The 3 Most Common Acoustic Mistakes in Office Design & How to Avoid Them

It happens all the time. You spent months with an architect designing an office that maximizes company productivity, presents a professional representation of your brand, and has a conference room big enough for Friday afternoon ping pong tournaments. Then, after all that work, you realize you’ve constructed an acoustic abomination where a single sneeze sends reverberating chills throughout each meticulously placed pseudo-cubicle.

Like I said: it happens.


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Designers and office owners often don’t consider how an abundance of noise – or even lack thereof – might affect the everyday work experience. This goes for any building type, but especially for office rebuilds or renovations where the primary goal is efficiency and visual effectiveness. Acoustics are reserved to an afterthought – if they are a thought at all – and problems are rarely identified until the paint has dried and the ribbon is cut.

If you’re working on an office design project, avoid the three common mistakes below.

1. Focusing On Aesthetics Over Function


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Appearance matters. Not only does the aesthetic design of your office space provide clients and new employees with a positive first impression, it can have a lasting effect on overall company morale. Working in beautiful, well-designed spaces inspires creativity, boosts productivity and improves company morale. There’s a reason no one wants to work in the basement of an old library and everyone wants to work at Facebook.

However, don’t let the vision of a beautiful space blind you from how those undulating stainless steel ‘flow’ sculptures might alter how sound is bouncing around. The biggest trend in modern office design is to create an open plan that promotes collaboration and communication. It’s a great direction on paper, but a lack of acoustic awareness can lead to a noisy work environment that might make it hard for people to concentrate. In large, open workspaces, employees often resort to using headphones to create their own working sanctuary, which can hinder collaboration in a space that was initially created with collaboration in mind.

The Solution


The good news? You don’t always have to sacrifice appearance when building an acoustically sound office space. Invest in proven finished materials that modulate excessive noise and make even the most rambunctious open offices comfortable to be productive in.

Key improvements can be made by providing barriers between work areas. You can still keep an open office feel by using partitions or panels that provide enough coverage for privacy without completely isolating workers. Kirei’s EchoScreen room dividers are a great modular solution in open spaces.

Be sure to take a look at your ceilings, too! Implementing sound absorptive ceiling baffles, along with breaking up the direct path between work stations, will help to control acoustics in areas where you need it most.


The Echopanel product line has several attractive options that work for you rather than against you. Keep in mind that a noise level around 10 decibels is optimal for interior comfort. Product specifications will provide technical information for the most efficient coverage of each panel system, so you can easily fine tune the design to fit your needs.


Bonus Tip: For offices with unusually high ceilings, try dropping the ceiling in a few areas. Not only does this help manage noise and echo, it can work to organize different volumes of interior space similarly to the effect of partitions mentioned above.

2. When “Quiet” is Too Quiet

Believe it or not, it is possible to over-engineer the acoustic planning for your office space. You might find yourself going overboard with sound-dampening ceiling and wall tiles, or a conference room sealed up as tight as the Apollo moon lander. This results in an office that doesn’t feel busy enough, and can create an uncomfortable lack of background noise that feels misplaced in an environment that is supposed to scream ‘work.’

People prefer to live and work in places that feel alive. Over-use of acoustic materials in a space can create muffled, dead sounds that while they don’t echo, still sound unnatural and unnerving to building occupants.

Additionally, such quiet spaces can leave employees or clients feeling a distinct lack of privacy, which is especially evident in open concept office designs.

The Solution

Plan your acoustic design strategy based on an understanding of which spaces need segregated silence, and which spaces need to sound busy.


For instance, an open collaboration area should be handled differently than a closed presentation or meeting space. You might want some areas of your office to be zoned off, using sound-absorbing partitions for more private work stations, or use sound masking to help with those eerily quiet spaces.


