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    Design & Building Download Center — Page One

    Free architectural software and product-related downloads, courtesy of these ArchitectureWeek sponsors...


    Glass Specification Tool

    Walker Glass is proud to introduce the first three-part specifications on acid-etched glass, mirror, and anti-slip glass. Acid-etched glass and mirror have become an integral part of the design process for many architects and designers. These editable documents provide a great tool for specifying acid-etched products in a more elaborate way, helping architects to consider all relevant information, including performance, aesthetics, and quality. For example, you can now ensure consistency in the etch finish by specifying a gloss range for a selected product.   Free download.



    Master Guide Specification Software

    BSD SpecLink®-E is a master guide specification writing, management, and production system. The software is designed to produce documentation for all types of projects and for all phases of a project, from programming all the way through construction administration. One database of over 600 sections can be expanded or collapsed to provide outline, short form, and full construction specs, without the need to start over at each phase of a project. This sophisticated software from Building Systems Design, Inc. is subscribed to by architects, engineers, and specification writers nationwide.   Download a free evaluation copy.


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    Vectorworks Architect 2012

    With Vectorworks® Architect 2012 software, you can create building information models without giving up the ease of design you're used to. Whether you're looking to streamline costs, analyze materials, increase your energy efficiency, or just create world-class designs, with the Vectorworks Architect solution, BIM just works. Enjoy the robust and flexible capabilities of BIM with the ease of design, great documentation, and intelligent tools that the software is known for — right from the start.   Download a free 30-day trial.


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    High-Reflectance Coatings Save Energy

    The coil and extrusion coatings group of PPG Industries recently published a white paper about an energy modeling study showing that high-reflectance coatings improve the energy performance of high-rise buildings, even in cold climates. An independent energy and environmental analysis firm simulated the energy performance of a prototype eight-story office building in 12 North American cities, and found that infrared (IR)-reflective coatings on metal walls, window frames, and roofs reduced energy use in cold climates, and even more so in warm and hot climates. The 12-page white paper is entitled "Energy Savings in High-Rise Buildings Using High-Reflective Coatings."   Free white paper (PDF)


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    Software for Sizing Wood Framing Members

    Forte™ software from Weyerhaeuser is a powerful tool for sizing wood framing members, including joists, headers, beams, wall studs, and columns. Users can size dimension lumber and engineered wood products, even accounting for seismic and wind loads. Size for a specific spacing or member depth, or just the best economical fit. The software is now used by more than 10,000 engineers, architects, home designers, and other building professionals. Easy to use, it offers the ability to quickly compare alternatives, and provides exporting capabilities that facilitate information sharing. Free download.


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    Elevator Energy Calculator

    ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas has launched the 2.0 version of its Energy Calculator, a free online tool for predicting the energy consumption of elevators. This robust and user-friendly tool provides technical assistance to architects, elevator consultants, facility managers, and building owners involved in new construction and building modernization projects. The calculator features side-by-side elevator comparisons, allowing onscreen comparisons of minor tweaks, such as lighting type changes and speed differences, or comparisons between different technologies or generations of technologies. The new version also features a currency selection option, a kilowatt-per-hour rate option, descriptions of drive types, and a carbon dioxide reduction calculation. Try the online energy calculator.


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    Defining Green Products for Indoor Environmental Quality

    Air Quality Sciences (AQS) offers a white paper that examines what constitutes a green product, how the term "green" has been used and misused, and how green products can affect indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and human health. Additionally, this paper explores federal and state government "green chemistry" initiatives, regulations, and guidelines, and how they are advancing product technology. The paper is made available through Aerias, AQS's resource center for indoor air quality. Free download.


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    4D Modeling of Industrial Projects

    Synchro Ltd. has issued a white paper on the emerging technology of four-dimensional modeling and planning of industrial projects. The white paper, "4D Modeling of Large Industrial Projects Using Spatio-Temporal Decomposition," was written by V.A. Seminov of the Institute for Systems Programming RAS, Moscow, and Tom Dengenis, CEO of Synchro. The authors discuss this approach to 4D modeling and providing special facilities to effectively access project data and execute typical requests relevant to given time and space domains. Theoretical complexity estimates are given to prove the suitability of the schemas for efficient modeling of large industrial projects. Free download (click "Open Publication" at bottom of page).


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    Update to AutoCAD Web and Mobile Access

    Autodesk recently released an update to AutoCAD WS, which uses cloud computing technology to enable users to view, edit, and share their AutoCAD designs and DWG files through web browsers and mobile devices. AutoCAD WS 1.1 includes a more intuitive interface, the ability to view and edit drawings even when offline, and the ability to upload drawings received as email attachments. The AutoCAD WS web application, formerly Project Butterfly, is currently available as a free plugin. (The mobile app for iOS is also available for free, subject to terms and conditions, in the App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, or via


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    PassivHaus Design Primer

    Download a basic guide to PassivHaus design, issued by the UK's Building Research Establishment (BRE) to aid developers, architects, and self-builders. The PassivHaus standard is a well-defined, ultra-low-energy construction standard first developed in Germany and used today in Europe and the United States. Dwellings constructed to the standard maintain high indoor air quality while reducing space heating energy needs up to 90 percent compared to the existing building stock, by incorporating high levels of insulation and efficient heat-recovery ventilation and achieving a virtually airtight building shell. Over 7,000 dwellings have been constructed in accordance with PassivHaus principles, which can be applied to residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings. Free download.


