For a long time, construction design started from the very basics: pen and paper. Buildings were designed using traditional two-dimensional drawings. But with drawings, miscalculations sometimes were only discovered after construction had already begun.

Thanks to advances in digital technology, those days are over. 3D building models and digital renderings are a common tool that many architecture and engineering firms use today. The process uses a collection of data to digitally create a 3D model of the finished result.

As a result, this new technology has led to opportunities in architectural modeling that were unheard of even a few years ago. The beauty of using 3D model technology is that it helps everyone understand all aspects of the building.

Read on to see the advantages of 3D building models.

Types of Architectural Models

Architectural models can be broken down into two different types.

Physical Model

The traditional method of architectural modeling is to build a physical scale model of the project. The goal of a physical model is to build a smaller representation of the prospective project. This smaller model will help plan out each step and determine the viability of different decisions moving forward.

Models are often times used to communicate the vision to clients and stakeholders. Building a physical model can be very effective when trying to make a visual impact. However, as technology has advanced, physical models have become time consuming and inefficient.

3D Model

Utilizing 3D models is a cost-effective alternative to physical models. Many firms have taken advantage of this new technology to replace traditional methods of physical modeling.

By using a 3D model of the building on a computer, changes can be manipulated and adjusted as the project progresses. Using technology, architects and engineers can create photo realistic representations of any project.

3D building models create a more complete picture of the project. Ultimately, this serves to benefit both the engineer and the client.

Advantages of 3D Building Models

There are many different benefits of using a 3D building model. Not only does it help both those involved in the project and the client visualize the completed project, it is also effective and efficient. Below are some of the many advantages.

Project Visualization

A 3D architectural model can help clients and stakeholders visualize a project. Most humans are visual beings who are able to grasp spatial concepts much better if they can see them rather than just imagining them. Recent studies show that 90% of transmitted information in the human brain is visual.

Everyone involved in the construction design process will benefit from the 3D visualization. 3D models can be very realistic, allowing both clients and the design team to better understand the scope of the project. This also results in fewer surprises down the road as everyone is on the same page while working towards a common goal.

Architects and engineers can also manipulate 3D models in a way that they cannot with traditional 2D drawings. Professionals can plug in different options into the 3D scale to test potential scenarios. This can help confirm their decisions and identify any problems early on.

3D models give an accurate picture of how a design team can change their plans if they need to. It is much easier to change a project during the design stage rather than after construction has already begun.

Selling the Project

Any professional in construction design knows that a building project is in a constant selling process. The clients need to be sold on the architectural design and development choices throughout the process.

It is also important to get the different people involved in the project on the same page. Making sure everyone is working towards a common vision will ensure a smoother construction process.

A well designed 3D model can also be a crucial marketing piece for a firm or for the client. Showing a visualization of the project allows the client to get excited about it. This results in a more positive reception of the finished project.

If the client is happy, then the potential customers will also be happy. That is why 3D architectural models can be important for any project.

Improving Project Speed

A 3D building model is a valuable tool that can save valuable time and money. Models can be shown to contractors or builders to help save significant time in the construction process. This leads to a faster designing and building process.

3D modeling can construct structures much faster than 2D drawings. This saves precious time and money that can be used on other aspects of the construction design.

3D building models also leave little room for error because they provide an accurate picture. This means that architects and engineers don’t waste time looking for errors or miscalculations on 2D drawings. This allows them to finish their projects more efficiently.

Precision and control

3D models collect data to produce the most accurate representation of the building project. Professionals can use data to create realistic models of real spaces. These models give ultimate control over precision as professionals don’t waste time measuring and re-measuring a 2D drawing.

This prevents expensive mistakes from occurring before they can happen. Architects and engineers can notice the mistake before the construction process even begins

Obtaining Your Permit

Another great advantage of using a 3D architectural model is that it can help obtain any necessary permits for the new building. Obtaining the proper permits is a crucial part of the construction process for any project.

With a well designed 3D building model, that process can be expedited. Regulators responsible for giving building permits will look at the potential impact a new building will make on the surrounding environment. A 3D model can give them a better visual, expediting the permitting process.

Ready to Build Your Dream Project?

The benefits of using 3D building models are undeniable. By providing a strong visualization of the project, clients and stakeholders will be more easily convinced of its viability.

The efficiency and planning benefits are also important, as is the expedited process of acquiring necessary permits. Done right, a well designed 3D building model can guide your construction design process from the beginning and all the way to the end.

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Your building could use a tune-up, but you’re not sure what route to take. Should you restore, remodel, or renovate?

If you don’t know the difference between these words, don’t feel bad. Many first time building owners have this problem.