When you have this conceptual framework for the acoustic design, you’ll need to determine the appropriate noise level for the space, and will want to research solutions and materials.  The standards for not only pinpointing the proper noise level – but how to best implement the design – vary widely based on function, room shape, and acoustic properties of the materials used. If you’re suffering from eery silence in a room, removing  You might also consult an expert to help you fine tune the implementation of ceiling and wall tiles, or in-wall insulation. A certified consultant can help walk you through the more technical aspects of perfecting your acoustic design.


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Bonus Tip: A reasonable bit of white noise goes a long way to insulating the work experience from the incredible burden of complete silence. Also considering using an integrated speaker system for office-wide music playing. A bit of low background music can boost morale and prevent the office from becoming too sterile.

3. Forgetting to Modulate Individual or Small-Group Work Spaces

Another pitfall of the open concept office arrangement is the lack of segregated work spaces where a small group of people can gather and meet. In most cases, a large table or two are haphazardly placed in some leftover space in the office that have little or no acoustic or visual separation from the primary desk areas. What you end up with is an unorganized amoeba of a floor plan that lacks the intentionality that might lead to better work and less audibly congested meetings.

In most cases, the problem starts with forgetting to set up a hierarchy of spaces, their functions, and how they operate in conjunction with one another. It is the designer’s job to assess these issues from a wayfinding and workflow efficiency standpoint, but too often the way sound travels from space to space gets lost.

The Solution


It starts with assessing the kinds of activities that might take place away from a person’s or people’s work station. This can range anywhere from client meetings to brainstorming sessions to conference calls. Once you understand the use of the space, and how it slots into overall workflow, you can start figuring out ways to construct these sub-stations to best protect them from the hustle and bustle of the office proper.

If you still want to maintain the flow of having an open concept office, you can design a system of movable wall panels that give you the flexibility to conjure up private gathering spaces on the fly. The Kirei Echopanel Wrap, Paling and Platoon partitions would be perfect for sectioning off space that is insulated from a majority of office noise, but not completely cut off from everything else.


Bonus Tip: Invest in a few large storage units and put them on casters (big, sturdy wheels). They can be easily moved around to section off space, and be used as bookshelves, portfolio displays, or overflow storage.


Ultimately, the best way to avoid these traps is to catch them before they become a problem. Think first about how your office wants to operate and design around a few core concepts. Once you’ve established some rules, you can test every decision against them, and iron out the kinks on the front end. This goes for new construction or the renovation of an existing space. If you’re having trouble addressing the acoustic strategy for your office space, consider hiring a specialist to help you out along the way.

The better aligned the acoustic design is with the nature of your business, the more productive your workers will be and the more impressive your brand will become.



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Reducing Office Noise With Soundproof Folding Room Dividers


From homes to businesses, there are often times when a little quiet is necessary within a room or rooms. Soundproofing materials are fantastic at helping to absorb sound and reduce noise, but what happens when you only need soundproofing sometimes or when your needs change according to location? When your needs in soundproofing vary, soundproof folding room dividers may offer the solution you’re looking for.

Effective Sound Proofing


There are many scenarios in homes and office buildings where soundproofing is required. From creating a study area to partitioning off places where private conversations are had, reducing and absorbing sound can be hugely beneficial to many people.

EchoPanel modular screen systems from Kerei offer flexible, versatile, and effective soundproofing solutions. Each panel, made from recycled plastic bottles, is designed to absorb the sounds in the area. The panels are pieced together with joints that allow you to customize the shape, size, and position of the panels to best meet your needs.

So, whether you need to quickly partition off a seating area to have a private conversation with a client, you want to set up a quiet study area in the midst of a busy room, the dividers can give you the results you need in just minutes.

Why Room Dividers


Soundproofing materials are available in a wide range of different styles and options. From tiles to panels that you can use to build furniture, you have more options today in soundproofing your home, office, or school than ever before.

