18 handy tablet apps for AEC professionals

Check out these helpful apps for everyday design and construction tasks.

Our favorite: MagicPlan, which uses GPS to help you measure and draw a floor plan of any room.

April 05, 2012 |


The Firestone BP iPad app offers building owners, facility managers, contractors, architects, and consultants multiple views of building products and solutions, product specs, as well as green building product offerings and full-service opportunities. Click here to download the FREE Firestone app. Keep an eye out for other Featured Apps in future issues of BD+C.




Architect’s Formulator This program contains more than 400 formulas helpful to architects and construction industry professionals, such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and concrete and excavation contractors. iOS $9.99

Dropbox This free service lets you transport all your photos and documents anywhere. After you install Dropbox, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, mobile devices, and the Dropbox website. iOS, Android, BlackBerry Free

I.D. Wood Identify different species of wood from around the world in seconds with this handy app. The tool provides high-definition screen samples and information on nearly 160 species. It also includes dimensional lumber conversions, hardness scale, and other tools. iOS $4.99

iBlueprint Designed expressly for home builders, contractors, architects, and real estate agents, iBlueprint allows users to create and export custom floor plans. It also provides contractors with quick access to blueprints on the job site. iOS Free

iHandy Translator Translate any sentence or phrase into any destination language with this iPad app. Features include history tracking, search, and integrated Twitter/Facebook/SMS/e-mail support. The ad-free Pro version includes a text-to-speech function. iOS Free/$0.99

MagicPlan allows users to measure, draw, and publish interactive floor plans on the Web, just by taking pictures. Create a floor plan in minutes without the need to measure, draw, or move furniture. Later import photos or other images to enhance the visualization. iOS Free

Structural Wood Design Calculator A tool for engineers, architects, and builders to design wood beams for strength in bending, shear, deflection, and bearing. Beam design is calculated by inputting a few design parameters, such as beam length, width, and load. iOS $0.99


Adobe Ideas This digital sketchbook comes with a set of simple vector-based drawing tools that allow users to easily mark up existing plans, documents, and photos, making it great for communicating field changes, construction errors, and other job site questions. iOS $5.99

AutoCAD WS This app allows users to quickly view, edit, and share DWG files. Accurately annotate and revise drawings while in the field, in meetings, or out of the office. View edits to drawings in real time, and collaborate with others on the same file simultaneously. iOS, Android Free

cadTouch R2 This app enables you to draw floor plans, land surfaces, façades, mechanical and structural parts, diagrams, and field notes. You can then send drawings instantly via email or FTP. iOS $14.99

iRhino 3D This tool allows users to view native Rhino 3DM files on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Users can pan, zoom, and rotate using typical commands. 3D models can be loaded from websites, Google Docs, email attachments, or iTunes. iOS $3.99

REVITKeys Handy for BIM users on the go, this app is a simple reference guide for Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010. It includes 260 keyboard combinations separated into 14 categories. iOS $0.99

SketchBook Mobile Autodesk SketchBook Mobile offers the power of the company’s popular digital sketchpad program for Apple- and Android-supported mobile devices. Comes with multi-touch navigation (with 2500% zoom) and a host of easy-to-use drawing tools. iOS, Android $4.99

SmartBidNet A companion tool to SmartBidNet construction bid management software, this app allows users to access their private network of subcontractors and view them organized by the services they provide. iOS Free (with a SmartBidNet subscription)

TurboViewer This DWG viewer supports both 2D and 3D CAD DWG files for the iOS platform. Quickly distribute and view files by sending an email with DWG or DXF attachment. Files can also be viewed via Web download, FTP, Dropbox, and WebDAV systems. iOS Free


Green Pro This app is essentially an interactive version of the USGBC LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations worksheet, allowing users to evaluate and track the number of LEED credits achieved on projects. iOS $3.99

LEED AP Building Design + Construction Offers a set of flashcards to help building and design professionals study for the LEED AP BD+C exam. Also includes a 100-question practice exam with reference notes that can be completed over multiple session. iOS $19.99

LEED Standards This tool brings the most relevant and popular standards used in the LEED rating system to your iPad. Quickly decipher and understand more than 30 commonly used and referenced standards in LEED, including ASHRAE, ASTM, EPA, and FEMA. iOS $0.99 BD+C


Send it to Tim Gregorski, Senior Editor: tgregorski@sgcmail.com. If we use it, we’ll credit you. Thanks!

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