Daniel Ewald, landscape architect MNLA

Digital tools for landscape architects – an evaluation of Vectorworks Landmark


We recently passed our 10 ECTS chosen subject study; an evaluation of the technical drawing and BIM software Vectorworks Landmark from Nemetschek. For those interested in a closer look, you may find our study for download in full from the link below in Apple iBooks format; containing pictures and video to supplement the text; or if you prefer, read through our converted PDF document on Issuu. The study is in Norwegian.

Download link: Digitale prosjekteringsverktøy for landskapsarkitekter.ibooks

The abstract follows:

The first part of this text, based on personal interviews with practising landscape architects and relevant literature studies, seek to answer what characterises a suitable digital tool for our profession. We investigate what is demanded of a software to meet the standards and demands of today and tomorrow, as well as how they relate to the development of landscape information modeling; a concept of increasing importance.

Based on these experiences we compiled a list over important criteria for digital tools. The criteria can roughly be divided into categories such as availability and pricing, user interface and learning curve, compatability with different systems and file formats, versatility in its use, specific profession-oriented functionality and the actual result of the production. This list of criteria and the literature we studied then pointed to a piece of software for further study and evaluation. The software chosen was Vectorworks Landmark. Our initial impression was that this tool for some reason was not well known in Norway, had a range of interesting features specifically designed for our profession and was far ahead in its approach to landscape information modeling.

After learning how to use the Vectorworks Landmark, we matched the features and performance of the software against our criteria, discussing our results afterwards. The software matched many of our criteria, but a few weaknesses were also revealed. Dynamic and object-based design, a logical connection between 2D and 3D, good tools for planting and a high degree of versatility ranked among the strong features of the software. On the other hand it lacked support for IFC import and export, the functionality for dynamic design of layered structures beneath a surface was insufficient, and there was a limited register of plants in the database suited for our climate.

Following this, it felt appropriate to discuss the various aspects of the current software development situation and how it affects our daily practice as landscape architects.

Filed under: Books, Studies, Vectorworks, ,

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Magasinet KOTE
BIM for landskap


July 2013
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