Soundproof folding room dividers offer a flexibility that adds another layer of usefulness, however. With a folding room divider, you have the ability to move the screen where you need it at the time. For open spaces and offices that have a more flexible layout, this is invaluable as it allows people to work and converse when and where they want to. Rather than adding soundproofing material to every inch of the room, the dividers let you move and set up the area you intend for use. They have the ability to screen you from view, as well as to help reduce the sound. So, you can get a more private area that’s useful for confidential conversations as well as for studying and concentration.

Room dividers also allow you to create semi-permanent work areas that can be changed at any time with little issue. For example, putting a divider between two desks gives you two private spaces that can be turned back into one by simply folding the divider away. As more offices begin to turn toward an open layout with emphasis being put on communal spaces and more socialization within the workplace, having the ability to create a temporary private area is sometimes necessary.

Room dividers that are also soundproof let you create the ultimate in privacy. And because they can fold flat when not in use, they’re easily stored until they next time they’re needed.

Versatile Options


Soundproof room dividers come in a several shapes, sizes, and colors, which enable you to customize their use to your needs. Whether you intend to leave them out on a semi-permanent basis and need something that will complement your office décor, or you plan on moving and setting them up on a case by case basis, you can easily find a set of panels that work with your needs.

By selecting a “kit” of different parts, you can reconfigure your dividers again and again. Set up a three-way seating area to allow multiple users to have their own private space in one small area, or enclose a larger space within an open room to allow for quiet conversation.

Depending on how you intend to use the panels, you can purchase a set, leave them joined and merely take them out or fold them flat as needed, or configure a new set up each time you use them by manually joining the panels together. Either option is possible with the same soundproofing materials, so you can trust that the area you are enclosing or dividing will remain private and quiet for as long as you need it to be.

Get Customized Soundproofing that Works for You

As a greater emphasis is placed on flexibility within home and building layouts, a greater emphasis also needs to be placed on the materials necessary to make these areas work to the best of their ability. Soundproof folding room dividers give you that flexibility, while ensuring that you have the soundproofing and privacy necessary for study, conversation, or sensitive work. Whether you use them as a semi-permanent divider between two spaces, you continuously break them down and set them up in new ways, soundproof panels are a great investment in flexibility and function. Get the best of both worlds for your home or office space with soundproof folding room dividers to see what’s possible within a more quiet environment.

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4 Tips To Create More Productive Conference Rooms


Acoustic materials don’t have to be boring!

Consider the conference room – home to your most vital meetings, but too often today’s conference room is more echochamber than productive space. The sleek modern look that’s all the rage results in hard surfaces that brutally reflect every sound, turning a conference call into cacophony. While these offices seem to radiate efficiency, they rarely create an environment that absorbs noise and keeps privacy top of mind.

So how do you solve these issues? Acoustically absorbent material to the rescue!

Tip #1: Use Acoustic Material to Soak Up Sound in Open Spaces

Nothing new to the design world, acoustically absorbent material is used in a variety of spaces. And in conference rooms, these materials really get to work their magic, reducing sound bouncing around a space and making speech sound clearer and more understandable.

To really ensure that sound is absorbed in a meeting room, the walls and ceilings are the main surfaces to address. (The floor typically is not something that can be fixed as easily, aside from installing carpet or laying down a large, soft rug.) Acoustic wall panels are typically the quickest fix.


You don’t always need floor to ceiling acoustic coverage to control the sound in your space.

Wall panels don’t have to completely cover an entire wall (like the design of the conference room above!). Imagine sound as a tennis ball in a room — constantly bouncing around and off of every surface it interacts with. When sound encounters a soft surface — like the acoustic panels — some of that sound is absorbed, so a smaller amount is bounced back into the room.

To avoid sound continuing to reverberate around the room, the more acoustic material introduced in the space, the better.


Love the white wall look? EchoPanel helps soothe both visually and acoustically.

The designer of the conference room pictured above wanted to make sure that the minimal, simple design of this space was kept, but acoustic control was also included. Enter white wall panels. These installed panels created the clean, white wall look and added vital sound absorption to this space intended to cater to large meetings.

