Here we go again, back at it in 2018.
If you’re considering the leap from 2D into BIM there’s a myriad of articles and forums discussing the pros and cons of learning either Revit or ArchiCAD. No doubt you’ll also want to compare the latest Revit v ArchiCAD feature specs if you are making the decisions about which software to choose but at the end of the day the most important considerations will be how well the software fits with your practice right now.
So we’ve compiled advice from architects that have previously gone through the process of choosing their initial BIM software and what advice they have to offer when choosing between Revit and ArchiCAD. Here’s what they had to say:
If you’re moving your team or firm to a new software price is usually a consideration. ArchiCAD seems to be cheaper than Revit. Revit 2019 is annually $3165 excluding GST where as sources report ArchiCAD 21 to be quotes slightly cheaper.
Are you upskilling to BIM because you are prospecting a new job at a new firm? If that’s the case, it’s probably more useful for you to scope out which software your prospective firm is using before making the decision. Make a wish list of the places you want to work at and call up to find out whether they’re using Revit or ArchiCAD. Then choose the one that gets you where you want to go.
I know most architects will object enforcing a single program but if you’re starting from scratch and you really want to work for a certain firm then just learn whichever program they are currently using.
This one is easy if you’re on a Mac and have no plans of switching to a PC. ArchiCAD works across both Mac and PC whereas Revit is a Windows only program. However you can always Boot Camp or Frame your Mac to run Windows if all other roads lead to Revit.
The area which Revit shines is its ability to document engineering and MEP information. Not to say that it’s impossible with ArchiCAD but it requires additional plugins whereas Revit comes equipped with different environments and excels at capturing detailed information for each. If you’re going to be working with a lot of MEP information, Revit could be a good BIM program to learn.
Depending on your region there may be a preference for one software over the other. Revit’s Autodesk family seems to be more dominant in the US and increasingly within Asia whereas Graphisoft ArchiCAD still hold a greater market share within Europe and Australia Pacific.
Which brings me to the next point…
While it’s important to compare current specs, learning a software is more akin to running a long distance marathon so be sure to think about how each of these two companies will progress in the future. What are the trends within architecture and will any new requirements in your region make one preferable to the other?
Autodesk seem to be constantly adding to their family of tools whilst at the same time closing itself off from third party apps. Will you need to use a Autodesk tool in the future? If so perhaps it’s better to just start with Revit. Or perhaps you need to keep things flexible to collaborate with different specialists during the life of a build.
Personal Preference (Follow your heart)
If none of the above proved to be helpful at all then I will leave you with these deliberately subjective follow-your-heart pieces of advice: