The Best Architecture Tools from AIA 2018

Expert insights on the top tools and resources for architects today.

AIA’s Conference on Architecture 2018 was more than just the place we revealed our concept window of the future and double hung windows with integrated Rolscreen technology – it was also brimming with great architecture tools and resources. Here, Pella’s Architectural Business Development Director Alan Pickett shares his favorite takeaways from the conference.

StoPanel XPS ci
The scoop: This lightweight prefabricated panel is a decorative and protective exterior wall cladding that provides superior air and weather tightness along with excellent thermal performance and durability by incorporating extruded insulation within the panel assembly.

Alan’s take: “It’s got a continuous insulation and water management system on the outside comes as a composite panel. Most importantly, it really helps contractors and architects expedite the construction and fabrication process when you have multi-story projects that have a tight construction schedule.”

MasterSpec® by Avitru
The scoop: A product of the American Institute of Architects, MasterSpec offers comprehensive technical specifications, extensive background research, practice-specific and specialized libraries, embedded technology and companion software to make the specification process effective and efficient.

Alan’s take: “Lots of architects are familiar with MasterSpec, it’s a great guide specification tool that allows them to have all the tools at their disposal to make selections as they are specifying products. It really eases that specification process.”

AIA 2018 conference on architecture

The scoop: SketchUp is useful from the earliest stages of design to the end of construction including programming, diagramming, design development, detailing, documentation and RFIs.

Alan’s take: “SketchUp is a conceptual 3D modeling tool although people are taking that software a lot farther now, all the way through construction documents, and I think it’s because it’s so easy to use. You can get beautiful drawings, animations and renderings out of SketchUp.”


Missed last week’s concept window reveal? Discover what the window of the future will look like.


This article was written by

A self-proclaimed Social Media Geek and DIY aficionado, Nicolle is a member of the Pella Marketing team, focused on content creation and curation. In her free time she can be found pillaging thrift shops for furniture projects, attempting to rationalize with her 4 year old daughter, and editing her husband’s honey-do list.