AEC Free Software directory

From Wiki.OSArch


This page lists software published under a Free/libre or Open Source (FLOSS) software license. It lists many types of packages for many purposes and is surely not comprehensive as the reach of FLOSS is extensive and always growing. If you know of anything we're missing please let us know by just adding it wherever you think it makes sense.

We are not the only group trying to promote free/libre software for AEC. Here are some other software lists: Ubuntu software list for engineering (needs an update), CAELinux is a distribution, forum and software list.

General Purpose[edit]

If you're not familiar with Free & Open Source software useful for general use you can read our page on Open source software beginners

Schematic design[edit]

Schematic design is defined as loose sketching, idea development, prototyping, and feasibility studies, without delving into the detailed geometrical or data attributes of a design.

Logo Name Description License
Icon blender icon 64x64.png Blender Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline. GPLv3-only
Firstdraft logo.png First Draft A real time, web-based whiteboarding and markup tool. GPLv3-only
Excalidraw logo.png Excalidraw A real time, web-based whiteboarding and markup tool. MIT
Icon FreeCAD.png FreeCAD FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters LGPLv2-only
Homemaker add-on The Homemaker is a Blender Add-on that tries to automate the tedious work of designing buildings. Just indicate with simple geometry where you want walls, floors and roofs, and the software figures-out what building elements are needed to create that building. The result is an industry-standard IFC (BIM) model, suitable for taking the project towards construction. GPLv3
Icon krita icon.png Krita Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone. It specialises in concept art, texture and matte painters, illustrations and comics. GPLv3-only
Icon SweetHome3D 64x64.png Sweet Home 3d Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you draw the plan of your house, arrange furniture on it and visit the results in 3D. GPLv2-or-later


Geographic Information Systems are used to interrogate GIS-level data, overlay multiple data sets, and integrate with BIM data.

Icon Name Description License
BlenderGIS Blender Add-on. Make the bridge between Blender and geographic data GPL-3.0
depthmapX depthmapX is an open-source and multi-platform spatial analysis software for spatial networks of different scales, from buildings and small urban areas to whole cities or states. At each scale, the aim of the software is to produce a map of spatial elements and connect them via relationship (for example, intervisibility, intersection or adjacency) and then perform a graph analysis of the resulting network. The objective of the analysis is to derive variables which may have social or experiential significance. GPL-3.0
Grassgis logo colorlogo text whitebg 64.png GRASS GIS Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USA/CERL) GPL-2.0
Icon JOSM 64x64.png JOSM JOSM is an extensible editor for ​OpenStreetMap (OSM) for ​Java 8+. It supports loading GPX tracks, background imagery, and OSM data from local sources as well as from online sources and allows to edit the OSM data (nodes, ways, and relations) and their metadata tags. GPL-2.0
Icon mago3D 64x64.png mago3D mago3D seamlessly integrates AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) and 3D GIS in web browser using Cesium. Apache-2.0
Open Orienteering OpenOrienteering is a project developing a collection of tools which help with the creation of orienteering maps and the organization of orienteering events. GPL-3.0
Icon openstreetmap 64x64.png OpenStreetMap OpenStreetMaps is a community built map of the world, powering map data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, on thousands of web sites, mobile apps, and hardware devices. ODbL
Icon qgis 64x64.jpeg QGIS A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System to create, edit, visualise, analyse and publish geospatial information. GPL-2.0
Icon qfield-logo.svg QField An android app that syncs your QGIS projects to a mobile device and allows for in the field GIS data viewing and entry. GPL-2.0
Icon saga.png SAGA GIS System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses designed for the easy and effective implementation of spatial algorithms. GPL
Raster Vision Building Detection Code for running a Raster Vision experiment to train a model to detect buildings from satellite imagery in three cities in Latin America. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND
Urban Growth Prediction Model Code to run a model that predicts urban growth using a spatially-explicit stochastic land change modelling framework to produce projections of urban growth in a designated urban area and its surroundings. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND
OpenStreetMap Extraction Tool Friendly front-end for querying OSM features around Guyana from the Overpass API and extracting them as a Shapefile. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND
OpenMapKit Server OpenMapKit Server is the lightweight NodeJS server component of OpenMapKit that handles the collection and aggregation of OpenStreetMap and OpenDataKit data. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND
Housing Deficit Estimation Understanding housing deficit is crucial in creating housing policy. The code contained in this repo will apply a decisive methodology to determine levels of quantitative, qualitative, and total housing deficit based on census data, using census data as an example. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND
Georeferenced Program Evaluation The GPE (Georeferenced Program Evaluation) R package includes functions that will allow the user to study various aspects of consumer or beneficiary behavior. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND
WhiteboxTools WhiteboxTools can be used to perform common geographical information systems (GIS) analysis operations MIT
UrbanPy UrbanPy is an open source project to automate data extraction, measurement, and visualization of urban accessibility metrics. Part of the Open Urban Planning Toolbox developed by the Inter-American Development Bank. CC-IGO 3.0 BY-NC-ND