Featuring even more acoustic material, this conference room below was clad almost entirely in acoustic panels. This space is used almost entirely for overseas teleconferencing, so sound absorption for clear speech was paramount.


For teleconferencing, reduced echo is essential for clear understandable calls. Cover the entire ceiling and walls in acoustic material for complete acoustic control in your conference room.

Carpet was also installed, which in turn absorbs even more sound since it’s a soft surface. If it’s possible for a space to incorporate this more acoustic material, privacy and speech intelligibility are at ideal levels.

Tip #2: Match Your Acoustic Solutions to Your Preferences and Uses of the Space

Everyone perceives sound differently and spaces have different uses.

Too much sound absorption can result in a “dead” room, so it’s key to tune the space to your desired sound levels and clarity. These acoustic material-heavy applications shown above aren’t always possible or even the desired design of a conference room (the CIA interrogation room look isn’t for everyone).

Sometimes clients are in search of something more simple, yet bright.


Add some visual interest and sound control to your conference room with bright colored EchoPanel panels

The client who designed the conference room with the orange panels wanted to use acoustic material in their project, but didn’t have the desire or budget to install a large amount of panels. They chose instead to install some single panels with standoffs, so that an air gap was created behind the panels for increased acoustic performance.


Adding an air gap behind your acoustic materials is an easy way to increase sound absorption!

When space is made behind acoustic materials, greater sound absorption occurs. For clients who don’t have a huge budget for acoustics or don’t want a lot of product installed to the walls or ceilings, this fix is a great way to ensure that sound is captured in a meeting room.

Don’t forget – It may be necessary to take other acoustic precautions as well to maintain privacy, like making sure windows and doors are sealed properly and eliminating speech transmission over plenums or through HVAC.

Tip #3: Cover the Critical Areas of the Walls

These orange panels above were installed in the critical area between 3’ and 7’ above the floor – this is where we speak either seated or standing, so that’s where sound is generated and should be absorbed for best effect.

In addition, make sure to cover adjacent walls to capture sound bouncing back and forth between parallel walls.  If 2 adjacent walls are covered, then there are now no parallel walls to bounce sound waves back and forth. This will result in increased sound clarity and reduced reverberation.

Another way to fix sound in a room by using decorative acoustically absorbent material, like these thermoformed tiles made of soft material, like PET fibers.


Add easy-to-install acoustic tiles to the walls of your space for visual appeal and better acoustics.

The client who designed this room chose to install EchoPanel Dune Tiles on one wall of this smaller conference room and, because of the air gap, more sound control (not to mention visual interest) were introduced into the room.

Tip#4: Don’t forget the ceiling!

Ceilings can receive treatment too! By hanging clouds or baffles, or just covering ceiling’s hard surfaces with acoustic panels, significant echo reduction can be achieved. The conference room pictured below is a perfect example of installing interesting, sound-absorbing material to a space that might not have much wall room to work with.


No more boring ceilings! Do something more unique with interesting acoustic configurations, like EchoPanel EchoStars.

This client chose to look up instead and hang this visually dynamic ceiling system from their exposed ceiling. These clusters of EchoStars hanging ceiling clouds are made with sound-absorbing EchoPanel in shapes that help deflect and help absorb sound that is carried up from those using the space.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-stop fix-all solution to addressing conference room noise. But the applications described in this article will definitely help you mitigate noise issues and reintroduce privacy back into your conference rooms.


The Top 75 Online Tools for Architects

As an architect, you have a busy schedule that involves not just planning and drawing, but creating presentations, finding the right color palette, and locating BIM information. You need tools that can help you get your job done right, whether you’re drawing in 2D or you’re printing out a 3D model. These 75 online and downloadable tools for architects are designed to help make your life a little easier. Try one or try them all to find the tool that will help your business succeed.

top 75 online tools for architects

1.Graphisoft BIMx

BIMx and BIMx Pro have been awarded both the Popular Choice and the Jury categories of the Architizer A+ Awards of 2016. The standard software is free, while the Pro version costs $49.99. Both feature integrated 2D and 3D technology along with very smooth handling that can take on big projects and complex models.

