The main task of the architect is the development or one or more ideas with an abundance of possible variants to create a solution to a declared project objective. The necessary high flexibility maintained in the preliminary design phases means that many questions of detail addressed in these early stages have to take into account a great deal of uncertainly and lack of definition. The wide choice of variants and the imprecise nature of much of the information about the project also create great difficulties in the use of conventional computer programs for drawing or calculating, as they require exact, unambiguous information. The demands of the client for relatively precise information at an early stage in the design, example about areas, volumes, room schedules, functional sequences, costs, development opportunities, programme dates or the likely results of precertification, add to the difficulties of this working approach.

The contradiction between diversity of variants and indistinctness on the one hand and the exact information and accurate cost estimates on the other has considerably sharpened over recent years. The client finds a need for more and more information with the increasing complexily of decision making, particularly in the field of property investment. With this need for information goes a sharp increase in the time spent on its preparation by designers and project developers.

The consequences are considerably increased costs in data collection and processing for all participants in the planning, design and construction of a building and an increase in errors through the use of inconsistent data. This leads to a rise in demand for software tools and analysis programs to help with the design process and substantiate the design results with relevant information and reports.

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