Visualisation and Documentation[edit]

Open source tools useful for all graphical work involved in the process of architecture design. 3D render generation, image manipulation, page layout, etc. For a list of relevant pages including documentation and tutorials see Category:Visualization and Documentation. For an overview of resources (software, textures, models, HDRI, etc.) read our article on Visualisation and Documentation.

Icon Name Description License
Appleseed logo.png Appleseed Appleseed is an open source, physically-based global illumination rendering engine primarily designed for animation and visual effects. It provides individuals and small studios with a complete, reliable, fully open rendering package built with modern technologies. MIT
Icon blender icon 64x64.png Blender Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline. GPL-2.0
Blend4Web(CE) Blend4Web (Community Edition) is a free and open source framework for creating and displaying interactive 3D computer graphics in web browsers. GPL-3.0
Blender2Godot Blender add-on. A free tool developed for quickly testing and deploying virtual / interactive visualizations, by linking Blender to the Godot Engine. Blender2Godot is a Blender3D addon that exports a Blender 3D scene to a Godot Engine project. This addon is in alpha state and thus still has a lot of bugs. GPL
FCStd Import FCStd Import is a Blender3D addon that imports FreeCAD files to a Blender project. This addon is in alpha state, developed by Yorik Van Havre and runs under Blender 2.80. unknown
Icon gimp 64x64.png GIMP GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. GIMP provides the tools needed for high quality image manipulation. From retouching to restoring to creative composites, the only limit is your imagination. GPL-3.0
Icon hugin-shadow 64x64.png Hugin An easy to use cross-platform panoramic imaging toolchain based on Panorama Tools. With Hugin you can assemble a mosaic of photographs into a complete immersive panorama, stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more. GPL-2.0
Icon inkscape 64x64.png Inkscape Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Linux, Windows and macOS. Whether you are an illustrator, designer, web designer or just someone who needs to create some vector imagery, Inkscape is for you! GPL-2.0
Icon krita icon.png Krita Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone. It specialises in concept art, texture and matte painters, illustrations and comics. GPL-3.0
Icon Luxrender logo 64px.png LuxRender LuxCoreRender is a physically based and unbiased rendering engine. Based on state of the art algorithms, LuxCoreRender simulates the flow of light according to physical equations, thus producing realistic images of photographic quality. Apache-2.0
Mitsuba Mitsuba 2 is a research-oriented retargetable rendering system, written in portable C++17 on top of the Enoki library. It is developed by the Realistic Graphics Lab at EPFL. GPL-3.0
Icon scribus 64.png Scribus Scribus is a page layout and desktop publishing program. Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK colors, spot colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. Scribus has many unexpected touches, such as powerful vector drawing tools, support for a huge number of file types via import/export filters, emulation of color blindness or the rendering of markup languages like LaTeX or Lilypond inside Scribus. The Scribus file format is XML-based and open. LGPL-2.1

Game engines[edit]

Graphics game engines have been used in diverse areas of visualisation: simulators, educational software, interactive art, scientific visualisation and architecture.

