Archicad helps McCarthy Architectural Design bring residential designs to life

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See how McCarthy Architectural Design used Graphisoft Archicad software to bring your residential designs to life

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Graphisoft UK offered new and existing customers an extended free trial of Archicad. Some customers were new firms who took the opportunity to try the software for the first time, some were repeat customers who had used it in the past, and others took the opportunity to add licenses as their practice grew.

In a series of interviews, we caught up with these firms to find out how they got on with Archicad, what they like about the software and how it makes a difference in their practice.

Read the second of these interviews with Emily McCarthy of McCarthy Architectural Design below, to find out how the firm has used Archicad to bring its residential designs to life.

Established in 2021, McCarthy Architectural Design is a small Cambridge-based practice focusing on residential projects. The practice specializes in home extensions and new builds for clients in Cambridge and surrounding villages.

What prompted you to try Archicad?

I have been using BIM software for 10 years. After graduating in the US I worked for Gensler where I used Revit. After moving to the UK and working in London for a few years, I moved into a small practice in Cambridge that used Archicad.

I had previous Archicad experience from my internship in Berlin and found that getting back to using Archicad was very quick. I worked in the Cambridge firm for five years until the Covid pandemic hit. For personal, health, economic and family reasons, I decided to create my own practice.

McCarthy Residential Designs with Graphisoft Archicad Software - Second Floor Interior

How did you find Archicad?

I took the six month free trial and rediscovered the joy of using Archicad. Working as a solo practitioner, the software is so powerful.

How did you find Graphisoft support?

In my previous practice, I sometimes used Graphisoft support, but now, as a proficient Archicad user, I didn’t need to call on the support team. However, it is reassuring to know that there is someone to contact in case of need.

Tell me about some of the projects you are currently working on

I work on a number of projects for residential clients in the Cambridge area. These include extensions to a variety of properties ranging from a large detached house to a 1960s property and a Victorian terrace. Other projects include internal reconfigurations including new bathroom and kitchen designs.

McCarthy Residential Designs with Graphisoft Archicad Software - Second Floor Interior

Do you think Archicad will make a difference in your practice? If so, how?

Archicad offers a unique selling point for my practice. There aren’t many solo firms offering 3D to clients. The software has enormous capabilities. For example, the BIMx viewer is a huge hit with customers; the interface is really smooth and it’s so easy to be able to switch between drawings, 3D models, cutouts, etc. Customers respond very well to it because it helps them visualize the property.

With the help of Archicad, I was able to create a niche for my practice by offering 3D design and affordable service.

What are the best things about Archicad that you have discovered so far?

The BIMx viewer is incredibly fast, the visualization is very efficient and it really delivers a wow factor.

In Archicad, the stair tool, roof tool and objects are all shiny. For a kitchen layout, for example, it is very easy to place objects there; it is a very effective way to make a layout and which presents very well.

I regularly use the graphical override feature so that I can easily create different versions of the same floor plan. And I use Archicad’s renovation filters on every project, the feature is so useful for extensions.

Archicad’s surface library is another tool I use a lot. You can take an image file of a carpet, wood or tile for example and simply upload it to create a new surface in the library. It’s so easy to create the exact surface and texture you’re looking for.

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