2. Autodesk Formit 360

The cloud-based Formit 360 allows you to access your projects from anywhere, saving you time and equipment worries. The tools allow you to share your plans with your team and run analysis of your projects in real time. The standard version is free, while the Pro version costs $25 a month.

3. Paper and Pencil by FiftyThree

Paper is a free app for the iPhone or iPad that allows you to make notes, drawings, and images using a special stylus – Pencil. Pencil allows you to draw on images and photos, while Paper lets you type in notes and create designs. While Paper is free, Pencil starts at $49.95 depending on color.

4. Autodesk AutoCad 360

Most architects are familiar with AutoCad from AutoDesk. The new 360 Pro version gives you all the versatility of the standard program, but works well from mobile devices as well. Connect to cloud storage, then download plans or drawings right at the job site. Get a 30 day free trial, then pay either $4.99 a month of $49.99 a year.

5. Sensopia Magic Plan

Sensopia’s Magic Plan is a fast, free way to quickly survey and map out of a site. The app works on both Apple and Android devices and lets you take pictures of the corners of a room; the app transforms the pictures into a room’s layout that you can then manipulate and save in several formats.

6. Sensopia Magic Measure

The Magic Measure app from Sensopia allows you to measure rooms without a measuring tape or laser. Simply take a picture, then mark the areas you want to measure before saving the image in any format. The app itself is free to download; for $3.99, you unlock all its features.

7. iRhino 3D


iRhino 3D allows you to display images on your IOS device in 3D, manipulating the image and moving it in any direction. The app allows you to import images from any source quickly, then manipulate them using the app’s joystick. The app is $3.99 and works on any IOS device.

8. Autodesk Sketchbook

Sketchbook from Autodesk allows you to draw images right on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Create detailed images using several different brush sets, tools, and effects, then manipulate, animate, or transform them. The basic version is free; the Pro version, which includes numerous additional tools, costs $29.99 a year.

9. Morpholio Trace

Morpholio Trace is an app for IOS devices that allows you to draw right on top of imported images and designs. Make notes or changes to plans right in the field from your tablet or phone. The app is free for any IOS device.

10. CAD Touch

CAD Touch allows you to design or access any of your drawings or plans from anywhere. The mobile system works on both IOS and android devices, and includes all the versatility and features of CAD, now in a more mobile package. The basic app is free, while the Pro version costs $10.99.

11. Architect Envi Deluxe

Reference other architect’s work in seconds from your IOS device with Architect Envi Deluxe. This innovative app lets you call up famous structures or architects, and gives you detailed information about both, so you can access the information you need to keep your client’s informed. The app costs $3.99 to download.

12. Architect’s Formulator

Keep over 500 formulas for Electric, Plumbing, Carpentry, Concrete and more right in your pocket with Architect’s Formulator. Now you can calculate the load on headers or the cost of hardwood flooring right at the job site in seconds, without having to keep the figures in your head. Down the app to any IOS device for $9.99.

13. ozPDA Sun Seeker

Use the Sun Seeker app from ozPDA the next time you’re scouting a location to find out exactly where the sun will set and rise. Available for both IOS and android devices.

14. Architect’s Choice

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Stay up to date on the latest industry news for free with Architect’s Choice. This free website has information on products, materials, new innovations, and more – any of which can be beneficial to architects trying to keep current.

15. Microsoft Photosynth 3D


Take 3D photographs of buildings to review later with Photosynth from Microsoft. This app gives you two different ways to shoot in 3D – one for buildings and one for details so you don’t miss anything. Download the apps from free.

16. PadCAD

Draft from anywhere on your tablet with PadCAD from PlugWorks. This easy to use, free app is a full drafting tool that you can use from your tablet right on the site to create detailed plans.