Icon Name Description License
Armory 3D Armory is an open-source 3D engine focused on portability, minimal footprint and performance. The renderer is fully scriptable with deferred and forward paths supported out of the box. Zlib License
GODOT Godot is a 2D and 3D, cross-platform, free and open-source game engine released under the MIT license. MIT License
OGRE Since 2001, OGRE has grown to become one of the most popular open-source graphics rendering engines, and has been used in a large number of production projects, in such diverse areas as games, simulators, educational software, interactive art, scientific visualisation, and others. MIT License
Panda3D Panda3D is an open-source, completely free-to-use engine for realtime 3D games, visualizations, simulations, experiments. BSD License
UPBGE UPBGE is an open-source 3D game engine forked from old Blender Game Engine, deployed with Blender itself. GPL-2.0

Virtual reality / augmented reality[edit]

Icon Name Description License
A-Frame A-Frame is a web framework for building 3D/AR/VR experiences. MIT License
ApertusVR ApertusVR is an embeddable, open-source (MIT), framework-independent, platform-independent, network-topology-independent, distributed, augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality engine. MIT License
ARToolKit ARToolKit is an open-source computer tracking library for creation of strong augmented reality applications that overlay virtual imagery on the real world. LGPL-3.0
OpenSimulator OpenSimulator is an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols. BSD License
OpenSpace3D OpenSpace3D is a free and open-source platform, designed to create virtual and augmented-reality applications or games. If you are a 3D artist, a designer, a lab researcher, or just someone with a lot of passion and curiosity, you do not need software development skills to use the platform. LGPL-3.0

Geometry scanning and processing[edit]

Geometry scanning and processing relates to the task of laser scanning, as-built verification, point cloud manipulation, photogrammetry, and mesh reconstruction.

Name Description License
Blender-Photogrammetry-Importer Blender addon to import reconstruction results of several libraries. MIT license
CloudCompare CloudCompare CloudCompare is a 3D point cloud (and triangular mesh) processing software. It was originally designed to perform comparison between two 3D points clouds (such as the ones obtained with a laser scanner) or between a point cloud and a triangular mesh. It relies on an octree structure that is highly optimized for this particular use-case. It was also meant to deal with huge point clouds. GPL-2.0
COLMAP COLMAP is a general-purpose, end-to-end image-based 3D reconstruction pipeline (i.e., Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and Multi-View Stereo (MVS)) with a graphical and command-line interface. It offers a wide range of features for reconstruction of ordered and unordered image collections. BSD
GeoEasy GeoEasy Land survey import and processing software GeoEasy can import files from various Total stations, perform transformations and surveying calculations, create TINs from points and breaklines, do volume differences between TINs, etc. GPL-2.0
Meshlab MeshLab MeshLab is the open source system for processing and editing 3D triangular meshes. It provides a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering, texturing and converting meshes. It offers features for processing raw data produced by 3D digitization tools/devices and for preparing models for 3D printing. GPL-3.0
OpenDroneMap Open Drone Map Generate maps, point clouds, DEMs and 3D models from aerial images. AGPL-3.0
Point Cloud Visualizer Point Cloud Visualizer Blender add-on. Display, edit, filter, render, convert, generate and export colored point cloud PLY files in Blender. (Free version 0.9.3 for B3D 2.8) GPL-2.0
Regard3d zopfli.png Regard3D A free and open source structure-from-motion program. It converts photos of an object, taken from different angles, into a 3D model of this object. MIT
gradslam For usage in instant reality capture, gradslam is an open-source framework providing differentiable building blocks for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) systems. We enable the usage of dense SLAM subsystems from the comfort of PyTorch. MIT license
Torch logo.png Torch Points3D "Torch Points3D, was developed to become the torchvision of point cloud data: a flexible and extensible framework for researchers and engineers alike working on point cloud-based machine vision." Source Code BSD
Total Open Station Total Open Station Total Open Station (TOPS) downloads land survey data from total stations on your computer, from almost any operating system. Data you download can be archived as is, and exported to exchange formats (CSV, DXF, GeoJSON, ...) for use in CAD or GIS software. GPL-3.0

