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Software requirements

The major piece of software used in the Architecture courses is the browser you are using now. (We recommend that you keep your browser updated.) Other software, including email and tools for various aspects of the Architecture courses you are taking, will be described in more detail in the specific course syllabi and study guides.

Drafting/design software

All students with an AU email address can access the student versions of all the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) packages at no charge, but you will need to download them yourself. The following packages are used in APST255:


Different options are available for accessing the SketchUp software. For example, a one-year subscription of SketchUp Pro is available for students at a reduced price, or you can use the web-based version called SketchUp Free at no charge. Both these products are available on the SketchUp website. This software is compatible with both the Windows and Mac operating systems.

SketchUp offers various tools for learning the software. You can access these by choosing SketchUp Campus under Resources or by going straight to SketchUp Campus.

To access the free web version of SketchUp, go to SketchUp for the Web and click on “Start Modeling”.  


This free download is available on the Autodesk website. This software is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.


This free download is available on the Autodesk website. Note that you will need access to a computer with the Windows operating system to run this software. In addition to the CAD software, you also need access to the following:

  • word processing software such as Microsoft Word (or equivalent)
  • spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel (or equivalent)

You may also want to use image processing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. Free image processing software such as GIMP is also available.


Updated January 20, 2022 by Digital & Web Operations (