17. SketchUp

Billed as the easiest way to create 3D drawings, SketchUp allows you to turn models into documents, find 3D images of numerous materials, furnishings, and designs, and more. The program is easy to use and allows you to get started right away with little learning curve. The basic version is free, while the Pro version is $695 for a single user.

18. SketchUp Make

SketchUp Make is a free 3D drawing tool that lets you create quick images entirely in 3D. Not as versatile as the paid version, SketchUp Make is a good way to get started.

19. SketchUp Viewer

SketchUp Viewer is a free app that allows you to view and print images and models created in SketchUp. Pair the two to make showing your clients your work faster and easier.

20. SketchUp Mobile Viewer

Use SketchUp Mobile Viewer on the go to show clients your images and models from anywhere. The app is free for iOS and Android devices.

21. Concepts

Concept is an early stage planning tool for architects available for iOS devices. Explore the aesthetics of different materials before you go too deep into the design. The app is free to download and use.

22. Archisketch


Quickly sketch and doodle out your ideas right to scale on your iOS device with Archisketch. The app allows you to draw out plans with scale aware technology, so you can move quickly to get your ideas down. The full version of the app costs $9.99.

23. Arrette Scale


Draw freehand on your iOS device with Arrette Scale. The app allows you to draw and scale your images quickly and easily, offering you freedom to work from anywhere. Share your images easily with clients as well. The app is $8.99 at the App Store.

24. Chief Architect Room Planner

Chief Architect Room Planner allows you to create floor plans and room designs from any mobile device. Place and arrange rooms, furnishings, windows, and more from your office or right on site. The app is available for iOS and android for $9.99 plus in-app purchasing.

25. Plan Grid

Plan Grid is a lightning fast plan viewer for mobile devices, which allows you to share your plans with anyone from a single master set, which you can update and share in real time. The app is available for both iOS and android with plans starting at $39 a month.

26. Steel Shapes


Get decades of steel shapes right at your fingertips with Steel Shapes by David Holmes. With more than 18,000 entries, you can find the shape and measurements you need in seconds. The app is available for iOS for $4.99.

27. Archisnapper

Create field reports and punch lists quickly and easily with Archisnapper. What you observe on site can now be translated in real time – just snap pictures, add notes, make changes, and draw images right where you are. Plans start at $24 a month with a 30 day free trial.

28. Bluebeam Revu

With Bluebeam Revu you can create and edit PDFs quickly and easily. Use it with CAD drawings to get more versatility on your computer or tablet. Pricing is determined by which product and plan you choose.

29. Bluebeam Vu


Bluebeam Vu is a free, versatile PDF viewer that also allows you to organize and manage your PDFs. Use it to help manage your documents more efficiently.

30. Autodesk A360



The Autodesk A360 program allows you to view and share your 2D and 3D drawings with clients or team members. Just upload and create a link to make sharing faster and easier. The program is free for individuals, $10 a month for businesses.

31. ArchToolBox

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ArchToolBox is a free, online, technical resource for architects. Use the search tool to find technical information that you need quickly and easily.

32. The Architect’s Journal

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The Architect’s Journal is an online news source for architects. Find news, features, opinions, building information, and other relevant facts. The site is free to use, or subscribe for full access and additional research tools for $161.

33. Adobe Photoshop Express


Quickly touch up your photographs right on site with Adobe Photoshop Express. This free app allows you to adjust lighting, color, and density and make quick edits right on your phone.

34. Architect QuickQuotes

Impress your clients with a full database of quotes from famous architects. Architect QuickQuotes is a huge bank of searchable quotes and information available for your iOS device for $.99.

35. Arcat

Arcat is a free online resource for architects featuring thousands of different product details and material information. Get CAD details and specifications as well as BIM details and green reports.

36. Total

Make appraisals easier than ever before with Total. This intuitive software will help you make out appraisal forms by merging data and moving quickly and easily so you can update in real time. The program is $648 for the first year, but renewable at a discounted price.