CAD / BIM Design Development[edit]

Icon Name Description License
Icon ArchiPack 64.png Archipack Blender add-on. Quickly model parametric architectural objects in Blender, with a real-time, on-screen editing interface, designed for speed. GPL-3.0
BHoM icon.png BHoM "The Buildings and Habitats object Model. A collaborative computational development project and collective experiment. By sharing and co-creating code we can better shape our environment and our future. We want technology to be open and accessible for all. And we think that by working together we can solve harder more impactful problems for the world." LGPL-3.0
BlenderBIM Addon logo.png BlenderBIM Add-on Blender add-on. An add-on for beautiful, detailed, and data-rich OpenBIM with Blender. Create data-rich IFC4 data to future-proof your BIM data and integrate with the rest of the OpenBIM ecosystem. LGPL-2.0
Icon CADTransform 64.png Blender Add-on: CAD Transform Blender add-on. CAD like transform operations for blender 2.8+ GPL-3.0
Compas icon white.png COMPAS "A computational framework for collaboration and research in Architecture, Engineering, Fabrication, and Construction" MIT
DynFreeCAD icon.svg DynFreeCAD Dynamo nodes for the FreeCAD API MIT
Home Builder Asset Library A PyClone Blender asset library designed to help with architectural and interior design GPL-3.0
Icon BRL-CAD 64.png BRL-CAD BRL-CAD is a powerful open source cross-platform solid modeling system that includes interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, geometry libraries for application developers, and more than 30 years of active development. BSD / LGPL
Icon FreeCAD.png FreeCAD FreeCAD is an open-source, extensible, parametric 2D and 3D modeler primarily designed for mechanical engineering but which can be used in many different fields like machining, routing, 3D printing, finite element analysis, and of course, architecture and construction. Parametric modeling allows you to modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters
Hypar Elements Hypar Elements is a cross-platform library for creating building elements. It's meant to be used by architects, engineers, and other building professionals who want to write code that generates buildings. MIT
Icon LibreCAD icon.png LibreCAD LibreCAD is a free Open Source 2D CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux. Support and documentation are free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. GPL-2.0
LX-Viewer LX-Viewer (Linux Drawing Viewer) is a program that will allow you to open, view, print DXF files. The most important feature is that LX-Viewer allows you to manipulate your DXF data on the Linux platform. You may zoom and pan the drawing as you would in AutoCAD. Files can be saved to BMP, SVG and PNG formats. It runs on Linux and Windows platforms. GPL-2.0
Blender Add-on: MeasureIt-ARCH Blender add-on. An expansion of Antonio Vazquez's MeasureIt add-on to add features to create Architectural Drawings and 3D measurements in Blender 2.8. GPL-3.0
Prism Prism is an open source app which accelerates the design process for precision manufactured housing (PMH) for London. It is free and easy to use and combines the Mayor of London’s spatial planning rules with precision manufacturer expertise to help you to quickly determine viable PMH options for your development. MIT
Icon QCAD.png QCAD QCAD is a free, open source application for computer aided drafting (CAD) in two dimensions (2D). With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schematics and diagrams. QCAD works on Windows, macOS and Linux. GPL-3.0
SolveSpace icon.svg SolveSpace Small but capable parametric 2D/3D CAD (+ CAE & CAM) application for solid modeling. Highly interactive and well documented. Probably a good starting point for learning the basics of constraint-based modeling. Available for Linux, macOS and Windows. GPLv3-or-later
Sorcar Blender add-on. Sorcar is a procedural modeling node-based system which utilizes Blender and its Python API to create a visual programming environment for artists and developers. Heavily inspired by Side-FX Houdini, it presents a node editor with a variety of modular nodes to make the modelling workflow easier and fast. GPL-3.0
Icon speckle 64.png Speckle Speckle is an open source cloud-based data platform for AEC. It provides a method of liberating data from one platform to another in a quick, manageable, and efficient way. It works with Blender, ThreeJS, Rhino, Grasshopper, Excel, Unity, GSA, Revit, and Dynamo. MIT
Sverchok Blender add-on. Sverchok is a parametric tool for architects and designers for Blender. You can use it to program objects' shapes without knowing any programming languages. Sverchok has been inspired by Grasshopper from Rhino 3D and it uses a similar node-based visual programming principle. We are trying to bring this feature set to Blender users. GPL-3.0
Tissue Blender add-on. Create parametric and tessellated panels in Blender, for computational design. GPL-2.0
Icon topologic 64x64.png Topologic Topologic is a software modelling library enabling hierarchical and topological representations of architectural spaces, buildings and artefacts through non-manifold topology. AGPL-3.0
Construction Lines Add-on Blender add-on. Construction Lines Add-on for Blender, is currently under development (July 2020) and enables accurate modeling with a CAD-like workflow (though can be used in any modeling), building models from 2D primitives, setting out geometry with guide points and guidelines. A beta release is imminent. unknown
ZCAD ZCAD is a simple CAD program, written in Lazarus / FPC. It can open DXF files and save it as PDF, SVG... Also, it has some edition tools. mLGPLv2

