Artificial intelligence in architecture:
10 use cases and top technologies

Artificial intelligence in architecture: 10 use cases and top technologies

August 15, 2023

Aleksandr Ahramovich
by Aleksandr Ahramovich, Head of AI/ML Center of Excellence
Artificial intelligence in architecture enables engineers and architects to design, plan, and build structures more efficiently. With this technology at hand, architects can optimize designs for sustainability and cost-efficiency and come up with never-before-seen design solutions.

AI allows them to brainstorm and conceptualize their ideas. Moreover, AI enables architects to identify patterns that can inform efficient and environmentally friendly design decisions. Our team of experienced AI experts can help you get the most out of AI and bring your architectural workflows to the next level.

The role of AI in architecture

The UN predicts that the world population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100, which will inevitably lead to the need for more houses and public spaces and a more efficient city infrastructure. This trend, accompanied by rapid worldwide urbanization, pushes architects, urban planners, and engineers to develop solutions that accommodate this exponential population growth. Therefore, AI is becoming increasingly important in the field of architectural design and construction:

AI in the global construction market CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Verified Market Research

of construction companies intended to use AI in 2022

Peak’s Decision Intelligence Maturity Index

potential savings of total construction costs from advanced analytics


10 artificial intelligence use cases in architecture

Artificial intelligence in architecture has various applications, from generating innovative smart city concepts to interior design visualizations. Let’s explore how architects can use AI systems to their benefit.

Streamlining early-stage planning

Floor plans are integral documents that architects use to create a layout of a building. Using generative adversarial networks (GANs), architects can generate floor plans based on building dimensions and environmental conditions, minimizing the need for manual drafting. On top of that, machine learning models can adapt to an architect’s habits and methods over time, further improving workflows.

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Examples of AI solutions for architecture

Autodesk Spacemaker

    Autodesk Spacemaker is a comprehensive AI-based software that helps architects to streamline early-stage planning and site proposal generation. By combining data from building regulations, climate conditions, solar exposure, and more with a machine learning algorithm, Spacemaker can create multiple design options for architects in minutes. This allows architects to quickly identify and adjust the most viable option based on their preferences. By feeding its models with site data, Spacemaker can also solve problems related to a project’s environmental impact, automatically calculate the gross floor area, instantly assess noise and sun levels, and ensure regulation compliance.

    Emerging technologies in architecture to complement AI


    Building information modeling (BIM) is an advanced form of 3D modeling which creates a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of buildings. BIM allows architects to automate repetitive tasks and manage their entire design process from conceptualization through construction in one integrated platform, enabling them to make better decisions faster and more efficiently.

    3D printing

    3D printing offers architects the simplest way to generate prototypes and assess the feasibility of design concepts. This significantly accelerates workflows and allows the detection of potential issues that would otherwise remain hidden until the construction phase.


    Augmented reality is a technology that overlays digital information and 3D graphics over physical objects. Architecture firms can use AR to help clients make a decision by showing them exactly how the building will look before construction begins.


    Virtual reality can help further immerse architects’ clients and other stakeholders into the design process. By using a VR headset, they can explore the space in detail and see how different materials look before any physical construction has taken place.


    IoT is a network of devices connected to the internet that can communicate with each other. IoT technology is used in architecture to enable smart buildings, allowing for greater control over energy usage and system performance. IoT also can enable predictive maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

    AI vs architects: will AI replace human professionals?

    The integration of AI will significantly affect architectural and design professionals in the near future. Despite a potential disruption, AI can’t completely replace human creativity and problem-solving capabilities, at least for now. AI is best used in tandem with human architects, as it can augment their skills and help make better decisions faster by considering data that is too complex or time-consuming for humans to analyze on their own. While AI can generate what appears to be the final product, it lacks the understanding of real-world constraints and nonlinear creative processes that define these professions. Rather than fearing this inevitable change, professionals must adapt their existing skills to integrate with AI, ultimately paving the way for a new era of innovation and creativity in architectural design.

    Challenges of implementing AI in architecture and potential solutions



    Potential solution

    Black box


    Black box AI is the lack of visibility into how an algorithm reaches its conclusion. This can lead to unintended consequences as algorithms tend towards optimization based on training data instead of desired outcomes and can produce results with no explainable logic behind them.



    Potential solution

    Essentially, many applications of AI in architecture involve a two-step process of feeding relevant data to an AI model and getting finished designs at the end of the process. With such an approach, an architect can't decipher what exactly the underlying model is doing.

    First, you should pick the right metrics to evaluate the result, which still won't allow you to move AI into the white-box field. However, it will give you a better understanding of how the system reacts to any changes and get direction for improving the system. It's also important to divide the pipeline into definitive steps, allowing the user to intervene and have better control over the final outcome.

    Architecture is risk-averse


    While the architecture industry is open to innovation, certain AI apps can be too risky for an average architecture firm. The AI's ability to suggest unconventional construction methods or use uncatalogued materials can pose significant legal and business risks for architectural firms.



    Potential solution

    In most cases, architects leave the construction of basic structures like retaining walls to contractors. If AI comes up with a never-before-seen approach for holding back soil, architects should provide contractors with elaborate documentation on methods and materials for implementing it. This automatically places a significant legal risk on the architects, which most firms would understandably avoid in the absolute majority of cases.

    AI-based systems can not be used for decision-making. At their current level, most AI-based systems should be used as an assistant or an optimization tool for certain operations. Therefore, humans must make the final decision in this industry.

    Building a better future with AI in architecture

    Building a better future with AI in architecture

    AI presents a major opportunity for architects to revolutionize their workflows, make more informed decisions, and design innovative solutions. While poised to become an invaluable tool in the architecture industry, AI must be approached with caution. Architects should acquaint themselves with the technology while remaining aware of its potential pitfalls. With sustained education and practice, the architecture community can leverage AI to build better future homes and the cities we live in. Ready to take the next step? Take advantage of AI's potential in architecture by getting started with Itransition's AI-driven tools and services. Our experienced team of engineers and data scientists can help you assess your needs and develop custom solutions to fit them.

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