37. My Measures


Store and share object dimensions with My Measures. This easy to use app lets you create objects with measurements that are easy to read and easy to share with others as well.

38. OrthoGraph Floorplan Survey System, Cloud, and Tape Measure

Sketch rooms, measure walls, and handle objects with easy with OrthoGraph Floorplan Survey System, Cloud, and Tape Measure. Pick the version that best fits your needs, and use the cloud based tools to quickly survey a job site and begin to create your floor-plan right on your phone or tablet. Pricing starts at $39.99.

39. SoundNote

Never miss a thing on the jobsite again with SoundNote. SoundNote records audio while you type or draw, so while you take notes with your client, you don’t have to worry about a missed word or idea. The app is available for iOS only for $4.99.

40. InchCalc

InchCalc is a quick and versatile construction measurement calculator for iOS systems. Quickly move between Imperial and Metric systems right on site. Pricing starts at $1.99 for the basic version.

41. AutoCad LT

AutoCad LT is a quick, easy to use 2D drawing and drafting tool for Windows and Mac. The system allows you to share your drawings in the cloud once you complete them. Pricing is $45 a month with a 30 day free trial.

42. DraftSight

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DraftSight is a low cost CAD tool that allows you to both create new files and access existing ones. The basic version is free, while professional versions start at $299 a year.

43. LibreCAD

LibreCAD is a free, open source CAD program for laymen and professionals alike. The program works on many systems and has a built in code editor that can allow you to make improvements if necessary.

44. nanoCAD

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nanoCAD is a low cost CAD system designed with user interests and needs at heart. The system allows for 3D printing and modeling as well as drawing. The basic version is free; plus and pro versions cost $180 and $290 a year respectively.

45. Vectorworks Architect

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Design in 2D or 3D with integrated BIM capabilities with Vectorworks Architect. The system offers flexible work flows, model sharing, and intricate 3D modeling capabilities. Pricing is $2695, but discounts are available for students, teachers, and educational institutions.

46. SoftPlan Home Design Software

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Automate your home designing with SoftPlan Home Design. This incredibly easy to use system has you converting your drawings to buildings in no time, automatically creating floor plans using BIM. Pricing begins at $2585.

47. Punch! ViaCAD Pro v9

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.01.41 PMPunch! ViaCAD Pro v9 is a 3D design system blending conceptual and production design tools in one package. The system supports 3D modeling and printing as well as customizable grids and photorealistic renderings. Pricing begins at $249.99.

48. Punch! Home & Landscape Design Architectural Series v18

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Bring your home and landscape designs to life with Punch! Home & Landscape Design Architectural Series v18. This powerful design software includes professional quality layouts, thousands of materials, roofing designs, and more. Print and model in 3D and photorealistic renderings as well. Pricing begins at $399.99 for Windows only.

49. TurboCAD LTE

TurboCAD LTE is a full service 2D drawing and rendering system. The difference is that this 2D system has BIM support and many architectural tools other 2D systems don’t offer. Pricing begins at $149.99.

50. BricsCAD

Get 2D drawing and 3D modeling together with BricsCAD. Preserve your original drawing and intent when switching to 3D and make use of the cloud for sharing files quickly and easily. Pricing begins at $550.

51. iCADMac

If you’re a dedicated Mac user, consider iCADMac for your 2D, 3D, and DWG needs. The system is a complete program you can access from anywhere including your iPad right on site. Pricing begins at $794.

52. DataCAD

DataCAD is a 2D and 3D drawing and modeling software that also includes extras such as sun positioning and shade. Rendering tools are built right into the interface making this system easy to use. The system is free to download.

53. ProArchitect

ProArchitect is a building and modeling system utilizing BIM and made just for residential designers and architects. The system supports outside files and focuses on accuracy and precision. Pricing begins at $59 a month.

54. progeCAD

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Get a lot of versatility and the ability to work with files from any system with progeCAD. This 2D and 3D drawing and modeling software works with any CAD files and exports in DWG and DXF formats. Get a 30 day free trial.