OpenBIM Management[edit]

Icon Name Description License
- BCF-Plugin-FreeCAD A standalone plugin for the free, open source CAD tool FreeCAD. The aim is it to integrate collaboration in the BIM space through support of BCF." LGPL-3.0
BIMData BIMData A simple online tool to deal with IFC and BCF. Has an electronic document management, issue management, visualise, check, and share digital models. LGPL-3.0
BIMServer BIMServer is an open source development and has been a leader in the openBIM world for more than 10 years. The open source BIM community works together to create a best-of-class BIM-environment, including the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, TNO, who has been at the forefront of the development of this software for many years. AGPL-3.0
- BIMTester Write unit tests to check exchange requirements in IFCs and perform quality auditing of IFC data, based off Python behave. LGPL-2.0
- BIMSurfer WebGL-based IFC model viewer with support for 3D tiles with a focus on high performance. MIT
Ifcopenshell logo.png IFCCOBie CLI tool to convert COBie data from an IFC file to spreadsheet format, and log all IFC errors that occur during the conversion process. LGPL-3.0
Ifcopenshell logo.png IFCDiff CLI tool to compare geometric and data differences between two IFC files and produce a diff report in JSON format. LGPL-3.0
- IFC.js A front-end IFC viewer. Parsing is done via the browser. MIT
- IFC-Pipeline A processing queue that uses IfcOpenShell to convert IFC input files into a graphic display using glTF 2.0 and BIMSurfer2 for web-based visualization. MIT
IFC++ IfcQuery/IFC++ (IfcPlusPlus) C++ library and IFC viewer application for Windows and Linux MIT and closed source
Sloth Sloth Sloth is a BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) online viewer and report generator. MIT

Analysis and Simulation[edit]

See also Structural Analysis & Environmental Analysis

Mesh generator and scientific data visualisation[edit]

Icon Name Description License
Gmsh Gmsh is an open source 3D finite element mesh generator with a built-in CAD engine and post-processor. Its design goal is to provide a fast, light and user-friendly meshing tool with parametric input and advanced visualization capabilities. Gmsh is built around four modules: geometry, mesh, solver and post-processing. LGPL-2.0
ParaView ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization application. ParaView users can quickly build visualizations to analyze their data using qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data exploration can be done interactively in 3D or programmatically using ParaView’s batch processing capabilities. BSD

