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment; and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for lightweight access to BIM for non-professionals.  GRAPHISOFT is part of the Nemetschek Group.

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