Design Software Subscription Fatigue

Subscription fatigue is something I have been hearing about a lot recently. It seems like everything these days requires a monthly subscription. Watching TV requires multiple subscriptions to get all the content you want. Then there is Amazon Prime, razors, meal prep, and so on.

We've been paying for our business software as a subscription for a while now. In case you didn't know, your company pays $13.78 per month so you can use Microsoft Office. Then add on Adobe Creative Suite, Bluebeam Revu, Sketchup, and Revit. It is never ending.

Unfortunately, one of the last BIM holdouts is changing to a subscription model as Graphisoft ​announced​ that Archicad is moving to a subscription model.

I think there is a strong aversion to subscription software among architects due to the cost, but more due to the perception that we are paying monthly or annually without seeing much advancement in the software. We've reported on the frustration with Revit not improving. And most of us don't use the newest Adobe features enough to warrant an update.

I personally long for the days of buying a software package and then upgrading it when the newest version offers features that are worth the purchase (maybe I'm just getting old and don't like change). At the same time, I know that business model doesn't provide enough consistent revenue to please shareholders.

I'm not an expert so I don't have the solution, but I think there is something to ​open letters​ and working closely with these companies to find a solution. Unfortunately, the small firms don't have much leverage. We have to let the big firms lead the fight.

Enough of this rant. On to the news...


SketchUp for iPad can model rooms using the camera

Speaking of subscriptions...

I think this is the kind of offering that may be worth a subscription. This kind of technology will improve iteratively so it needs ongoing programming with regular software updates. It looks to be perfect for existing condition surveys or as-builts.

And if you weren't already using it, be sure to check out ​Apple's built-in measurement tool​. It has saved me a bunch of times when I forgot a tape measure and it is incredibly accurate.

​New Scan-to-Design feature uses iPad Pro’s LiDAR scanner to capture as-builts

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Construction Materials Increase 0.4% in March

That is 1.7% higher year-over-year. And it works out to about 4.8% annually.

While that seems like reasonably good news, there are still significant concerns about new supply chain issues starting to surface. Inflation in the overall economy isn't settling as expected so economists are backing off their expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

The bumpy ride may continue.

​ABC: Construction Materials Prices Increase 0.4% in March

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Autodesk delays annual report for audit

These kinds of things happen so I don't know if there is any need for alarm, but Autodesk filed Form 12b-25 with the SEC indicating that is cannot file its annual report on time. They are doing an internal audit investigation. I will keep an eye on this.

​Autodesk Form 12b-25 - Notification of Late Filing​

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When you disagree with a project's premise

Thankfully, I have never been in this position. I may have disagreed with a design decision, but that is much different than disagreeing with an entire project. The Architect's Newspaper delves into this question.

This is definitely worth thinking about. You never know when you may have to make a tough decision when your firm takes on a project that you disagree with.

​What should you do when asked to work on a commission you disagree with?

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Environmental groups claim ICC 2024 Energy Code is rigged

I thought it was odd that the ICC hadn't issued a 2024 Energy Conservation code when I updated ​the online codes article​ last month. Well, now I know why.

Environmental groups accuse the ICC Board of removing some decarbonization measures under pressure from special interest groups. They claim this erodes confidence in the model code and in the International Code Council.

​Outrage Erupts Over Claimed Watering Down of 2024 Model Energy Code