Modelur - Free data-driven urban design extension

Our data-driven feasibility studies plugin will now have a free plan to help smaller freelance architects, urban planners & designers to make better data-driven design decisions.

See more here:

The free plan will offer all features such as:

  • Excel LiveSync: Connect all data to Excel while designing to create dashboards, number comparisons, additional calculations, etc.
  • Massing generator: quickly test how different regulations (Max. FAR, site coverage, etc.) translate to a 3d space.
  • GIS Import: Allows Import of GIS files and mapping out data to transform 2 .shp files into 3D
  • Free open street map for building context around the development area
  • Data dashboards (Building, City block, Whole plot) within Modelur to get a better representation of your project’s numbers.
  • Automatic parametric designing
  • Integration of zoning regulations into a 3D model and live warnings when regulations are breached
  • Automatic calculations of areas, key urban parameters, number of building units, etc.
  • and more…

Stay tuned for more info and the new version release date that will have a free plan enabled


Modelur’s building functionalities:

Parametric Modeling - Automatically changes the design of the building based on the selected parameters.

Parametric building creation - Change the floor plan to a parametric building with a click of a button, storeys included.

Parameters you can set on a building level:
1. Set building use
2. Building height: The building will automatically change the height and add storeys
3. Number of storeys: The building will automatically add storeys and change the height
4. Built-up Area: Scales a building to match a specific built-up area
5. Gross Floor Area: Scales a building to match a specific GFA
6. First storey height: Automatically changes the height of the first storey
7. Other storeys height: Automatically changes the height of all the storey (except first if defined)
8. Construction/Demolition year: Sets a building construction/demolition date to see the development timeline (phasing)
9. Keep Built-up area when scaling: Scale in one direction and the building will automatically scale in the other to keep the built-up area the same

Stay tuned for more information and a free plan release!

1 Like

Modelur’s building use parameters and unit calculations

With the free version of Modelur you’ll be able to add up to 4 building uses and create a mixed use development.

The free plan will include all the automatic calculations as in the pro plan:

  • Estimated parking spaces requirement
  • Estimated number of units (ex. apartments)
  • Estimated green areas requirements (specified in the City Block tab where you can import bacis zoning regulations)
  • Estimated investment
  • Estimated income
  • Key areas & ratios
  • Areas SUM per use type

The free plan is soon to be released, so stay tuned for more information

Free plan limitations:

Number of parametric buildings: 10
Number of city blocks: 1
Number of uses: 4
OSM import: 1 tile

You’ll still be able to import buildings from your GIS shapefiles, but exceeded buildings will be imported as wireframes.

Would you rather have them imported differently?

The free plan will allow you to open and view a project with more buildings, city blocks, and uses, and also see its data, but you’ll not be able to modify the design if the free plan limit is exceeded.

Great News… and thanks

A a long time user of Modelur I can highly recommend this extension… unfortunately my current usage is so intermittent that I could not justify the cost… but this is great news and look forward to re familiarizing myself with the latest incarnation!

1 Like

I never used Modelur before but always found it to be a very interesting extension.

I would appreciate to have a cost by project instead of a monthly fee. I have a project right now where I could use Modelur, I will be working on it from 3 to 3 months average, but I won’t use Modelur in between as I might not have anything similar in the foreseeable future.

At the same time it will feature 20 buildings so the free plan isn’t good.

What would happen if I would use Modelur for the duration of the project and then, from time to time, would need to revise it? Would I need to keep paying Modelur?

This is another problem I see with subscription models: if the software is really useful it will become a mandatory requirement for dealing with the project and some of these projects take years to be fully developed though the actual work we produce is only a minor part of this time span.

Very interesting extention, can’t wait to try out the free version!


Thanks for your reply. We’ll still keep the monthly, quarterly, and annual plan so you could only go pro for the duration of your project.

To answer what would happen if you’d need to revise the project after your subscription has ended, the free plan will allow you to open a SketchUp file with all parametric buildings made with Modelur, but you will not be able to modify them.

You’ll have all the data available and could view the entire project. What it won’t allow is to modify anything as long as you are exceeding the limitations.

This is also present now with a free viewer license.

Here’s a sneak peek at the free plan where a model with more parametric buildings is imported. The image doesn’t show the data (it will be there for every building), but you’ll get a notification when trying to modify the design.

What we were also thinking about is enabling a pay-per-use licensing model where you could buy for example 100 tokens and use them 1 by 1 as a daily use until you run out of tokens.

Would that kind of model be a better suit for you? Or do you have some other suggestions?