But, you need to know the difference before you start your project. That way, it’ll be easier to plan your project and know exactly what needs to be done to complete it.

In this article, we’ll go over the differences between building restoration, renovation, and remodeling. And, we’ll help you decide which one is right for your project.


Restoration is the process in which you return the building to its original condition.

Historic buildings are common sites for restoration projects, but modern buildings also undergo restoration as well. Restoration projects typically involve:

  • Repairing holes in walls
  • Fixing old fixtures
  • Replacing old fixtures with replicas of the original
  • Removing old carpet
  • Refinishing wood floors

From an environmental standpoint, restoration uses fewer resources and less energy. It can also be the most cost-effective as long as the house has a strong foundation and requires only minimal repairs.

If your goal is to make your building look like the original structure, then restoring is definitely right for you. However, be prepared to still do some renovations and remodels, as some parts may not be able to be fully restored.


Renovation is the process of renewing a building or structure by fixing what’s already present and in some cases adding new components.

Renovation tends to be cheaper than remodeling. Depending on the project, it can also be more cost-effective than restoration.

Typically, renovations are done in conjunction with restorations. For example, someone may decide they want to restore their bathrooms. But to make it a bit more modern, they add a shower component to the tub, which would make it a renovation project as well.


Remodeling involves changing an entire room or building.

Remodeling tends to be a much more involved process than restoring or renovating, as it involves making changes to a building’s structure. Examples or remodeling include:

  • Expanding the square footage of a building
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls
  • Raising ceilings
  • Adding plumbing
  • Adding heating/cooling ducts

Remodels have the highest cost of all the three options and they require the most materials and time to complete.

Remodeling a building is a lot of work. You’ll only want to remodel if your building is missing major components it needs to function properly. Before choosing to remodel, you’ll definitely want a cost-estimate to make sure you have enough in your budget for the project.

Remodel vs. Renovation

A renovation is fixing up a room without changing its use, while remodeling is transforming the entire purpose of the space. But why do these differences matter to you — the home or business owner? While subtle, the distinctions between the two can make a difference in how worthwhile an investment your project will be to you.

When choosing between a renovation vs. a remodel, here are some of the factors you’ll especially want to consider:

Price: No matter what you decide to do with your space, a remodel will always cost more than a renovation since it often requires complex construction, electrical and plumbing work. You might also need to obtain permits for a complete remodeling project, which could add hundreds of dollars to your bill.
Time: While you can perform minor cosmetic touch-ups quickly, any remodeling will require a significantly longer timeline. Expect the planning and construction of your remodel to take several months. Living rooms and bathrooms are typically finished around three months after you start planning, while kitchens can take up to five months.
Project Scope: Renovation projects mainly focus on the appearance of your home or commercial building, while remodels alter its entire functionality. With a renovation, you can install new appliances and fixtures and upgrade your building’s technology. On the other hand, a remodel allows you to completely transform your space when cosmetic changes aren’t enough to fix the issue.
Customization Options: Renovations can give your building a more modern appearance and add many functional elements to your building, but they can’t change the structure altogether. If you want to open up the room by tearing down a wall or completely transform the space to make it your own, you’ll need to do a complete remodel.

How to Choose Which Type of Project Is Best for You

Maybe you have a room in your home or commercial building you’d like to change, but you’re not sure exactly what you’d like to do. Perhaps you’d like to touch it up with a new fixture, or maybe you’d like to completely start over and treat it like a new part of the building. If you’re not sure whether a restoration, renovation or remodeling project is best for you, here are three critical questions to ask yourself:

What’s My Budget? A full remodel will typically cost between 7 percent and 10 percent of the value of your building. If you’re remodeling a room in a $500,000 commercial building, for example, expect to pay between $35,000 and $50,000. If you can’t afford to put that much money aside, a renovation or simple restoration is the best way to go.
How Much Do I Want to Change? Do you want to make some repairs to your current building? A restoration offers the chance to make some simple fixes that will enhance your room’s appearance and functionality. Are you merely hoping to make your building look more modern or update some elements to be more practical? Then a renovation project will likely offer what you need. Or, do you want to come back to a room you don’t even recognize once the construction is finished? In this case, you’ll need to do a complete remodel.
Do I Like the Current Room Design? Renovations and restorations can both transform the look and feel of any area. However, if you don’t like the room’s entire layout and want to tear down a wall, add an extension or move the sink to the other end of the room, you’ll need to spend the extra money for a remodel.

Building Restoration: Wrap Up

Now that you understand the difference between these terms and have an idea of which route is right for you, it’s time to start making plans for your building.