Chief Architect X15

There are many great new features in Chief Architect X15 — live material lists, stair railing offsets, automatic trusses, a pattern design tool, and several rendering improvements. Watch the new features summary videos or see our detailed new features list (PDF) to see how the new tools in X15 can benefit you!

Chief Architect new licenses include Support and Software Assurance (SSA). With SSA, you get access to new version releases, priority support, catalog downloads and more.

Is your SSA current through March? Visit your Digital Locker and download the beta version. You can expect to see the official release version of Chief Architect X15 this spring.

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Chief Architect X15 New Features Summary

X15 New Features (PDF)

3D house rendering with dormer, materials list and catalog library browser.


  • Material lists are now live and continually change as your plan changes. If you move a wall or add a window, the material list updates in real time
  • Need to save a snapshot of the materials list? That can be done with a report that is saved in the project browser
  • The library browser has been redesigned to improve search, organization and management of your content. Library content is searchable locally and on the cloud
  • 3D Solids that you have created can be added to the Library Browser for reuse in the future
  • A display coordinate axis and project origin location is available in plan, elevation and 3D perspectives
  • Symbol‑based objects, like appliances or fixtures, previously had two different dialogs — "Symbol" and "Object" — to manage that item. These were merged and consolidated into the open object dialog
Contemporary kitchen render with dual islands and bright backsplash listing new Chief Architect X15 features.
3D deck framing with an offset deck railing and stairs listing new Chief Architect X15 features.
3D deck framing with an offset deck railing and stairs listing new Chief Architect X15 features.


  • Patterns, like those you see in vector views, can be manually drawn for custom tile patterns. Custom patterns can be saved to your user library and selected as a material's pattern
  • Cabinet end panels and pilasters can be displayed in floor plan views
  • Cabinet moldings can be converted to molding polylines for further customization — similar to generating custom countertops
  • Cabinet partitions — add toe kicks and specify the height and width. Electrical items like switches and outlets will snap and attach to the partitions
  • Offsets are available for railings on stairs and walls to control where the posts, newels and the railings are located to easily move the deck railing to the outside of the deck platform and extend balusters down
  • Curved stairs now have radius controls to adjust the stair's outer arc, center line, walk line or the inner arc to the desired radius
3D rendering of roof truss framing and new Chief Architect X15 features.


  • Roof and floor trusses can be automatically generated similar to stick framing
  • For floor truss or joist framing, you can eliminate double framing under walls by opening up the wall property and changing the option for floor framing below
  • The wall definition dialog use to be organized with tabs below the wall layers category. It is now organized in three separate tabs, making it easier to find the relevant information
  • Wall framing can be set up to use "U" shaped framing in addition to the other corner framing techniques
  • Floating dormers have an added shaft option to include a ceiling opening to the room below — similar to skylight shafts
  • Skylights have sizing controls for the shape, width and height. A skylight edit tool, like CAD block editing, is available to customize the skylight, allowing you to create unique custom shapes
3D night rendering of a house moonlit at twilight. Sunset reflection in the windows and natural looking grass using new Chief Architect X15 features.
Rendering of realistic 3D grass blades using new Chief Architect X15 features
Rendering of realistic 3D grass blades using new Chief Architect X15 features


  • A new procedural grass tool is available to create a simulated 3D grass that is much more realistic
  • Physically based rendering has an improved sky model with several new controls. There is an option in the camera setting for an artificial terrain that will extend the terrain to the horizon
  • There are new tools to move the sun and moon in 3D; you can also set the star intensity
  • For sun shadows, there is a soften option in the rendering technique options for the physically based render camera. With soft sun shadows enabled, the hard line from the sun shadow is replaced with a more natural‑looking shadow line
  • Focal blur can be incorporated into 3D views with a depth of field setting
  • The opacity of glass in non‑ray trace views can now be adjusted
  • Depth cueing is available in elevation views to fog or shade areas that are a specified distance from the camera
  • A Hidden Line feature for elevations can be used to differentiate below‑grade surfaces
Wall framing detail with a material list takeoff schedule.
Bathroom wall elevation with dimensions, text callouts and CAD detail for a wall hung toilet.

Drafting &

  • Reference display allows you to superimpose an as‑built on a remodel using offsets. It is no longer important that the two files originate with the same coordinates. The new offset not only applies for as‑built overlays, but also other houses, outbuildings or neighborhoods
  • Sorting of schedules has been updated for more flexibility. An automatic sorting option is available to choose columns, and to sort them by ascending or descending values. On the schedule itself, you can change the sorting with arrows at the top of each column
  • A number formatting panel in schedules is available for each applicable column to control the format display of numbers
  • Rooms display the volume and square area in the open dialog. Rooms can be group‑selected to gather the same information. Room volume is a new column available for schedules
  • Cabinet door and drawer style columns can be added to schedules to list the face item names
  • Rich Text can be linked using web hyperlinks
  • Custom arrowheads can be created and then used for line ends