The Global ARCHICAD Community

Stay informed. Get help. Share your knowledge.

Discussions about any other product with no dedicated forum - MEP Modeler, ARCHICAD Goodies, 3rd-party Add-Ons, operating systems, products of other vendors, etc. (Example: Which Add-On is the best for creating special Stairs?)

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

By terrain
We are a busy Landscape Arch practice involved in a wide range of project scales from small private gardens to large urban developments. We do alot of detailed site grading, planting plans, hardscape, pools, spas, trails, road and parking design, etc...

We're somewhere between gardeners, planners, and full on civil engineers.

In other words, LA is a lot more than just some 'flowers and trees' around the building for us.

We are looking for a pretty robust software replacement to the typical Autocad/Sketchup/rhino workflow.

We model everything and usually provide fairly extensive construction documents along with renderings.

We have tried Vectorworks Landmark for about 6 months, but have been incredibly frustrated by all the bugs and half-developed tools.

A few of our consultants have used AC for years and swear by it. Revits site modelling tools are not so good.

Is anyone out there using archicad for landscape architecture?
User avatar
By Bruce
I have been using ArchiCAD for 13 years now, and I dread whenever I have to do any sort of landscaping design.

If anyone is successfully, and easily, using out-of-the-box ArchiCAD for landscape purposes, I would love to see how they do it. But in my opinion, the relevant tools in ArchiCAD are old and clunky (I'm talking topography, roads, footpaths etc).

You can get some pretty sophisticated add-ons and objects though: ... -graphics/

There's also some pretty advanced tutorials on Youtube - which to me demonstrate how difficult it is:

Also, apparently Jim Fogarty Design uses it successfully: ... hitecture/
By alemanda
laszlonagy wrote:FWIW, there is a brand new landspacing Add-On recently released for ARCHICAD:

You may be able to achieve what you want with it and ARCHICAD.

It seems it handles just terrains ...
Architerra by Cigraph does it as well.

Actually Archicad lacks of typical landscaping objects written for archicad natively I mean like stones, trees, hedges, bushes,
Of course many of these 3D objects can be downloaded or bought on the web but many times they are not suited for archicad representation engine so the results is that many time these objects cannot be used smoothly for large landscaping purpose ...
User avatar
By Da3dalus
We've recently had some success using TwinMotion ( for presentations. The landscape is not added to ArchiCAD, but within TwinMotion itself, but it looks spectacular, even swaying in the wind. You can either place individual plans (with fairly decent regional libraries), or you can use a random painter. Also people, fountains, cars, all with animation. It's not a perfect design tool, but it could be used to augment ArchiCAD's visualization.
User avatar
By gpowless
I have been using Archicad for over 17 years. I frequently do contract work for engineers and surveyors preparing singles site grading plans either from master grading plans or from surveys.

The engineers usually provide me with 2d AutoCad drawings. I have to enter all the elevation points manually onto a mesh to provide 3d models. For a typical 1acre sloping lot that will take about an hour to produce.

Surveyors provide me with XYZ files that import seemlessly into AC.

The initial model is added to an "Existing Mesh" Layer

I then produce a copy of the modelled mesh and add it a "New Mesh" Layer This site model then is manipulated to produce the final grading plans by planting new elevations or altering existing ones, adding elevation labels as needed. While the engineers and surveyors are only interested in 2d final drawings I have a full view of how the grade works and often make adjustments in the 3d window.

I have Architerra from Cigraph as well and have only used it a few times. I find it quick but often resort to deleting the model mesh it produces a couple of times before I'm finished to get things right. Sometimes, depending on the job the mesh method is just as fast.