How 3D modelling can help win jobs

How 3D modelling can help win jobs

Joanna Mulgrew, Managing Director of HBXL Building Software, explains how 3D modelling can be the difference between winning and losing jobs. 

First, a quick science lesson… 

The benefit of 3D visualisations over 2D building plans is rooted in how the human brain processes visual information, including depth perception, emotional engagement, cognitive ease, and the ability to better understand and engage with spatial information.  

In other words, humans like 3D! It’s way more appealing and easier to comprehend than a flat 2D set of building plans. 3D helps us envisage space, scale and proportions. And when we see a realistic representation of a space or a design, it tends to generate a more emotional response compared to flat, abstract plans. We’re more likely to remember it too. 

How building firms benefit 

Bringing it round to winning work for your building firm – quite simply – this emotional connection and immersive experience can lead to increased interest and ultimately investment in the project (and you) by your customer. It’s also worth noting that architects rarely include 3D models with their building plans. And, if a client requests them, there’s often a hefty cost attached. So, when you give your prospective customer a set of 3D models it will most likely be the very first time they see their dream project. Watch their faces! 

So how do you better your chances of a profitable win by incorporating professional-looking 3D models into your building firm’s ‘sales package’? 

1. Produce a tracing of the architect’s plans using CAD software and print or create PDFs of the 3D models produced automatically by the software.

Ground floor cut-through. All illustrations produced in HBXL Building
Software’s PlansXpress software tool

Well, that’s certainly the case with HBXL’s PlansXpress software. And if you have EstimatorXpress, our award-winning estimating software as well, the same tracing will also give you an automatic estimate of the building work cost too. What’s not to like? 

When it comes to pricing, there’s often very little to choose between you and your most closely matched rivals. So how do you stand out? How do you differentiate yourself, demonstrate your professionalism, and go the extra mile? A set of 3D models is an obvious choice. 

You could give the 3D images with your quotation as an incentive It could be the clincher. Alternatively, some building firms charge for these as an added extra.

Drone shot from above

2. Start designing from scratch and offer Design and Build – an additional and profitable revenue stream for your business. 

Think of the times you’ve been frustrated by the drawings you are asked to work with. Consider how long it can sometimes take to get amends made by your customers’ architects. Isn’t it time to offer the complete package? OK, you might not be ready to design new builds on day one, but extensions like a lean-to, single storey flat roof, a corner hip & lean-to roof single storey, an Apex roof double storey…  

Rear shot

If you have good building knowledge, you can produce a set of full set of plans that are planning application standard – well certainly if you’re using HBXL’s PlansXpress. You use simple drag and drop tools to produce your quality floor plans and elevations. The 3D models are just a click of the button. The steps are logical, the prompts are handy, and the on-board 3D model (which builds as you draw) makes the process even easier. Add construction detailing and building regulation notes and sections from the comprehensive library to be Building Regulation ready too! 

You can save the 3D models as you rotate and re-angle. And if you want to wow clients with photo-realistic renders and place the projects into photos of the existing plot, we have the 3D PhotoVisualiser. It does all this and more. And it’s included in PlansXpress Premium.

Side shot

Neil Groom runs a building firm, NJG Building Solutions. He attended one of our free, government-funded, HBXL Skills Bootcamps. ‘CAD for Construction’ teaches the use of PlansXpress. As a result, Neil classes himself as a designer now. “We’re seeing the changes almost overnight. Clients are calling us for architectural drawings. I feel very confident. It has given us a new purpose.” 

The onboard 3D model feature in PlansXpress

Shout about it on social media 

Think of the potential, whatever CAD software you decide to use. Promote it on your website and shout about it on social media. You can use it to win work, or to amend customer’s existing drawings, or to offer Design & Build. More and more residential building firms are embracing CAD. We live in such uncertain times that it makes sense to influence your own success and long-term future with new skills and new technology. 

You can put PlansXpress to the test during a free 14-day trial – visit PlansXpress | CAD software for drawing and taking off building plans ( to find out more.

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