The SketchUp Experts

We’ve been working with SketchUp since 2005, honing skills at the coalface- Running architectural projects successfully proved how effective SketchUp works in practise. We wanted to share our enthusiasm and knowledge for this awesome platform, so that’s why we started SketchUp.Expert which became Ireland’s first ever Google Authorised SketchUp Training Centre in 2008. Since then, we have served hundreds of clients: From individual practitioners to multinational corporations.

We continually improve our service by tapping into the wisdom of the international SketchUp Community. This is a vibrant international network of people from diverse backgrounds. We’ve listened a lot to designers about how to provide the best possible training experience.

Whatever your SketchUp requirements, we’re your first port of call. Use the contact form below

Construction Documents Book Sample Page

Click here for a full preview!

Get a feel for this publication before you buy.

What will you get from this book?

  • Become competent at 3D modelling a building from a sketch image.
  • Create live (updatable) 2D Plans Sections & Elevations straight from your model.
  • Understand how to build 3D details from the building model.
  • Present these drawings in LayOut as completed PDF documents.

Contents include:

Also available on: Print & Kindle

You also get..

  • NEW! Course Companion Videos
  • Paul Lee’s 5 Killer Keystrokes which will seriously transform your modelling experience (embedded in the book)
  • Insight into the latest updates in SketchUp and how to best utilise them in practise.
  • Free lifetime access to Paul Lee’s Best SketchUp Tips and Tricks.


FREE BOOK SAMPLE – 20 free pages to try it out.Main SketchUp Course Models
SketchUp.Expert Components collectionLayOut Scrapbook File
Best 5 SketchUp ShortcutsCourse Companion Videos (below)

Course Companion videos

To help you get through Construction Documents course, a set of 6 videos have been made available for you to follow each step of the process. These are sequenced differently from the book but are complementary.

Problems with conventional 2D drawings include:
Construction Drawing Errors | Cross-Drawing Coordination Problems | Difficulty Managing Layers & Linetypes | Poor Navigation | Lack of Textures | Missing Construction Details | Poor Client Communication
You can make all of these issues things of the past when you have the mastery of SketchUp Pro.


SketchUp Forums & Learning Resources


SketchUp Official Learning Page  includes:    Fundamentals - Landscape & Site - LayOut Essentials - SketchUp to Photoshop - Fundamentals: Modeling Practise - 3 Ways to Boost CAD to 3D Workflow

Adebeo: French SketchUp Training Partner.

TheSketchUpEssentials Website: Great Video Tutorials on many SketchUp Topics.

MasterSketchUp : Excellent video Training Courses for SketchUp Construction Documentation.

SketchUcation Training Center. Online training solutions.

SketchUp School  Online and on site training.

YouTube Channels

Links to texture sources

SketchUp BIM

SketchUp versatility, simplicity and small file size make it excellent for virtual collaboration, file transfer and integration. Each part of the menus below contain a brief synopsis of SketchUp’s BIM capabilites.

SketchUp BIM

SketchUp's unique blend of user friendliness, flexibility and extendability means that it has quite an unlimited potential as a BIM tool.

SketchUp for BIM (by
Facility modelled in SketchUp using BIM functionality (Attribution:

While certain tasks are handled better by other platforms, they are limited to a particular speciality. Not so with SketchUp, which can be used for a myriad of purposes. For example:

    • 3D virtual tours
    • Construction sequencing
    • Cost reports and analysis
    • Energy analysis/ strategy appraisal
    • Photographic Renders (using extensions)
    • Clash Detection
    • Online Collaboration
    • Component Cataloguing
    • Parametric Modelling
    • IFC Classification
    • Construction Documentation (CAD)
    • Accessible Program Interface (Program Extendability)
    • Shadow studies

This list is by no means exhaustive.

SketchUp is not hampered by large file sizes or complex automated ("Parametric") components.

If you need to model an object quickly you don't need to programme an object or look into a dialogue box. Sharing files is instantaneous.

SketchUp Pro is used by both small and large organisations ranging from one-man operations to multinationals. Here are some examples of SketchUp for BIM in action:

Mortenson Construction
SketchUp Pro in construction - video case study

Barton Malow 3D for construction: delivering quality & efficiency

Case Study: McCarthy Building Company


SketchUp vs Revit: Comparison

Comparison of some of the more important features of both packages:



Parametric modelling and control

Model is parametric and controllable visually and via dialogue interfaces. Each object is programmed.

Models are instantly produced and edited without recourse to parametric contols. 

In addition "Dynamic Components" add parametric capabilities.

SketchUp supports IFC file types.

