Article : LASN Technology February 2008

VectorWorks Landmark 2008

By Ashley Calabria, MLA, assistant professor, University of Georgia School of Environmental Design, LASN associate editor of technology.

This is a nice simulation, but how is it achieved? Training on design software is essential. Nemetschek offers Professional Learning Series (PLS) training CDs. There are also training guides with step-by-step instruction that come with a CD containing exercise files and tutorial projects. The company also has an extensive video library with demos and product tours. You can also train online via WebEx and interact with instructors in real-time. Webinars brings to your desk 10 training courses to show you the new functions, tricks, tips and tools. You choose a curriculum built to your specifications. Traditional classroom training is also available. Visit:

This month’s article covers a review of VectorWorks software. The interview was conducted with Eric Gilbey, landscape architect specialist at Nemetschek North America.

LASN: What software products does Nemetschek make?

EG: Nemetschek is the maker of VectorWorks Landmark 2008, VectorWorks Designer, Architect, Spotlight, Fundamentals, Machine Design and RenderWorks.

Enhance your drawings using the improved and expanded plant library with 652 new 3D color images, including 84 new plant species and new design options.

LASN: What is the history of VectorWorks?

EG: Nemetschek North America has been developing CAD software for the architecture, engineering, construction, entertainment, landscape design and manufacturing fields since 1985. VectorWorks, its flagship product, is one of the world’s best-selling cross-platform CAD applications and has won many industry awards.

Since its beginnings in the mid-1980s as Diehl Graphsoft, Inc., it has become an internationally respected leader in both CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology. The company was a pioneer in the creation of CAD programs, 3D modeling software programs, and cross-platform CAD applications. Nemetschek North America was also one of the first to introduce BIM capabilities, before BIM became an industry buzzword.

Nemetschek N.A. has had increasing success over the past 20 years, becoming an internationally respected leader in CAD software for the personal computer. The newest upgrade to the VectorWorks family of software, the VectorWorks 2008 product line, was released in September 2007.

LASN: Describe the current corporate overview of VectorWorks.

EG: With the spring 2000 merger of Diehl Graphsoft, Inc. and Nemetschek AG of Munich, Germany, into Nemetschek North America, Inc., the company became Nemetschek AG’s largest U.S. subsidiary, joining the parent company’s network of more than 40 branches and subsidiaries throughout Europe. Sean Flaherty, who serves as CEO of Nemetschek North America, has focused the company on establishing global market leadership. Each day, VectorWorks products are put to work in more than 85 countries in nine languages: English, Japanese, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Norwegian.

The new Place Plant tool makes it easier to create and manage plant objects. It’s simple to import and export plant library objects and edit them, too.

LASN: What are the advantages of using VectorWorks over AutoCAD?

EG: VectorWorks provides the ability for a landscape architect or landscape designer to be more efficient at producing 2D and 3D drawings and presentations. When considering the amount of time a design professional would spend in project development, from site analysis plans, to construction documents, the tools and libraries available to assist in the production of these drawings are consistently able to minimize repetitive creation of site/landscape features, graphic techniques, and data preparation.

Just a couple of the many graphic resources available to the designer are plant symbols (2D and 3D representation) and hardscape surface and wall tools (including application of patterns, hatches, and textures). This does not preclude the designer from creation and cataloging their own graphic resource library, as the designer has the ability to generate many features, create re-usable and modifiable symbols, and other resources—custom colors, hatches, textures, gradients, which can then be used on a recurring basis.

185 new paver hatch patterns match Unilock paver patterns to enhance your designs. Cast shadows, show background and draw the outer edges of objects in an OpenGL.

Another timesaving tool that landscape architects and designers would use to further reduce production time projects would be the symbol and unit sensitive (intelligent) worksheets and schedules. The designer can use pre-assembled worksheets or create new ones in VectorWorks that can detect and calculate units (e.g., plants, benches, lamps, etc.) and assemble precisely calculated worksheets and take-offs for their own (or clients) budgeting or other planning purposes.

Planning professionals may also include surfaces or areas in this function to generate tables which would help in land-use planning, stormwater and other area based analysis of projects.

Landscape architects and landscape designers would find the largest advantage of using VectorWorks in its ability to provide better graphic quality drawings that can be elegantly enhanced to impress their clients or presentation audiences with full color 2D and 3D renderings or reverted to simplified drawings that can be readily used by contractors for installation with little, if any, extra time and effort, and no need to rely on other graphic enhancement software programs as part of its workflow.

Nemetschek lists these attributes of the new VectorWorks on its website. For more info, visit

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LASN: How does VectorWorks compare to Eagle Point and Land F/X?

EG: These products are AutoCAD-based so they require the AutoCAD workflow.

LASN: How does VectorWorks work with other popular computer applications such as SketchUp or Photoshop?

EG: VectorWorks can import SketchUp files and export Google Earth files. VectorWorks can read and write the following formats:

  • all standard bitmap files, including Photoshop
  • DWG
  • PDF
  • Shape
  • 3DS
  • IFC

LASN: What are some notable projects (or awards) that VectorWorks has been involved with?

EG: We have numerous case studies on our web site that can help you with this. Here are some links:

The new Heads-Up data display puts the action where the cursor is, allowing you to quickly create and edit objects to exact dimensions.

LASN: What is the 2008 price list for VectorWorks and do you offer a trial version on line?

EG: VectorWorks Landmark with RenderWorks is $1995.

VectorWorks Designer with RenderWorks is $2395. All prices are MSRP and are formatted for either Macintosh or Windows. Note: VectorWorks Designer includes Landmark, Architect, Spotlight, ad Machine Design. There are discounts available for multiples seats.

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