Structural, thermal and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis[edit]

Icon Name Description License
blastFoam A CFD solver, built on top of OpenFOAM,for multi-component compressible flow with application to high-explosive detonation, explosive safety and air blast. GPL-3.0
CalculiX CalculiX is a package designed to solve field problems. The method used is the finite element method. With CalculiX Finite Element Models can be built, calculated and post-processed. GPL-2.0
Icon code aster.png Code_Aster Code_Aster offers a full range of multiphysical analysis and modelling methods that go well beyond the standard functions of a thermo mechanical calculation code: from seismic analysis to porous media via acoustics, fatigue, stochastic dynamics,etc. GPL-3.0
Code_Saturne Code_Saturne is the free, open-source software developed and released by EDF to solve computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications. It solves the Navier-Stokes equations for 2D, 2D-axisymmetric and 3D flows, steady or unsteady, laminar or turbulent, incompressible or weakly dilatable, isothermal or not, with scalars transport if required. GPL-2.0
Elmer Elmer is a multiphysical simulation software that includes physical models of fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electromagnetics, heat transfer and acoustics, for example. These are described by partial differential equations which Elmer solves by the Finite Element Method (FEM). GPL-2.0 (software) and LGPL-2.1 (solver)
Energy2D "Energy2D is an interactive multiphysics simulation program that models all three modes of heat transfer—conduction, convection, and radiation, and their coupling with particle dynamics. Energy2D runs quickly on most computers and eliminates the switches among preprocessors, solvers, and postprocessors typically needed to perform computational fluid dynamics simulations." source LGPL-3.0-only
EPANet EPANet is a software application used throughout the world to model water distribution systems. It was developed as a tool for understanding the movement and fate of drinking water constituents within distribution systems, and can be used for many different types of applications in distribution systems analysis. MIT
Estru3D Program for structural analisys using the Stiffness Matrix Method. It has its own graphical interface and full GUI. Now beign translated to english. It is developed in Gambas3 basic only. GPL-3.0
Fino Fino is a free and open source tool that uses the finite-element method to solve (i) steady-state thermo-mechanical problems, or (ii) steady or transient heat conduction problems, or (iii) modal analysis problems. GPL-3.0
Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a large-eddy simulation (LES) code for low-speed flows, with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport from fires. GNU3.0
FEniCS FEniCS is a computing platform for solving partial differential equations (PDEs). FEniCS enables users to quickly translate scientific models into efficient finite element code. FEniCS runs on a multitude of platforms ranging from laptops to high-performance clusters. LGPL-3.0
Frame3DD Frame3DD is free open-source software for static and dynamic structural analysis of 2D and 3D frames and trusses with elastic and geometric stiffness. It computes the static deflections, reactions, internal element forces, natural frequencies, mode shapes and modal participation factors of two- and three- dimensional elastic structures using direct stiffness and mass assembly. Note there is also pyFrame3DD for Python. GPL-3.0
GemPy GemPy is a tool for generating 3D structural geological models in Python. As such, it enables you to create complex combinations of stratigraphical and structural features such as folds, faults, and unconformities. It was furthermore designed to enable probabilistic modeling to address parameter and model uncertainties. GPL-3.0
OpenFoam logo.png OpenFOAM OpenFOAM is the free, open source CFD software developed primarily by OpenCFD Ltd since 2004. It has a large user base across most areas of engineering and science, from both commercial and academic organisations. OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to acoustics, solid mechanics and electromagnetics. GPL-3.0
OpenSees OpenSees is a software framework for developing applications to simulate the performance of structural and geotechnical systems subjected to earthquakes. UC Regents
pythermalcomfort pythermalcomfort is a Python package that allows users to calculate the most common thermal comfort indices in compliance with the main thermal comfort standards such as ASHRAE 55 and ISO 7730. For example, pythermalcomfort can be used to calculate: thermal comfort indices (e.g., Predicted Mean Vote, adaptive models, Standard Equivalent Temperature), local discomfort, clothing insulation, and psychrometric properties of air. MIT
Salome SALOME is an open-source software that provides a generic Pre- and Post-Processing platform for numerical simulation. It is based on an open and flexible architecture made of reusable components. LGPL-2.1
Sparselizard64x64.png sparselizard Sparselizard is an efficient, highly multiphysics, hp-adaptive, open source C++ finite element library with demonstrated capabilities as of 2020/12 for at least fluid flow (creeping, laminar, transport), mechanics (isotropic, anisotropic, geometric nonlinearity, plasticity,...), electromagnetics (current flow, electro/magnetostatics, ac induction, antennas, electric motors, piezoelectricity, piezoresistivity,superconductivity,...), thermal, acoustics, FSI GPL-2+
Syrthes SYRTHES is a general thermal software dedicated to transient thermal simulations in complex solid geometries. EDF's R&D developed the software that can be used for a range of problems: nuclear (lifetime, nuclear waste disposal, new concepts, fuel transportation, etc.), electricity (transport, electromechanical devices, etc.), building efficiency, material physical properties, etc. GPL-2.0
XC XC OSS is aimed directly at civil structural engineering. The software provides a set of structural analysis tools based on the finite element method and a framework to implement the design of structural members according to structural codes (Eurocodes, ACI, ...). Our objective is to develop an open tool that provides the engineer with unlimited freedom to take control of the structural analysis and to customize procedures. Project-specific FOSS