Plugins are available to add automated processes. (Many of these are free) The freely available SketchUp API allows anyone to develop plugins.*

Quantitative and numerical outputs from the model (i.e. spreadsheets for quantitative and cost analysis)

Spreadsheet information can be formatted from within Revit itself. **

SketchUp exports spreadsheet data which can be used for quantities reports.

There are also plugins that enhance this capability. These are detailed in "5D BIM" Section on SketchUp.Expert.

Cross-linking information between drawings with dynamic updates (for example: Section A cross-references to Plan B here etc.)

All drawing cross-references can be automatically titled and changes automatically updated. **

Autotext” allows input such as page name and numbers to be automated.

Drawing sheet naming and control

Excellent in Revit. All sheets are compiled in a neat spreadsheet that is auto-generated. **

Autotext” allows input such as page name and numbers to be automated.

Section cuts and elevation setup

Standard **

Standard functionality (As documented in “Construction Documents Using SketchUp Pro 2020” by Paul Lee

2D construction information

Construction detail is applied manually to the section cut in the model, or standard CAD details can be imported into Revit.

Perspective details are easily achieved

Colour/Greyscale/ Black and White output

Configurable lineweights

Vector/ Hybrid/ Raster graphic outputs

Automated Section Cut Profiles.

Make Group from Section” creates a CAD drawing from any plan or section cut.

Configurable lineweights

Vector/ Hybrid/ Raster graphic outputs

Paperspace/ LayOut views

Model can be edited inside the "paperspace" "viewport". "Viewports" in Revit are actually drag-and-drop "views" (plans, sections, elevations, call-outs, perspectives...)

Orthographic and perspective views are both possible in sectional and non-sectional views 

Fluid interface and interaction with model, though model must be opened, edited and re-saved before it is updated,

Warm appearance

Ability to make sketchy renderings


Fast editing


$290/ month

$75/ month or perpetual license $750

Free online version (Reduced functionality but great for testing.)


Included in Subscription.

Included in Pro purchase: 2 Years' email support.* Excellent forum resources.

Ease of use

Complex to learn.

Relatively easy learning curve

Very intuitive and pleasant drawing interface

Energy Analysis

Ecotect Analysis program available

IESVE and Sefaira.


Rendering engine built in

Inexpensive add-ons ranging in resolution output required. e.g. Vray, Lumion

Earliness of use in a project

Revit has conceptual design tools

Perfectly suited for the early stages of a project where time investment is minimal and flexibility is vital.


Records building designs parametrically, allows editing of them, and outputs construction documentation, specifications and quantities. Not built for sketch design

SketchUp can be used in just about any design or creative industry. LayOut doubles as an excellent graphic tool for creating professional quality posters, presentations, tutorials etc., as well as outputting Construction Documentation.

Interoperability with other platforms

3D Studio

Microstation (.dgn)


Google Earth

All Autodesk products: .dwg., .dxf., dwf.

Inventor through ASDK file format




Also IFC compatible

Integrates with Google Earth, providing very fast real-world data for integration with a model.

SketchUp 2D export:

.png, .tif, .epx, .pdf, .eps, AutoCAD .dwg and .dxf R12  - 2007

SketchUp 3D export:

Collada .dae, Google Earth .kmz, .3ds, .fbx, .obj, .vrml, .xsi, AutoCAD .dwg and .dxf R12  - 2007

SketchUp import

.dwg, .dxf, .3ds, .dae, .kmz, .dem, .ddf, .bmp, .jpg, .png, .psd, .tif, .tga, .pdf, .epx.

Not directly IFC compatible per se, but requires export and import of non-native filetypes


BIMstop is a very interesting BIM object resource website from Barrington Architecture in New Zealand.

3D Warehouse provides excellent workflow benefits as well as marketing opportunities.

**"Bi-directional associativity"


The image above is an example of a construction document composed exclusively in SketchUp Pro/ LayOut. Find other examples of construction documents from SU Pro/ LayOut by clicking this link

I have been interested for a long time to make a comparison of the two above-mentioned. I am an avid SketchUp Pro user and practising architect, and though I haven't experienced working with Revit, I have been given a detailed demo of how the software works by a professional demonstrator. I have extensive experience (10 years) of using and teaching CAD. In 2000 - 2002 I wrote a course to show architects and technicians how to use CAD professionally in a drawing office. I have had a certain limited level of experience with learning/ using parametric software (ArchiCAD, Architectural Desktop) which are early precursors to Revit (though I am assured, and believe it to be true that Revit is a lot better than the "flop" (not my words) that was Architectural Desktop). I have to say it is very impressive software as a parametric drawing and construction documentation/ output system.