ARCHICAD offers lightning fast, real time BIM, 2D and 3D design. With 19 major work environments, the programs helps your projects along intuitively, making them easier and more fun. Download the basic edition for free.

56. AECOsim

AECOsim building designer integrates multiple disciplines including engineering, mechanics, and architecture into one tool. Create sustainable, high performance buildings using the cloud-based BIM tools and the energy designer.

57. Revit

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Revit is a design and construction software that supports BIM designs, allowing you to model and print in 3D. Use building components to construct more easily, then share and collaborate from anywhere with the cloud. Get a free 30 day trial.

58. Revit LT

Revit LT is for architects looking to move toward 3D and BIM based modeling. The tool is a simplified version of the full Revit and allows you to draw and create easily in 3D, as well as in 2D CAD.

59. Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks Architect allows you to transform your 2D sketches right into BIM modeled 3D designs. Design in 2D or 3D, analyze materials, and improve the energy efficiency of your buildings all at once. Pricing starts at $2695.

60. CamelCamelCamel

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Set up price alerts on many of the items and materials you install or your clients frequently ask for with CamelCamelCamel. You’ll get an email once the price drops so you know it’s time to buy.

61. WriteWords

Your forte is drawing and building – not writing, so use the free site WriteWords to help make sure your project proposals aren’t overusing certain words. Free for use online.

62. Death by Caffeine

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Keep track of how much caffeine you’re ingesting during a big project with the Death by Caffeine, the free online caffeine tracker.

63. Product Chart – Flash Drives

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You need flash drives to store your images and designs. Use Product Chart to help you find the best ones to suit your needs.

64. Creative Commons

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Sometimes your presentations go better with a few images to help make them come alive. Use the search option at Creative Commons to find free images you can use.

65. I Want Hue

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Instead of relying on old fashioned color charts, use I Want Hue to come up with the perfect color scheme every single time – even mixing your own colors if that’s what it takes.

66. Zamzar

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Use Zamzar, the free online data converter to quickly and easily retrieve your files and images from any source and convert them to another. This includes retrieving images from inside PDFs.

67. Incompetech

Instead of buying more graph paper, or trying to shape your existing graph paper to your needs, download free graph PDFs from Incompetech. Find different sizes, shapes, and grids to suit all your needs.

68. This to That

Learn the exact type of glue that you need for every model you build with This to That, a free online tool that will tell you exactly what type of glue you need.

69. FlatIcon

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Make all of your flow charts and tutorials that much better with FlatIcon. Get thousands of free vector icons and images you can use to make your presentations a success.

70. Background Burner

Take the background out of any image to drop into your renderings or presentations for free with Background Burner. Just upload the image and watch its background melt away so you can make better use of it.

71. Color Palette Generator

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Speed up your presentation planning with this free Color Palette Generator. Get instant, accurate color palettes to match any of your designs.

72. Mondrian.io

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Create vector shapes for free online with Mondrian.io. Perfect for those starting out who can’t afford Adobe Illustrator.

73. Draw.io

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Create flow charts and presentations easily using Draw.io for free. Just drag and drop to get a professional looking result each and every time.

74. Google Public Data

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Whether you’re looking for facts or inspiration for a new project, Google Public Data has thousands of pieces of information you can use, and it even graphs it for you for free.

75. Bulk REsize

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If you have numerous images you need to resize, save yourself the time and headaches and use Bulk REsize to do them all at once online for free.

Streamline Your Business

Whether you’re starting out on your own, or you’re just trying to grow your business, these tools are there to help you succeed. Try one or try them all and take advantage of all the internet has to offer you.


EchoPanel Vee Tile FAQ

Vee Tile is one of Kirei’s acoustically winning design features- helping you design visually stunning, acoustically controlled spaces for creative, productive living, working and play. We’ve assembled the most common FAQs on one sheet!