Creating Floor Plans in the Architecture Industry

Lera Blog

A floor plan is often considered a relatively simple concept – a physical representation of the floor plan, presented in a two-dimensional form most of the time. Creating a floor plan is one of the most fundamental processes in construction, and many other more complex processes are implemented in the industry. However, creating a competent floor plan can be surprisingly tricky.

Of course, creating a floor plan is not a problem for a seasoned architect. Unfortunately, not all construction professionals have the level of skill and experience necessary to produce such a plan in a reasonable time frame. This problem has existed in the industry for a long time, and there hasn't been a single solution for a while – especially in an industry as conservative as construction.

The solution in question was the introduction of specialized software for architects in this field. The rise and widespread adoption of construction software has changed many industries, and construction is no exception. Construction software today is very versatile and can provide virtually any industry specialist with the means to simplify or improve their work.

Creating floor plans can also be greatly simplified today, with all kinds of architectural software capable of helping produce detailed floor plans without requiring a high level of expertise in the field. The software in question may be a specialized rendering solution, general-purpose CAD software, or even a relatively small application that can only work with floor plans in the first place.

What is important here is to have a correct assumption about the differences between a floor plan and a building plan. This is how we define a basic floor plan – a simple but informative plan of a specific floor of a structure. In this context, the total number of floors in a building does not matter since a floor plan can only cover one floor of a building.

The primary purpose of a floor plan is to provide a visual reference for the layout of a specific floor in a structure (the first floor of a building is the one most often created in projects of construction). This is also the main purpose of a building plan – an entity that is very similar to a floor plan in nature. The most important difference between the two is that a building plan represents the layout of the entire structure, including all the floors it may or may not have.

A building plan also has its share of use cases – it offers a clear reference to all project participants regarding the future building, including its shape, size, etc. A construction plan can also be developed and improved so that it can calculate and predict material consumption and perform many other useful actions – essentially turning it into a BIM model at one point or another.

In this context, the scope of a floor plan's capabilities is much more modest, but just as important. What is essential to understand here is that many 2D architectural floor plan software also offer a number of other features, including the ability to work with multiple floors within the same project template. This is why the terms “floor plan” and “building plan” are used interchangeably in the context of architectural software.

As a field of work, the architecture industry can be intimidating and overwhelming for newcomers. The situation with architectural software is very similar, although not as bad in comparison. There are many examples of architecture software that are user-friendly and easy to navigate, making the onboarding process much easier for less experienced employees.

In the field of architecture, there are many different solutions that allow you to create and modify floor plans and building plans to some extent. This could be specialized architectural software or a general CAD solution, depending on the objective of the task and many other factors. It is therefore possible to present a number of examples for the field of floor plan software.

AutoCAD is a very well-known name in the construction industry. However, our first example is called AutoCAD LT. This is a lightweight version of the aforementioned AutoCAD software, unable to work in 3D and whose capabilities are limited to two dimensions. This is a great example of a floor plan solution because it is much less expensive than its “full” counterpart while still offering a very competent feature set in drawing, technical diagramming and Easy integration with other Autodesk solutions for better results.

SketchUp is the second example of this topic. It is a well-known sketching, drawing and modeling solution that can be used in many industries, including construction. One of its main advantages is its ease of use, which makes SketchUp an extremely useful solution for architects, engineers, designers, builders, etc. Its basic version is also free, which is practically unheard of in the construction sector.

Other examples, like Revizto, don't even need to be able to create floor plans to make this list – simply because they are very useful for managing those plans. Revizto is the ultimate collaboration software, specializing in features like collision detection, issue tracking, visibility control, and even walkthrough support for project templates, making it very useful for managing floor plans and building plans.