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    Anchoring Dimension Stone

    The Marble Institute of America offers a technical bulletin on the practice of mechanically anchoring dimension stone. Prepared as a general guide for tradespeople, the bulletin provides valuable insight about how stone-anchorage devices interface with the stone panels and the building structure. Common anchorage devices are discussed, as well as some guidance about why certain anchor device selections may be more appropriate than others in particular situations. Free download.


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    How 3D Printing Works

    Physical 3D models communicate a designer's vision in a dramatic way. Until recently, the quick and affordable physical prototype has been an oxymoron. Z Corporation offers a white paper that discusses the inception and evolution of 3D printing, explores in depth how a 3D printer produces a physical model, and examines the defining attributes of a Z Corporation 3D printer and the technology decisions that produced them. On-demand prototypes can help improve communication, shorten design cycles, improve accuracy, eliminate costly mistakes, trigger unexpected ideas, drive innovation and quality, and improve collaboration. Free download.


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    ANSI/BHMA Standard for Materials and Finishes

    The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is offering a free download of ANSI/BHMA A156.18-2006, the American National Standard for Materials and Finishes — useful when specifying hardware on a wide range of project applications. The standard establishes finish test methods and code numbers for finishes on various base materials. Performance tests are outlined. Architects need to consider the intensity of use and durability expectations, along with a project's overall design aesthetic. The document is available free for a limited time only. Complete a short survey for access to the download.

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    Improving Construction Efficiency and Productivity with Modular Construction

    The Modular Building Institute has published a white paper citing a report by the National Research Council (NRC) that identifies modular construction as an underutilized resource. At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the NRC convened an ad hoc committee of experts to identify technologies, processes, and deployment activities that have the greatest potential to significantly advance the productivity and competitiveness of the U.S. construction industry in the next 20 years. The committee suggested five potential breakthroughs, including "greater use of prefabrication, preassembly, modularization, and off-site fabrication techniques and processes." Read more and download the white paper.

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    Free CAD Software

    DoubleCAD™ XT works like AutoCAD LT®, but is free. It contains many new, innovative features, such as transparent fills, draw order by layer, hide objects regardless of layer, snap prioritization, self-healing walls, self-aligning blocks, brush editor, Bezier curves, input multiple unit types "on the fly," automatic scaling of units between drawings, one-step splitting of objects, advanced polyline editing, parametric variable palette, modern handle-based editing, exploded viewports, and smart dimensions. Import and export twice as many file formats as AutoCAD LT 2010, including strong .SKP compatibility. Awarded highest five-star rating from the review editors at CNET. Free download.

    More Info...


    More Free Downloads on the Next Page  >>>

    Design Tools Department

    Design Tools News Headlines

    Vacation Planning for the CAD Manager — Cadalyst, 2013.0710

    Getting Started in SketchUp — ArchitectureWeek, 2013.0710

    Seven Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition to 3D Modeling — Cadalyst, 2013.0710

    Three Ways to Change Your Current AutoCAD Layer — Cadalyst, 2013.0709

    Tutorial for FABmep Import for Revit MEP Now Available — It's Alive in the Lab, 2013.0708

    Migrating to ArchiCAD 17 — ArchiCAD SADC, 2013.0708

    Create a Filled Region to Use as a Mask — The Building Coder, 2013.0706

    Understanding the Autodesk Content Browser — Applying Technology to Architecture, 2013.0705

    Managing Revit Data in Excel — Revit (blog), 2013.0705

    My Dimensions Show Incorrect Value in Viewport Layout! — CAD Notes, 2013.0704

    UNSUPPORTED: AutoCAD 2014 on Windows Vista — Up and Ready, 2013.0704

    Using Bluebeam Revu to Assist in Upgrading a Revit Project — Club Revit, 2013.0703

    New Language Content Packs for Autodesk Revit 2014 — BIM and Beam, 2013.0624

    Revit to CAD: Nothing to Fear — BIM Aficionado, 2013.0622

    Purging Unwanted Linetype Bloat — CAD Panacea, 2013.0621

    Set Visibility of Sketch in Sub Assembly — Manufacturing DevBlog, 2013.0621

    Add the Type Selector to the Modify Ribbon — CAD Shack, 2013.0621

    ArchiCAD 17 New Features: Performance — ArchiCAD SADC, 2013.0621

    Why Adobe's "Cloud" Software Doesn't Work for Customers — WorldCAD Access, 2013.0621

    AutoCAD: Fillet and Chamfer Clean Up — IMAGINiT Technologies Support Blog, 2013.0621

    Revit 2014: Options for Double Click — IMAGINiT Technologies Support Blog, 2013.0621

    Newforma Model Viewer — AECbytes, 2013.0620

    Create a Plugin for AutoCAD — Cadalyst, 2013.0620

    SketchUp Tools : PUSH / PULL — Sketchup-UR-Space, 2013.0620

    ArchiCAD 17 — AECbytes, 2013.0612

    The Race to Build the First 3D-Printed Building — Wired, 2013.0604

    ArchiCAD 17 New Feature: Easily Editable 3D Cutting Plane — ArchiCAD SADC, 2013.0603

    Microsoft's BIG Screen — CAD Insider, 2013.0603

    Change Brewing in the Computer Power Game — Desktop Engineering, 2013.0601

    Controlling the Origin of a Copy/Paste — EnvisionCAD, 2013.0530

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