How does CA compare to Revit, Sketchup, Autocad, and softplan for concrete house construction


Haskellf
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In South Florida, homes are prominently constructed out of concrete blocks, metal studs & beams, concrete headers/lentils/beams, and wooden trusses. Which software would you recommend that would be best suited for concrete home construction? 

Also, I can't find any training videos for CA that uses concrete blocks and therefore I wanted to ask you all if you know of any videos or tutorials for CA... Or maybe one of the aforementioned software would be better suited for concrete block construction?

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57 minutes ago, Haskellf said:

In South Florida, homes are prominently constructed out of concrete blocks, metal studs & beams, concrete headers/lentils/beams, and wooden trusses. Which software would you recommend that would be best suited for concrete home construction? 

Also, I can't find any training videos for CA that uses concrete blocks and therefore I wanted to ask you all if you know of any videos or tutorials for CA... Or maybe one of the aforementioned software would be better suited for concrete block construction?

I work with Florida builders and developers who use this type of construction and everything works fine.  However, I am not doing full 3D workups of exact replication of construction methods...i do more a hybrid with 2D details to support.  If that is acceptable I think Chief works great.  If you want full BIM for this type of construction then Chief may not be the best choice.

 

Though, of your list of other software choices I don't think there is an ideal solution outside perhaps Revit - but I personally dislike that app.  If you need to model these buildings completely id look into Archicad, Vectorworks, and Allplan.  That said, I do think Chief could work for you.

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I'm Relatively inexperienced but would think you would could use same materials but  defined slightly different texture or properties, say as concrete rather than wood.  This is not new to Chief I am sure.  Find the tutorials on creating your own concrete lintels, Wall, ect. Search google for "chief Architect concrete lintels for example.  I'm really surprised some of these guru's have not responded to this post as these guy's can do just about anything.  

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22 hours ago, johnny said:

I work with Florida builders and developers who use this type of construction and everything works fine.  However, I am not doing full 3D workups of exact replication of construction methods...i do more a hybrid with 2D details to support.  If that is acceptable I think Chief works great.  If you want full BIM for this type of construction then Chief may not be the best choice.

 

Though, of your list of other software choices I don't think there is an ideal solution outside perhaps Revit - but I personally dislike that app.  If you need to model these buildings completely id look into Archicad, Vectorworks, and Allplan.  That said, I do think Chief could work for you.

 

JPC probably knows the pluses and minuses of the different programs as well as anybody.  The fact you are having to ask the question leads me to believe that BIM is not a priority for you.  My bet is CA is your best choice.

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I think Chief will work fine. Important things:

 

1) Set up your wall definitions appropriately. I don't know what kind of insulation values you need in Florida, but here's an exterior wall with exterior continuous insulation, filled CMU cores, and interior steel stud furring:

5a9574b6934eb_floridaextwall.thumb.PNG.2f1358e7cb937635b6de3ef144d4e07b.PNG

 

Interior walls can also be defined to use steel stud sizes and materials.

 

2) Do you use slabs-on-grade for residential in Florida? If so, set up your foundation defaults appropriately:

fnddef1.thumb.PNG.0b4ec29724593a38bedf91ee246dd6c7.PNGfnddef2.thumb.png.89e66901e17cdd4feb037724f12f575f.png

 

3) Define your room structure for CMU nominal wall heights and a slab foundation:

struc1.thumb.PNG.c5bd10b84678c45802f6d68a38f788b1.PNG

 

4) Set up your framing defaults, such as floor and roof beams:

struc2.thumb.PNG.4db4ee1612784ed7fd31f86f3e4662a3.PNG

 

5) Set your lower story exterior walls to hang the floor framing:

struc3.thumb.PNG.13bc05927ad38eff08abc544be495a44.PNG

 

These very basic settings can start to get you there:

section.thumb.PNG.bc6c3d0b8b8a291da5dceb876bf00dcc.PNG

 

There are lots of other settings to tweak, but these are some of the basics. Then draw the house using a standard Chief workflow and you'll discover what else needs to be done. And as Johnny mentioned, you'll always need to utilize some workarounds and CAD details, just like stick framed homes.

 

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