Let me know and we’ll see how we can integrate something like that into Modelur and make it more useful


right now you can also apply for a 14-day free trial with no limitations. Once a free version will be released, the trial will no longer be there as it doesn’t make any sense :slight_smile:

Try it here:

Yes i’ve seen the free trial, but somehow i don’t fancy trial versions.
Often trial periods are to short (for me) to fully test and understand the possibilities of the software:)
Stil thanks for your advice tho!

Agreed. That’s why we’re switching to a free version. Keep following this thread to know when the free plan will be released.

Thanks for your comments

Thanks for your reply. For what I understand the free plan would work as a viewer inside sketchup too, then. That is interesting.

I will check the plans and more info on your site.

PS: You don’t have a link for the modelur site at the first post. It would be useful.

Thanks for the notice. I added it to the post.

Yes, a free plan will have a viewer function as well, that is correct.

I’ve been watching your videos and somethings crossed my mind:

  • Why not support the use of hole cutting components for city blocks? That way you could cut a hole in the texture automatically if you’d be working with maps. For this to be supported, city blocks must be allowed to be placed in any context, though it seems that everything must be placed on the root of the model.
  • What about basements and underground parking? Is this possible to achieve with Modelur?
  • Finally I noticed that all the work done in Modelur in all references I see is done in a flat terrain. I wonder how it works if our terrain isn’t flat at all.

EDIT: I will share here some pictures of the project I’m working on right now:

The plan while it’s being drafted:

The terrain where the buildings and roads will sit:

A previous version of the project:

Hey Joao,

  • Can you please elaborate more on your first point please?

  • You can already create underground structures (garage), but you need to create them as separate building. If you create a mixed-use building (underground+above ground) it will not be recognized as -1, -2, etc. storey. Meaning the total number of building storeys will include the underground storeys in the calculation. This can then affect your max. number of storeys limitation where it’ll show you have 8 storeys, but in reality, you have 2 underground and 6 above ground. This is something that’s next on our roadmap to make this workflow better. Here’s a video showing underground parking: Modelur Demo Webinar - New York Case - YouTube

  • Placing buildings on terrain is possible, but we always show videos on a flat surface because we believe it’s best to work on the flat surface and then, when the project is finished, place everything on the terrain. See the video below:

For cutting holes in city blocks, are you willing to jump on a quick call with our product expert, who’s also an urban designer and you can explain what you mean by that? Maybe there’s also a way this is already possible or there’s a workaround to achieve what you want.

If you’re up for it, let me know on

Thanks for the engagement!

I would be available for a quick call about Modelur, and I would be also glad if we could chat a bit more about the 3D modelling aspect of the app.

I have a feeling Modelur is great when you work flat but I don’t know how helpful will it be, when you want to adjust the project to terrains with heavy gradients like the one I’m dealing with. I can see that in the example you showed, some of the floors get inside the terrain. Of course that might be only a coarse approach to the subject.

Examples of situations that I don’t know if they are possible to deal with Modelur:

  • There are a lot of urban design decisions that derive from the simple fact that the north façade of a building is completely above ground while the south façade is underground.
  • With non flat terrains, floors might have variable heights to follow the terrain grading.
  • There are limitations to road/sidewalk/square pavement gradients in urban regulations. Would Modelur be able to take these into account?
  • I can do it with other plugins, but what about landfills and escavation volume calculation?

Besides that I also have doubts about the capabilities of dealing with exterior areas, like permeable soil, and areas for exterior pavements like squares, sidewalks, bike lanes, as well as equipment items like waste disposal, bike racks, pedestrian crossings and so on. How well is it ready to deal with all of this data.

I’ll send you the email.

We’ll talk about it more on our call, but here are the answers to your points:

  • Modelur offers automatic placement of buildings onto terrain. We suggest you start drawing on a flat plane which is a lot easier. Once basic layout is defined, you can use auto placement of buildings so each building is placed onto the terrain. If it needs to be adjusted, it can still be moved manually using SketchUp’s built in move tool.

  • First and other floors can be set separately by default for each building you make. If you then need some spefic floor heigth at specific storey, you can always create complex building which gives you this flexibility.

  • It could, but at the moment it doesn’t have this functionality.

  • Modelur could do it, but it is not (yet) a part of its feature set.

Thanks for all your feedback

1 Like

I’m downloading the trial as we speak.

Here is a sneak peek of Modelur DK - a special version of Modelur that integrates with official planning data in Denmark. It covers the complete country and allows you to import relevant planning data such as zoning rules, plots, 3d buildings, official planning docs, etc with a click of a button:

Once the model is imported, you can still take advantage of all the parametric functions Modelur has to offer.

1 Like