Designing and planning in 3D can create great efficiencies for a home project. Builders and buyers alike are reaping the rewards, and now we see both groups playing an active role in promoting the value of 3D for constructing new homes.

For example, The Design Group at New Energy Works Timberframers, http://timberframe-postandbeamhomes.com, recently integrated Autodesk Revit, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., for its designs. According to the company, this change is paramount in that it brings the latest in three-dimensional design technology to the process of timber frame craftsmanship.

By adding this software, the Design Group is able to develop drawings and plans in a realistic three-dimensional venue that is compatible with AutoCAD. This can help to create more accurate project communication between the Design Group and New Energy Works’ timber frame engineers.

Among the new pieces of information that can be accessed via Revit are realtime changes and plan adjustments, accurate day lighting projections, and the incorporation of existing and proposed landscaping. In addition, the team can communicate detailed design sections and accurate square footage product needs to project construction teams. All of this can ultimately help to streamline the time needed on-site.

The group currently has a family home under construction that was designed in this manner, with the timber frame portion of the home raised in late January.

“We’ve already experienced the ease of design visualization, and therefore client communication, as well as increased internal efficiency with this new 3D program,” says Ty Allen, manager, New Energy Works Design Group. “Using Revit the interior volumes and their inter-connectivity was easy for the homeowners of the Oneonta, New York project to understand and it helped set clear expectations for the physical construction.”

The 3D plan craze has also hit the buyer segment of the market. Take Monster House Plans, www.monsterhouseplans.com, Spokane, Wash., for example, which is billed as a one-stop-shop for housing plans on the Internet for buyers.  The company added Intelligent House Plans roughly one year ago, including 3D plans.

While this is not going directly to the builder, this could speak to a larger trend in which buyers are becoming more actively engaged with 3D plans, seeing the difference in depth and design as opposed to standard 2D sets. It could drive more buyers to begin demanding 3D designs for their homes.

Monster House Plans offers pre-drawn stock house plans intended to help customers save time and money as opposed to starting something from the beginning with a professional designer or architect. In a way, could such services help bring buyers closer to wanting their homes designed in 3D? It could become a case of the market driving more designers and builders to move to a 3D environment.

As the residential market moves further and further into a 3D-design environment, it looks as if both builders and buyers are each playing their part in pushing the trend ahead. The question now becomes, which group will have greater influence over long-term adoption of such technology?