Environmental analysis[edit]

Icon Name Description License
Icon ladybug 64x64.png Ladybug Tools Ladybug Tools is a collection of free computer applications that support environmental design and education connecting 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) interfaces to a host of validated simulation engines. Ladybug Tools can be used as a suite of Python libraries, or as a set of visual programming nodes with Blender (via Sverchok), or with proprietary software like Rhino (via Grasshopper) or Revit (via Dynamo). GPL-3.0
Radiance Radiance is a suite of programs for the analysis and visualization of lighting in design. Input files specify the scene geometry, materials, luminaires, time, date and sky conditions (for daylight calculations). Calculated values include spectral radiance (ie. luminance + color), irradiance (illuminance + color) and glare indices. Simulation results may be displayed as color images, numerical values and contour plots. Project-specific FOSS
SAM toolkit SAM Toolkit is designed to help engineers to create Analytical Model. AGPL-3.0
VI-Suite Blender Add-on. VI-Suite is a node-based add-on for performing environmental analysis in blender. The add-on acts as a pre/postprocessor for the EnergyPlus and Radiance simulation engines. Stable Version (0.4) released for blender 2.7, a version for blender 2.8 (0.6) is awaiting release. GPL-2.0(citation needed)

Energy analysis[edit]

Icon Name Description License
BIMxBEM A tool which analyze IFC data to feed local standards compliant energy related data to energy simulation softwares. LGPL-3.0-only
CEA The City Energy Analyst (CEA) is an urban energy simulation platform and one of the first open-source computational tools for the design of low-carbon and highly efficient neighborhoods and districts. The CEA combines knowledge of urban planning and energy systems engineering in an integrated framework. This allows to study the effects, trade-offs and synergies of urban design options, building retrofits and energy infrastructure plans. MIT
Eplus logo 1.png EnergyPlus EnergyPlus™ is a whole building energy simulation program that engineers, architects, and researchers use to model both energy consumption—for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and plug and process loads—and water use in buildings. BSD-Style
OpenStudio logo-crop.png OpenStudio SDK OpenStudio® is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance. OpenStudio is an open source (LGPL) project to facilitate community development, extension, and private sector adoption. OpenStudio includes a Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows building researchers and software developers to quickly get started through its multiple entry levels, including access through C++, Ruby, and C#. LGPL-Style
OpenStudio+Coalition-logo-crop.png OpenStudioApplication & OpenStudio Sketchup Plugin The OpenStudio Application is a fully featured graphical interface to OpenStudio models including envelope, loads, schedules, and HVAC. The OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in is an extension to Trimble’s popular SketchUp 3D modeling tool that allows users to quickly create geometry needed for EnergyPlus using the built-in functionality of Trimble SketchUp including existing drawing tools, integration with Google Earth, Building Maker, and Photo Match. These two tools make use of the OpenStudio SDK and are being developed and maintained by the OpenStudio Coalition. LGPL-Style

