Graphisoft Building Together 2024 Collaborate Event

Last month, Graphisoft held the first of its Building Together events for 2024, one that was focused specifically on collaboration in AEC. In addition to highlighting Graphisoft’s solutions for collaboration, the Collaborate event provided an in-depth look at a customer case study showcasing this collaboration in action: the Nivy Centrum project in Bratislava, Slovakia by the firm SIEBERT + TALAŠ ​ (Figure 1). This article provides an overview of the event, which also helped to provide a snapshot of current status of Graphisoft’s solutions for the AEC industry.

Graphisoft’s Solutions for Collaboration

Graphisoft’s product family for the AEC industry includes Archicad, its flagship BIM application for architectural design; BIMx, its mobile BIM viewing, presentation, and communication app; BIMcloud, its cloud platform for team collaboration; and DDScad, its BIM application for MEP engineering with full-fledged design, analysis, and documentation capabilities. Together, the suite of tools enable not just individual architectural and MEP design capabilities, they also work together to provide a comprehensive platform for collaborative, multi-disciplinary design. This is why Graphisoft is bundling Archicad, BIMx, and BIMcloud together into a single subscription package called Archicad Collaborate.

The cornerstone guiding Graphisoft’s approach to collaborative design continues to be OpenBIM, which calls for free choice of software in project work rather than mandating the use of proprietary file formats. It allows open communication by ensuring that all project data is always accessible to any team member or stakeholder. OpenBIM also calls for facilitating interoperability by the continuous development and support of open standards as well as rigorous testing and certification. For Graphisoft, this means not just supporting the IFC open file format, but also as many other file types as possible. This is a continuing development effort, and thus far, Archicad is able to import and export over 40 file formats (Figure 2), including proprietary formats such as RVT (Revit), RFA (Revit families), SKP (SketchUp), and 3DM (Rhino) as well as open formats such as BCF (BIM Collaboration Format) and SAF (Structural Analysis Format).

In addition to supporting such a large number of file formats which allows different disciplinary models to be brought into Archicad to constitute the central federated model, Graphisoft highlighted several additional features in Archicad that are specifically useful for collaborative design. These include the visual “graphic overrides” capability which provides an easy way for users to do a QA (quality assurance) check of the model for different aspects by defining custom rules (Figure 3); the ability to perform collision detection and create issues to capture the collisions that are detected (Figure 4); and an integrated design checker, powered by Solibri, for performing checks on the federated model (Figure 5).

Archicad also has a dedicated functionality, Teamwork, which was specifically developed to enable collaborative workflows. Teamwork allows different team members to work simultaneously on the same model, as shown in Figure 6. They can reserve parts of the model to work on, and other team members can see which parts of the model are not available to them for editing. All the members currently working on the project can be seen in the Teamwork palette, and they can also communicate with each other in real time using an integrated Messenger functionality within Teamwork. Behind the scenes, this capability is enabled by BIMcloud where the project is being hosted.

In addition to facilitating Teamwork, BIMcloud creates project snapshots and backups automatically on a regular basis. Essentially, it works as a shared resource where data lives while the work is in progress. Graphisoft is continuing to enhance this open data hub so that you can now have multiple Teamwork projects with multiple teams working together and communicating uninterruptedly via different tools and file types. BIMcloud can be deployed locally as an on-premise software or as a SaaS (software as a service) offering. The power of BIMcloud for facilitating collaboration was highlighted using the example of another large and complex project, the Nova Hospital in Finland (Figure 7), on which 30 architects and 100 engineers worked together over a 10 year period, combining 20 different IFC models within one Archicad model via BIMcloud.

Additional software developments include a new 3D Model Switch in BIMx that allows a 3D model view to be easily switched to show different disciplinary models or design options (Figure 8); support for Apple’s new spatial computing headset, Vision Pro, in BIMx, allows designers and clients to be “inside” the model to experience the design; the ability to create issues with markups in BIMx, which can be read by any application for issue management that supports the BCF format (Figure 9); and a new module in DDScad for electrical engineering design and automatic calculations (Figure 10).

Nivy Centrum Project: Customer Case Study

The customer project that was used to showcase Graphisoft’s collaboration solutions this year was the Nivy Centrum project in Bratislava, Slovakia, by the architecture firm, SIEBERT + TALAŠ ​. Founded in 2002, SIEBERT + TALAŠ has grown to a team of over 70 with offices across Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It is now one of the leading practices in the region and works in the residential, office, hospitality, retail, logistics, and interior design sectors. The firm was a key design partner working with Benoy Architects and HB Reavis on the Nivy Centrum project in central Bratislava, which is a 3,000 sq m mixed use project consisting of retail, infrastructure, offices, and public spaces, distributed over a low-rise structure and high-rise tower complex (Figure 11). The project was completed in 2021.

The size and complexity of the project, as well as the large number of stakeholders, meant that several different software platforms were used for it by the different disciplines and specialists. In addition to the use of Archicad as the authoring application for the architectural design by SIEBERT + TALAŠ — which has been using Archicad since it was founded — the other main disciplinary applications were Revit MEP and Tekla Structures. The challenge was to be able to put all the different disciplinary models together in one model to create a single source of truth. Archicad’s ability to import high-fidelity models from other applications in the IFC format allowed it to become the central hub for the project (Figure 12).

As the project grew, the size of the files also increased, requiring the office to optimize their workflows by splitting the models. This ultimately led to the project comprising 17 Archicad files coming together to create a single BIM model. Archicad also provided the high level of organization that was needed to keep track of the different parts of the project. The entire communication map of the project is shown in Figure 13.


When it comes to enhancing and enabling collaborative workflows in AEC, Graphisoft has — in addition to its own software development efforts that were described in this article — another “ace up its sleeve,” which is that is it part of the large Nemetschek product family and has direct integration with many of its sister applications (Figure 14). What is especially exciting is the upcoming integration of Archicad with all the structural design and analysis applications in the ALLPLAN portfolio as well as with Allplan itself, allowing Archicad to become part of a larger AEC technology universe that encompasses both the buildings and the infrastructure making up our built environment.

About the Author

Lachmi Khemlani is founder and editor of AECbytes. She has a Ph.D. in Architecture from UC Berkeley, specializing in intelligent building modeling, and consults and writes on AEC technology. She can be reached at


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