What is a rendering?

Rendering can mean many different things in the architecture and construction space. This guide will help you understand where to use this ubiquitous term, and what it means in different applications.

The word rendering means many different things. As a verb, you can render someone unconscious with a blow to the head, or render fat into lard. Buying a new computer may render your old one obsolete. In the architecture, construction, or real estate management world, rendering refers to the visualization of a project. It can be used both as a noun and a verb. For instance, you can both create a rendering of a project, or render your design. In the architecture world, the word rendering usually refers to a 3 dimensional visualization of a structure. 

| Why are renderings important? 

Seeing is believing.

While it is entirely possible, to design, cost, and build a new building from 2d plans there are a variety of reasons to create renderings. Most new construction entails some aspects of competition. Who can create the best structure for the purpose, or what evokes the most emotion? For designs selected through a competitive process, architectural renderings (also known as architectural visualizations or drawings) are the first time a building will appear in 3 dimensions. 

| Are there different types of renderings?

Yes, Exterior, Interior, and Aerial. 

Exterior Renderings give the viewer a perspective from outside of the building. Exterior renderings may be used to show how a building will appear in the real world with external factors such as neighboring structures, sunlight, or other constraints taken into consideration. Exterior renderings are extremely important in the real estate world as they allow a potential client to envision what a particular building will look like in person. 

Interior Renderings show an interior perspective of the project. Interior renderings are commonly used to illustrate the lighting, shadows, colors, and other visual aspects of a project that are impossible to include in a 2d drawing. Traditionally, interior renderings were still, but today it is possible to use many commercially available tools that give a 360 degree perspective, and in some cases augmented reality capabilities such as weighted furniture, or dynamic lighting. 

Aerial Renderings give the viewer a birds eye perspective. Aerial renderings are commonly used to illustrate how a building will blend in with the environment, or other structures in the area around it.