Product> Six Top Design and Materials Apps for Architects

National Product Spec Sheet
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(Courtesy HI-MACS)

Technology is supposed to make design a more streamlined, efficient process. But as anyone who’s ever squinted at a tools palette of inscrutable icons can attest, it too often deters the creative process. To the rescue comes a smart selection of task-specific, nimble apps and programs.

HI-MACS App
LG Hausys

Available for Apple and Android phones, this app’s clean design and linear sequencing makes it easy to explore. In just a few taps, users can find descriptions and specifications of the surfacing material—including water permeability, thermoformability, and heat resistance—as well as all the products and colors available.

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(Courtesy Brick Development Association)

Brick It Pro
Brick Development Association

Brick It Pro is a reference guide for building professionals containing interactive brick tables, bond patterns, and joint profiles. This iOS app is particularly useful for anyone involved with designing, surveying, or constructing brickwork.

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(Courtesy Petersen Aluminum Corp.)

PAC App
Petersen Aluminum Corp.

The PAC App is loaded with the entire library of PAC metal architectural products and technical information architects and roofing contractors need, such as literature, spec sheets, CAD drawings, testing documents, and BIM files. The high-definition app offers clear and simple visual navigation for quick reference, and all documents can be viewed, printed, or emailed. App updates are automatic. The app is ideal for field use because it does not require an Internet connection after installation.

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(Courtesy Holcim)

Rainbow Masonry Designer
Holcim

Since a brick or block façade is more than 20% mortar, today’s design decisions incorporate more than merely brick color. Customers and clients need to see the full gamut of masonry decisions for you to get the spec right the first time. Now there is a tool that illustrates your masonry vision and facilitates instant collaboration. The Rainbow Masonry Designer app allows you to choose brick colors, bonds, and 60 mortar colors. A complete palette is at your fingertips to explore, collaborate, and save your masonry selections before sending the specifications to your supplier for samples.

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(Courtesy Velux)

Skylight Planner
Velux

To help clients understand and visualize residential skylights, this app lets users preview different sizes and configurations in either a model space or, with an uploaded photograph, in the homeowner’s existing house. Product information and an installer directory are also included.

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(Courtesy Owens Corning)

Total Protection Roofing System
Owens Corning

It takes more than just shingles to protect a home—it takes an integrated system of seven components and layers working together to help increase the performance of the roof—and to enhance the comfort and enjoyment of those who live beneath it. This app walks users through each layer, product by product, to help clients gain a better understanding of material and cost estimates.

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