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Is there a good program out there that would let me design:

  • Building layouts (house and other structures)
  • Landscaping
  • Would be a nice feature to have ability to do aviation structures as well, at least general placements
  • Conduit pathing, both inside structures and between structures, esp server setup and rigging setups.
  • Hopefully includes suggestions for solar and wind turbine generation placement
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  • Google sketchup perhaps? Not sure but you could check it out. – Izumi-reiLuLu Jul 6 '14 at 4:43
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There are numerous 3-D modelling packages out there with prices ranging from free to huge sums of money unless you are prepared to spend the ridiculous amounts of money I would strongly recommend downloading and learning blender.

While it is perhaps a little generic for your use it has the following features that you may well benefit from:

  1. Free & cross-platform.
  2. Will run on reasonably priced hardware, (obviously faster is better)!
  3. Able to produce a 3D model just about anything.
  4. Add lighting and time of day modelling.
  5. Can export to and import from most commercial modelling systems.
  6. Can produce photographic quality renders for clients to see.
  7. Can produce walk/fly through/round movies.
  8. Can animate items such as your wind turbines.
  9. With the game module you can produce interactive models allowing clients to explore the model at will.
  10. Active user community - i.e. lots of help, books, etc.
  11. There are even training materials on-line both free and paid for some specialising in architecture.

Downsides include:

  • Steep learning curve just about every serious modelling program suffers from this!
  • Possibly too generic for the use you are planning
  • You will probably need to build up a library of the your commonly used components.

The results can be fantastic:

Example1 Example2

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