Traffic and pedestrian analysis/simulation[edit]

Icon Name Description License
GAMA GAMA is a modeling and simulation development environment for building spatially explicit agent-based simulations. GPL-3.0
JuPedSim JuPedSim is an open source framework for simulating, analyzing and visualizing pedestrian dynamics. LGPL-3.0 or later
MASSIS MASSIS is a software framework that facilitates the simulation of scenarios with multiple agents (representing people, robots, sensors, etc.) in indoor environments (i.e., inside a building). GPL-3.0
SUMO Simulation of Urban MObility (SUMO) is an open source, portable, microscopic and continuous multi-modal traffic simulation package designed to handle large networks. Eclipse Public License
UrbanSim UrbanSim is an open source urban simulation system designed by Paul Waddell of the University of California, Berkeley and developed with numerous collaborators to support metropolitan land use, transportation, and environmental planning. New BSD License

Project Management[edit]

Icons Name Description License
Icon ganttproject 64.png GanttProject GanttProject is a free desktop project scheduling application for small and medium businesses which need Gantt charts. GPL-3.0
Icon OpenProject 64x64.png OpenProject OpenProject is the leading open source project management software. Support your project management process along the entire project life cycle: From project initiation to closure. Includes support for BCF[1] GPL-3.0
Logo ProjectLibre 64.png ProjectLibre ProjectLibre is a free and open-source project management software system intended ultimately as a standalone replacement for Microsoft Project. ProjectLibre was developed by the founders of the abandoned project OpenProj. CPAL
ProjeQtOr ProjeQtOr is a collaborative and free open source project management software. It's a tool designed to be a Project Organizer as a Rich Internet Application. Web mode, once installed, you can work from the web browser. AGPL-3.0
Qex Studio Software with a data base for cost analysis and estimate. GPL-3.0

Facility Management[edit]

Icon Name Description License
OpenJardin OpenJardin is a free open source software for the management of a permaculture oriented garden (available languages: Français-Italiano-English). It allows interactive management of crop plots, with annual planning and crop rotation . GPL-3.0
Logo openmaint.png openMAINT openMAINT is the application for the management of mobile assets, plants and technical devices, furniture, etc., and the related logistical, economical and maintenance activities, scheduled and breakdown ones. AGPL-3.0 & GPL-3.0
Vi-Sense Vi-Sense is a project that visualizes data of heating systems in a 3D model of the building they're installed in. Technicians or system administrators get an overview of all sensors located in a building, can take a closer look at the measured values of these sensors, and get information about data anomalies that indicate potential errors. The combination of the 3D representation of buildings and the visualization of measured values in a timeline makes it possible to perform detailed analyses of error sources such as the failure of heating or pump systems. In addition, sensor states in the building model are supported by color highlighting, which ensures a quick orientation and an intuitive overview. MIT

Software Development[edit]

If you are a software developer, you may be interested in a wide variety of free software libraries available to aid development of new free software tools in the AEC industry. Tools include file format parsers, geometry kernels, a visualisation libraries. See free software libraries for AEC software development.

Extensions to proprietary software[edit]

Some software is distributed as free software, but only as an extension, an add-on, plug-in, or only operating in conjunction with proprietary software. As it cannot be used practically without proprietary software, it is not considered "fully" free software. Sometimes, though not always, they are released as open source as a marketing strategy to seem more open, or as a way to attempt to get free community contributions to an otherwise proprietary core. See the directory of free software extensions to proprietary software.