Useful Links:

Thanks to Haley Bueno, Revit Expert Consultant and Trainer for lots of help with this document.

Thanks to Mark Lee (my brother) for coming up with the idea of doing this comparison exercise.

*Thanks to Chris Cronin for SketchUp corrections.

Thanks also to: 

Aidan Chopra- SketchUp Evangelist.

Matt Dillon- Vice President at D|C|CADD for his helpful comments.

Lonnie Cumpton- Revit Architecture Certified Professional

Daniel Gijsbers- Revit Training Professional

Please send corrections/ opinions to

Here are a few more points that I feel are important

  • Parametric software is mainly for recording and editing architectural designs. It has design capabilities for detailing and spatial parameters but isn't optimal for this purpose. There are also criticisms that such software constrains designs that can’t easily be expressed in parametric format.

  • Economies of scale in a project (For example: the numerous repetitive cells of a large hotel building, hospital, or apartment block) justify the time invested in creating full-blown parametric building components. In smaller projects it is difficult to justify as information isn’t generally repeated from project to project.

  • Filetypes for transfer between platforms should be open source.

  • Free, open training videos are the best way to find out about and learn a software package before investing.

To sum up:

Revit is a technician's dream, SketchUp is an architect's dream. Both operating in harmony would be everybody's dream

also (in as far as this author can tell):

Overall, Revit beats SketchUp for documentation of large projects, while SketchUp gives excellent value for money in comparison to Revit for documentation of small to medium size projects.

Comments/ Suggestions/ Opposing viewpoints welcome!


Video: Advanced SketchUp for Construction Drawings

Gallery: Construction Drawings (and associated projects) exclusively executed in SketchUp Pro/ LayOut

Download Sample course material at SketchUp.Expert Resources section.

Note: The author takes no responsibility for the information contained herein. Readers are advised to do their own research before making decisions about which software to use.

Virtual Collaboration: Trimble Connect

Trimble Connect

3D BIM Laser Scanning

This is an open collaboration tool that connects people and data. It enables informed decision making and enhances project efficiency.
Trimble Connect provides coordinated construction information for everyone across the project life cycle - enabling every stakeholder to share, review, coordinate and comment on data-rich building models in real-time.
Files can be uploaded into project specific folders and subfolders. Models, CAD files, Text/ Spreadsheet files, images and drawings can be marked up, shared as project "releases" or archived.
Models can be viewed in real-time 3D amongst project team members. Tasks can be assigned to individuals, with date schedules and progress updates.
4D BIM: Construction Sequencing/ Management

Construction Sequencing Visualisation

4D BIM programme of power plant in UK for a major contractor.

SketchUp is an ideal platform for the creation of construction sequencing output. The ease of creating components of small file size and speed of model creation/ navigation allow time and computer processing power to be devoted to where it's needed most: Getting on with the job.

There are simple manual ways within SketchUp itself to create time lapse visualisation. However, for more advanced purposes there are plugins which interface between model and spreadsheet as well as creating video timelapses. Models can be broken up into as many different time-linked components as desired, each with it's own name classification tags and time signature. Models can be controlled via the spreadsheet also, and so synchronisation is bi-directional.

4D Virtual Builder

This software plugin creates a 4D model directly within Sketchup. Synchronises tasks in real-time with 2D and 3D Sketchup entities. Generates Sketchup scenes per time-interval, and creates automatic PowerPoint and 4D animations.

Links with:

  • MS Project
  • MS Excel

10 day free trial is available.
For more information visit:
4D Virtual Builder

Synchro 4D Integration

This is a plugin that interfaces directly between .skp (SketchUp) Files and the following database platforms:

  • Oracle Primavera
    MS Project
    MS Excel

For more information visit:
Synchro 4D

Construction Sequencing using SketchUp for major contractor in UK

5D BIM: Cost Analysis

SketchUp easily calculates Area, Volume, Length, Weight, which can then be extended into Costs.

Sofa with BIM Classification
BIM characteristics of a Sofa element

Entity info contains several categories of information, including area, volume, and costs, using tags to identify groups and components, along with IFC Classification (The BIM open standard). SketchUp exports a report in the form of a spreasheet containing all elements which are then used to generate costs.

Plugins/ Extensions


"BIM for everyone" This is software for Windows platform that produces cost reports from embedded components.

Quantifier Pro: Cost Analysis Extension (for more in-depth reports and analysis)

  • Manages cost rules using Excel to easily share cost data across multiple models.
  • Calculates instant quantity and cost reports from the model.

Cost Analysis Tool
Categorisation of objects for cost analysis purposes.

