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Besides ArchiCAD, Graphisoft offers ArchiFM for facilities management and recently introduced a complete new product line for design/build firms, construction firms, engineering firms and consultants. This product set, which includes GS Constructor and GS Estimator, allows companies to perform model-based calculations for scheduling, estimating and purchasing and provides a comprehensive platform with which they can manage an entire construction project. Constructor also includes a next-generation MEP modeling environment as well as a structural modeling library.
Graphisoft ArchiCAD, introduced in 1984, was the first product among these solutions to create a virtual model. Now in its ninth version, ArchiCAD's bidirectional associative models keep all the data in one PLN file that can hold a 60,000-square-foot building--including all construction documents--in a 30MB file. ArchiCAD uses the GDL (geometric description language) model creation language. GDL contains all the information necessary to completely describe building elements as 2D CAD symbols, 3D models and text specifications for use in drawings, presentations and quantity calculations. The program also ships with the RCC (Richard Creveling database) that can be interpreted by Timberline software to instantly create Level 2 cost estimates.
ArchiCAD is a rare program--VectorWorks ARCHITECT is another--that is offered on the Macintosh as well as Windows platform. This is an excellent BIM program, and because it's been around the longest, it may have the most routines dedicated to architecture and construction. It's very popular in Europe and is used by prolific firms widely.