by GRAPHISOFT and Greg Kmethy · updated: 05.14.2012


ARCHICAD 13 was released on September 14, 2009. The main new feature of ARCHICAD 13 is the “Next Generation Teamwork” or “Teamwork 2.0”. It introduced the BIM Server, an industry-first of its kind, which uses Delta Server™ technology to significantly reduce network traffic for data exchange, making it possible for design teams to work on the same project remotely over the internet. ARCHICAD 13 was is first version to have a 64-bit version on PC. ARCHICAD 13 also features several productivity improvements.



ARCHICAD 13 supports the following operating systems:

* ARCHICAD 13 has 32-bit Windows, 64-bit Windows and 32-bit Mac versions

ARCHICAD 13 can open or import the following file formats:

  • ARCHICAD projects (.pln, .pla, .mod, .tpl, .plc, .pca) from ARCHICAD 8.1 or newer
  • ARCHICAD objects (.gsm) from ARCHICAD 4.55 or newer
  • PlotMaker layout Book (.LBK) and drawing (.PMK) files
  • IFC 2×3, IFC 2×3 compressed, IFC 2×3 XML, IFC 2×3 XML compressed – 2D and 3D content
  • IFC 2×2 through Goodie tool – 3D content
  • DWF – 2D content
  • DWG (2000 to 2009) – 2D and 3D content
  • DGN (Microstation Design file) v7 – 2D content
  • 3DS (through the “3D Studio In” goodie tool) – 3D content
  • SKP and KMZ (Sketchup files through the Google earth Connection add-on, on 32-bit Windows OS only) – 3D content
  • C4D (Cinema4D v 11/11.5 files through the Cinema 4D add-On) – 2D and 3D content
  • PDF
  • PICT vector images
  • various raster image file formats (.JPG, .PNG, .BMP etc…)

ARCHICAD 13 can save or export the following file formats:

  • ARCHICAD 13 Solo Project file (.PLN), Project archive (.PLA), and template (.TPL)
  • ARCHICAD 12 Project (.PLN) file
  • ARCHICAD object (.gsm) version 25 (ARCHICAD 13- equivalent)
  • ARCHICAD object script (.GDL)
  • ARCHICAD drawing file (.PMK) through the publisher when publishing Views
  • PDF
  • DXF
  • DWG (2000-2009 format, 2D only)
  • DWF
  • IFC 2×3, IFC 2×3 compressed, IFC 2×3 XML, IFC 2×3 XML compressed
  • IFC 2×2 through Goodie tool
  • 3DS 3D studio file
  • SKP and KMZ (through the Google earth Connection add-on, on 32-bit Windows OS only)
  • C4D (Cinema4D v 11/11.5 files through the Cinema 4D add-On) – 2D and 3D content
  • OBJ Wavefront file (3D)
  • EPX Piranesi File (3D)
  • FACT ElectricImage file (3D)
  • WRL VRML file (3D)
  • ATL ArtLantis Render Studion file 2.0 and 3.0 (3D)
  • U3D file (3D)
  • various image formats (SGI, PSD, BMP, JPG, JP2, PNG, PCT, TIF, TGA, QTIF)

License Types

ARCHICAD 13 comes with several license types:

  • Commercial license requires a WibuKey or CodeMeter hardware protection key
  • Trial is a fully functional 30-day license that can be downloaded from and comes with a license number
  • Demo license does not require neither a hardware key nor a license number. All save/export options are disabled, but printing is possible.
  • Educational license is available through A 1-year license number is available upon approval
  • Pay-Per-use (PPU) license requires a hardware key. PPU license lets you run ARCHICAD for the number of hours purchased
  • Rental license type is new in ARCHICAD 13 – it requires a hardware protection key. A Rental license lets you run ArchiCAd for 1,3, or 12 calendar months.
  • License Borrowing – ARCHICAD 13 supports License Borrowing – when a temporary ARCHICAD Commercial license is borrowed from a multi-license CodeMeter protection key. The CodeMeter protection key and the License Borrowing feature was introduced with ARCHICAD 13.

Add-Ons for ARCHICAD 13

  • EcoDesigner for ARCHICAD 13 is a free upgrade for EcoDesigner for ARCHICAD 12 users. The feature set has not changed.
  • MEP Modeler for ARCHICAD 13 is a free upgrade MEP Modeler for ARCHICAD 12 users. The feature set has not changed.
  • Virtual Building Explorer has been significantly improved for ARCHICAD 13. It is now available for both PC and Mac platform.
  • Cinema 4D Add-On for ARCHICAD is a free Add-On that provides bi-directional connection between ARCHICAD and Cinema 4D version 11/11.5
  • Google Earth Connections for ARCHICAD is a free Add-on available on the 32-bit Windows platform only. It provides connection to Google earth and the Google 3D warehouse.