Developer: mind.sight.studios

6D BIM: Energy Analysis

Energy Analysis with SketchUp.

SketchUp's light model size and instant editability makes it an ideal tool for energy analysis modelling. There are a number of energy modelling plugins which work directly with SketchUp. Here we look at two.


Sefaira is part of the Trimble suite of interoperating tools. This program examines various aspects of the SketchUp model to build up an energy profile.

Sefaira Energy Analysis Tool
Snapshot of energy analysis report.

Factors examine include: Solid to glazing ratios, building aspect, volume, occupancy loading, building usage, seasonal usage, lighting and heating requirements, water and electricity usage, and passive heating. Longitude, latitude, and local weather conditions are fed into the software by using local weather datasets.

Reports are published using the data generated by the model. Different energy scenarios can be compared.


IESVE Plugin

According to their website "IES is a world leading provider of integrated performance analysis software and consulting services for sustainable building design."

The software has similar characteristics to Sefaira, producing comprehensive energy and resources reports.

Ask questions and connect with other users at our Forum

Portfolio of Work

Below are some of the project works executed over the past 15 years.
Contact us to discuss using our services for your project.

Training Testimonials

Contact us for training or modeling services

    Modelling Services

    Communicating effectively

    Case Study: Anabio

    A bio-sciences company needed to represent their new “microencapsulation” development before the design was finalised. We made a video that conveyed the concepts with the minimum of information. In 60 seconds the audience were informed enough to provide enthusiastic support for the project.

    3D virtual representation helps get your message across fast and clear.

    Whether you’re presenting a project or product, your audience expects you to quickly grab and hold their attention. Here below are some examples of how we’ve helped organisations do just that.

    SketchUp 2020 & Other Recent Updates

    This page is to first of all address those elements that should have been included in the Construction Documents Using SketchUp Pro 2020 book.

    The Move Tool

    The new Move Tool works in an interesting new way, but only with Groups or Components.

    The first thing you’ll notice when you activate the Move Tool on a selected object is the new look of the node points which have “smoother” colours.

    The other thing is that you can see those nodes that are located on the far side of the object.

    The down arrow can now change the number and locations of grips shown on the selected object. Keep pressing this key to toggle between the different options- See below.

    1. Default: Nodes are located at the corner points.
    3. A single node is located at the mass center of the object.
    2. Nodes are located at midpoints of edges.
    4. Nodes are located at center points of faces.

    Moving an object using a “hidden” node turns the object translucent.

    Using the Copy mode (Move + CTRL key/ Alt key) to copy the object from “mass center” to corner of original object.

    SketchUp Resources

    Download 3Dwarehouse models

    Still using 2D CAD as your primary Construction Documents tool?

    Are you tired of drawing & modeling- Effectively doubling the work?

    Go CAD free today!

    Let your model to do all your drawing for you.

    Construction Documents Using Sketchup Pro 2020

    This is a detailed step-by-step guide to building a house model from scratch and transforming it into finished construction documents. The contents includes two model files plus embedded components.

    The course is hands-on rather than being a reference manual. While such manuals are a vital resource and I would definitely recommend having them as companions for this book, they don’t provide the same kind of focussed workflows that are found here. Reference sections in this book explain the various tools and settings we’re using.

    The course end-goal is illustrated on the front cover of the book. The student starts from scratch and proceeds to build the model in stages. It’s easy to leave the project at any stage and come back to it- The model records your “history”.

    What will you get from this book?

    By following the exercises here, you will be competent at 3D modelling a house model, and creating live, updatable 2D plans/ sections from it. In addition, you will understand how to build 3D details from your model. Finally, you will be able to present these drawings in LayOut as final completed documents.

    Who should read this book?

    This book is for anyone involved in creating documentation for Construction whether architect, builder, engineer, interior designer or DIY enthusiast.

    It is recommended that the user should be familiar with SketchUp’s tools and concepts before attempting the exercises in this book. While the lessons are quite self-contained, familiarity with modelling, navigating the model space, and model management is strongly advised.

    Why read this book?

    If you’re looking for the most immediate way to access SketchUp Pro for construction documentation then this book is for you. The workflows contained here are the same ones that the author has employed for years to execute the successful design and construction of multiple projects, both domestic and commercial.

    Final Note: This book is the first major follow-up to the successful publication of the same name from 2013. It was the first ever book on the subject of using SketchUp Pro for documentation. SketchUp has been developed extensively since that time, and these changes are reflected in this publication.

    If you’re unhappy with your purchase within 30 days, I’ll give you a full refund!

    Thanks for visiting.