It's taken me a while but I am really convinced that Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Traditionally buildings have been drawn using 2 dimensional CAD technology - or by hand drafting. But with BIM you create a 3 dimensional "virtual" model of the building. In order to communicate the design to client and contractors you then generate various views from the model (plans, elevations, sections, etc). I'll show you an example of how this works below.
Here you can see an axonometric view of the 3 dimensional model of this house plan. The model was created using REVIT software, by Autodesk.
Now I have "sliced" a view from overhead looking down onto the plan. What is great here is you can see the relationships between the various elements (windows, doors, trim and even furniture) so that you can better evaluate the design.
Here is another sliced view, but this time from a side. You can see the roof, ceilings and the decorative trusses.
The section below is just another "slice" taken from the model. The walls, floors roof and ceiling profiles are all in precisely the correct position. To make it into a construction drawing you just need to add the pertinent detailed information.
Here the virtual model has been exported into Google Sketchup, which is a great design tool. In this case all I did was added the materials, colors and a little entourage. Isn't this a better way to convey the interior design concept?
All images above are of the "Hudson Cottage" house plan which is available for sale at Simply Elegant Home Designs.
It takes a while to learn and become efficient at BIM. But in the end I am convinced it is a better way to understand your design, a better way to communicate the design and a better way to assemble the construction drawings.