New Features

Next Generation Teamwork Solution

  • The new Teamwork in ARCHICAD 13 represents an entirely new approach to collaborative project work, and is specifically designed to meet the demands of a modern, international team effort. This next generation Teamwork solution is based on a client-server architecture and is designed to ensure maximum flexibility, speed and data safety to enable teams – even those spread out around the world – to collaborate on large projects.
  • Next Generation Teamwork
    ARCHICAD includes a state-of-the-art BIM Server™ introducing a new paradigm in design file sharing. Due to its revolutionary DELTA-server™ technology, only the changed elements are sent between the client and the server. Average data package size shrinks by an order of magnitude from megabytes to kilobytes, so team members can collaborate in real-time on BIM models through standard Internet connections from virtually anywhere in the world.
  • Speed
    In ARCHICAD’s collaborative environment, long waiting times for server synchronization are a thing of the past. The leading-edge Delta Server technology dramatically decreases network traffic. The same technology makes BIM projects accessible through standard Internet connections from virtually anywhere in the world.
  • Data safety
    Data corruption due to network or hardware failure is a major concern for CAD/BIM Managers: a single faulty computer can literally ruin the work done by the whole office. But the BIM Server’s robust system architecture ensures the integrity of the BIM project at all times. Any data errors from malfunctioning components are blocked, preserving the project’s integrity on the network.
  • Workflow
    ARCHICAD’s new Teamwork, with on-demand element access and server-level conflict management, combines the flexibility of 2D workflows with the coordination power of the model-based world. Companies can utilize their workforce much more efficiently with a dynamic and centrally controllable design workflow.

Productivity Improvements


  • Improved object handling (model view options, embedded objects)
  • Data exchange with engineers (load bearing “tag”, standard steel structures)
  • Improved Curtain Wall editing (reference line editing, element height editing)
  • Slab/Roof edge modeling options (slant angle, custom material)


  • Annotated schedule drawings (associative dimensions, text, etc.)
  • Intelligent “Soft” insulation (improved drafting quality)
  • DWG interface (cleaner import / export)
  • Enhanced Automatic Dimensioning (refined configuration of openings)


  • “Ruler” (easier editing and layout creation)
  • Oriented views (more efficient design environment)
  • Dynamic “Fit in Window” (predefined views)
  • 64-bit on Windows (no physical limit, more stability with large project)

ARCHICAD 13 Productivity improvements videos

  • Oriented Views
    In ARCHICAD 13, your project lines up just the way you need it: simply rotate the view on screen to a perpendicular position. Now you can edit diagonal wings comfortably, while your annotations adjust automatically to the final layout orientation.
  • Annotated Schedule Drawings
    Door and window previews can be associatively annotated right in the interactive schedule window. This feature alone saves significant drafting time for the documentation team.
  • Improved Object Handling
    Global model view options help control the display and handling of library objects at a project level. Project specific library parts can now be saved into the ARCHICAD project file itself, eliminating the “missing library part” phenomenon that occurred whenever library parts were not loaded with the project.
  • Intelligent “Soft” Insulation
    Although fills have been around since the advent of CAD, modeling soft insulation in composite structures has been problematic. ARCHICAD 13’s soft insulation is the 100% solution: not just for 2D, but for 3D Documents as well.
  • DWG Enhancements
    ARCHICAD 13 makes significant progress in the development of the DWG I/O. New features include improved layer management and the ability to export multiple layouts into a single DWG file.
  • Data Exchange with Engineers
    ARCHICAD 13 supports the classification of BIM elements as either load-bearing or non-loadbearing structures, for more accurate export to programs used by structural engineers. Thousands of standard steel profiles are now available from within ARCHICAD 13.
  • Improvements for Slabs/Roofs
    To further refine interconnection of intelligent modeling elements in ARCHICAD 13, the slant angle and material of slab/ roof edges can be adjusted with complete freedom to match joining elements.
  • Improved Curtain Wall Editing
    The system geometry of highly integrated Curtain Wall systems introduced in ARCHICAD 12 now can be freely edited in any view of ARCHICAD 13. Curtain Wall reference lines can now be modified on the floor plan, using standard pet-palette operations.
  • 64-bit Support for Windows
    As the natural next step after introducing multi-processor support in ARCHICAD 12, now the latest version of ARCHICAD is available on Windows with native 64-bit support.
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